It’s embarrassing to be a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs right now.
Over the past few seasons, the Leafs have continued to be criticized for their roster construction. Former GM Kyle Dubas built his team on speed and skill and thought that was how you’d win hockey games.
However, he quickly aborted that decision and traded for players who played heavier like Luke Schenn, Ilya Lubushkin and Ryan O’Reilly.
The team definitely got harder to play against, but they still didn’t fight and claw as much as their opponents and I personally think that effected them in the playoffs.
The Toronto Maple Leafs Are the Softest Team In the NHL
Fast forward to Dubas getting fired and current GM Brad Treliving decided to go all-in on toughness and grit. He signed Ryan Reaves, Max Domi and Tyler Bertuzzi, all to expensive contracts, who were all supposed to add grit and toughness to the roster.
Reaves was supposed to be the protector and someone who can fight anyone in case the game gets stupid, while Domi and Bertuzzi were going to use their body and mouth to cause havoc to their opponents.
During the first period of Thursday night’s game, Brad Marchand (a well known rat), gave Timothy Liljegren the classic Bryan McCabe “can-opener” and hit him into the boards, where he fell awkwardly.
It was a disgusting act from a disgusting player and although it went uncalled, it was a clear-cut penalty. In fact, he probably should have gotten kicked out of the game for that play, but for whatever reason, Wes McCauley missed it and Liljegren left the game without any consequences to Marchand.
Speaking of Liljegren, he’s expected to miss a significant amount of time, dismantling this defensive core more than it already is.
After hurting Liljegren and sending him to the dressing room, the Leafs bench did nothing about it. Reaves, their “tough guy”, chirped at Marchand a little bit, while the rest of the roster sat there doing nothing.
It was just the same-old Leafs being soft as butter.
Treliving’s roster was supposed to be tough.
It was supposed to be one that’s hard to play against, while having incredible skill. Instead, the Leafs are 16th in goals scored thus far and are easy to play against. After watching that abysmal performance by Toronto, team’s are going to continue to run the team’s best players, as they know nothing will happened to them.
They can essentially walk into the store and shop-lift, knowing they won’t get arrested. It’s a pathetic system and hard to watch.
You would have thought at the minimum, that Reaves would have at least done something. The only reason you have him on your roster is for him to beat the crap out of any player who does something dirty, like Marchand did, but he didn’t do anything.
He sat down on the bench, like a grocery stick, saying some mean things to Marchand, without using his physicality to take him down. Words are going to hurt Marchand, when instead, someone should have gone out there and two-handed him in the back of the leg.
Even if it’s not Reaves himself, the rest of the roster should have done something, but they sat there like nothing happened. They were scared to get their precious million-dollar hands dirty and continued to play soft and not engage physically all night.
Every player on the Toronto Maple Leafs roster should be embarrassed for their actions because I’m embarrassed to be a fan right now.