Plenty of culprits in Toronto

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 1:16 PM ET

ANAHEIM -- Has any Maple Leaf player actually exceeded expectations through the first eight games of the season?

Other than Ian White perhaps, the answer is no. Most haven't even achieved an average grade.

Here's a rundown of this winless roster:

Goaltenders

Vesa Toskala: He's either been banged up or lit up. Either way, his time is running out.

Jonas Gustavsson: The next Henrik Lundqvist? Puh-lease. We don't know that. He's only played five periods of NHL regular-season hockey.

Joey MacDonald: Good against Canucks Saturday, but hardly a No. 1 NHL goaltender.

Defencemen

Mike Komisarek: Plays with tons of heart and little discipline. Thus far, that's been a problem.

Francois Beachemin: Rejects notion that he is struggling because he no longer is partnered with Scott Niedermayer. Sure looks that way though.

Luke Schenn: His play and his confidence seem to be eroding with every shift. Looking more and more like the teenager he is.

Ian White: When Ian White arguably has been your team's best player, that's good for Ian White ... and bad for your team.

Tomas Kaberle: Lacklustre defensive zone play is mind-numbing, especially for someone who supposedly is a team leader.

Garnet Exelby: Exelby for Kubina? Did that really happen?

Jeff Finger: Not his fault he's overpaid. Still, for $3.5 million US, he's overpaid ... especially for a guy that has been made a healthy scratch on several occasions.

Forwards

Jason Blake: Buyout? Marlies? Something!

- Matt Stajan: His frustrating hot-and-cold act has left him at times sitting on the bench ... and in the press box.

Mikhail Grabovski: More suited for Battle of the Blades.

Nikolai Kulemin: Should be spending his time in a King St. theatre starring in a production of The Invisible Man.

Viktor Stalberg: The kid is going to be good. One of the few Leafs who busts his butt every shift.

Lee Stempniak: Had a breakaway Saturday and shot the puck into the corner. Enough said.

Rickard Wallin: Has been okay defensively but shown little offensive upside.

Niklas Hagman: Has a world of offensive skill. Too bad he doesn't show it every night.

Alexei Ponikarovsky: Probably leads team in scoring chances ... and missed scoring chances.

Colton Orr: His pugilistic ways were supposed to boost his team. Hasn't worked out that way.

Phil Kessel: Fans had best temper their expectations of this kid when he returns in a week or two. He wears 91, not 99.

John Mitchell: Talented kid who looks totally lost. Poster child for sophomore slumps.

Jamal Mayers: Quality individual in the dressing room, little impact on the ice.

Wayne Primeau: Incomplete grade. Injured much of season. Either way, no Art Ross Trophies in his future.

Jay Rosehill: The big kid sure can scrap. But this team needs goals, not bouts.


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