Heard On Episode 4.16 of AFITC
After handing out glasses of holiday cheer and lumps of coal for some of the best and worst of the pre-Christmas portion of the Maple Leafs' schedule last week on the program, it’s time to lay out some New Year’s resolutions for the Maple Leafs as we head into 2009.
First off: Find some consistency in goal. Unlike a year ago when Vesa Toskala’s play often conjured up memories of quality netminding not seen since the glory days of Curtis Joseph and Ed Belfour, his play thus far in the 2008-2009 season has left a lot to be desired.
Infrequently, Toskala has come up with big saves at key times in games, instead he far too frequently has allowed soft goals that have been more reminiscent of the play of another Maple Leaf netminder from the 2007-2008 season. That’s right, Andrew Raycroft.
In the limited action Curtis Joseph, circa 2008, has received, he has been anything but reliable. Justin Pogge should get a long extended look at the NHL level but Maple Leaf brass has made it quite clear not to expect anything of that kind until next season.
With the Maple Leafs turning in a solid, gritty, hard working effort on most nights, they deserve some consistent netminding to compliment their play.
Find a legitimate heavyweight. Try as they might, Ryan Hollweg, Jamal Mayers, and Andre Deveaux simply cannot match up against some of the NHL’s toughest, nor does their presence strike fear into their opponents.
Pick a captain! Now that Mats Sundin has officially closed the book, what are they waiting for? It’s time to take the next step in the rebuilding process and choose the new face of the team.
You won’t find that face though among any of the players currently wearing A’s on their jerseys. Put the C on Matt Stajan’s sweater. He’s in the midst of a career season; always willing to answer for the team and quite honestly, it’s about time this guy gets some credit.
Here’s to a successful 2009 for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Hey, it’s got to be better than 2008, right? But hey, all that was just rigamarole.