Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Red hot Grabovski isn't going anywhere

I don't really expect Grabovski to be involved in a trade before the NHL trading deadline unless his salary expectations are too rich for Brian Burke or someone makes an offer you can't refuse. I really expect he will be signed to a contract extension within the next 4 weeks.

As Kessel and Lupul cool off, Grabovski's line has gotten red hot. Tonight Grabovski was dangerous throughout the night and set up the only goal. He also got more playing time than any other Leafs forward. So is Burke going to trade is best centre - nope!

In the end the Leafs held up well against one of the top teams in the NHL and earned 3 points. They actually out played Pittsburgh for much of the two games. More important it showed that the Leafs are not going to fade in the latter part of the season and can skate with the top teams.

Good - James Reimer finally got a chance to play again and did not squander the opportunity. The 1-0 shutout was well deserved despite getting some help from the goalposts. He made some difficult saves on Evgeny Malkin in the second period. So Ron Wilson is in the envious position of having to choose from between two goalies playing relatively well.

Good - Although the Leafs did not show the speed that was displayed in the game in Pittsburgh, they played a full 60 minutes. The game had a playoff feel to it and the Leafs showed that they may be capable of playing some playoff hockey.

Good - The NHL's worst penalty killers have now gone 19 games without giving up a goal. Yet they still have the worse record in the league. However, what they did in the first half is almost irrelevant. Since New Years no one can boast a 100% penalty killing success rate.

Good - Dave Seckel's faceoff success rate is 0ne of those things that are often not noticed unless you are a coach. He was extremely effective tonight with a win rate of 75%.

Bad - Nothing!

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