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Three Reasons For Optimism In Leafs Nation

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
A new sense of confidence -- Say what you want about Brian Burke and his blustery style, but there is no doubt that he imparts his team with a sense of purpose. Burke makes bold predictions, but then he gives his team the tools and the support to make things happen. That has been the case this summer in Toronto, as well. Burke has demanded big things and personnel throughout the organization believe those goals can be met.

A revived power play --
Kessel's impact on Toronto's power play might be the biggest aspect of the sniper's addition.

Kessel is the shoot-from-anywhere-and-often player that makes a man-advantage unit so difficult to defend. Plus, Francois Beauchemin has been known to run a pretty good power play from the point, a trait he learned by studying Scott Niedermayer in Anaheim.

Ron Wilson --
The Toronto coach doesn't get enough credit for what he has done in his career.

He has been a success behind the bench wherever he has gone -- be it the NHL or internationally. Wilson demands a lot from his players, but most respond with improved performances. Despite finishing out of the playoffs and with a losing record last season, there was a clear sense that the culture of entitlement in Toronto -- for years the main knock on the Leafs -- was coming to a quick end under Wilson's reign. Now, entering his third season with Toronto, Wilson appears ready to put his full stamp on this team.
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