Nov 132005
 

The Toronto hockey media is quite amusing. Prior to the season starting the Leafs were old, injury prone, had horrible defense, wouldn’t score enough goals to win, Ed Belfour was a huge question mark and the Leafs would be fighting for their lives for a playoff spot.

Eighteen games into the season the Leafs have 20 points and sit in a playoff spot despite having played the toughest schedule in the league and despite playing without their captain for the majority of those games. But is the hockey media in Toronto happy? No, apparently not. Eric Lindros is on pace for 40 goals and nearly 70 points but that apparently isn’t good enough for Mike Ulmer who says Eric Lindros “has been far from dominant and still looks sluggish.” I am sure that if I had predicted a 4o goal season for Lindros everyone would have called me crazy. I am sure many in the Toronto sports media thought 20 goals from Lindros was dreaming but he’s almost halfway there already and he still gets criticized. I really wonder what it would take for Mike Ulmer to be pleased with Eric Lindros’ play.

I will admit that not everything is wonderful in Leaf-land. They do have to play much better team defense but all things considered the team is doing decently and better than most in the Toronto sports media predicted prior to the start of the season. Rather than admit even being slightly wrong some people would rather just point out the negatives (and in some cases create negatives) and ignore the reality of the situation as a whole.

  3 Responses to “There's no pleasing some…”

  1.  

    More than anything else, I think Leaf fans should be concerned about the team’s inconsistency.

    I remember, going into the season, I remarked that I had no idea where this team would finish. I picked them to squeak into the playoffs at 7th in the East, but I said it really could go either way and I wouldn’t be too shocked.

    Six weeks into the season I still have no clue about the identity of this team.

    Some nights, they look like they can hang with any other club in the NHL, while other games, they barely look like a playoff team. Would the real Toronto Maple Leafs please stand up?

    I realize that every team will have off nights, but it appears the Leafs are having them with more regularity than most.

    In the past, they might be able to get away with it and still be competitive because of their strong goaltending, but Belfour has been as inconsistent as anyone on the team, which surprises me. I thought the issue with Belfour, if there was one, would be his back, not poor play.

    I do agree with you about the criticism about Lindros being mostly unfair. He’s cooled off considerably since the start of the year, but overall, they can’t be anything but pleased with that acquistion. He’s not going to be a dominant force, an elite player, and maybe fans and media got lured into thinking he will based on how he started the year, but he can be a major contributor, a secondary piece if you will, and at that price, you really can’t complain.

  2.  

    I am somewhat concerned with the Leafs inconsistancy (from period to period as much as game to game) as well but the reality is this year is no different than the past few years. They have been an inconsistant team for quite a few years now, rarely losing more than a couple games in a row but rarely winning more than a couple in a row as well. This is why the Leafs always seem to end up in the middle of the playoff pack in the east. They have never made things easy on themselves and this year is nothing new.

  3.  

    I too have been a little surprised with Belfours play. He usually plays brutal in training camp and then really turns it on in the regular season.

    This year he was brilliant in training camp but has been inconsistant from period to period since.

    And trust me Tellqvist is no solution either.

    BTW Dave my favorite example of the bizarre world of the Toronto Sports media as it relates to the Leafs is Damian Cox who wrote a column in August entitled “Old Look Leafs Set up to Fail in New NHL” and then a few weeks ago when the Leafs were winning wrote in another column “only under the new rules could a team like the Leafs win”.

    What are these guys smoking?

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