Prefacing this article with this. I am a lifelong Leafs fan, if something seems bias in this opinion piece, My bad.
Look I’m all for having a Stanley Cup in Toronto again, honestly, it’s been long enough. The bottom line is I really don’t think it’s possible. Reason being is the blue line for Toronto is so lackluster and so weak it’s almost embarrassing and if we didn’t have the unbelievable offense that we do. This team would be a laughing stock for another year.
Let’s dig into things… The leafs had some of the highest turnover rates last season and one of those turnovers cost us a series in the playoffs. It’s unfortunate but it’s true and among all the changes we’ve got over the past few seasons, new coaches, new GM’s, new players.. It almost feels like everyone is completely ignoring the elephant in the room. Terrible defensive play.
I completely understand why Babcock is coaching this way because of his success and execution with the Canadian Olympic team which was … arguably… one of the best hockey teams in the history of the sport and ya sure, maybe the whole management staff is also on the same page as him… Offensive play is greater then Defensive play… But this shouldn’t constitute the lack of attention to defense.
Here’s the problem, we’re giving pucks away, creating scoring chances for the other team, and lacking body on body contact. Another thing to point out is were kind of stuck with this until AT LEAST next season…We can’t trade Rielly (not that I want too, he’s good) until the start of the 2022-2023 season, Zaitsev can’t go until 2024-2025, and Gardiner, Hainsey, and Carrick are locked in until next season.. Our other 2 D men, are brand new and on entry level contracts. There’s NO WAY 2 entry level defense men can makeup the mistakes of veterans seemingly ignoring their role.
If you want to see a cup, we need a complete rework of our defensive lines which can’t happen for at least 1 year. So, with that said Let’s hope the Marlies have a few tricks up their sleeves, another Calder Cup might be coming our way instead.
Who knows, Maybe I bite my words this playoff season. But let’s be honest THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS a fresh, brand new team have made it deeper into the playoffs then the leafs have since 1967.
Anyone selling a Knights jersey? .. I’m kidding. GO LEAFS GO!!!!