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Night and day. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Call it what you will, but Nikolai Kulemin has put together two polarizing seasons in succession that have fans of the Leafs and fantasy hockey managers alike questioning what his true potential is...
For Kulemin’s sake and for the sake of th Leafs, one should hope a change of scenery isn’t what’s needed to get him going again, and hope that he can grow and become stronger as a person and player. Will his return see him pot another 30 goals?
Interesting analysis from OT Winner. Kulemin escaped a lot of heat this year because of the fantastic performances by Kessel and Lupul and because he missed the end of the season. Had the Leafs been a little more desperate for goals or a little closer to a playoff spot in March, public perception of Kulemin could be very different.
A lot of very smart hockey fans felt Kulemin's goal totals would go down from the 2010-2011 season, mostly due to natural regression in shooting percentage. But nobody thought he'd score a measly 7 goals in 70 games. Going forward I'm not sure you can pencil Kulemin in as a second line player. He's only had one season with more than 16 goals and he'll be 26 this summer. He may not be a regular 25 goal guy because of his low shot totals. His contract negotiations this summer will be very, very interesting. Like a lot of Leafs, there's a bit of mystery surrounding what kind of talent he is - something Brian Burke and company need to figure out this offseason.
Links after the jump...
Hockey fans find a lot of weird and funny stuff once their team is eliminated
More chuckles from Puck Daddy for a Saturday morning
Update from Lighthouse Hockey
My, my, my - three reasons to root for LA