Latest posts by Omar White (see all)
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Operation Free Marchenko – Success
After weeks of waiting, Alexey Marchenko will be in the lineup against the New York Rangers on Thursday night. This comes as a result of Connor Carrick who is day-to-day with an upper body injury. Marchenko will be paired up with Jake Gardnier on the right side Thursday which could project to be a strong pairing. Marchenko knows what he is as a defenceman. He is smart with the puck and looks for the first pass to get it up to the skilled forwards. It is unlikely that we will see Marchenko join the rush and get caught flat footed. The Leafs have had a good record lately of waiver pick-ups playing well for the team. It would be amazing to see Marchenko develop into a player the Leafs could use in the future.
Disappearance and Emergence
Auston Matthews has 52 points this season. He has made history again being the second teenager in Leafs history to record 50 points. Matthews has reached a milestone that Tyler Bozak has never been able to obtain. Where is Bozak anyway ? It seems like he as well as JVR have been non-existent after the Marner injury save for the Carolina game. Hockey minds around the league will always say that your veterans need to lead your team through adversity. For the entirety of the season it has been the rookies leading the way game in and game out. JVR and Bozak look easily replaceable since they haven’t been doing much in recent history. Sure, JVR’s soft and quick hands down low can’t be replaced, but his presence can. With all the success of the younger players, Leafs nation can start to imagine a team without those players.
Yegor Korshkov scored his 1st career KHL playoff goal yesterday against the Dinamo Minsk. Korshkov was the Leafs’ second round pick at last year’s draft that everyone was confused about. He is a big skating winger with the ability to protect the puck and score down low around the net. Perhaps there is something in Korshhkov that the Leafs see that we don’t. This morning Kerby Rychel recorded 2 assists in a Marlies comeback win. His play has been starting to heart up as well now with 36 points on the season. Why bring these two up? Because they are two examples of replacement players. As we all sit down and watch the progress of these young players, the veterans become more expendable. When watching the development of the younger players, the veterans don’t seem as integral to the team as they once did.
What do you think?
It now seems like a foregone conclusion that Bozak and JVR will be traded. When will they go and for what cost? How do you think Marchenko will fair in his game tomorrow night? Who in the Leafs system will be the next to take up the mantle of the veteran players? Let me know your thoughts with a comment down below.