I Love Reimer

Ya. I said it.
I love James Reimer.
No, he may not be the guy to take the Toronto Maple Leafs to the playoffs this season, gut the kid is good. The defence sucks.
Ya, it`s been awhile since I hit the keyboard, and I`m hitting the wife`s keyboard, at that. I apologize for the backwards apostrophes. But, I am watching the game and Reimer is good.
He sucked on the first goal. Granted. But so did the D.
This being the last weekend before my favourite day of the season, the speculation of who will go is running rampant on who will be departing town. So, here is who I think should stay.
Everyone is making a big deal about Jake Gardiner, but if that is what it takes to bring a player the caliber of Rick Nash... I`m sorry, you pull the trigger. When was the last Leaf prospect you saw leave town and develop in to a player of any distinction? Don`t say Brad Boyes. He can score, but I would trade three Brad Boyes` for one Owen Nolan, anyday.
I say you keep Phil Kessel. You keep Dion Phaneuf. You keep Jofrey Lupul and Reimer. John Michael Liles and Cody Franson are tough calls. Everyone else is fair game. Brian Burke should keep his draft picks.
Sorry to burst that bubble.
Also, the Leafs should only trade for Western Conference players. If they could build a team that plays a Western style in the East, then you are talking.
Who should go?
Luke Schenn needs to go. Tyler Bozak needs to go. Mikael Grabovski is not worth $5 million. And, I don`t think there is any question, Ron Wilson needs to go. As soon as possible.
After tonight`s crap show, the Leafs should be sellers on Monday. Come what may.


"Thank You, Phil!"

My fondest wish for tonight is for Phil Kessel to score a tonne of points tonight against the Boston Bruins.
If this happens, and if the Toronto Maple Leafs are winning, dear reader promise me, if you are at the Air Canada Centre, you will start the chant, "Thank you, Phil!"
Let's turn that horrid chant in to something Leafs's fans can be proud of. Like my earlier suggestion of Waffles of Joy.
A big apology to all my reader, this was a busy week for me philanthropically, preparing for the Rotary Club of Gravenhurst annual TV/Internet Auction, November 27.
But, what a week it was! First place in the league! What?!
It has been so long since I felt something like this... this.. I don't know how to describe it... notshame, is that a word?
I can almost feel something resembling cautious optimism. Unfortunately, years of disappointment have rendered me utterly skeptical. I can't even enjoy this run the way I should. Blue and white blinders, blatant disregard for evidence of problems ahead.
It's hard to ignore the terrible special teams, contributors to the Leafs' terrible records, in the past.
I just want to enjoy the fact that their goalscoring is conquerring all... well, most. Forget the fact that the Leafs have been beneficiaries of a relatively easy schedule in the early-going. I want to enjoy this run, as long as it lasts.
But, so far, I can't. I've been ruined. The fan in me has left the building. I can enjoy the Leafs for the duration of the game, then I go back to thinking that the next game will signal the shattering of the dream.
Why is this happening to me?
History. That's why.
Anyhow, remember what I said.
"Thank you, Phil!"


The Apple Is Big

The results of tonight's game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers will be the measuring stick of how this season will go, in my opinion.
When the Buds stroll out of Madison Square Gardens (how do they keep a traditional name, by the way? They should be Appleby's Square Gardens, or something, by now) we should have a fairly good indicator of how this season will unfold. But, I should qualify this... Only if James Reimer plays! Lord Stanley knows we can't base anything on Jonas Gustavsson's play in the nets. I'd rather see Ben Scrivens in there, if Reimer can't go tonight. I have no personal dislike for "The Monster," other than that ridiculous moniker, it's just that the Leafs only play well in front of one goalie. This is not new. It has happened for the better part of the 30 years I have been watching the Maple Leafs. They seem to only play well for their Number One. If they play well, at all. I digress.
On paper, the Rangers should probably be better then the Leafs. Better, more established goaltending, and solid scoring depth. Their coach has won a Stanley Cup. The only place the Leafs fare better is on defence. On paper.
But the Leafs have come out the gates stronger than the Rangers. New York looks like a team the Leafs should beat, so far this season. Will they? I have no idea.
I think, if they do win, the Leafs will contend all season to slip in to the playoffs. If not, you can probably list them in the lower third of the Eastern Conference.
The Leafs have been beating the teams they should beat, so far. Now, they have a chance to beat a teams that seems to be fairly equal to them. If they can beat the teams they are somewhat equal to, and the teams they should beat... well, they should make the playoffs, right?
Or, is my math way off?

On Twitter, @bobbyshow

UPDATE:Oh, my Lord Stanley! Humpty Dumpty has been put back together, again! Centre, Tim Connolly will (probably) make his Maple Leafs debut tonight on Broadway! Good for Mr. Glass! Let's hope we get a full, regular season game out of him, this time.

UPDATE:James Reimer will not be in net, tonight, versus the New York Rangers. Please disregard my last post as anything I write, think, dream about or hope for will be rendered moot by the play of Jonas Gustavsson.

So? What Do You Think?

What do you think about our Toronto Maple Leafs so far, this season?
Me? I think they are exceeding my expectations.
I figured they would be in a dogfight everytime they played a lower tier team and would be utterly humiliated by every team in the upper echelon.
So far, the Leafs are beating the teams they need to beat. Teams that aren't ready to truly contend. Teams like themselves. And that is the first step to moving out of the basement club.
Sure, they still look insufficient against teams like the Philadelphia Flyers but who amongst us really thought they'd take that step, this year?
Right now I am enjoying winning more games than we are losing. I'm enjoying Phurious Phil Kessel. I am loving Jofrey Lupul. I am welcoming back the old Dion Phaneuf. The second line is starting to score. James Reimer hasn't sucked in goal.
Look, if you are honest with yourself, you know the Leafs went in to this season still needing a number one centre, despite the acquisition of Mr. Glass (Tim Connolly). We still need work on defence. There is still a need for secondary scoring.
Yes, Mike Komisarek will remain the fan's punching bag until his time in Toronto is through. No, noone will seriously entertain getting rid of Luke Schenn, despite a horrible start to the season. And Ron Wilson? Oh, who knows? Does something feel off to anyone else, when it comes to that guy?
So, yes. I think the Leafs are doing alright. In fact, if you skip watching games against Washington, Philadelphia, Detroit and the like, you will probably enjoy watching a fairly successful Toronto Maple Leafs season. Unfortunately, there are those other teams out there hoping to keep the Buds out of the post season, and Toronto had better figure out how to win against the heavyweights, if they hope to move up that ladder. Hopefully, the Waffles of Shame can become Waffles of Joy before too long. Maybe, like the octopus in Detroit?
That's my two cents for today. What do you think?


BTW, you can follow me on Twitter, @bobbyshow, I follow back. #TeamFollowBack
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