The Toronto Maple Leafs have finished their fifth week of the season and kicked off the new one with an incredibly entertaining performance against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Last week was a rough one for the Toronto Maple Leafs:
They lost all three games they played. At home. In embarrassing fashion.
The Leafs played one of the worst games in a decade against LA, then were almost as bad against Boston, and then they played the dumbest, sloppiest, most frustrating game you’re likely to see this year on Saturday against Buffalo.
In danger of losing five in a row, and likely taking Sheldon Keefe straight to Scape Goat Town, the Toronto Maple Leafs played their worst period of the season before embarking on a glorious comeback.
Toronto Maple Leafs Incredible Thoughts Week 5 Vol. 3
In my opinion, unless the Leafs GM wants to admit his errors and start over, I’ve seen enough of his combined work in Calgary and Toronto to know this isn’t ever going to work. Personally, my opinion is that until the team fires Shanahan and goes in a new direction, nothing is going to work out for the Leafs.
But we all know that ain’t happening. At least not until the summer.
In my opinion, winning last night only bought the Leafs a reprieve from impending disaster. That’s the type of game where winning hurts you more than losing and just dealing with it now.
But they stopped the bleeding, so they’ll likely think they are back on track, but they are not. This blue-line isn’t good enough. The continuing presence of Ryan Reaves and John Klingberg shows that the entire organization is disconnected from reality.
Lose last night, and maybe they start to ask themselves hard questions. Now? Who knows.
On the positive side, all of the team’s star players are great.
Whenever the team gets above-average goaltending, their stars can probably win them the game. Unfortunately, we know, from bitter experience, that that is no way to win long-term.
The irony is, the Toronto Maple Leafs, as currently constructed, could still luck into a Stanley Cup. The odds are just a lot better if you have an actual blue-line.
This team needs to start giving opportunities to it’s prospects. Niemela, McMann, Hirvonen, Steeves, Abruzzese, Kokkanen etc. (stats naturalstattrick.com).
Like, tell me, what is Noah Gregor doing that Alex Steeves couldn’t do? Why to they keep blocking their own guys from developing?
What is Max Domi doing that Roni H couldn’t do?
And with Liljegren injured, and with Klingberg and Giordano so bad, why not turn to the kids? Why am I watching Lagesson, Lajoie or Benoit?
As we have seen with Knies and Robertson, the move is to play the kids. You aren’t going to save this team with seven wacky trades. You need to fix it from within.
The Toronto Maple Leafs currently sit 15th overall in points-percentage, but sit 26th overall in Expected Goals percentage. That is extremely bad news for the current iteration of this roster. They are almost out of the playoffs, and probably deserve to be doing worse.
Two games stolen by Joseph Woll.
One point stolen by Ilya Samsonov.
3 x Come-from-behind victories.
Those games include all but 2 games in which the Toronto Maple Leafs have picked up points this year.
Like I said, winning last night was probably not a good thing. Not long term.