Monday Mailbag: Self-Centred


You know you’re having a rough go at things when just about any attempt to wear you down is successful. Such was Jonathan Bernier’s night yesterday, which is yet another cog in the machine of sadness for a goalie once pegged as the long-term answer in Toronto. It’s kind of sad to see, really; he’s either having awful luck at the worst possible time for his career, or he’s starting a very sudden decline.

For the sake of both sides, the former needs to be the end-game here. We’ll see. In the meantime, we’ve got another mailbag for you! If you want to be in next weeks, tweet at @TLNdc with your questions, or leave a comment.

@thebrashrules asked: What’s the best case scenario for Frank Corrado? Does he get into Mike Babcock’s lineup without an injury?

The best case scenario probably isn’t an injury, but a player who struggles so noticeably hard that it drags them out of the lineup. Babcock isn’t afraid of making those tough calls, as proven with the flip in starting goaltenders. Roman Polak has been the elephant in the room for many fans, but the combination of the team’s survival in spite of his poor underlying performance and his occasional big moment that keeps the voices above content have kept his thread from snapping him out of the lineup.

Corrado probably has to wait a little bit longer to get in the lineup. Hopefully, he’s practicing hard and keeping himself game-ready, or else he’ll be out of the lineup in much less time than it took for him to get in.

@matthew_gooding asked: Of the pending Leafs UFAs so far, who has trade value if the deadline was today?

I don’t think many would, in total honesty. That’s not to say that they’ve been bad, but the team as a whole haven’t exactly been offensive stalwarts in the early goings of the year. Brad Booyes has put up solid rate numbers, but hasn’t seen regular ice tme; I’d say a team might take a gamble on him if today was the do-or-die moment, but beyond that, we’ll have to revist this quesiton a couple of months.

@thomasbakai asked: Which closet in the ACC do you think Lou has Robidas trapped in?

There’s actually a bit of a lip under the press box that fans can’t really see, perhaps as protection if something drops over the edge. The last time I was up there, there was an issue of the Toronto Sun hanging on it. I’ll let you know in a couple of weeks. 

@PlatinumSeatGhosts asked: Has Connor Brown’s stock fallen or risen from last season?

It’s hard to say, with him missing every game this month thanks to a foot injury. I think the organization and the fanbase are still very high on him, seeing as he’s quite young and continues to produce above expectation, but the massive growth of the prospect pool has made his success less vital to the operation, so to speak. The eggs aren’t all in Brown’s basket anymore; but they’re still hoping that his egg hatches into a high scoring NHL chicken.

@CataCarryOn asked: Do you think that it was a disservice to Antoine Bibeau to recall him without starting him once, while Sparks got to make starts in the AHL in his absence?

You can argue this one in a couple of different ways. It’s a bit of a shame for Bibeau to not get the start, from the perspective of it being a bit of a tease (his second one of his career, even), and because he headed back down cold. 

But at the same time, the Leafs are in the business of trying to win hockey games, and James Reimer was on a tear. There was no incentive to take him out of the net, especially if it’s just to make sure your AHL split-starter is in rhythm. Bibeau got his NHL salary for a a week or so, got to practice with top-end players, and get a feel for how things work with the big club. That’s pretty valuable, even if it may have made his returning start that much arder. Still no excuse for letting in eight, either way.

  • Jeremy Ian

    Why not have Hunwick sit for a game or two and see what Corrado can bring? Hunwick looked pretty bad at MSG.

    And don’t you think Reimer’s now the Leafs’ premium UFA?

    • Gary Empey

      Re- “Why not have Hunwick sit for a game or two and see what Corrado can bring? Hunwick looked pretty bad at MSG.”

      Leaf management knew when they hired Babcock nobody tells him who to dress for a game.

      Leaf fans all want to see Corrado. Babcock has had a real good look at him and seems to feel his present six give him best chance to win.

      This looks like it is a problem Lamoriello will have to solve. There are three scratch spots available. Corrado and Martin Marincin, both defencement are taking up two of them.

      If Corrado is not projected to get in the lineup then he is taking a roster spot of someone from the Marlies who could be broken in slowly to the NHL game, or one of the older Marlies who could help right away.

      The Leafs may be prepared to use up one of those scratch spots for the season just to hang on to him. Still he will have to make the team next year or be waived once again. Don’t forget Vancouver felt he needed time in the AHL to develop.

      It is looking like the Leafs made a mistake claiming him and we will continue playing with a 22 man roster.

  • Jeremy Ian

    To me Bernier has never been that great of a Goalie & has let in many very weak and bad goals dating back to the 2008 World Juniors. Why Fans are hoping he improves is mind-boggling. What is it about Bernier that excites you guys honestly he’s brutal

    • Jeremy Ian

      What advantage is there to have Bernier not playing at least to his potential? Get him to that point and trade him. I tend to agree he’s over-hyped. But right now he’s worthless. At least get some value.

  • Gary Empey

    Jeffler. When I did a search on “@TLNdc” I found this odd result.

    Jeff Veillette on Twitter: “We work late hours at @tlndc http …
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