Snappy advice from the insufferable pundit

some analysis from our local hockey jackass:

1. Maybe not this season, but next season Tomas 'Suicide Pass' Kaberle should be playing left wing, not defence. His ineffective man-to-man play and atrocious own-zone passing choices have directly led to about 15 goals on Toronto in the last 2 months; he's cost the Leafs 3-4 games all by himself. Yet by some miracle he happens to be +16--go figure.
2. 'Mississauga Matt' Stajan must never, ever be benched in favour of goons like Wade 'Chopper' Belak (suspended for the duration of the season, thankfully), Chad 'Who?' Kilger or the entirely spurious Drake 'Spare Part' Berehowsky. Especially on a team that is second oldest in the league (younger only than the ageless Detroit Dinos)--Stajan's 20-year-old legs are more important than ever right now, as even horses like Mats 'FrankenMats' Sundin and Gary 'Judge Dredd' Roberts appear flagging this late in the fray. Plus, The Kid knows how to find the back of the net--his shooting percentage is among the tops in the league. Stick him on the power play I say; park him in the slot as he's tough to knock down.
3. Bryan 'Mad Dog' Marchment--get this freak show riding the pine instead. Marchment aka The HatchetMaster, is still playing in some 1970s Time Warp: he's singlehandedly responsible for 60 per cent of the Leafs' dumb penalties. A playoff nightmare, as the Leafs are already the third most booked team in the NHL. I'll take a softer defencemen, one with actual ability (even Karl 'Counter-intuitive Pronunciation' Pilar), over one more shift of 'Marchmania'. As soon as Ken 'Klu Klux' Klee comes back then Marchment has absolutely no cause to be playing, esp with Brian 'Man, those Rangers are Stupid' Leetch and Calle 'Proven Commodity' Johansson on board.
4. Tie 'Penalty Minutes in the Sky' Domi: asking 'Domzilla' to contribute on a power play is a bit like asking an elephant to snap its fingers, so get him outta there ASAP with the extra man. Come to think of it, coach Pat 'Looks like My Dad' Quinn also seems stuck in the '70s; no way should Domi be getting more than 8 minutes' icetime a night.
5. When Michael 'Feisty Swede' Renberg comes back, please don't let him anywhere near Alex 'Smooth Papa' Mogilny and Sundin. Either 4th line, or bench him in favour of Stajan and Todd 'Excels at Icing the Puck' Fitzgerald: the former is better than Renberg offensively, and the latter more consistent defensively. And definitely another one to keep away from the power-play--seems MR has forgotten he's actually allowed to shoot pucks at the opposing goalie, instead of just cycling it along the boards. But he'll be injured again within 3 games anyway, so it doesn't matter, really.
6. Darcy 'Redneck' Tucker--limit his ice-time in the playoffs to 3rd/4th line duties and the odd power play. He's not quite Marchment with the stupid penalties, but he's pretty dumb most of the time--another postseason powderkeg.
7. Aki 'Cool Ice' Berg. I love this guy--he's big and tough and, unlike Kaberle, this non-Flashy Finn almost never screws up in his own zone. Don't bench him.
8. Mats 'Super Mats' Sundin: no complaints with Captain M, except one observation: whenever he's out for a faceoff in the late minutes of close games, Sundin always seems to get thrown out of the circle by the ref--MS should always be backed up with one of Joe 'Goose Neck' Nieuwendyk or 'Uncle' Ron Francis in these situations. (As an aside, with Sundin, Nieuwendyk and Francis the Leafs have probably the best faceoff trio in the history of the NHL.)
9. Poniko-Antro-Nieuwendyk (PAN): these guys are PAN-tastic--just let them to do their thing. The Skyline is 'sky high' right now.
10. Owen 'Impressive Stubble' Nolan: having a tremendous season although his stats don't show it. Increase his ice time; stick him on a line with Roberts once in a while to scare the crap out of the opposing defence pair.
11. Brian 'Muscular Neck' Leetch: hands down the most talented all-around Leaf (only Mogilny comes close, but Alex plays the game with too much insolence)--minimum 30 minutes a night in the playoffs for the Puck-Trucking Leetch (and knock Kaberle down to 15-20).
12. Eddie 'Mad Max' Belfour: pray for the health of his back, that The Eagle might soar.
13. Coach Pat 'Quinn The Eskimo'--is looking more handsome than ever. I like his new glasses.

1 comment:

Stuart Croall said...

I really enjoy your writing generally, but I also think I would much rather get my NHL/Leaf commentary in your style of reporting and analysis. Any chance you have a secret Leaf-news blog I can follow? :)