February 27, 2009

Reflections before the deadline...

If I'm watching guys like Nik Antropov, Matt Stajan, Dominic Moore and Pavel Kubina play their final games in a Toronto Maple Leafs uniform, I must say, I'm enjoying myself.

If one or all of them are gone by next Wednesday, they will most certainly be missed.

Nik Antropov. What haven't we been through together? The potential, the knee surgeries, the bullshit injuries, the blossomage into a 20-goal scorer, the "A" on his shoulder. It's been one helluva ride over the last 10 years.

I'll be honest, I'd hate to see #80 go. I still think it's in the best interest of the Leafs to offer him a three or four year deal, at $3 or $3.5 million a year. If he signs, great. If not, let's see what we can get for him. But I'm definitely leaning towards wanting to keep him.

Dominic Moore. Other than Jason Blake, Moore has got to be the most pleasant surprise on this year's Leafs squad. He picked up another goal last night, a shortie, his 12th of the year, and his 40th point on the season. Dominic Moore. Forty points. Can you believe it?

Moore, an unrestricted free agent next season, can surely help a playoff team. But I want him to stay. He plays hard. He's a leader. He's huge on the faceoffs. He's a Toronto boy. Let's keep him.

Pavel Kubina. You know, a lot of people shit all over Kubina for not waiving his no-trade clause, and not even giving GM Brian Burke a list of teams he's willing to accept a trade to, but I'm beginning to respect Kubina and his desire to remain a Toronto Maple Leaf.

Since Tomas Kaberle went down with an injury, Kubina's been, to quote the insufferable Pierre McGuire, "a monster." In 13 games without his Czech mate, Kubby's scored two goals, added 10 assists, and is a +5. He's been logging crazy minutes, including 28 more last night, and is clearly the leader of the blue line brigade. 

I'm torn on Kubina. If I have to choose between him and Kaberle, I'm choosing Tomas seven days of the week. But over the last month I've come to appreciate Kubina a lot more, thanks to how hard he plays. He wants to be part of the solution around here, and I can't help but respect that. There's a reason he's got an "A" on his shoulder, as well.

Matty Stajan. I've ripped on him for a long, long time, yet here he is, centring the Leafs' top line, and already having set a new career high with 41 points. While I don't believe he's an elite player, he could definitely help a playoff team. It will be interesting to see what Burke does with him.

For the first time in his career, Stajan is producing, and maybe this is one of those cases where the Leafs should trade an asset when he's at his peak. Again, I'm torn.

Before I leave you, I've got a message for Leafs fans, and fans of the New York Islanders (yes, all three of them): fuck Brendan Witt.

Witt better get at least a seven game suspension for that bush-league hit on Niklas Hagman. What a douchebag. Hate the Witt.

Here's hoping Hags is not completely messed up.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, props out to Ron Wilson for sending Tim Stapleton over the boards in the shootout. Playing in his first NHL game, Stapleton sealed the deal, and two points, for the good guys. Stay classy, Coach Wilson.

And, yes, the Leafs did just win back-to-back games in the shootout.


woodpeck said...

more like "witt-less"! what a dumb...

Burke has to prove himself with Moore. Here's a guy that is playing off the charts and the Leafs got him off waivers. either sign him or trade him by the deadline! anything other than that will be Burke's first blemish as Leafs GM. buy low, sell high!

general borschevsky said...

Moore has been great. I'd like to see him stay on the team. He's definitely earned the part-time A on his sweater as well.

Kubina has been good lately, too, but he's gotta stop taking dumb penalties.

eyebleaf said...

Witt-less, indeed. He better get a lengthy suspension. Otherwise I'll be forced to throw "sloppy seconds" at his face.

It's going to be interesting to see what Burke does in regards to Moore. I think I saw his brother, Steve, on Yonge St. yesterday afternoon.

I hate that "delay-of-game" penalty for shooting the puck over the glass, which Kubina got at the end of the third last night. It's a fucking stupid penalty.

And speaking of dumb penalties, Mickey Grabs was in fine form last night.

Anonymous said...

I saw the Witt hit this morning in the highlights. Wow that was a DIRTY hit. Completely intentional. It reminds me of Domi's elbow in the playoffs on one S. Neidermayer. Only difference is Hags really got hurt, unlike Neidermayer that faking bastard.

This is what the NHL needs to clean up. Shots to the head are the real problem, not fighting.

Anonymous said...

i hate not being able to login via google.
Karnage420 here.

that hit was a joke, im not even a leafs fan and it hurt to see hags struggling to get up after that.

antropov would be a sick deal at 3 mil, the leafs would be wise to hang onto him for that amount.

what are your thoughts on the whitney deal?

eyebleaf said...

25th: Niedermayer that faking bastard.

Love it.

If Witt doesn't get more games than Avery for "sloppy seconds," I'm going to go down to New York and have a word with Gary Bettman.

Karnage: I think it makes sense to at least offer Antro the deal. If he turns it down, he turns it down. But he's proven that he can produce without Mats Sundin, and that's huge.

And I like the Whitney deal. Kunitz is a sniper, and playing with someone like Sid or Geno is going to be huge for him. The Pens have young d-men like Letang and Goligoski who can now step up and play more prominent roles on the team. And, Whitney's kind of shit. If you're going to spend $4 million, you might as well do it on a winger. God knows the Pens won't be re-signing Satan. So they can use that money and re-sign Sykora.

I also heard a rumour: Staal and Tengradi for Kaberle and Stajan. But based on what Burke said he wants for Kabby on the street, I don't see it happening.