Last night’s game with the Ducks was a breakout for many Maple Leaf players. Hagman and Kaberle come to mind as obvious choices. Clearly the monster allowed the Buds to relax a little enroute to 11 power plays. It is not going to be easy if they have to rely on 11 powerplays every night to win a game. I am pretty sure that the Maple Leafs out of the first period were just under 10 minutes in time with the man advantage.
So with a few guys appearing, at least for night to get their game on, there is one guy who just clearly is out of it. His play, for lack of a better word, sucks. That would be none other than whipping boy Jason Blake. Forget for a small second the amount of cash he is earning. Forget the number of years he is playing and just look at the stats through the first several games. Through 9 games he has 1 goal, 2 assists, he is a -7 with 6 penalty minutes and 31 shots on net. At this pace he should be thanking everyone alive if he gets close to 20 goals this year let alone the 25 he had last year. It has become more and more apparent that the guy simply can’t play. He looked totally lost and disinterested throughout the entire game last night. Talk about a guy destined to play for the Marlies right now. I can’t for the life of me understand why Burke hasn’t followed through on his promise to bury guys who aren’t performing irrespective of their contract. Here is a guy who makes big bucks for no, not little, no bang. There has to be someone down on the farm who can produce as well as he can with a small percentage of the salary cap hit.
As demoralizing as it can be for a team to have a goalie let in easy shot after easy shot, it has to be equally as troubling to see a guy as untalented as Blake is get 12-16 minutes per game. Hell Luke Schenn has seen his ice time rocked back under 10 minutes and this clown is nearly averaging 15? Schenn’s a rookie. Enough is enough Brian, swallow hard, bite the bullet and bury JFJ’s wonder boy. Perhaps, not likely you can do something with him on re-entry waivers. Blake is totally ineffective offensively. He is a liability defensively. And to top it off he makes a lot of money.
All of those things to me scream of demotion. So far, in this respect Burke has yet to walk the walk. He has said he would do it. We are just waiting for him to do it. Let’s hope that Blake is the first to go, setting an example of the others who are out there floating.