Toronto Maple Leafs: Week 7 News and Notes, Stats and Quotes

William Nylander, Mitch Marner, Morgan Rielly, Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports)
William Nylander, Mitch Marner, Morgan Rielly, Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Feb 13, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe looks on during the third period against the Montreal Canadiens at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 13, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe looks on during the third period against the Montreal Canadiens at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /

Player Quotes

Freddy Andersen during a post-game on 3-3, after the 6-1 defeat of the Oilers, he was asked how the Toronto Maple Leafs have been different defensively this year;

"“We want to keep suffocating them and not really give them anything, really show how good we can be for 60 minutes every night.  That’s really good to see.  I think it shows we are maturing in that regard, and pushing each other to set a higher standard.”"

Spezza during the same post-game after being asked a similar question about defensive progress;

"“Team defense has been a big focus for us and I think we are starting to understand what it feels like when we play good defense”."

Matthews during the same post-game after being asked about the addition of TJ Brodie;

"“I just find he keeps everything really simple and it’s just so effective.  He makes a great first pass and defensively he’s just so sound and solid.  He’s got a great stick and you obviously saw him breaking up a lot of plays tonight.”"

People tend to focus too much on hits and blocks when it comes to the value of a defenseman that doesn’t produce a lot of offense, but not enough attention is paid to how a player uses his stick defensively.  Simply put, Brodie is one of the best.  He was so effective against the Oilers in terms of breaking up plays as well as being a calm and steady presence in his own end.  He just played exceptionally well against both McDavid and Draisaitl.

As a final note, I truly believe that the success the Toronto Maple Leafs are experiencing is driven my a winning mindset, a vastly different attitude, and there is no way to quantify that.  But the existence of it has lifted up all other data and that includes goaltending.

Futility just isn’t being accepted right now, by the coach, and more importantly, by the players. Leadership is better all over the ice. I think that actually starts with Matthews and Marner and then continues with the support of the veteran additions.  These guys keep talking about defense.  They believe in it.

Next. Leafs Top Ten Prospects. dark

A team that buys in is just better than a team that doesn’t.

Until next week,

Keep your sticks on the ice.