One of the reasons that I think the 2009-10 Toronto Maple Leafs are a solid pick to be what the 2007-08 Boston Bruins were — a toughened up team with structure that finally secured a playoff berth to end their franchise’s long drought — is their bolstered blue line.

Last night in preseason action, the pair of Tomas Kaberle and Mike Komisarek already showed how much better they’re going to make the Leafs. With the rugged Komisarek at his side, Kaberle has more room to roam — and that can make any player’s productiono increase.

Said head coach Ron Wilson in The Sun:

“Having a big body, a mean defenceman, stay-at-home type, to play with Kabba … Kabba needs somebody who’s going to stay at home and it’ll open the ice for him. I’ll try to keep them together to see if there is a chemistry and we’ll go from there.”

Add Francois Beauchemin in the mix and the Leafs could put their top three up against pretty much anyone in the Eastern Conference. They’re not going to score much, but they’ll win a lot of 2-1, 1-0 games with plenty of scraps.

Elsewhere around the division:

•With a compacted schedule because of the Olympics, Buffalo expect to give Patrick Lalime more chances to spell Ryan Miller.

•Ottawa rookie Erik Karlsson has moved in with Daniel Alfredsson.

•The Senators are trying to find the right offensive combinations.