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Leafs Can Only Get Better... Can't They?

Sitting and trying to contemplate what the 2011-2012 NHL season will be like for the Toronto Maple Leafs is difficult. With so many changes, it is hard to tell what we are going to see on the ice.
It's like unzipping your hockey bag after it has sat in the garage all summer long, I think. Sickly-sweet. I think they will be better, but not good enough to make the playoffs.
Hey! It has been a long drought, my friends, and I am simply not an optimist anymore. The two brightest things I have gained from the past five miserable years... I'm now a huge NFL fan and yep, you guessed it ... WAFFLE NATION.
Now, don't get me wrong, I am not predicting doom for our beloved buds. I will still cheer for them. They have done a lot in the hopes of improving.
Unfortuneately, I think most of the moves they have made have been lateral. Jean-Michael Liles is no better or worse, to me, than Tomas Kaberle. Tim Connolly... meh. He'll be ok, but noone will miss him when he doesn't return after his contract expires in two years.
I liked Jake Gardiner in the pre-season, but I expect his warts will begin to show and we will see the return of Keith Aulie in the first ten games.
I'm very excited, once again, to see what lies in store for Phil Kessel. I hope the line of Mikael Grabovski, Nikolai Kulemin and Clarke MacArthur continues to improve. And I hope Dion Phaneuf returns to being the Dion Phaneuf we all hoped we would be getting when he came over from Calgary.
All that said, I still took Liles in my pool. And Lombardi in our three pick sleeper pool.
As for the season? I guess I'm like St. Louis. I'm in the Show Me State.



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