Leafs Thoughts for February 24th, 2013


Saturday night’s loss against the rival Ottawa Senators was a heartbreaker for the Toronto Maple Leafs and fans alike. The team fell victim to a goal late in the third period with thirty seconds left which gave Ottawa the 3-2 victory.

In retrospect, the Leafs had it in for them that game. They were sloppy throughout, squandering many plays that lead to faltered face-offs in their own zone. It was only fitting that it came back to bite them the wrong way, and it sure did.

(Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports)

(Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports)



Maple Leafs fans in Ottawa were out in full force cheering on their team and booing captain Daniel Alfredsson of the Senators. After the Senators issued out a letter to their season ticket holders to stop selling tickets to rival teams, Leafs fans saw it as a way to keep them out of Ottawa.

It didn’t work, and the loudest showcase of Leafs fans were probably the ones sitting, or standing, in the Scotiabank Place.

Some Leafs fans talked about organizing a “Melnyk sucks” chant. Not sure if it surfaced…



Mark Fraser is second in the league for plus/minus stat with a +13 rating. Why is this? Fraser keeps things simple on the ice.

Good things happen when you simplify your game. Fraser’s safe and sound play has much to do with the Maple Leafs early season success. He plays the game with a physical edge, makes smart passes out of the defensive zone and smart passes into the offensive zone.

Fraser can also be partially credited with the strong offensive production coming from Cody Franson. Franson leads all Leafs defenseman with 11 points this season. He can get away with thinking offense first as a defenseman thanks to Fraser’s sound defense.



Thursday night the Maple Leafs defeated the Buffalo Sabres 3-1. The second period featured Dion Phaneuf, Phil Kessel, and James van Riemdsyk chiming in offensively. After a great period across the board from the Leafs star players, the Sportsnet panel thought it best to begin the second intermission by talking about Mike Kostka.

Kostka had one assist, while the three mentioned above combined for four points.

Doug MacLean was making the point to sign Kostka to a contract extension, citing smart and surprising play from the 27 year old rookie as the top reasons. While all of that is true, should that really be the priority right now? The Leafs have a log jam on defense and a haste extension to a 4-6 defenseman is the last thing the team needs right now.

Brian Huddle had the best tweet in response to the Kostka talk: “MIKE KOSTKA. 5 MILLION DOLLARS. PLEASE SIGN.” – Doug MacLean if he were a GM right now.



The pairing of Korbinian Holzer and Dion Phaneuf isn’t really working out. They look slow and have a tough time clearing the puck. Might want to reunite Phaneuf with Carl Gunnarsson. We saw a little bit of that last game.

Mikhail Grabovski is looking awfully expensive as a shutdown centreman at 5.5 million for the next four years. That’s the role head coach Randy Carlyle has him in.

Former Maple Leafs goalie John-Sebastien Giguere took a short leave from the Colorado Avalanche last week at the expense of his terminally ill mother in Montreal. She is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and is believed to be in her final stages. All the best to him and his family.


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