Team Canada Loss, William Nylander, Toronto Maple Leafs, All-Stars Etc.

Here are some thoughts on the recent week in Toronto Maple Leafs news.

Jan 2, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs right wing William Nylander (88) gets
Jan 2, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs right wing William Nylander (88) gets / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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The Toronto Maple Leafs best player, Auston Matthews, has 30 goals in 35 games, and has been named to the All-Star starting roster.

The Toronto Maple Leafs will be hosting the game, but other than that, who knows what's happening? Matthews is some kind of captain, and the league named one player from each team.

Personally, I think this stuff is so stupid, and I wish they'd stop with the dumb gimmicks. It's an allstar game, so pick the best players, and let the game speak for itself.

Because of this nonsense, neither William Nylander or Morgan Rielly was named to the team, robbing the home-town team of some well deserved fun.

Toronto Maple Leafs, Other Thoughts:

- Speaking of Matthews, people are talking about 50 in 50 which is dumb, because he's already done it. The fact that people thinks it only counts if you do it from the first game of the season is incredibly stupid.

- The rumour is that Nylander is on the verge of signing, and while I'm a huge Nylander fan and happy to see him succeeding, the lack of imagination from the Leafs managment team is extremely concerning. This is a player in his prime, playing at the top of his game, on a team with a ton of offense and no defense. The math ain't that hard. Still, when he does sign, at least it will put an end to the endlessly stupid rumours.

- The two wins so far this week were encouraging. Having lost five of six, and having looked terrible in many of their past victories, it was good to shutout the Kings and destroy the Ducks.

- The recent Raptors trade was pretty sneaky (trading for a 24 year old with term and a technically bad contract) and reminds me of my idea that the Leafs should pursue Patrick Laine. I don't care if he's doing badly, you could get a 25 year old with Hart Trophy skills on a discount and that's the kind of thing that wins you championships.

- Jennifer Botteril is one of best intermission analysts, and if you feel the need to go online and complain that women get to talk about hockey on TV, you desperately need to realize that this is gross behavior, and that you are getting way too much screen time.

- I don't understand why people get so upset about Team Canada losing in the World Juniors. They just won three of the last four tournements, and won silver in the one they lost. Even if their team was the best ever, they were probably due for a random loss or two, considering that they had a 25-3 record over the last four years. It would be nice if Canada could lose and we could say "good job boys, get 'em next year' without all the handwringing.

- Not starting Dennis Hildeby in the second half of a back-to-back is some of the worst management I've ever seen. Why do the Toronto Maple Leafs feel they have to baby their rookies? It's pathetic.

- Speaking of which, it's bizarre that they haven't called up Topi Niemela or Mikko Kokkonen at all this year, especially with how horrible their blue-line is, pretty much on a nightly basis.

- Matthews can score a goal per game, but what's crazy is that he's got another level that he's barely reached at all this season. Last year he was a 56% xGoal player, and this year he's not even close to that. Knies is no Bunting, and Marner is having an off year, but blame also has to go to the terrible puck-moving abilities of most of the Leafs blue-line. Bottom line - this team could be so much better than it is.

Next. Video Analysis of Fraser Minten at the World Juniors. Video Analysis of Fraser Minten at the World Juniors. dark

Next up, San Jose Tonight.