So we all know the Leafs revamped their roster in the off-season especially on the defence, in an attempt to make a push for the playoffs. Well as stated in the blog before were 20 games into the season and have 3 wins. On top of that we are dead last in the league, and far out of a playoff spot. I am going to go over how I feel the free agents have done so far a quarter of the way into the season.
Rickard Wallin- Okay so we all know that Wallin was not brought in here to light the lamp, and his stats show that. He has played in 20 games this season and has 2 assists, which is fine for a player in his role. However he is supposed to be a defensive forward, but is a minus 5. That stat right there is unacceptable. In order for Rickard to make an impact on this club is to start to shut down the other teams players, which is his job after all. I would give Wallin a GRADE of C for his efforts so far this year.
Francois Beauchemin- Alright this was a free agent signing I was very happy with when it was announced. I have always been a big fan of Francois, however that being said he has been less that impressive. With that being said I think the real Francois Beauchemin has yet to land in Toronto. A quarter of the way through the season and his stats are fine, except for one. He has 2 goals with 6 assists for 8 points in 20 games, he has 3 more points then he did this time last year. The real number that bothers me is the -9. Since being in the NHL he has never been worse than a -9 for a season, if he keeps this pace up he will finish a career low -36. But like I said before I see him picking his game up a little more as the season continues. I give Beauchemin a GRADE of C+, if not for that lowly -9 he would have been a B forsure.
Mike Komisarek- Mike has taken lots of penalties, blocked lots of shots and been in a tilt here and there, and has even had a dirty hit or two along the way. Vintage Komisarek!! Even though I feel we over paid for him, he is doing exactly what we are paying him to do. The average fans says he doesn't produce the points though, that is not his job! Mike is a shutdown defencemen. He compliments Thomas Kaberle perfectly, T Kab doesn't have to worry about getting run like in past years because if he does get run, Komisarek will make that player pay. Kaberle's point production this year shows his comfort with playing with Mike. Komisarek has never been know for his offensive numbers and again this year that will be the case as he has 0 points in 16 games this year. He is a -9. He is in his 7th NHL season and has only once finished with a minus rating and that was his first year in the NHL with the Habs when he was a -6. I would give Komisarek a GRADE of B+, even though he is on pace to set a career low for +/- he has done exactly what he has been hired to do.
Jonas Gustavsson- Where do I start with the MONSTER. I think he has been the Leafs best free agent signing. He is young (25), and a good fit on the Leafs, as long as the Leafs don't ruin his confidence like they did last year with Justin Pogge. Gustavsson has started 11 games this year and has gotten the Leafs points in 7 of those 11 starts, one of his losses should have also been credited to Toskala too. The game in Washington where he came in to relieve Toskala and gave the Leafs a chance to win as they almost came back and he was unfairly given the loss even though when he came in he was down 3-0. He has a save% of .901 which needs improving but is the best on the team. He also leads the team with a Goals Against Average of 3.23. He is the only goalie this year with a win, he has 3 on the year so far. I give Gustavsson a Grade of A+, he has much to improve on but has done more than he was expected of and looks to be the Leafs new number 1 goalie.
In my next blog I will be talking about so of the Leafs draft picks that are coming around and that should be ready in a year or two.