Are we as Toronto Maple Leaf fans going to have something to cheer about this year? If you ask pretty much anyone who knows what they are talking about, the answer is no. I on the other hand, a self-proclaimed die hard hockey fan think otherwise, I think the Leafs could be the sleeper team this year in the east.
Toronto lost the only bonafied scorer they've had in a long time, at least for now, who knows when or even if Mats Sundin will be back, but that could still be ok. With Ron Wilson behind the bench, Vesa Toskala being a solid number one goalie right out of the gate, some players that would be well summed up by the words "grit" and "sandpaper", and a much improved defensive core (I'll explain why below) Toronto still has a good chance to win a fair number of games, not by the stereotypical Eastern Conference score like crazy mentality, but closer to the West's "shut 'em down, beat 'em up" mentality. If the Leafs play physically and take care of their own end first, this could still be a good team.
Now, a lot of people, even now, will still be saying things like "good defensive core? the Leafs have Jeff Finger", but the guys that Toronto got like Jeff Finger they got for a reason, these guys are good stay at home defensive defence men that the Leafs havn't had in a while, so that improved defence core should cause less shots of Vesa Toskala this year, in theory, which gives Toronto a better chance to win.
Don't expect to see a lot of Leaf wins with score likes 5-4 or 6-4 or anything high like that, expect a lot of 1-0 and 2-1 games. Which many people think isn't exciting hockey, but keep this in mind, wins are exciting, a chance at the Stanley Cup is exciting. Go Leafs Go!