Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Toronto Maple Leafs: 5 Observations

So far this season, I have observed five things that have been going on with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Lack of Consistency 

This season has been a real up and down season. There have been times when I loved the way the Leafs have played, and times I found myself shaking my head. I find myself swinging between wanting to fire everyone to wanting to give everyone a raise. So you can imagine my confusion when people ask me are the Leafs are a playoff team. That is an interesting question. Right now, I would have to say no.

Although the Leafs were on a three game winning streak of late the Leafs play was not warranted of that honour. To many mistakes the only consistent thing about the Leafs this season, is they will be consistently making some real boneheads plays this season. There will always be a one silly stupid lazy mistake that will cost team a goal in the net.

Not Enough Supportive Scoring

Phil Kessel

When Phil scores, the Leafs usually win. Simply put, Phil is heavily relied upon to be the leader, and he gets the paycheque to do that. Phil has six goals, ten assists. He has been outstanding this season. I am sure he is quite capable of taking this team on his shoulders. The problem is, he may just have to do that.

Kessel leads this team with sixteen points. The next closest player is Tyler Bozak with eleven points, and JVR with eight. Next are Daniel Winnik and Leo Karmarov, both with seven points. That’s right: Daniel Winnik has more points than Nazem Kadri, who only has five points. Nazem has to pick it up. We need Nazem’s support in order for this team to be successful. Sorry; one goal in twelve games does not cut it. The Leafs need the secondary scoring to take some pressure off the first line.

Joffrey Lupul

With the injury to Joffery, the Leafs should be actively looking for another top six forward to fill in. It will looks like Lupal is the most unlucky forward on the team. The Leafs have to find a way to trade or pick up the slack with some of the forwards.

Defensive Woes

Jake Gardiner

I never like calling any players out. But in all honesty, Jake really has to pick it up. Lately he has been… well… terrible. At times he has shown the puck moving defenceman that he can be. But too many times, he has been sloppy in his own zone. The latest mistake in Phoenix was awful, and he knows better.

Lack of Offense in the Defense

Cody Franson

Franson leads the defense in goals. The defense as a whole have to pitch in more with the scoring. The Leafs rely constantly on the first line. If the forwards can't score, someone has to. Cody is a good offensive defenceman. Frankly, he needs support.

Pick a Number on Goalie; Specifically Jonathon Bernier

Randy Carlyle

Earlier in the week, Bernier was beginning to get on a roll with two solid starts. I really feel that Bernier should be our number one spot. I am not so sure that Carlyle, has done this. If he wants Bermier, to be number one, he has to reward him when he is playing well.

Whatever Caryle is selling, no one is buying it. Either the players are not buying into his system, or we have the wrong players for the system. Which begs the question: How long before we push the panic button?

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