Maple Leafs Acquire Another Local Youngster and Lose to Bruins on the Way to Cup

Graeme BoyceCorrespondent IJanuary 22, 2009

I swear if the Leafs were facing an empty net during a shoot out the team would find a way to hit the post or miss completely.  I'll give credit to Coach Wilson for giving the young guys a shot last night.  But this recent game against the Bruins, before the vaunted All-Star break and a week long rest (for our now-aging Leafs), should've been won in the dying moments, frankly. However, Leafs' sharpshooters, incredibly, found a way to miss.

On a positive note, despite a point gained, the next team we're facing, the Wild, we just robbed so there is hope on the horizon.  We offered Robbie Earl, who is having a disastrous season on the Marlies, for a big and local dude Ryan Hamilton.  I can tell you this, courtesy of a friend living in Barrie, when our newly acquired Hamilton was playing a few years ago for the Colts, he was an inspiration night after night.  In fact he led the team in scoring in his final year there.

I'll add, though, the few games I did see Earl play last year when called up, he provided some decent hits and a lot of energy.  I liked him and thought he'd break through this year, but maybe he got a girlfriend, 'cuz he's surely not producing on the ice for us.

Speaking of not producing, I can't believe how frustrating it is to watch these Leafs this past month.  On one hand they play well against the injured Bruins, and let them catch up, and then can't finish around the net in those aforementioned dying moments, or in overtime.  I thought Brad May might in fact provide some leadership not only in the locker room, but more importantly on the bench.

May is simply not providing any punch on the ice; neither with his fists, his stick or his mouth.  Also, as I stated before, Tlusty needs some time with the Marlies.  Stempniak has scored a couple lately, and now must be feeling comfortable, but at this stage of the game I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not.

Lately, as well, again on a positive note, I'm seeing some great three-way playmaking leaving the zone and individual skills are shining through players like Grabovski, Moore, and White who are each continuing to solidify a role on the Burke-era Leafs, despite their size.

I'm off to Cuba for the All-Star break, and hopefully will return fully rejuvenated and ready for the Leafs run for the Cup.