With the Leaf regular-season schedule set to kick off Thursday night, a lot of Leaf fans are waiting to see if the somewhat remarkable run that the Leafs went on just prior to the Olympic break was a mirage or the real deal. Most posters here seem convinced this Leaf team is indeed for real, though many acknowledge there are challenges ahead, obviously.
That said, there are some questions that will need to be addressed. Some of the questions staring at us (and Dave Nonis) include:
- Will Nik Kulemin be a Maple Leaf after the trade deadline?
- Will the Leafs become a true four-line team down the stretch?
- Will the post-serious injury Dave Bolland be the Dave Bolland we knew before the injury? Will he be worth a significant contract extension?
- Can the Leafs win with what they have, or do they need, for example, another high-end defenseman to give Phaneuf a breather as well as a bit less responsibility?
- Will Dave Nonis just stay the course or do something surprisingly radical before the deadline?
My view remains the same as it has been much of this season (even when the Leafs were in the doldrums), heading into this run to the playoffs: the Leafs, on paper, can compete with any team in the Eastern Conference. Of course things can go south, but there is no reason to suspect they will. Possession and shot differential issues have been a season-long concern, but some combination of goaltending, timely goals and a bend-but-don’t break approach seems to have worked so far.
The next few weeks should tells us a lot about this team…but only the playoffs reveal what a team really has.
I’ve mentioned here before that some Leaf fans might enjoy my eBook called, “The Maple Leafs of My Youth: what being a Leaf fan means to me”. Those who have connected with me after reading the book have reinforced to me that I have seemingly hit the intended target: that is, this is indeed a book that does more than just talk about the “old days”. Importantly, it acts as a bridge for Leaf fans who love the Leafs now but also appreciate hearing about how the franchise got to where it is today.
While it won’t be available in traditional book form it is now available on many electronic platforms. Downloading the book should be really straightforward.
The book is available as an “iBook” on Apple iTunes on an iPad. If you have an Apple computer, you can download the Mavericks Operating system (I believe it’s free) and read the book right on your computer.
“The Maple Leafs of My Youth” is also available on Amazon Kindle. (As I’ve acknowledged before, I’m not adept when it comes to how this technology works, but I know that you can download a Kindle “app” for free here— http://www.amazon.com/gp/kindle/pc/download )
That covers the various downloading options. Here are the direct links to download “The Maple Leafs of My Youth”:
I have really enjoyed connecting with those who have read the book. If you’d like to share your thoughts, give me a shout at Michael@prospectcommunications.com