November 14, 2008

Deep Thoughts Vol. 14: It's Time To Show Stajan Some Love

I'm always the first one to shit on Matt Stajan. I've been hard on the guy for years. Well, the Mississauga native is playing out of his mind, and it's time I showed him some love.

Is there a guy on the Maple Leafs who has benefited from the departure of Mats Sundin more than Stajan? The kid is on fire. Another three points last night, to make it nine points in the last five games. Suddenly, Stajan is leading the team in scoring with 16 points (four goals and 12 assists) in 16 games.

To put that shit in perspective, Stajan had 33 points in 82 games last season. In 16 games, he's already registered 48% of the points he had last year. That's ridiculous.

I've got to give credit where it's due. Stajan's producing. He's the first line centre for a reason. After being benched in October, he's responded about as well as anyone could have imagined, especially considering the way he started the season. Our boy Matty was pointless in the first five games he played, and took in Toronto's third game of the season from the press box.

Perhaps Damien Cox was right. Maybe this kid might be captain material after all. 

Jesus, I can't believe I just wrote that. Both Cox being right, and Stajan being captain material.

I Love Goals, Goals, Goals, Goals

Goals I do adore. After another five last night, it's 55 goals in 17 games, good enough to still lead the Eastern Conference. Is it safe to call the Toronto Maple Leafs an offensive juggernaut? I think so. If the boys could ever figure out all that defence and penalty killing stuff, we'd be unstoppable. But it sure has been fun to see them bulge the twine as often as they have.

The Great Grabovski

With another goal last night, Mikhail Grabovski extended his point streak to six games. Grabs is another guy who has been counted on to fill Sundin's minutes and production, and he's delivered. He brings much joy to my heart, and I love him more with each passing day.

Also, I think I've figured out the real reason why the Montreal Canadiens and their fans hate Grabs so much. It might have something to do with the fact that he has as many goals as Tomas Plekanec, Sergei Kostitsyn, and Andre Kostitsyn combined.

You think the Frenchies are regretting the trade yet? If they say no, they're lying.

Congrats Kaberle

With a goal and two assists last night, Tomas Kaberle passed legend Ian Turnbull to become the third-highest scoring defenceman to ever play for the Toronto Maple Leafs. In 698 games, Kabby has racked up 415 points. Next on the list, with 458 points as a defenceman, is some guy you might have heard of: Tim Horton.

It amazes me to know that Kabby was drafted 204th overall. What a career. I love you, Tomas.

The Versatile White Guy

Ian White has a role on this team, and it's as a forward. He scored again last night and now has two goals and three assists on the year, in only 6 games. He's also a +4. He's one versatile mother fucker, and is really coming in handy. He's made the most of his opportunity since he was inserted into the lineup, and I've got to give him props for that.

To put White's play into perspective, he now has more points than Alex Steen.

Speaking of Steen, I always thought he was the better offensive player compared to Stajan. It looks like I'm wrong, yet again. You'd think I'd be used to it by now, but I'm not.

Two Assists In One Game

By Jason Blake. Seriously. No, seriously. 

He played great last night. Responded well to his second benching. This entire city hates #55, but not me. Jason, you've got a fan in me. I believe in you, man.

Can We Keep Him?

Niklas Hagman? He's quickly won the hearts of Leafs fans across the land. Great signing. Bryan McCabe for Mike Van Ryn? I was skeptical, but it turned out to be a great trade. Before that arrest-resisting bitch Tom Kostopoulos came along, of course. Grabovski for a couple of draft picks? What do you say, Damien Cox? Looks like a pretty shrewd move, doesn't it? I'd certainly say so. Trading up to draft Luke Schenn? Yeah, I think that was pretty smart. I can't even say I've been disappointed with the play of Jeff Finger. I like what he brings to the table: physicality, and a defence-first attitude. I even like Jamal Mayers. Sure, the -7 sucks, but he's street. He sticks up for his teammates, and I dig that.

Forget Brian Burke. Cliff Fletcher's only 73 years old, and is the coolest senior citizen around. He's got at least seven more fantastic years in him.


Johnny G said...

I think Steen appeared to be the better offensive forward all of this time, because since it played on the wing he had more chances to play with Mats.

Where as Stajen was always put on the 2nd or 3rd or sometimes even 4th line and didn't get to play with Mats and his playmaking abilities.

general borschevsky said...

this kid might be captain material

Whoah. Whoah. Slow down. It was that kind of talk that made him go all invisible-like. Let Stajan do this for a season and through a playoff round or two and then we'll bring it up again, maybe. For now, sssshhhh, he's playing really good - don't tell him!

I'm in agreement with you on Fletcher over Burke. The Silver Fox is pure magic in Toronto.

And congratulations to Tomas. Hopefully the Leafs give him a great honour when he eclipses Tim Horton. Being second only to Salming is/will be pretty amazing.

"Dave Schultz" said...

I know you can't mention the Leafs without mentioning Kabs (or linking the Kaberle song, huzzah!) which means I must leave my constant comment, I HEART KABERLE! and I already emailed you that when Rogers interviewed him I may or may not have licked the tv...

Since you mentioned Ian White I'll throw in that my theory is that the porn 'stache is giving him all sorts of magical scoring powers. It's ugly as fuck, but he should keep it cuz it's working.

blurr1974 said...

Lest you forget, there is only one captain on that team (Niklas, cough, Hagman, cough)

Good on Stajan, White, Blake and the whole gang. And good on youe eyebleaf. Another great post! Now fall in line and repeat after me:

Hagman for Captain