John Ferguson is entering his fourth season as general manager of the Maple Leafs. Ferguson became the 12th person in team history to hold the role when he was introduced August 29, 2003.
There has been a lot of publicity surrounding Andrew Raycroft’s save off
Bill Guerin Tuesday.
It was a great save, but I think the reason our team is playing improved
hockey can be traced back past one save.
There were a lot of factors that contributed to the five-game winning streak that ended in Nashville Thursday.
Andrew is a big part of that. He was also a big part of our good start. He was a key contributor to a club that was six games over .500 in mid-November when he hurt his groin.
I think we benefited a lot from the team-building things we did when we went to Florida in mid-January. Some players went fishing, others went out on a golf outing but I think those events helped the players feel better about themselves and better about their teammates.
John Pohl was one of the players who came through after we lost Mike Peca, Kyle Wellwood and Darcy Tucker to injury. We got improved play from Alex Steen, Matt Stajan and Jeff O’Neill. Pavel Kubina has played better. Ian White missed seven games to injury and then came back as an impact player.
This was a new situation for the coaches as well as the players. Paul Maurice hadn’t coached in the league since midway in the 2003-3004 season. He and his assistants put a new system in place and as a result, I think we have a team that can play its best at critical times.