What's to like ... and dislike

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:22 AM ET

A Stanley Cup parade? Or a free-fall into the basement? We're betting the 2007-08 Maple Leafs end up somewhere between those two possibilities. With the Leafs set to step on to the ice for training camp tomorrow, we give you seven reasons to be optimistic and seven more to be pessimistic about the coming season.

GLASS HALF FULL

(Or, why you should be excited about the 07-08 Leafs)

1. FLASHY FINN

At best, Vesa Toskala will carry the load between the pipes as did Curtis Joseph and Eddie Belfour. At worst, he and Andrew Raycroft share time. Either way, it's an improvement on the Raycroft-Aubin tandem of a year ago.

2. THIS BLAKE'S NO FAKE

Darcy Tucker could not believe how fast Jason Blake was during informal off-season workouts. The ex-Islander's intensity makes him tough for opposing teams to play against

3. CONFERENCE CHAOS

The Canadiens, Devils, Sabres, Thrashers and Islanders all suffered significant hits to their rosters over the summer and all but the Habs reached the playoffs a year ago.

4. ONE MO YEAR

Paul Maurice should be more familiar with his surroundings in his second tour as coach. Leafs likely wouldn't have as close as they were to a playoff berth last season if not for him.

5. BOLSTERED BLUE LINE

Plenty of depth. Tomas Kaberle, Bryan McCabe, Hal Gill, Ian White, Carlo Colaiacovo and Pavel Kubina are the incumbents. Andy Wozniewski, Anton Stralman, Staffan Kronwall, Jay Harrison and Bryan Muir will try to impress.

6. BEEFING UP

One-time stringbeans Matt Stajan and Kyle Wellwood have bulked up under the guidance of team fitness guru Matt Nichol.

7. ICE CAPADES

A new multi-million dollar ice-making system at the Air Canada Centre should make the games more enjoyable to watch. Too often last year, the puck bounced around the chippy surface.

GLASS HALF EMPTY

(Or, why you should be cynical about the '07-08 Leafs)

1. FRONT OFFICE FOLLIES

Sometimes the action seems to be more exciting in the boardroom than on the ice. At what point does it become a detriment to the product?

2. FERGIE'S FATE

By not giving an extension to John Ferguson, the GM is in the final year of his contract with litte or no job security.

3. RING THE BELL

The 15-game suspension and pending jail sentence dangling over newcomer Mark Bell is a huge potential distraction for both he and his teammates. Can he deal with the media circus and still adequately perform upon his return?

4. BRITTLE BUDS

The Leafs were among the league leaders in man-games lost to injury a year ago. Darcy Tucker and Wellwood can't spend significant chunks of time in the trainers room again.

5. GREYBEARD CENTRAL

The 30somethings -- Tucker, Blake and Mats Sundin -- know the window of opportunity is closing on their hopes for a championship.

6. GOING UP

The Rangers, Capitals, Panthers, Flyers and Penguins all made significant off-season additions, as did the Leafs. It will be a logjam for the final few playoff spots in the East, again.

7. OLD IS NEW AGAIN

New additions aside, the core of last year's Leafs team returns. But wait, isn't this the same crew that missed the playoffs last year?


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