i don't think it'll be Belak because he probably won't get the ice-time needed to sufficiently piss-off all the fans.
My guess is it'll be Antropov and/or McCabe.
Antropov seems to have high expectations around him. Even if he manages to play as a decent second-liner, I think the fans will expect more from him.
McCabe needs to play as offensively as he has in the past, continue to be physical, and manage not to make defensive mistakes. That's a lot to ask for from him. Plus, he had an off year in Europe - and I don't really buy into the one-good-year-one-bad-year theories that others comfort themselves with.
yeah don't get me wrong, Eddies probably my favourite leaf, I'm just saying if he doesn't do too well/ if the team isn't winning, hes gonna get whipped bad. I'm hoping he does really well and doesn't throw his back out again or we could see the triumphant return of trevor kidd
Berg will be one, he's always universally blamed no matter what he does.
Belak will be another, very few enforcers are particularly loved especially when they can't contribute much and Belak is your typical no-skill enforcer (albeit with positional flexibility that makes him more useful then most IMHO).
McCabe may be another if he falters. Fans are slowly turning against him, and his comments during the CBA negotiations have garnered him considerably ill will. Expectations are massive, and his consistency (or lack thereof) doesn't seem to indicate he will duplicate last seasons effort.
Opinions are too mixed on Antropov for him to become a universal whipping boy. A decent number will blame him for everything, but there is also too much lasting fondness for him and hope for a potential upside to see him blamed by all.
Tellqvist if he ever has any string of 2 or 4 games in close proximity in which he falters will become a whipping boy, regardless of how he does the rest of the season. If he doesn't play a handful of consecutive games in which he performs quite poorly, then he should be safe.
I expect most of our UFA acquisitions will largely be free of whipping boy status except possibly Czerkawski, as their all very popular acqusitions that most everyone likes so will be given considerable leeway for mistakes.
Czerkawski if he fails to score 20+ Goals could easily fall into whipping boy status though.
Any players under 25 will be safe no matter who they are or how they play. The desire for a youth movement has gotten so strong that it's pretty much become a case of "all youth are good, all youth will succeed, all youth are better then X veteran".
If the Leafs are any worse then 6th in the conference Quinn will immeidately become the cause of all losses.
If only one (or none) of our UFA don't hit 20 G or 60Pts, then JFJ will also become the cause of every loss.
Going OT for a moment here..
Hey Frankie, if you follow the St.Johns Fog Devils this season, feel free to come to the Sweden board once in a while and give us updates on Niklas Bergfors & Oscar Sundh.
I would like to pre-warn you that from Frankie you will only get the flaws and negatives of all players that is his MO ... but that is news as well .. If you want to know poor +/-, give-aways that cause losses and poor effort, injuries then Frankie is the man to bring you the news that nobody else does ..
Sundin has been our most consistant player for the past ................ 10 years.
What makes you think he's gonna mess up that bad.
You should really try listening to 'Leafs talk' following a Leaf loss.
They always have a few Rednecks calling in blaming Sundin for the past 38 years of not winning the cup.
In fact, quite often you'll hear dome drunken fool call in while driving the 401 in an obvious intoxicated state returning from watching the game at the Hillbilly watering hole suggest that if Tie Domi were captain, they'd be a much better team for it (only in a much deteriorated language, normally something like...
"The res' da tim cuddint unnerstand a wurd he sed.
Those farn boys shore are ignert t'a goo'ol Nuk Gam.")
Luckily and thankfully Andy Frost has an uncanny ability to shut them down and show them up.
I can't speak for anyone else, but if the roster stays pretty much the way it is there isn't one player on the team that I really don't like. And that's great, because it hasn't happened in a while.
The two guys that I could start disliking are Khavanov and Brown. Especially if their presence costs Colaiacovo a spot on the big team and they don't perform well.
I like both players, but wasn't crazy about either of those signings. But the Khavanov one is starting to grow on me especially after I heard Mike Kitchen being interviewed and he talked about how Khavanov had to play a bigger role than expected the past few years on St. Louis with injuries to Pronger, MacInnis and Jackman. He had to be used as a top pairing defenceman in St. Louis on many nights and he could be good insurance to have if Kaberle or McCabe go down because we don't really have too many other guys I'd be comfortable with in a top pairing role.
But as of right now, no whipping boys for me. Ask me again after training camp.