Stupid Leafs - they get you believing that they might be alright, and then they struggle. That's okay with me, though - they're not super - they're just deciduous foliage, after all. So let's hang on with them - and follow along.
All of that being said - last week they were just not very good.
Top Leafs this week:
1) Victor Stalberg was the best Maple Leaf last week, even though he missed a game with either a concussion or a shoulder separation. Not only did he score his first goal of the season, he scored his second in the very next game, good stuff. Then he got injured, which is too bad. He was also rated a Plus 3 in three games, better than any other Leafs (other than Kaberle).
2) Tomas Kaberlewas the highest scoring Maple Leaf,but that doesn't meant he was that good. I don't really like Kaberle, I think he's ugly and passive - two things that don't go well together. It just goes to show you how poorly the Leafs played last week when Kaberle is the leading scorer. It's not good. One goal, two assists and three points in four games is not good enough. The Leafs have struggled, indeed.
3) None - I almost made this Lee Stempniak, but I wasn't even happy naming Kaberle a star, I'm not naming Stemniak a star.
There was nothing good about any of the Leafs this week - they weren't any good (except for Ian White who had a tough week) but we still love him.
Notable(s) - good: Ian White, only because I think he's great. Everyone else was garbage. Including Rickard Wallin- SHIT, if you're going to play 20 NHL games, DO SOMETHING DUMBASS. The Leafs can't even trade a no-talent like Wallin when he's doing nothing game in and game out. He's lucky to be in the same breath as NHLers like Stalberg.
Bad: all of them. None of their week went properly, and they'd be the first to tell you it was unacceptable. Ian White (-3), Matty Stajan (-3) Beauchemin (-3) and Ponikarovski (-4) were terrible, but none were as bad as Phil Kessel (-5). Phil Kessel has been in a slump that should see him in the press box to straighten his head out. A -5 and no points in 4 games?! See ya! He obviously checked out for the holidays wicked-early. Not cool. Vesa Toskala was so bad against Buffalo that I'd be surprised to see him play in the NHL again - but the Leafs will use him, no doubt, because they can't rely on a rookie as their starter for the rest of the season. They have to shake last week off and try better - because this is one of their worst weeks since the beginning of the season.
Where do they stand now?
Again, I wasn't available to perform a live update for the Maple Leafs position on a Saturday, and since then they've played two games, meaning, I'm a bit behind. No matter - here is how their position stands as of December 28:
They are last in their division still with 37 points, 4 points behind the Canadiens (they've lost 1 point in the past week). Over the past 10 games the Leafs are 4-4-2. They've dropped down to 14th in the conference, but are technically tied in 12th place with two other teams. They're only 1 point back from Philadelphia, two points back from Florida, and three points back from New York and Atlanta who have only 40 points (tied for 8th and 9th place). They are hanging in the playoff picture, despite being awful. In the league overall - the Leafs sit in a 4-way tie for 24th (which is bad).
Basically, things are closer than ever - meaning, if they can string a few wins in a row, it'll mean more than anything. Time to make a surge and take control of a weak conference. C'mon boys!
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Leafs win 2-0 over Boston (awesome) (Sat., Dec 19)
Jonas Gustavsson did a heck of a lot more than just make his first start since having minor heart surgery for the second time this season.- - - - -
The Toronto rookie finished with his first NHL shutout, stopping 25 shots to beat the Boston Bruins 2-0 on Saturday night.
"I'm so happy to be back on the ice and back playing at home against the Boston Bruins and have my first NHL shutout," Gustavsson said. "That's not something that happens every day."
Leafs lose 3-2 to the Sabres (Dec. 21) in overtime
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Roy scored 3:35 into overtime and Miller made 34 saves to lead Buffalo to a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
"Ryan's our rock out there, he made some huge saves and we finally got our act together in the third period," Roy said after the Sabres came back from a 2-1 deficit.
The Sabres have surrendered two or fewer goals in 13 of their past 15 games. They only allowed three goals in the other two outings.
Leafs lose 3 -1 to the Islanders (Dec. 23)
It took until the final game of a four-game homestand for the New York Islanders to capitalize on the home-ice advantage.
"We kept it simple," Tavares said. "Our last few games we've been sloppy. We stayed out of the penalty box and we had a back-pressure that took the pressure off the defensemen."
Blake Comeau was awarded a goal with 34.9 seconds left after being taken down on a breakaway with an empty net.
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