For Leaf fans, 2011 has brought a glimmer of hope that the 2011-2012 NHL season may prove to be a year where their beloved franchise competes for a playoff spot throughout the entire season. It appears James Reimer may be the goalie of the future, and he will likely get the chance to prove that statement next season by starting with the big club.
Nazem Kadri appears to have been humbled by his first experience in the NHL and has returned a much more complete player. Also, callups like Joey Crabb, Darryl Boyce and Matt Lashoff appear to have brought a greater work ethic to the bottom six forwards and the last defence pairing.
Through statistical analysis, we will see the top three forwards and the top two defencemen in terms of defensive play revealed.