As part of our gameday coverage, we had a few questions relating to the Leafs before puck-drop later this evening.
With that, here's PPP of Pension Plan Puppets in today's instalment of Gameday Questionnaire:
1. How much of Phil Kessel's slump can be attributed to the loss of Joffrey Lupul through injury?
It definitely has an impact. He has a good understanding with Lupul and their games mesh well. His absence also means that he has a lot less stability on his line. Not that Kessel hasn't been creating a lot of chances and bucketloads of shots with him out of the picture. One game he's going to break out and that will hopefully be tonight in the middle of Jets fans booing him.
2. Through the first quarter of the season, James Reimer has been deceptively good, posting one of the league's better SV%'s at .917. Are fans starting to grow on the prospect of Reimer as the number one or is there still a lingering desire to bring in Roberto Luongo?
I don't think that there's ever a consensus in a fanbase as large as the Maple Leafs' but I think that more fans are coming around to the realization that the Leafs aren't a Luongo away from being a contender. It's clear that the Leafs need this year as an evaluation year (for all of the good that it will do in light of the shortened year) and are happy to run with Scrivens and Reimer.
3. After the first ten games, which leads player has been the most surprising, good or bad?
The most surprising thing has been how much ice time Mike Kostka has received so far this year. He's among the top 20 in the entire NHL! That's not good for the Leafs. In terms of performance, James van Riemsdyk deserves a mention. I thought that the Leafs had won the trade for him but I didn't realize just how good he is as an all around player. Randy Carlyle is challenging him to use his size more to his advantage but he's a better skater than I realized and has a good shot. Nazem Kadri and Matt Frattin haven't really surprised but they've staked a claim to an NHL spot to put an end to speculation about whether they would stick around.
Ed. Note: We thank PPP for giving us his time in this edition of Gameday Questionnaire. Look for our next edition Saturday with our pals at Silver Seven.