Maple Leafs 2010-11 report card

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:33 PM ET

Goalies

James Reimer, A-

Nice guys finish first. Good goaltending can cover the warts and give the rest of the team some traction. Became one of only six Leaf keepers to win 20 as a rookie and was only around half the year. But next season will be tougher.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere, C-

Fine at the start, but injuries persisted. A post-season surgical sports hernia procedure was in the cards all year and his health, age and price tag leave future here in doubt.

Jonas Gustavsson, D

Had his chance and still looked too stiff at times. An important summer coming up if he inherits the back-up role.

Defence

Luke Schenn, B+

Best Leaf start to finish. Developed into a truly poised blueliner in his third season, breaking up passes, odd-man rushes and leading NHL defencemen in hits. Added some unexpected scoring, too. Not afraid to call teammates out.

Dion Phaneuf, B-

Fans had a right to ask what all the hype about the new captain was in the first half, though he was slowed by a leg injury. But the he came out hitting in the New Year and the ‘old’ Dion returned to play big minutes.

Mike Komisarek, D

Saved from failure by some useful contributions after the trading of Tomas Kaberle and Francois Beauchemin. Must keep his game simple, but often strays.

Carl Gunnarsson, C

Another who benefitted from the trades, he helped with clean breakouts and improved the power play. Leafs were 14-1-4 when he had a point.

Keith Aulie, B-

Those who question Brian Burke’s horse sense can’t deny he enhanced the value of the Phaneuf trade with Calgary by insisting this home-insurance policy be included. Leafs needed a big man on back line and he fills the bill.

Brett Lebda, F

Harsh, but for someone trained in Detroit’s system, he was wrong place, wrong time, too often.

Matt Lashoff, C

Plugged a hole for 11 games, but there will be many lined up to try and take his spot next year.

Forwards

RW Phil Kessel, B+

Leading scorer still a study in contrasts with his long slumps and potent streaks, including 10 straight with a point to end the season. You can’t argue with 30 goals in three straight seasons or his improved defensive game in the final weeks. See how he does with a bona fide centre next year.

LW Clarke MacArthur, B

From a late summer after-thought to second in points with 62, it was quite a ride. Team was 15-2-1 when he scores, but he hit a wall with just two in the last 20 games. Will the Leafs pay big money in hopes the year wasn’t a contract tease?

C Mikhail Grabovski, B

Led the Leafs in plus-minus as part of an ongoing maturation process. Reached a career high in goal and was handy on special teams.

RW Nikolai Kulemin, B-

Another member of the 30-goal club, five of them game-winners, he is defensively responsible and uses his size. Seven points in final nine games.

C Tyler Bozak, C-

Great on the draw and a buddy of Kessel’s, but that team-worst minus 29 sticks way out and lack of size hinders him. If any big, competent centre presents himself next year, Bozak is bounced.

RW Joffrey Lupul, C+

In his last nine games, he was near a point a night and added some flash and dash to a dormant second line, while in an unfamiliar position. Consistency and a return to full health will be his issues next year.

RW Colby Armstrong, B-

The B is for bravery, as he endured enough freak injuries for five players. Generally played as advertised, a solid third-line contributor.

C Tim Brent, C+

Came from nowhere and did a bit of everything. Vital penalty killer and shot blocker. The team’s Masterton Trophy nominee.

RW Joey Crabb, C

Exemplified the Marlie factor, players summoned from the farm to fill a hole, and kept the position.

C Darryl Boyce, C

Same credentials as Brent, with a plus nine. Deserves kudos for battling his way back to NHL after one-game call-up three years earlier.

C/LW Nazem Kadri, C-

With less hype on him from the media and fewer darts from his coach, he played a different position and learned to be a two-way player on the farm. Back in the picture for next year.

LW Mike Brown, C

Energy winger can skate, hit and if need be, fight. One of Brian Burke’s good calls.

LW Fredrik Sjostrom, D

Speed is still there, but Leafs may drop the UFA for more fourth-line scoring.

LW Jay Rosehill, C

Filled the enforcer’s role for Colton Orr in the New Year.

RW Colton Orr, C-

Will forgotten man be in the mix next year?

The Bosses

Coach Ron Wilson, D

Three years, three slow starts and poor special teams, three good finishes, but no playoffs. Can’t fail a fourth.

General Manager Brian Burke, F

By the principal’s own admission, the season was a failure. But he didn’t stop trying to improve the roster and has the right resources in place for 2011-12. But will his pupils slack off this summer and go back to their bad habits?


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