Leafs MUST have a plan, other than an eternal losing streak I mean
I know no Leafs fans are reading today because of their ongoing Phaneuf-induced celebration but I hope they can revert back to this post when they get back from Dillusionville.
Before Sunday, they had the 14th best offense in the league but sat dead last in goals against and, after seeing what trades Brian Burke made, it looks as though they have addressed their biggest weakness.
On the surface.
Let’s start with the good. There is no question J.S. Giguere for Vesa Toskala and Jason Blake is an upgrade for the Buds. Giguere has enjoyed past success, which is something the Leafs no nothing about. His downside of course is his recent descent into a backup roll in Anaheim, which likely stems from the fact he’s a hit-me goaltender, who needs perfect positioning to be effective. Not to mention 137 pounds of equipment.
But a drunk librarian with dictionaries strapped to her shins could win as often as Toskala, so you have to commend Burke for ripping off his old team, even if they were simply dumping Giguere’s salary and would have taken a coupon for piano lessons in return.
Now let’s look at the bad. I’ve already posted today my opinion on Dion Phaneuf as an elite defenseman so I’ll leave him out of this other than to ask if anyone actually believes he’ll take the team’s Swiss-cheese defense from embarrassment to respectable?
If you look at what the team has given up for him, you have to wonder what Burke expects to happen now? In just Niklas Hagman, Matt Stajan and Jason Blake, he traded away a third of their goals scored this year and brought back a whopping 11 to replace them.
Interestingly, those 46 goals Burke just shipped out west just so happen to be the exact combined minus figure for the Leaf’s high-priced blueline so far this season. So I hope Dion has been running the treadmill because he might never see the bench.
There is one thing the Leafs could be doing to shed some light onto the reasons behind such moves this weekend – other than a serious desire to see Taylor Hall in a Bruins uniform – and that is Ilya Kovalchuk.
There have been rumours in recent days the Leafs plan to sign the Atlanta superstar come July 1, which would be a huge move for the ailing franchise. Of course, there are a couple of reasons to be skeptical.
For starters, the rumour was reported on Hockey Buzz and you can make your own conclusions there. But, more importantly, don’t you think Kovalchuk might figure out before July 1 that the only people left for his line are Lee Stempniak and Nikolai Kulemin?
They make Colby Armstrong look like Jari Kurri.