The Toronto Maple Leafs do not have a goaltending problem.
Of course, when you live in the Twitter Universe of instant gratification, it might be hard to understand things like “long term patterns” and “the future” but the Toronto Maple Leafs started this year with two solid goalies and there is no need to alter the plan.
Marc Andre Fleury – who has been in decline for years and is 37 – would be a terrible panic move. That’s not happening, and I doubt the Leafs have ever thought about it seriously for more than two seconds.
The Leafs might panic. Faced with potentially losing his job before all the great work he’s done starts to pay off, Kyle Dubas could do something panicky and dumb like trade for a goalie he doesn’t need.
But I don’t think he will.
Toronto Maple Leafs Cannot Panic-Trade For a Goalie
You see, in the NHL, goalies are not predictable. Therefore, it’s almost always a waste of time, money and assets to trade for a star-level one. The best thing to do for a goalie is to acquire low cost possibilities and hope you strike gold, as the Leafs did with Jack Campebll.
Jack Campbell, whose decline this season appears to coincide with him trying to play through an injury. Jack Campbell was the best goalie – statistically – during the year 2021.
Jack Campbell, who remains the Leafs best goaltending option for the playoffs.
And hey, having Petr Mrazek, Michael Hutchinson, Cal Hutton, Erik Kallgren, and Joseph Woll is a decent amount of depth – any one of these guys could accidently lead them to glory.
The Leafs are fine in net. Much better to use your assets where you know you can improve the team the most.
Centre Ice, and Right Defense.
I am so sick of hearing about goalies and stay-at-home-defenseman. The Toronto Maple Leafs don’t need either.
They should trade for a star centre – either JT Miller, Tomas Hertl or Claude Giroux. Teams whose third line centre is a superstar are basically impossible to defend against, and you can always use them to create super-lines late in the game.
Bunting- Matthews – Marner
Robertson – Tavares – Nylander
Engvall – Miller/Hertl/Giroux – Mikheyev
The above lines would be unstoppable. And you still have David Kampf to use as a defensive specialist when needed, but instead of having him play low-event hockey for too many minutes, the Leafs become basically impossible to defend against.
As for the blue-line, my thoughts haven’t changed. Damon Severson is a massive upgrade over Justin Holl, and would make the Leafs extremely hard to play against. If Muzzin can’t be trusted, promote Sandin to the top four and play Lyubushkin with Liljegren. If Muzzin can play, Lyubushkin or Liljegren (who I wouldn’t sit, but who might anyways) makes a solid #7, and along with Travis Dermott gives the Leafs a lot of depth.
But the bottom line here is: There is no need to panic-trade for a goalie. Instead, the Leafs should do what was clear three months ago: get a top line forward and a star defender.