Bolland’s play a huge boon to Maple Leafs success

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When the Toronto Maple Leafs traded for Dave Bolland over the summer, not many people thought they were getting as good of a player as he’s been early on this season.

Through 12 games, Bolland has 10 points including six goals. On top of that he’s often been matching up against the opponents’ top centers, as was the case in the Maple Leafs’ 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle told reporters following last night’s game, as Chris Johnston of Sportsnet shares, he’s been invaluable so far.

“He’s been everything that we’ve asked,” Carlyle gushed when asked about Bolland. “He’s a model for our younger players.”

Further to that, Carlyle holds Bolland up as an example to other players on how to prepare correctly for games.

While Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk pile up the points, Bolland is doing that and working his defensive game to the tune of playing over 20 minutes a game. Maybe buying out Mikhail Grabovski was the right move for Toronto after all.