The Toronto Maple Leafs won their fourth game in a row on Tuesday night.
Not to be overtly negative or anything, because I love a good winning streak as much as the next guy, but this must be the thinnest, most inconsequential winning streak in Toronto Maple Leafs franchise history.
Don't get me wrong, eight points are eight points, and the team is playing well.
But, they lost five out of six games, then beat an LA Kings team that dominated them in the third period, forcing Martin Jones to save the game, and followed that up by beating Anaheim and San Jose, then San Jose again.
Wins are wins, and all the points count the same, but I can't help but worry that losing five out of six was a bit more indicititive of where this team is at currently.
Maple Leafs Need to Trade for Jacob Chychrun + Leafs Beat Sharks
A seven goal performance is awesome. It's amazing that Martin Jones has only let in three goals over the last four games, and that Pontus Holmberg goal was fantastic.....but let's not get too crazy here. Anaheim sucks and San Jose is one of the worst teams that has ever been iced in the salary cap era.
So in that spirit, I want to put forth a suggestion which is not original, and which we wrote about a ton last year before the play in question was acquired by Ottawa.
That player is Jacob Chychrun and clearly Ottawa is in trouble and needs to make a move.
The Leafs severly need defenders, especially one who is elite at moving the puck, something which the players on their team, other than Morgan Rielly, more or less suck at.
Chychrun is a left shooter who will push Jake McCabe down to a more reasonable 3rd pairing role, and give the Leaf an elite left side. Their right side will still be pretty bad, but Liljegren is showing positive signs and Simon Benoit has been OK too.
Regardless, Chychrun is only 25 and he potentially could be the #1 defender the Leafs have been desperate for. At worst, he's roughly Morgan Rielly's equal and gives the Leafs two guys who can move the puck at an elite level, something they really need.
Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, or frankly even Tavares and Nylander, have not achieved the 5v5 dominance the Leafs have come to expect this season. I believe that this is mostly because without Rielly on the ice, the Leafs lack the ability to dominate possession, because the key to possession the puck is having elite puck-moving defensemen.
That could be changed by trading for the 25 year old Chychrun.
Chychrun has two years left on a contract that pays him a $4.6 million dollar cap hit. The Leafs could make the money work by including Brodie (whose decline has been swift and brutal) and could make Ottawa pay attention by including whatever futures they are interested in acquiring.
Chychrun would make the Leafs significantly better, and his contract means he'd cost a ton. The Leafs don't really have any untouchables, and might even consider moving anyone short of Matthew Knies to make this happen. (stats naturalstattrick.com).
And even then, I'd consider it.