Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Thanks For Coming Out, 2013 Toronto Maple Leafs
It was nine seasons since the Toronto Maple Leafs made the playoffs and they almost made a huge comeback when they came back from down three games to one. They were up 4-1, but then it just all collapsed and the Leafs are left with questions on how to build from this rather than loom on it.
There's no doubt that James Reimer is the guy for the Maple Leafs. He's kept them in the games, he was able to help carry them through the season, and while he may not have stopped the last shot-- he was able to give the Leafs a chance in every game. Nothing will stop momentum more than if the Leafs were to trade for a goalie who could threaten his starting position.
Another big bright spot is the tandem of Phil Kessel and Nazem Kadri, both who carried the offense of the Leafs, especially with Joffrey Lupul out with injuries during the season. James van Riemsdyk also was able to prove his meddle during the season, which should be solid when he gets a full season under his belt with the Leafs. To compliment those scorers is the grinders who are actually going provide a balance of mixing it up and potting some points here and there.
Defensively will be interesting to deal with this summer. Only Dion Phaneuf, J-M Liles, and Jake Gardiner are under contract and the Leafs could be able to upgrade or at least sign Cody Franson and then fill it out from there-- but for a team like the Leafs-- you know they'll probably gun for the top price free agent and hope that it works out-- though culture change could have come with Brian Burke out of the GM position.
Overall, it was a great season for the Leafs, albeit during a shortened season. The fans are back and they have life now, which should be annoying for most people out there dealing them, but to have that market back in the playoffs should be profitable for all that are involved. So long as they can close out a Game Seven with a three-goal lead, of course.