Every team in the NHL has made the playoffs at least once in the past four years except for two teams. The Phoenix Coyotes and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Leaf fans are hoping the new additions can make that bit of trivia obsolete.
Story of the season: Can the Leafs win games with all their toughness? Conn Smythe once said “If you can’t beat them in the alley, you can’t beat them on the ice.” The Leafs will have no trouble taking care of themselves once the puck drops. But they were dead last in penalty killing last year. They need that to improve if they want to make the playoffs, especially since they’ll probably end up grabbing more penalties.
Former Habs: Francois Beauchemin, Mike Komisarek, Mikhail Grabovski
Blog to follow: Down Goes Brown
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Pool Picks: Mikhail Grabovski. If he plays on a line with Phil Kessel, he could put up some big points. He’s still a young guy, and should be good for 60 points this season Stay away from: Tomas Kaberle. He’s a great defenceman, but I don’t think he’ll hit that 50-point plateau this season. Probably more like 40.
Award nominees: Jonas Gustavsson for the Calder
Expected Finish: Third in the Northeast, ninth in the east
Cheerleader: No cheerleaders, but lots of Maple Leafs fans.