Looking (For) Forward(s) At the Halfway Mark

LOS ANGELES CA - JANUARY 10: Head coach Ron Wilson (R) of the Toronto Maple Leafs reacts to a scoreboard video replay during the game against the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center on January 10 2011 in Los Angeles California. The Leafs defeated the Kings 3-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

As of right now, the Leafs sit at 38 points, good (er, bad) for 2 6th in the league. They are tied with Florida for 25th in terms of points, but the Panthers have a game in hand. Also, the Leafs are also only two points back of the Flames, and have two games in hand on them. It's conceivable that this team claws its way out of a draft lottery position, but you really can't bank on anything just now.

At this point last season, the Leafs were 14-18-9, and had 37 points. I know we've talked a lot about how the post-January 31st-of-2010 Leafs were a much different team from the pre-Phaneuf and Giguere days, but the truth is that in the first half of the season, the Leafs picked up exactly 50% of their 74 points.

We're on pace for 76 right now, but inconsistency has become quite the meme around here. Perhaps some comfort can be found in the fact that there really is no guarantee of success going about things the "traditional" way the Kings have:

More than anything else right now, the Kings lack consistency. Until they develop some, their blueprint, while wildly different than Toronto’s and far sexier, has yet to pay any significant dividends – at least not yet anyway.

 

So do you think this team can out-perform last year's squad over the remaining 41 games? 

Leaf Links:

Nikolai Kulemin’s 16th goal of the season gives Leafs win
Duhatschek with his recap of the game, and a few blurbs from Bettman.

Could the Leafs have plucked Wolski from the Coyotes?

Would it even have been a good idea?

Leafs WIN!!! Kings lose their throne
Over at Frivolous Ornamentation, Karina has a few thoughts on the game.

Game In 10 – Game 41
Xterratu with a few notes on the Leafs' effort against the Kings.

Were the Leafs after Wolski?
Andrew R over at MLHS claims that Burke tried to trade Beauchemin, only to be thwarted by the limited NTC in Beauchemin's contract. Not sure what his sources are, though.

 

Other Hockey Links:

NHL goalies are getting bigger and bigger
While this shouldn't come as a surprise, it's still another interesting article from Mirtle.

Embiggen your goalies for more cromulent results
Tyler Delow runs the numbers after reading Mirtle's piece on goalie size.

Rangers Trade Michal Rozsival to Coyotes for Wojtek Wolski
Head over to the original thread at Blueshirt Banter for some Ranger fan reaction.

2008 Draft - Forwards and NHLE - The Copper & Blue
Scott Reynolds compares all of the forwards drafted in 2008 through the lens of Gabriel Desjardins' NHL equivalencies. The highest-ranked player drafted by the Leafs? Joel Champagne.

20 Questions With Alex Ovechkin and Andrei Arshavin - Japers' Rink
Most of the questions aren't hockey-related, and many aren't even sports-related, which actually makes it somewhat interesting to read.

Kitchener's Landeskog looks like the No. 1 pick - for now.
"I would say at this point, with the number of viewings our scouts have had, as many as eight players could be taken first," McGuire told NHL.com. "The depth goes right through this draft. A cynic or somebody who's characterizing this as a non-Sidney Crosby draft year only needs to know that whoever emerges in April at No. 5 on our list (Central Scouting's final rankings), and in St. Paul as the No. 5 pick, could eventually be a better NHL player than No. 1. That said, this isn't a Crosby draft year."

 

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