Maple Leafs Visit Montreal on the Way to the Cup

Graeme BoyceCorrespondent IFebruary 6, 2009

I wonder if part of the Leafs' strategy to win the Cup is simply one based on confusion. Sign some players, add a coach or two, and see what happens. Sounds like if anyone could do that then they could also run an American bank and get back a few mil each year, regardless of their performance.

Well, someone one has done that—in fact several general managers who attract talent and negotiate contracts have delivered unto Toronto one of the most confusing teams I've ever had the pleasure of watching.

On Saturday, the Leafs will tussle with the Habs, and with a lucky bounce here and a lucky bounce there, the Leafs will win. We know Antropov and Poni will try a little and will set the bar for the rest of the team. After all, other than Blake, they're the team's top offensive producers.

We know most Leafs wingers will either (a) dump in the puck and chase it, or (b) upon crossing the blue line, slam on the brakes and determine which of their linemates miraculously got into the open.

Kubina's playing well. Kubina playing his best, however, is still ensuring a second-round draft pick in exchange. Unless Burke gets ballsy and assembles the uber-trade deal, and in one clean sweep tosses out the bathwater and the baby in the hopes of landing Crosby.

Yes, Sid the Kid can't do anymore for the Pens, as long as he's playing with Malkin, but imagine his endorsement deals if he did as little playing in Toronto.

Everyone likes to carve on the Leafs as another season unfolds and the team is befouled as completely ineffective, but for one brief moment take a look at Ottawa or Colorado, not to mention any team playing in the southeastern states these days.

I say it's time for a shake-up. Would the Pens do any worse without Crosby, yet with such high-flying twin towers like Antropov and Poni on the team and Kaberle and Kubina on the blue line?

I think either Erik Cole or Jay Bouwmeester, or both, would look good in the blue and white. So would Scott Hannan, Colby Armstroing, and Vincent Lecavalier. OK, I can't see Ottawa letting Heatley go now. After all, he's leading his team in goals scored; but I'll bet Spezza would do quite well scoring goals for the Leafs. 

First things first: beating Montreal.

Well, they are luckily in turmoil due to their own trade rumours flying around. Apparently, they are trying to fill Lang's skates. They'd take, for example, the Stars' Brad Richards, who happens to be leading his team in scoring. Well, so is Blake...So we can't take too much stock in that stat, can we?  

I've heard Blake is simply untradeable, yet he's the Leafs' leading goal scorer—surely someone as hockey-savvy as Brian Burke can spin it properly.

With Toskala hurt and destined for a trip to the hospital to repair his groin, Manny Legace, an all-star goalie, is available. But speaking of untradeable, I'm sure Gretzky thought he was untradeable prior to donning a Kings sweater way back when.