Hello, and welcome to a special edition of just your usual general borschevsky! Today we take a look at some of my favorite Leaf players from my generation, and introduce the modern Maple Leafs Dream Team. First up, the forwards, and a look at possible line combinations (if all these players were in their prime and on the team at the same time).
Dave Andreychuk-Doug Gilmour-Wendel Clark. This is not a fantasy-line. This was reality. The default line for the Leafs on Sega '95, there was maybe never a more dangerous combination of players in the Blue and White. If we're in the third period, and down by a goal, you can bet these 3 will be on the ice.
Alexander Mogilny-Mats Sundin-Nikolai Borschevsky. Mogilny is considered by some to have been Sundin's best linemate, and the only player with enough skill and intelligence to equal the captain's. Now add a healthy, youthful Borschevsky to this combo and you have a very cunning 2nd line and powerplay unit. With speed, creativity, and poise, the opposing D will be turned inside out as this line scores one highlight reel goal after the other.
Rick Vaive-Darryl Sittler-Darcy Tucker. This is my blue-collar line. These guys know hustle, know how to dig deep, and they aren't going to get run over by anybody. Sittler quarterbacks this line with his cool presence and ability to control the play. Tucker will grind the puck out of the corners and bang the front of the net, while Vaive is the trigger happy man in the slot, ready to snap home anything that comes his way.
Bill Berg-Alyn McCauley-Gary Roberts. The checking line. Who can forget the way Alyn McCauley raised his game in the 2002 playoffs? With Sundin injured, McCauley and Roberts led the Leafs to the Final Four in heroic fashion over the Sens in the second round. That performance raised McCauley's trade value immensely, and as a result, the Leafs were able to land Owen Nolan in the summer. Added to this tenacious pair is Bill Berg. His name was synonymous with "pest". Indeed, after Esa Tikkanen, Berg may be the league's second biggest "Super-Pest". He made a career out of irritating and frustrating the likes of Brutt Hull, Jeremy Roenick, and Mario Lemiuex, and he did it without the childish antics and trash talking that Avery is known for. Berg frustrated the opposition with subtlety and always had a "who me?" look on his face. These 3 players on their own could send the entire Ottawa Valley to anger-management classes for 12 weeks every summer.
Hope you all enjoyed and thanks for looking. Leave me a comment if there's a Leaf you think deserves mentioning. As long as nothing major happens this weekend (Sundin signs!), my next post will be The Dream Team (Part 2): Defencemen and Goalies. Cheers!