When he was signed last season they had him in the stands during one of the last games asking why he had picked the Leaf's when so many teams were after him and he said it basically came down to which team he grew up watching, you know Hockey Night every Saturday and all that romantic ****....
Kessel is on a 4 game point streak: all assists. I'm interested to see if he can make this change in his game permanent and find a balance between shooting and passing. This is precisely the dimension he needs to make himself a top-tier threat and it will ultimately make him an even better goalscorer.
I don't get some of the pessimist in this thread about Bozak. Why do you think this guy was signed and at a cap hit almost 4 million? Do you think he was signed to rot in the AHL or maybe just maybe he was signed with the projection that he will very soon be in the Leafs top 6.
What most us here are saying is that Bozak has not disappointed with his play and showing exactly why he was so sought after and that he's earning to be playing with Kessel on the top line.
It's no different than those who say Taylor Hall or the top prospects in the draft will be a star even though they've never played a game in the NHL with how people are excited with Bozak's play and skills. It's called projection and with the state of this team Bozak should stay exactly where he is for the rest of the year on the top line with Kessel for development reasons as his abilities are clearly above average greater than Stajan's to play with the little talent there is in the AHL.
Whats nice about the Kulemin-Bozak-Kessel line is this.
Bozak is looking to create opportunities. For years now, Maurice and Wilson have been telling our players that they have no skill and to shoot first. Do not give up the shot to make a pass. When is the last time you saw a give and go? Not since the Poni-Sundin line I bet. The leafs simply look to enter the zone and take a shot.
IMO this has hindered some development in players like Kulemin, when he gets the puck hes looking to shot first. To me he plays like a kid who's scared. Scared if he doesn't take the shot, or hustle back on D they will bury him in the minors for something minor. He doesn't look to pass or anything, just take the shot.
All leaf players are of this mindset except Bozak and Kessel, it hasn't been ingrained on their minds yet. Kulemin will develop with these guys, and they will be allowed to do what they do until they stop producing.
Why do goalies look hot against the leafs, its because everyone plays the shot, theres simply no risk of a pass when in a half decent scoring chance.
Bozak changes this which is why he's dangerous with Kessel! Hes not just looking to get it off his stick to Kessel ASAP so hes not responsible for a turnover.
I don't know if this is just me but do Bozak and Kessel not seem like a perfect match? Yeah bozak had an unreal goal last night but that doesn't get me as exited as his vision. I would say if bozak was on kessels line for every year of his career he would probably be a 18ish gl 55ish assist type guy. While, Kulemin also brings alot of grit and hard work to complement the skill. Still, bringing in a bigger stronger left winger wouldn't hurt. I know its only one really impressive game from bozak-- but ive watched enough hockey in my life to know talent when i see it.
1 point in 5 games.
Still think the first line is set?