Season countdown at six days and questions....
The Stumpy Meter is dropping like the temperature (high of 14 today!). The Maple Leafs, with two pre-season games left, our only dates with Detroit (until the finals, eh?) and Pat Quinn has yet to ice a lineup with any sort of set line combinations.
Mark Zwolinski takes a nice look at the possibilities today, with an angle to the obvious. Zorro writes:
(Quinn) can't get a look at a proposed line (Jason) Allison, Darcy Tucker and Jeff O'Neill, because of Allison's health.
So today we'll keep it simple - break down the available jobs and candidates and put the question to you: Who makes the cut?
Job 1: One, possible two jobs open on the fourth line. In the mix: Kyle Wellwood, Steve Thomas, Clarke Wilm, Alex Steen.
Job 2: Sixth, seventh defenceman. Andy Wozniewski, Staffan Kronwall, Bryan Marchment, Carlo Colaiacovo, Wade Belak.
Job 3: Ed Belfour insurance: Mikael Tellqvist, JS Aubin.
Here's an argument for the vets. And judging by the reaction at the ACC on Tuesday night and in Chris Young's Stumpython from the other day, that's two more gold stars for Thomas. The Stumpy Meter is actually in a slight state of rising today, but shades of Robert Reichel isn't a good sign. Besides, the shifty Wellwood leads the team in pre-season scoring and has to be considered part of the Leafs
And if you just don't care, we offer a suggestion from Conin79 via yesterday's posting:
Question of the day for the man in charge is who do you think is going to do better? The Toronto Maple Leafs. . . or the Toronto Marlies?
Question of the day not for Quinn is predicting the Leafs fate. No comment from the boss.
"I haven't looked at all the other clubs yet," Quinn says. "I don't know how we compare. I've been concerned with our team."
Probably a good idea, don't you think Rob Babcock?
Quick with the links before we get ready for Chris's latest
crackpot venture. He's celebrating the Sox-Yanks pennant race with a blast from the past - a live retelling their nightmare classic 1978 one-game playoff at Fenway. It's here.
Salary Cap lesson #346: How to get a great player for free. (The Jeff Friesen rule)
The Crosby Show comes to Canada.
Bruins goalie Andrew Raycroft on the new rules and changes go goalie equipment:
"It's more fun this way,'' Raycroft tells the Boston Herald. "It's more fun to know, even if you're down, 3-0, that you're still in the game. In the past, 99.99 percent of the time, if you're down 3-0, there's no chance of coming back. Really, if you were going to the third period down 2-1, you knew you weren't going to win."
Yesterday, we brought you Sean Avery's comments on the Jeremy Roenick-Gauthier hit and the whole French Canadians rant. Colorado's Ian Laperriere (former Kings teammate) responds (and well):
"If he's looking for a French guy to back things up, I'm the guy. I'm right here."
There's a new Daddy Warbucks in St. Louis.
Lastly (sniff, sniff) a quick gander at some of our favourite NHL legends perhaps making their curtain call.