Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Maple Leafs are no longer perfect

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere and left winger Daniel Winnik celebrate their overtime win against the Toronto Maple Leafs in NHL action in Toronto on Monday October 17, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

So far this season the Leafs are largely relying on Phil Kessel and James Reimer to beat opponents. Until last night it had been working pretty well. But last night Kessel was held to a single goal and Reimer was pretty shaky. The result was a 3-2 overtime loss the Colorado with another ex-Leaf goalie, J-S Giguere beating his former team.

It's great to see Kessel and linemate Joffrey Lupul having a good start with centre Tim Connolly nursing his first of many injuries while wearing the Maple Leaf. But when is the Grabovski line going to find their groove. It is understandable if Clark MacArthur has a slow start after serving his suspension. Nikolai Kulemin looks fine but he needs to be shooting more. He had the second best shooting percentage last season for players who scored at least 30 goals (only Sidney Crosby did better). But Mikhail Grabovsk is having a poor start and seems out of synch. This is the final year of his contract so I expect big things from him his season.

But it's not just Grabovski who off to a poor start. Luke Schenn is struggling and is being outplayed by Mike Komisarek. And I don't mean this as a compliment to Komisarek. The powerplay is still atrocious. The tendency to have good and bad periods within one game is disturbingly too similar to last season. And we know how that ended.

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