The Blue N’ White Tonight Podcast
Season 1 – Episode 12
These are very dark days for some Leafs fans. With just 4 wins in their first 16 games, the club sits in 29th spot above only the Columbus Blue Jackets. While the results aren’t showing in the win column, the improvements that new coach Mike Babcock has made this season are evident and the team has been “in” most of their games to this point.
Inconsistent goaltending is something that the blue and white have suffered from since the days that Eddie Belfour left the crease and this season has been no different.
Jonathan Bernier has been pretty much horrid during his starts and has made a habit out of letting in soft goals at inopportune times (usually on the first or second shot of the game). Despite being spoon-fed the number one role by both Mike Babcock and Randy Carlyle, Bernier has thus far showed nothing to assume that he will be a number one goaltender in this league. James Reimer has been the better of the two, but even he is prone to let in a weak one here and there which is enough to deflate the team at times.
The team is also relying on “other people’s garbage” to get them through a transitional season. A look at this year’s forward lines will reveal a plethora of players who have come to Toronto after being cast away by their former clubs. The plan – give them increased ice-time in order for them to succeed and then peddle them off at the deadline to teams seeking cheap depth options heading into the playoffs.
Brad Boyes was bought out by the Florida Panthers this past summer and signed a contract with the Leafs after winning a job on a PTO in training camp. After starting the season on the Leafs’ top line, he has since played limited minutes and has even been a healthy scratch.
P.A Parenteau is coming off a disappointing season with the Montreal Canadiens in which he spent time in coach Mike Therrien’s doghouse. The Canadiens let him walk as a free agent during the summer and the Leafs bit on him.
The Leafs shipped five players to the New York Islanders back in September in a move that was obviously done to open up some contracts. They received Michael Grabner in return and the hope was that a change of scenery may be good for him. It hasn’t and it is almost painful to see how badly his skills have diminished. Even his trademark speed seems to have disappeared.
Shawn Matthias had a very promising 18 goals with the Vancouver Canucks last season. It was expected that his production would possibly rise playing on a team seeking scoring. He has just one goal in his first 14 games as a Toronto Maple Leaf. Similar to Matthias, Mark “Suitcase” Arcobello had 17 goals last season playing with four different teams. He played seven games with the Leafs and recorded a whopping zero points.
The stat line for those five players combined this season reads like a player who shouldn’t be in the NHL. 62 games – 4 goals – 11 assists – 15 points. In other words, a pace of about 20 points on the season. Not exactly great material to put on a flyer to send out to the other 29 general managers. Kind of like posting an ad on kijiji selling a ’96 Neon that doesn’t run anymore.
Never fear though because wherever there is darkness there is bound to be a light on the horizon and the Toronto Maple Leafs are no different. For the first time in years, the cupboards are fully stocked with young and skilled prospects and the future truly looks bright.
For that reason, we decided to take Episode 12 of The Blue N’ White Tonight in a different direction. We wanted to take an in-depth look at the talent that has every Leafs fan excited about the future of this organization. And who better to do that with than TSN’s Director of Scouting himself, Mr. Craig Button!
The original format of the show was pretty simple. A 60-minute show broken into three 20-minute periods just like a hockey game. Pretty simple right? Well we have now put out 12 shows and not one has even come close to 60 minutes. Craig Button is one of the most passionate hockey people out there and it was evident during his appearance. He truly enjoys the game and talking about everything that the greatest game on earth has to offer. The result was our longest show yet – over two hours of Toronto Maple Leafs content – and 90 of those minutes were spent with Craig! We hope you enjoy it…
Next Week… Toronto Sun Columnist Mike Zeisberger
Our guest next week should provide some excellent insight into the Toronto Maple Leafs and where they stand today. He has been covering the Toronto Maple Leafs for the Toronto Sun since 1999 and is in the trenches on a daily basis bringing us all the latest info. Don’t miss it as we get up close and personal with Mike Zeisberger.
As you know, we have been teasing the idea of a “BNWT Live” show where we would take the show on the road and record in front of an audience! Well, the stage is set and so is the date!
Wanna meet former Toronto Maple Leaf captain Rick Vaive? Join us December 13 when we record the show live on location at The Uncle Neil and Friends Toy Drive! Admission is an unwrapped toy!
We look forward to meeting all of our Toronto-area listeners that day! If you do come then please take the time to say hi and we’ll put you on the air! This special episode is all about the listeners!
To our listeners worldwide…you can help out too! Please go to: www.gofundme.com/bnwtlive and make a donation in the amount of your choice!
No child should wake up on Christmas morning with nothing under the tree!
Please send all comments, opinions, and hate mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Twitter: @robb_ellis
Check out the official website of the show at: bnwtpodcast.com