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Looking At The Leafs, Raps & TFC

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
LEAFS


If there’s one guy that I’m expecting to help lead the charge for the Maple Leafs after a moribund start it’s not the soon to be returning Phil Kessel or promising rookie Jonas Gustavsson but Mike Komisarek. He’s a leader by example, who blocks shots and can shut down offensive firepower. But from my view he’s just been pressing, perhaps too eager to justify his big contract and ingratiate himself to the locals. Right now, Komisarek, Schenn, Kaberle and Beauchemin are a combined -17. As long as Komisarek keeps up his feistiness while staying out of the box, I think he can help build up the shaky confidence of the leafs blueline that held so much promise before the season began. If there’s two main areas of focus for this road trip, in my view, it begins with goaltending and penalty killing. By shoring up the back end, maybe they get some breaks at the offensive end and build from there.

RAPTORS

So the boys took a cue from the dude in the Big Lebowski and went bowling on Tuesday as a team-building exercise. Jarrett Jack didn’t fare well but rationalized that since the coach doles out the minutes, perhaps it’s best that he was ‘hustled’ by Jay Triano. Sonny Weems said he was terrible and bowled about a hundred for two games. However after being dissed by DeMar DeRozan mid-interview with me, Sonny pointed out that he’s 5-0 versus DeMar on Madden. And that he’s the best dunker on the team. So at least he has his priorities straight!

Triano had this plan in place in mid-July to practice strenuously, then have a day to indulge and then push it again finishing up with the T'Wolves before the season starts next Wednesday. Will be nice to see Antoine Wright hitting the court and Amir Johnson seeing some familiar locales in South Dakota.

TFC

My head is spinning from the myriad possibilities facing TFC as they’ll be gunning for a playoff spot. I’ll be a part of GOL TV’s broadcast Saturday and earnestly watching Colorado vs. Real Salt Lake as well as Dallas and Seattle. I was at practice on Thursday and spoke to DeRo, Brennan, Cummins and de Guzman. They all offered the familiar platitudes. Yes, they were eager to play New York a team they have fared well against this season. No, they were not feeling overconfident since the Red Bulls are playing for jobs next year. Yes, they will all be channel surfing once the game is over. No, they aren’t worried about how the other teams play since it’s out of their control. And yes, they feel that previous inadequacies in the final fifteen minutes will not be shored up again thanks to some stellar work from Brian Edwards who will be looking for his second consecutive clean sheet in NYC. And no, there are no plans to hit up Jay-Z’s 40-40 clb.

OTHER STUFF ON MY MIND:

- A patch of Elvis Presley’s hair sold for 15 grand! Did it smell like peanut butter and bananas? This just makes me think of Eddie Murphy’s bit in Delirious about how filmmakers would just say, “the hell with it, let Elvis sing all of his dialogue.” And the best movie featuring Elvis impersonators is of course Honeymoon in Vegas.

- I haven’t seen a better film this year than Spike Jonze’s visionary Where the Wild Things Are. I don’t know anything about the source novel other than it’s 350 words and has somehow brilliantly been adapated into a 92 minute gem from the hugely talented Jonze, whose work I loved in Being John Malkovich and especially Adaptation. It’s not a kid’s movie but a movie about childhood and mixes genuine emotion and big themes without being maudlin or trite. Special mention of James Gandolfini(voice only) who again proves he’s got more game than just Tony Soprano.

- Is Fergie of the black eyed peas hot or not? It’s my favourite polarizing discussion right now. Some think she’s stunning and others think she looks like a dude. Discuss amongst your friends.

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