You know a trade is bad when Bleacher Report slams it - and is correct in doing so (except for that part where Brad Boyes is with the Blues for a decade). And, of course, for Leafs fans the trade that sent Alexander Steen and Carlo Colaiacovo to the blues for Lee Stempniak was a terrible one. Sure, Colaiacovo was constantly hurt (and was constantly hurt here in St. Louis during his first tenure with the Blues), but he was a pretty decent defenseman. And Steen? After the Leafs were wooed by the scoring prowess of Stemper - who in just 62 (!) games played for the Leafs had 14 goals - they gave up on Steen and shipped him to St. Louis, marking Cliff Fletcher's final bad decision as Maple Leafs general manager.
I hope the two-thirds of a season of Stempniak was worth the Blues having five of Steen. It was to us.
Now that the "ha ha we have Steen" is out of the way, the Leafs haven't been doing well as of late. The folks at Pension Plan Puppets have dubbed this month and its horrible schedule of impossible opponents - and Florida - as "Deathcember." The Leafs have allowed more shots on goal than just about any other team. Last night, in their 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings, they actually outshot their opponent and played a tight game despite the final score. This is a tough team to play, with or without captain Dion Phaneuf, and they should be much better than their 16-13-3 record.
Brian Elliott is back in tonight, according to Lou Korac. Everyone who thinks that this the start of a goalie controversy can go take a long walk off of a short pier. Elliott played very well against the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday night, and coach Ken Hitchcock is more than likely rewarding him for that. Or just starting him against another "should beat" opponent.
Tonight's game should be a fun one, especially if Jaden Schwartz has another game like he did in Winnipeg. He's improved as a player leaps and bounds this season over last. The Blues have points in their last five games against the Leafs; let's see if Prince William can help to make it six.