My point is, simply, we Leaf fans have every right to comment on the team’s seeming failings. We can opine on the ways they need to be better—and get better—in the weeks and months ahead. But the bottom line is, without vaunted newcomer David Clarkson in the lineup and minus reliable players like Kulemin and Fraser (and with a lot of young Marlies in and out of the lineup) they have continued to win games and pile up points in the standings.
So I say, let’s keep complaining and picking at the things they need to do better. It seems to work for Calryle, who often talks publicly about what they ought to do, though they don’t always do it. Yet we know that privately the coach knows precisely who is doing their job and who isn’t. While the old coach may be more patient perhaps than earlier versions of himself, in my mind there is no doubt that he still gets his message across.
And just like Tuesday night against Anaheim at the ACC, the boys rebounded from a pretty awful start and delivered an impressive come-from-behind win against a team that had been awfully hot coming into that contest.
I’ll get back to the Leafs in a second, but if I don’t jot this down now I will no doubt forget to even mention it. Some of you who visit VLM may be aware that I released an eBook, “The Maple Leafs of My Youth: what being a Leaf fan means to me” recently. Until now, the book has only been available to those with iPads (Apple iBooks/iTunes). However, I just was informed today that anyone with a MAcIntosh computer who has downloaded the new Mavericks operating system can apparently access my Leaf book as well if they are so inclined. That means the book can now be read on computers as well as iPads.
I’m hoping to be able to announce that the book will be available on even more platforms really soon, but for now this is great news. And let me thank all those who have already written to me at Michael@prospectcommunications.com to say how much they have enjoyed the book. A lot went into developing the “The Maple Leafs of My Youth” so believe me when I say it is heartwarming to get such positive feedback. It’s nice to know that people have been interested enough to purchase and download the book.
If you haven’t been able to check it out yet, the Canadian link to see the book’s preview page is here; U.S. readers can visit this link. I know there are a lot of Leaf supporters across the ocean so here is the U.K. link.
The book is available in most other countries; I just happen to have those links. Thanks again.
Some quick Leaf notes:
- I thought Reimer deserved a chance to start Tuesday against Anaheim, based on the fact that he had played an outstanding game a week or so ago and then had to leave his next start within the first minute of the game. But this is yet another indication that Carlyle—and the brass upstairs—see Bernier as the guy. In a game Carlyle wanted badly against the team that fired him, he went with Bernier.
- Kessel can sure close. Almost on cue, with people making the standard “Has Kessel been playing lately?” comments, he absolutely buries three goals against Hiller and the Ducks.
- Not sure if Paul Ranger ‘turned a corner’ Tuesday night (it’s not as though he has not been playing hard) but it was nice to see him grab an assist and end the night a plus 2.
- David Clarkson returns without, as others have noted in this space in recent days, feeling as though he has to do too much. In this instance, that’s a case of almost perfect timing.
- For better or worse, Morgan Rielly is not going anywhere. (Maybe to rent a room in town, but that’s about it. No travel out west…)
- My guess is Leaf fans will like Dave Bolland the more they see him in a Leaf uniform.
- You have to believe that Phaneuf playing about 24 minutes most nights—rather than the 28 or so he has been playing in recent years—will help in May when the team needs him to be good against elite forwards at playoff time.
- For all my concerns about Gardiner’s play in his own zone, he’s a plus 3 ten games into the season.
- van Riemsdyk is a guy the Leafs would miss if he was gone for any length of time. He can fall into that somewhat streaky offensive category, but like a few of his teammates, he has those nice hands.
Of course not all will be rosy. There will be bumps in the road and we will want to check back at the 20-game mark to see where things stand. But for today, let’s keep complaining about how they need to be better—and then quietly take ‘yes’ for an answer, at least so far.