The Toronto Maple Leafs Might Not be For You

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 4: Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Mitchell Marner #16 comes over the boards against the Colorado Avalanche during the third period at the Scotiabank Arena on December 4, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 4: Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Mitchell Marner #16 comes over the boards against the Colorado Avalanche during the third period at the Scotiabank Arena on December 4, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs may have just ruined Christmas for a large portion of their fanbase.

The Toronto Maple Leafs won the game but YOU CAN’T WIN LIKE THAT IN THE PLAYOFFS…….too much offense, no fighting, Nylander scoring a goal…….it was barely a watchable game for some.

Of course, You definitely can win in the playoffs playing like that because the team who scores the most goals wins no matter what, but shh!  don’t tell anyone……it’s the best kept secret in hockey.

And if you don’t like it that is totally fine.  I know a nice team in Long Island that plays a really boring style of play,  they’ve got your old favs Matt Martin and Lou “No Facial Hair” Lamoriello to cheer for.  It’s OK if you want to cheer for them, we won’t blame you.

If you like spin-o-ramas, toe-drags and fun, this is the team for you. If you are still lamenting the loss of Roman Polak, it might not be.

Toronto Maple Leafs Best Game of the Season

Yesterday’s game was perhaps the best hockey game I’ve ever watched – it featured 14 goals, one of which will live on for years in best-of highlight reels, an amazing comeback, and the kind of effort and determination that makes a collection of random hockey players into a team.

While “Heart,” in hockey parlance, usually means that a guy who barely plays got in a fight even though the game was all but over, in this case it was  shown by the Leafs refusing to give up.

Down by three in the third?  Odds of winning hovering around 1%?  Hey, let’s just score five goals in five minutes!!

It was truly one of the greatest displays of determination and heart I’ve seen a hockey team perform, and no one had to get a concussion to pull it off.

Now the critics were out in full force after the game, reminding me of the old guys in Amadeus who complain that Mozart was “using too many notes.”

You don’t tell Mozart how to compose, and you apparently don’t tell the Toronto Maple Leafs how to play hockey.

“Oh but this won’t work in the playoffs,” he whined, while sipping his Molson Export and yelling at some local kids to get off his lawn.

But guess what? It might.

It’s a 31 team league and 30 of those teams go home losers every year, no matter how much they grind or attempt to play defense.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have an all-star team’s worth of offensive talent (and still haven’t dressed their best lineup this season).

Since Sheldon Keefe took over they lead the league in scoring and are the #1 team in the NHL.

Yesterday’s game was the best thing I’ve ever seen.  Obviously you’d prefer not to allow six goals, but if you score eight, technically, you could have allowed seven and still won.

Defense is the most overrated concept in the NHL.  Anyone can stop someone from scoring, but it’s extremely rare to be able to score, therefore, focus should be on creating offense – it’s logical that the harder thing is more important.

If you have a bad roster, focus on defense.

If you have six puck moving defenseman, four potential 100 point forwards and a host of talented scorers in your depth position, then challenge other teams to outscore you – they rarely will.

The critics who watched yesterday’s game and came away with the idea that the Leafs have a problem need to join their hero Don Cherry in retirement.  The rest of the NHL might have a problem; I can’t think of a single one the Leafs have. 

Just remember Jimmy’s Rule of Hockey if you want to know who is going to win this year’s Stanley Cup: If you’re ever talking about the back-up goalie, your team is awesome. 

Under Mike Babock the Leafs would have “tightened up” and lost that game by two or three goals.

Under Sheldon Keefe they unleashed the Kraken and won the game.

They say you can’t play this way in the Playoffs, but the 1985 Oilers did, averaging 6.5 goals in the 15 games they won on the way to the Stanley Cup.

Now it’s not the 80s, and you can’t score 6.5 goals per game anymore, but the fact is, the best team of all-time didn’t play defense and the Leafs don’t have to either.

I mean sure, don’t abandon the concept completely, but let’s at least stop talking about “playing the right way,” and trading for defensive players.

For some people to watch the best hockey game of the season – bar none – then take to the internet to complain about the lack of hitting, fights, defense, etc.  and to loudly crow that YOU CAN’T WIN LIKE THAT IN THE PLAYOFFS is too much to take.

I believe the Islander’s bandwagon has lots of room this time of year.

Your (supposed) favorite team won. In the most exciting way possible.  Mitch Marner appears to be a lock for 100 points and Matthews appears to be about the best player in the world.

Enjoy it.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are the best team in the NHL.

Kyle Dubas is the odds-on favorite to win the NHL executive of the year trophy, and this version of the Leafs is by far the most exciting team in hockey.

Next. A Christmas Gift For Every Player on the Leafs. dark

It’s a Christmas miracle.  I just wish more people would enjoy it and stop whining about it.

Defense is for suckers.  Go Leafs!