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Captain Comeback

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Lost amidst the Leafs playoff push has been the sudden resurgence of captain Dion Phaneuf's offensive game.  After scoring only 18 points in his first 55 games as a Leaf, Phaneuf has 12 in his last 20.  Even stranger, he's done so without feasting on the powerplay.  Has he been jumping into the play more and taking a little off his one-timer?  It would certainly seem so.  Just don't ask Dion, who claims his rediscovered offense is simply due to improved health (according to James Mirtle's article yesterday):

I don't think I've changed anything to be completely honest with you," Phaneuf said. "I definitely feel better on the ice. I feel I'm moving the way I used to ... That was the first serious [injury] I've ever had and it was definitely different coming back. You lose a bit of a step.

Whatever the reason, the Leafs will need Phaneuf to continue producing offense from the blueline, especially in the absence of Tomas Kaberle.

Saturday links:

Did you make a good trade?

New DGB

Success in five steps

Mirtle reveals the secrets behind the Leafs playoff push

The Wendel Clark pyramid of greatness

Puckin' Eh has something special for everyone

Talking Leafs present and past

VLM has a great interview with Scott Morrison of CBC

New photos over at Vintage Leafs