After an abysmal 7-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Toronto Maple Leafs look to hit the restart button.
It’s not just the Lightning loss that’s made the Toronto Maple Leafs want a reset – there’s multiple factors.
The way they’ve started this season has been different than the last two. Being under .500 isn’t a problem when you’re only five games into the season, but if you look back at the past two seasons, they’ve been positive instead of negative.
It’s not a problem right now, but it could start to be very soon.
“We’re learning we can’t skill our way through every single game,” says Cody Ceci after the loss to the Lightning, “there’s other teams that are just as skilled as us and if they work harder than us and they’re going to win” (TSN.ca)
Ceci has a point, but other players may be thinking a bit differently about how the team should play.
“It doesn’t matter how much power you have, you have to be able to keep the puck out of your net if you want to win hockey games, said Tyson Barrie, “I know that we’ve got a lot of guys who can put the puck in the back of the net. The focus for us has got to be defense first.” (TSN.ca).
Do you see the difference here? Because I do.
Ceci believes if you work harder you can win games, Barrie thinks that it’s not about the power you have. Usually when you work harder, you have more power and you outwork the opposition.
Are the players on the same page?
From what it looks like – no they are not on the same page.
One day after the loss to the Lightning, the team had a meeting, which hopefully put them all on the same page.
But from the quotes, it doesn’t make me believe they are.
I’m probably over-analyzing this, but I want this team to be good, and while they can be, it’s been a struggle in the first five games. For me, the team and everyone watching.
This is the most complete Toronto Maple Leafs team since the Mats Sundin era. If any team can do something special, it’s this one.
Again, it’s five games in – it’s a very small sample-size. Over-analyzing is never good, especially in the second week of the season.
This team needs more time to gel together and once they find their feet, this team will be one that Tampa and any other team in the league won’t want to reckon with.