What was that? Seriously, where do I even begin? First of all, they get bombed by the Sabres 6-2. That was bad enough, but the preds debacle was a disgrace. One that cannot be tolerated. They look like a team who is not interested in the game.
I have heard many explanations for the Leaf problems. Everything up to the players are shutting out the coaches. Some have gone to the extreme of saying that the players are playing to get Carlyle fired.
The players have fervently denied that. I wonder if they doth protest too much. I am not saying they are trying to get him fired as a coach. But I wonder if they wouldn’t mind if it did happen.
The theory that seems most plausible is that the players simply do not know how to win. The defense continues to throw the puck away in their own zone at an alarming rate.
The forwards continue to float around the defensive zone, not hitting anyone. Talking about hitting—no one is hitting. In the two game losing streak, too many times Predators forwards were standing in front of the net without any fear of repercussion.
The goalies have not been great. Both Bernier and Reimer have given up their share of bad goals. In fairness, they have not gotten much help from Phaneuf, Franson, or Gardiner. These are the big three. I could also mention how often Polak is caught out of position.
Before you let the forwards off the hook, they are not exactly helping the defense out. They are often doing too much loafing. They have to get back and support the defense, Kadri really has to pick up his game. It really looks like he does not have his head in the game. He is too easily distracted.
Matt Frattin paid big time for his play, but laziness is an awful disease that has hit the Leafs locker room. The three best forwards of late have been Komarov, Santorelli, and Holland. Even they were sleeping in the Preds game.
The main problem with the Leafs right now is that they are relying too much on the first line, JVR, Bozak, and Kessel. But the first line still has to improve on its own end. They were lifeless in the Preds game.
The Leafs have to start being smarter. They need to stop the blind passes especially. The defense have to pitch in at the right time, and someone better get back to cover for him. Back checking has reach a new low; in fact, it has been a disappearing act.
Shanny may not make a panic move, but maybe he should, because this team continues to make horrible decisions.