Toronto Maple Leafs' Big Question: Is Mike Komisarek Better Than a Can of Spam?

Matthew ShaneContributor IINovember 13, 2011

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 08:  Mike Rupp #17 of the Pittsburgh Penguins mixes it up against the Mike Komisarek #8 of the Toronto Maple Leafs at Consol Energy Center on December 8, 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Penguins defeated the Maple Leafs 5-2.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

I know, I know: the Leafs are off to a pretty damn good start—way better than expected, even with the loss to Ottawa tonight—and so perhaps I should simply be happy to join the ranks of jolly Leafs fans who are currently praying to the hockey gods that things remain as good as they've been through the first 16 games of the season.

But I'll tell you why I'm not content to do just that.

First: Because I'm a believer. A true believer. One who feels that the wonderful (albeit spotty) start to the 2011-12 season isn't a fluke. That the team really is as good as their record suggests. That they really do have a shot at the playoffs—and possibly even a fairly competitive run through it. And so I don't feel the need to bask in the glory of these early wins, because I truly believe that more are on their way.

And second...because I don't think that good outcomes automatically shelter a team from criticism. The fact remains that the Leafs continue to have certain...shall we say...flaws. Their power play, while moderately successful, often looks disjointed. Their penalty kill, while occasionally successful, generally resembles a bunch of Timmy's kids skating around the ice.

And Mike Komisarek resembles a can of Spam.

Don't get me wrong—I've got nothing against Spam. But even the greatest of Spam supporters has got to admit that Spam tends to be fairly immobile, sometimes has a bit of a slodgy appearance to it, and rarely deserves to be served alongside a top-notch meal.

And so, with no intended disrespect, I suggest again that Mike Komisarek resembles a can of Spam.


I don't care what the stats say (which, miraculously have cited Mr. Spam with a plus 4 rating). Time in and time out, Komisarek is out there for a goal that has directly occurred because of an error on his part. Either he throws the puck up the middle in a seemingly desperate attempt to shovel the puck to the other team, or he's late in recognizing that the opposing playing has just played him like a turnstile, or, like against Ottawa last night,he allows a breakaway when his team is down three on five.

Let's just think about that for a moment. You're down three on five. You're on the defensive. You're singular mindset is to stay in front of your opponent, and to desperately try to get in any shooting lanes that may appear...and you give up a breakaway.

A breakaway!

My grandmother could defend a three on five without giving up a breakaway from her wheelchair!

And so the question that I pose to you is two-fold:

A) Do you agree that Komisarek resembles a can of Spam?


B) If you agree, or if you even had to think about it for a split-second, then what the hell is he doing out there on the ice????


Let's put this in perspective for a minute...

The Leafs have seven defenseman. Seven. And so it's not like we're at a loss here. Granted, I admit that Franson hasn't impressed in his limited ice-time. But it has been very limited, and there are good reasons to think that if you gave him the chance he may get his stuff together. Plus, he's an awful lot cheaper then Komisarek is.

And so I ask again, and beg your comments about: Why in the world is Komisarek consistently getting ice time?

He must be worth something on the open market? Something? A can of Spam? My grandmother?