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Defense Still An Issue With The Toronto Maple Leafs

from Travis Yost of TSN,

Perhaps the biggest question surrounding the Toronto Maple Leafs heading into the 2019-20 season was whether or not they could improve their defensive play – the most glaring area of weakness for one of the league’s Stanley Cup contenders.

With six games in the books, Toronto still looks to be one of the league’s better teams. But the defensive concerns persist.

There are, largely, two ways to improve a team’s presence in the defensive third. The first concerns structure and tactics.

The Maple Leafs play hyper-aggressively in the offensive zone, regularly taking gambles to create scoring opportunities for their army of skilled forwards. There is a lot less attention to a dump-and-chase style of hockey, with most Leafs forwards preferring to carry the puck in with control. With the offensive weaponry in Toronto’s stable, Mike Babcock and the rest of the coaching staff don’t have much of a choice.

It’s worth noting that the results are there – Toronto finished last season second in even-strength scoring (3.1 goals per 60) and third in expected even-strength scoring (2.8 goals per 60), and that’s been a consistent theme since the rebuild concluded.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink


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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com