Toronto Maple Leafs: Time To Cut Polak Some Slack

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 14: Roman Polak
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 14: Roman Polak /

Is it time to cut Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Roman Polak some slack?

The Toronto Maple Leafs are struggling to not only score, but to stop the surging Boston Bruins offense.

Throughout the two games of the series played so far, the Bruins have outscored the Maple Leafs 12-4. Obviously, the first game looked a lot shakier both ways, but Game Two saw a much better offensive performance.

Unfortunately though, it showcased the same lack of defense that Game One had us witness. Leaf fans, myself included, with faces resting angrily in their palms, have been looking for something to blame. Searching for answers for the first two games. Though one thing that I will not allow to happen is for people to go off about Roman Polak.

Seriously, it is time that we cut that guy some slack.

We also need to realize that he is not at the forefront of the problems on the blue-line.  Polak has chipped in more than his part these past couple of games. He has been gritty and downright ruthless in corner puck battles, so why do some people want to blame him?

Is it because he was the easiest target throughout the regular season? Probably. Now I cannot just sit here and pretend that I am not guilty of casting some judgement on him, but I am critical because I like him. I want him to be good and right now he is. But he does have a 65% CF through two games.


Sure, he doesn’t face the toughest competition (in fact he tends to get the easiest minutes on the team) but in the minutes he’s played, so far in these playoffs, the Leafs have done well.

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Coach Mike Babcock sees something in him, so why not you? While I was watching last night’s trainwreck, Polak appeared to clear the puck on the PK more than anyone on the ice. The real issue is that there appears to be an extreme lack of communication between units. The team we are watching currently is not the team that we saw in the regular season and that needs to change quickly.

Now, this is not me looking down on everyone else who suits up for their blue-line. It is just me pointing out the good in one guy who sometimes takes more criticism than the latest DC films. [Editors Note:  The DC Films have been great].

I ask of everyone for Game Three to pay attention to big number 46 and you will be surprised. He may not be the best, but he is a quality defender. He blocks shots, clears the puck, worries less about the pass and more about the shot. That last part, another big issue, too many passes being made which wastes so many opportunities.

Next: Leafs Defensemen Grades 2017-18

Polak may not hit the net all of the time, but at least he’s sending it in attempt to generate something.

So, I ask, will you give Polak a chance?