Brad May Will Set the Standard for New Toronto Maple Leafs on the Way to the Cup

Graeme BoyceCorrespondent IJanuary 7, 2009

I've seen debacles.  I've seen disappointments.  Now I've seen annoying.  Last night's game against the Panthers was incredible.  An incredible waste of time.  The Leafs should've crushed the Panthers.  Here's a stat: the Leafs, trailing by two after the first period, have come back to win the game 25% of the time this season!  Yes, I hoped, I really hoped, we'd beat McCabe and climb closer to a playoff berth in the process.

Then, a day later, came the announcement—the first of many coming down the pipe, be rest assured—that hard-hitting Brad May has joined the Leafs.  He's a big veteran and a native of Toronto, and he played on GM Burke's Stanley Cup winning team in Anaheim.  Currently, he has amassed 2,121 penalty minutes and 285 points (126 goals, 159 assists) in total.  A new Battlin' Brad for the fans.

So, given this welcome addition, the first casualty is Kulemin.  Down into the minors he goes for some further instruction and guidance.  Kulemin is skilled, and as I've said before has a decent snapshot, but he needs some confidence in his game and some practice finishing around the net.   Of course, now he'll be taking the bus to away games, not flying, so he's properly incented to improve.

As suspected, the Leafs team lacks leadership these days—and apparently Coach Wilson believes May is the toughguy to provide it, in the short-term (while we wait for a Captain), as his presence in the dressing room will be greatly appreciated.  He's been there, done that.  One can only imagine the lift he'll bring to the young guys, and likely instantly provide skating room for Stajan and Grabovski.

The latter must be relishing the thought of playing Montreal.  In other news, Sifers sitting out with the return of Schenn.  The Leafs other quite promising young defenseman Stralman was sent back to the Marlies last month, as was Newbury earlier this week.  But back to Grabovski for a moment: what was he thinking in the game against McCabe and the Panthers skating circles in the offensive zone, beautifully, I might add, until he lost the puck near the blue line and providing a breakaway?

The Canadiens were also busy picking up a defensemen in anticipation of the Big Game against the Leafs: TJ Kemp from Pittsburgh.  The team is well injured at the moment, including goalie Price.  Oh well.  Halak is struggling, as is their powerplay lately.  Yet I'm simply wondering whether May will put Kostopoulos in his place...face first into the boards.  Whoops.  I mean deliver a clean hit that'll loosen the cobwebs.

I also wonder if Antropov will score a goal against Montreal, or ever again for the rest of the season.  I can't believe Mr Invisible leads the Leafs in scoring.  Hollweg had better step up to the plate and deliver some excitement, or he's heading out of town soon, not to mention Stempniak.  The time required to "adjust" is over.  Points please.  If Antropov can do it, anyone can.