These three guys are all highly skilled players who aren't afraid to go to the dirty areas needed to be successful in the playoffs. Both Lupul and JVR have already stepped up in the playoffs before, and both have taken significant steps forward since the last time they were in the playoffs. Kadri has been in the playoffs 5 times throughout his career (4 times in the OHL, once with the Marlies), and has been a big time clutch performer. Every single time Kadri has made the playoffs, his team has won at least one round. He helped the Rangers to an OHL title as a 17 year old with 26 points in 20 games. Then, as a London Knight he put up a whopping 48 points in 36 playoff games. Last year with the Marlies he was a key part of our Calder cup run before being injured. I'd love to see a goal like this in the playoffs:
Phaneuf is playing the most complete hockey of his career this season. He's been a defensive stalwart, while putting up 9 goals and 27 points in 45 games. If Phaneuf can step-up against other teams top offensive players, he can make a huge difference. Since being paired up with Fraser at even strength and Phaneuf on the PP, Franson's game has transformed. He's become far more physical this season playing with Fraser, and when he wants to he can really throw his weight around. Offensively, his shot is hugely effective. He has a knack for getting it through bodies, and his quick low shot generates a lot of rebounds.
Obviously Reimer, he has been stealing us wins the last couple of weeks.
I hope the whole team gets fired up, our 3 Offensive lines are critical, same with the 3 defensive lines. I think this team can score goals, and reimer can make saves, theres much more pressure on defense and trying to tighten up their game.
In order for any team to be successful its best players have to be its best players & if they're not then that will be the main reason.
Reimer will the key, as Leafs are often outplayed and out shot on a regular basis. No reason to loose faith in him to not continue to do what he has all season for us.
Playoffs is all about the goalies my friend. Rather your the favorite in a series or not if your goalie is the clear 2nd best between the two teams you will lose.... after that it's team play and the execution of special teams, lose that battle chances are your toast. Finally if these factors are all equal then it becomes about individual players of your best players being your best players to win... after all TEAMS win championships not individual players.
There's also the unsung hero. Somebody out of the ordinary always seems to score a big goal that leads to a victory. My choice for this guy is Komarov.
Lupul has been amazing for us all season, i think he'll keep it up. JVR was a huge pickup and he had that amazing playoff run in 2010, hoping for a repeat. Reimer has been spectacular his confidence is high and i expect him to give us a big boost.
Kessel, Lupul, Kadri, Phaneuf and JVR will have to play like our top players for us to have a chance. If the last few games are to be any kind of indication, Reimer will have to stand on his head while balancing spinning plates if we continue to be out shot like we've been. I hope Leaf Nation doesn't scrutinize him to death if he struggles.
I used to be a big Preds fan and remember Franson preforming quite well during that one Preds run until they were eliminated by the Canucks.
I'm also looking forward to seeing what Bozak, Grabovski and Macarthur can provide us with in the playoffs, here's hoping they hit an entirely new gear and surprise everybody.
I hope JVR brings his A game from the get go cuz man can this dominate like the very few in this league. Like yesterday, after he scored the two goals, I remembered him flying down the middle through the traffic between 2 or 3 Sens players and nearly got his hatty.