The Toronto Maple Leafs began the 2010-2011 season on fire winning their first four games of the season, instantly dispelling critics views on the team. Many prognosticators had them finishing in the cellar of the Eastern Conference, but after the hot start, the view of the Maple Leafs instantly changed from a surprising pessimism, to nauseating optimism in Hogtown.
After the quick 4-0 start, the Leafs began to fall back down to Earth and began losing games and losing ground on a playoff spot.
In the next 32 games, the Leafs would accumulate a record of only 9-19-4 for a grand total of 22 points out of a possible 64 points.
Things looked bitterly awful at this time, and the Leafs were searching for answers.
With the goaltending situation murky at best, injuries at the end of December forced the Leafs hand, as they called up what I like to call "The Answer"
That player was James Reimer.
Reimer came out of nowhere to steal the number one goaltending job away from Jean Sebastien Giguere and Jonas Gustavsson, as his remarkably steady and stellar play lead the Leafs back into the playoff chase down the stretch.
Players like these, who come out of nowhere to play an integral part of the team, are what I will focus on here.
Here is the Leafs top five breakout stars of the 2010-2011 season.