The Toronto Maple Leafs had more than a week off, which was the perfect time to make a coaching change or a big trade....perhaps even address their goaltending emergency.
But, unfortunately, the Toronto Maple Leafs managment appeared to take the week off along with their players, and the season resumes tonight with them having done nothing.
This is perhaps the most frustrating time in the history of the hockey club. It's one thing to be bad, but it's another thing to be on the verge of greatness with several easyily diagnosable problems and just to absolutely nothing.
Unbelievably, the Leafs will start Ilya Samsonov tonight against the Islanders, with Martin Jones backing up. Joseph Woll, who can't be counted on at all to be effective when he returns from injury,
Doesn't matter though, because Sheldon Keefe, still the coach by the way, said he's "not anywhere close" to returning.
Maple Leafs GM Wastes Break, Injuries Pile Up, No Goalie, Islanders Game
Ilya Samsonov had a couple of good games before the all-star break, but it's frankly unbelievable that the Leafs are still using him, and that they have not acquired a better option. You cannot trust Samsonov as a starting goalie, and Martin Jones is literally among the worst back-up options in the NHL.
David Kampf is injured, which while I don't want anyone to be hurt,this probably helps the Leafs because he is awful. He is the NHL's most expensive fourth line player, and nowhere near the best. If he isn't playing, the Leafs are a better team.
But of course the Leafs will have Ryan Reaves and Noah Gregor in the lineup tonight when they face the Islanders, even though they are two of the worst players in the entire NHL. The Leafs have solid players on the Marlies they could call up, but for some reason won't.
Weirdly, despite all their obvious problems and their reluctance to address them, the Maple Leafs remain in a playoff spot, even if the Atlantic title is out of reach after a pathetic first half of the season which sees them extremely lucky to be where they are in the standings.
The Leafs are playing with fire by not having an NHL quality goalie on their roster, and by continuing to run out an over extended, under-talented blue-line. Think about it, despite an MVP performance from Nylander and nearly a goal-per-game from Matthews, the Leafs are barely in a playoff spot.
How bad this team is being managed is something that is at once obvious, and barely being talked about. They had a week off to try and fix it, but they wasted it.