Where do you see the Sophomore Slumpers next season?
Already know there is a Bozak thread but making this one to include the other guys who played a 2nd season as well as the rookies we have (REimer, Aulie, Kadri, Boyce) going into their 2nd season.
What do you expect from Bozak, Komisarek, Gustavsson and Gunnarsson? The sophomore slump affects tons of players and we've seen it happen to other teams a lot but in Toronto, where "what have you done for us lately" is represented at its best, a lot of fans will call for these guys to be traded.
Bozak had a pretty down season, with a lot of us pegging him as a 3rd liner during this season. Honestly I think he could rebound and if he can get his game on track he could be a 2C for us.
Including Komisarek in here because it was his second season with the Leafs and his first real season since he came off that injury. Probably the worst defencemen with the group all-season there was no shortage of "WHY MIKE WHY" during the season. As Komi enters his 3rd season with the Leafs do you think the injury has finally gotten away from him? Will he finally step up and be that scary defender we signed? His play later on in the season (i.e: Last 10 games) was encouraging but it's quite a small sample size.
Gunnarsson was one of the better Leafs this season but early on a lot of us were calling for him to be sent down and for Lebda to come in (still remember everyone being excited Lebda was penciled in for the Islanders game ) What was destined to be an awful season for Gunnar turned around in December and he became one of the better D-men on the team who stepped up to fill in Kaberle's spot when he was traded. Re-signed to a cheap contract and ready to enter his third season what do you think Gunnar could do?
Gustavsson receives a lot of flak on here after the awful awful season he endured. The goalie had flashes of brilliance early on with his great lateral movement and at first the intensity he displayed was something to get excited over, a goalie that cared. Leaf fans quickly got tired of him and a lot of us seem to have forgotten about his potential after he had the heart issue and as sent down to the Marlies (posting a 95 sv% and 1.14GAA in 5 games) this is still a guy with great reflexes who has the desire to succeed. Do you think the Monster can put a disastrous season behind him and challenge Reimer for the spot of top goaltender?
Last edited by Edgeworth*: 06-19-2011 at 09:32 PM.
I was completely sold on Gunnar being a solid 3-4 guy, but the way he played in the last handful of games was horrifying. Hopefully that doesn't carry over, but I fear it will.
Komi will blow.
Bozie will be fine, even if he ends up starting in between Kessel and Lupul.
I have faith in Gustavsson and he'll be a fantastic goalie one day. Maybe not this upcoming season, though, and maybe not ever as a Leaf either. But he has it in him.
Aulie may fall into the same trap Komi did of trying to do too much. If he just plays his game, dude will be a big reason for any success we have.
Reimer will be fine. I doubt he'll keep up his .920, but he'll be respectable.
Gunnar had 7 points in his final 10 games with a +1 rating logging big minutes. What was your issue with him then? Early on he struggled and looked nervous, but he was one of our best d-men after Kaberle/Beauchemin were dealt.
Reimer: I think plays solid all-around while having stints of struggle.
Aulie: I'm hoping he doesn't fall into the Komisarek trap, if he doesn't expect him/Dion to leave off where they did last season
Kadri: Don't see him making the team to be honest, Frattin IMO steals his spot. While he goes down to the AHL improves his all around game and shows up for a position in 2012-2013 season. If there is a major injury he will be the first call-up
Boyce: I don't see Boyce making the team next season
Bozak: He will re-gain the confidence in Leaf fans with his new designated role as the Toronto Maple Leafs third line center. I feel he will finally put into a position where he won't solely be relied on for offense purely. Bozak can now do what he does best play a solid two-way game, something he lost track of playing with Kessel.
Komisarek: I hope he bounces back but regardless 4.5 for a shutdown guy is way too much money
Gustavsson: Needs to play solid this season in order to have a career in the NHL with us. If he doesn't I fully expect he won't be back in 2012-2013. He has alot to prove and hopefully this factor motivates him alone.
Gunnarsson: Remains as the teams #4-5 guy while providing solid two-way hockey and some offensive outputs.
I think Bozak will be better next year playing in a more comfortable role and not being forced into the number one slot.
Gunnarsson will likely continue his solid pace, expecting about 25-35 pts from him.
Komisarek is a question mark, I'm hoping he can be better but I'm not banking on anything.
Gustavsson, oh Gustavsson. I have been an avid supporter of this guy from the time that he was signed, and even now I have not given up on him. The level of skill and reflexes he's shown are world-class, he's very athletic and probably the most skilled goalie we have in the system. Unfortunately there are a few issues, as with his heart which seems to be recurring and I fear it may continue to bring him down. On top of that he's also struggled with consistency ever since he got here. He looked good in his first season but seemed to wear out a bit during the middle of the season, which was understandable because he wasn't used to playing that much and he was basically thrown into the fire to make up for Toskala's failures. After Giguere came in he gained stability and was fantastic at the end of the season. He seemed to carry his play on towards the beginning of this season, and looked amazing, unfortunately the rest of the team played like crap in front of him and he began to act emotionally wild and frustrated during games. He seemed to lose his confidence over time, and eventually he was torn apart in that NYR game and never played another minute in the season (also due to his heart issues). However, he looked good in his short AHL stint, which is a little promising. I still have faith in him though because he's very competitive and passionate, and I know he's ****ing hungry to get back in there. If his groin and heart problems don't nag him and he can stay psychologically stable, I think he can be a great goalie and surprise a lot of naysayers and haters from this season, and can pose a challenge for Reimer. It's funny how in only a year so many people went from loving him and calling him the goalie of the future, to completely losing faith in him and wanting to get rid of him in favour of Reimer who is the current goaltending messiah. It's quite typical of us.
I think the team will do fine, it's just goaltending that worries me. I hope Reimer can play a full season without slumping because we will be screwed if he does slump, unless Gustavvson somehow bounces back.
Reimer I think will overcome the sophomore slump, he looks like a guy who just wants to win for his teammates and for the team. His attitude towards playing hockey shows just that, and I think he's going to work his butt off.
Bozak will rise from his horrible performance this season. Maybe he might be at least a +5 by the end of the season.
Gunnarsson will be a solid top 4 D.
Komisarek will start to not suck.
I really want to see a Frattin-Kadri-Armstrong lineup. That would be so awesome. If we somehow don't land Richards, and Bozak plays with Kessel and Lupul, I could see that line happening for sure.
I think they will be fine. Or else its back to the Marlies for them! I do think Gustavsson will bounce back and have a terrific season. He's going to be a true monster! Kadri will come to the Leafs and be a 30 point player.
Last edited by BurkieHockeyGenius: 06-20-2011 at 10:35 PM.
Gunnarsson-He will surprise next year. Played good after the kaberle trade (12 points in 24 games) and played fantastistic for Sweden. SOLID top 4 D. Could easily replace Aulie in the top pairing (kind of did so last year when he played 30 minutes) and will have 35 points.
Bozak- We will definately be surprised. Our expectations of him are so low right now that if he plays average next year, we will be overjoyed. However, I think he will play much better than average (40-45 points on the third line, subbing into top 6 at times). His +/- will increase as he is playing less skilled opponents and people will respect his pk abilities.
Aulie: Cant tell. Seems to have his head on his shoulders but so did gunnarsson and we all know what happened. I remember there was an article last season quoting Gunnarsson saying that he will remain focus, train hard and come mentally prepared so he will not slump. He slumped. So I dont know about Aulie but I hope that he is prepared to deal with Toronto if he does slump (and that Grabovski, schenn, gunnarsson, bozak are extra kind to him).
Gustavsson: Will bounce back but not too much. .905-.910 sv pct (may be higher if he only plays 20 games).
Reimer: I dont beleive goalies slump. Gustavsson didnt last year but just got frustrasted when he played 4 games with >.930 save % and his team only averaged a goal in those four games. As a goalie, when you lose your head, your game begins to suck. He played amazing in the marlies, so I dont think he slumped... Same with reimer. He wont slump, imo. I am expecting about a .915 sv % from him.
Kadri: Cant really slump as expectations arent that high for him. If he plays on the team, I am thinking 45 points on the third line and a lot of pp time.
Frattin: 35-40 points on the third line, if he plays on the team
I think Gustavsson is far more important to the team next season than most people realize.
Even if Reimer plays incredible and starts 60 games, we can't win enough of those alone to make the playoffs. Our backup (or, worst case, a series of backups) will play about 20+ games, minimum. So we still need at least passable goaltending in those games. I believe Monster can give us that. But if he has health issues again, or struggles for an extended stretch, we are in serious trouble.
Reimer is going to dominate
Gustavsson is going to suck
Aulie will continue to be very solid
Gunnersson proves he is a top 4 dman
Komisarek will be slightly better. Good enough for a number 5 dman
Bozak will be like he was in his rookie season. 50 points this season
Kadri shows us flashes of brilliance in a season of ups and downs. More ups then downs thou
Fratting scores 20 if he makes it out of camp