Leafs fans are really tough on their players He didn't look like much, but I didn't see him make any mistakes to cost them either. Not quite sure what they expected out of a 20yo in his first NHL game. Especially when they were warned that he wasn't NHL ready.
He's doing ok on the 3rd line... only the dummies are upset that he hasn't had a game like Sam Gagner.
I don't really know what to think about this. Some leaf fans call him Top-4 defender and then some call him barely NHL-capable dman with bottom pairing potential.
Here's the thing with Leaf fans, and I am one of them: most of them are full of it. The second a player takes a stutter step, they get torched by the media and the brainless fan base. Today, Aulie said how much he loves being in Tampa, the fact that the veteran leaders are in place, and have such a positive effect on the young guys. Aulie is a character kid with herculean strength and composure. He made Dion look great when they paired up last season. He will play a safe, physical game for you marked by solid positioning and the occasional spinal ccord-altering hit. Burke said the CGY-TOR deal that yielded Phaneuf may be called the Aulie deal one day. So there ya go. You get one of the best young guys we had.
As far as Ashton goes, what a beaut. Fearless, works his butt off, and has some solid puck skills. We love what we see. For a team that was meant to be 'truculent', we needed someone with some jam to light a little fire, and Ashton fits the bill.
Once my Leafs hit the links, my attention will turn to Tampa, my surrogate team. Not tonight, though...