Tuesday, January 18, 2011

You're Only As Good As Your Line...

Here is a new blog by another one of our new bloggers, Craig DiMarco. He will be giving us a different perspective on the Toronto Maple Leafs. Make sure to drop by the forums to comment on it. Thanks


“You’re only as good as your line mates out there. The pass he (Grabovski) made through the skates was unbelievable; I think the goalie was still looking behind the net”. That said by Clarke MacArthur coming off a 2 goal night against the penguins and inching him closer to put his name in the record book for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The unreal chemistry among Kulemin, Grabovski and MacArthur was not foreseen by Ron Wilson or any coaching staff. This line would become the new number one line in no time at all. Each player on the line, nearing career high points at the half way point of the season.
MacArthur’s Career High last year was split between the Buffalo Sabers and the Atlanta Thrasers, totalling 16 goals and 35 points. He has 14 goals and 37 points at 44 games with the blue and white.

Mikhail Grabovski’s Career high was the 08-09 season notching 20 goals and 48 points. Now the arguably more matured hockey player, playing with his heart on his shoulder night in and night out has 18 goals and 35 points at half point of the 10-11 season.

Nikolai Kulemin has been doing everything right for this line, working the corners, taking bodies and most importantly holding down the front of the net. Kulemin’s career year was last year with 16 goals and 36 points, now at 44 games in he’s got 16 goals and 33 points.

The line has been one of the bright spots of this year’s leafs. If we look back to all the line changes Wilson has tried to do you can see the only untouched line was that of the Grabovski line, the old saying is why fix something that’s not broken.

What happened to our first line with Kessel? I’m not implying that Bozak isn’t a great center, but who does Kessel have to play with that can match or overtake that the play of Savard. A question that needs to be answered by only our General Manager Brian Burke, the need for a true number one line center would reignite Kessel’s goal production.

Until then, we must be happy with the kids from the Marlies doing straight WORK. Joey Crabb, Darryl Boyce and saving the best for last James Reimer. These kids show you how development is so important in the cap era of the NHL, each player igniting all players on their lines to scoring and most importantly playing hard two-way hockey!

Being out of the last spot for the playoffs by more than 10 points, doesn’t put the greatest feeling into the pit of the hockey crazed fan here in Toronto, but seeing how the development and chemistry is starting to mend together gives everyone here in Toronto something to be optimistic for. A few missing puzzle pieces could be the exact formula to become a strong contender in the near future.