Thursday, October 28, 2010

Picture of the Week: Frontstreet Boys

This week's picture begs the question - what if the Leafs made a boy band?  We have your answers.

Mike Komisarek as Kevin - He's the tall, strong and silent type.  Komisarek, like Kevin, is a solid, standout contributor and a must for any band of teen heart-throbs.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October Report Card: Reviewing the Pre-Season List

Prior to the season, we at BCP identified eight things that had to happen for the Leafs to finish among the Eastern Conference's top eight.

With the first month out of the way and the Leafs sporting a very shiny 5-2-1 record, we've decided to have a look at the list and see where the Leafs are succeeding and where they might be falling short.

Without further ado;

1) Phil Kessel will have to continue developing - At this rate, Phil Kessel will be a 70 goal scorer.  Ok, I know that isn't going to happen and so do you.  40 seems like an eminently attainable target though and 50 isn't entirely out of the question.  Yeah, I would say he's continued his development.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cut off a Finger to Save the Season: What to do With Our New Found Cap Space

Jeff Finger is one of the highest paid defensemen in the AHL (thank you, Sheldon Souray and Wade Redden) but at least he isn't one of the highest paid people in our pressbox.

With Finger freeing up $3.5 million in cap space, Brian Burke signalled to the rest of the league that he's "open for business".  Send us your overpaid, your cap burden, your salary handcuffs - but send us something we can use while you're at it.

The timing for the Leafs couldn't be better.  After a remarkably strong start, the team has stumbled of late and hasn't looked all that promising while doing it.  Ron Wilson has shaken up the top six a little bit, shifting Kulemin back to the top line where he finished last season and moving Versteeg to the second unit where he and Grabovski can fight over who can skate around with the puck the longest.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Drinking the Kul-Aid

We're first place in the Eastern Conference.  How nice does that sound?  A combination of hockey euphoria and life has kept me from posting recently but I'm back and hope to have a lot to talk about.

Having watched the first five games of the year I have to say that I have developed a full-fledged infatuation with Nikolai Kulemin.

While Clark MacArthur is getting most of the play in media circles, I can honestly say there is no player that has made me happier than Kulemin.  After being forced  off of the top unit by the acquisition of Kris Versteeg, I was more than a little worried about what might happen to the poor guy.  He'd done nothing but play hard the season before, had earned every cent (as much as an athlete can anyway) of his $2.25 million extension and yet he found himself demoted in the depth chart.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Possible New Home for the Coyotes?

After another successful European sojourn to begin the NHL season, I find myself wondering if this is the solution to the League's problem of what to do with the Coyotes -

After all, why should Habs fans be the only ones who get to burn cars when their team loses?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

BOLD Predictions for 2010-2011

On the eve of the 2010-2011 season I have compiled my 10 BOLD predictions for this year. These 10 reflect what my gut tells me will happen this season. And my gut is only wrong 40% of the time – so there has to be some truth to them – right?

1.The Detroit Red Wings will win the Stanley Cup – This may not be that BOLD per se, as they are a perennial contender. These guys are being overlooked a bit because of age, but they are finally healthy this season and there is not better group of battle tested playoff warriors in the league.

2.Phil Kessel will score 48 goals – Not 50 (that would be crazy). But as he moves into his mid 20s, finally healthy, I think he is primed for that breakout season. The team is better (albeit marginally) than last year and there is no reason to think he won’t post career highs.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Picture of the Week: Flawless Victory

If this doesn't get you excited for hockey, you're not a Leaf fan.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Kadri's Future and Other Pre-Season Observations

It's been a bit of a rollercoaster for Leaf fans this pre-season.  If you were to take a poll of Leaf-Nation before the start of training camp asking what Leaf fans were most hoping to see in the pre-season, I think the number one response would have been some variation of 'a dominant Nazem Kadri'.

We didn't get that.

Kadri was at times awful, at times exciting but most often a non-factor during the pre-season - and that's ok.  He's a kid.  I'm sure when we drafted him that we didn't realistically expect him to have any more than a cup of coffee in the NHL by the end of this season and he's well above that developmental curve.  He'll spend some time in the AHL, develop, and we'll see him again, more mature, by season's end.

Now that I've got my feelings on Kadri down, here are a few other things I saw during the pre-season:

Friday, October 1, 2010

How Burke and Wilson Decided Who Plays in Our Bottom Six

With Nazem Kadri likely missing his opportunity to start the season on the big club, there's an opening in the lineup that Burke and Wilson likely weren't expecting.  There are a few candidates 'on the bubble' for roster spots and with little to choose between them, here are some of the ways that Burke and Wilson have tried to resolve the conflict.

What they tried:  Wilson and Burke each flipped a dime.  If the coins yielded the same result Brent would stay, if opposite then Mitchell would stay.
Why it failed:  Patrick Kane punched them both and took the change.

What they tried:  Wanting more size in their bottom six, Burke decided to use height as the determining factor.
Why it failed:  The measuring tape they used was taken from the Montreal Canadiens dressing room and was only 5'5" long.