1. Jake Gardiner continues to climb the team’s depth chart. In the month of December he is second overall in team average ice time with 23:30 per game. In 27 games he has 8 points, all assists, and has an even plus/minus.
2. The Leafs are undefeated when going into the third period with a lead.
3. Leafs Director of Player Personnel Rick Dudley was scouting the Nashville, Columbus game recently. Jeff Marek speculated there is possibility of a Nazem Kadri for Derick Brassard trade.
4. In 26 games, Philippe Dupuis has no points, is -2, and is only 49 percent in face offs. If all the teams’ forwards are healthy I don’t think he stays in the line up. It is difficult to find his value.
5. Special teams in Toronto are hit and miss. Hit: leafs power-play is second best at 21.7% Miss: Leafs penalty kill is second worst at 74.3%
6. Is another Toronto team a possibility now that the Leafs were sold to Rogers and Bell? Last month TSN’s Bob Mackenzie reported plans to build a new arena in the GTA. That was one step closer. Now Ken Campbell of THN is suggesting the Bell and Rogers would welcome the broadcasting revenue that another Canadian team would bring.
7. It has been a long time since Leaf fans chanted for Ron Wilson to be fired. The notion of that happening now is ludicrous.
8. Brian Burke has initiated his self imposed holiday season trade freeze. Another example of what makes him a classy executive.
9. After the great start that had Toronto (in first place overall in the NHL for a short stint, and first in their division for several weeks) they are in jeopardy of falling out of a playoff spot. Despite still playing decent hockey with a 5-4-1 record in their last ten games, they are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 33 points. In a day, they could be sitting in ninth place if they lose their next game, and both Buffalo and Washington win.
10. Since his return from a concussion, James Reimer is 0-3 and has looked very average. Leaf fans love the teams golden boy as much as the management, so look they will be patient.
11. Congratulations to Mikhail Grabovski on the birth of his second child last week.
12. Where is the secondary offense? Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul lead the team with 36, and 33 points respectively. After that it drops off significantly, Tyler Bozak, and Dion Phaneuf each have 18 points, and Liles has 17 points.
13. With only two goals, and nine assists, perhaps it is time for Nikolai Kulemin to be a healthy scratch. What is most shocking to me about this is the fact that it is a contract year for Kulemin.
14. In less than one year, the trade value of Tomas Kaberle has depreciated from Joe Colborne, and a first, and second round pick, to Jaroslav Spacek
15. Phil Kessel is leading the NHL with all-star votes. Perhaps if he is selected as a captain he won’t be picked last this year.
By: Peter Harling
Follow me on twitter @pharling