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The Toronto Maple Leafs Look The Same

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

Was it just a couple of weeks ago that general manager Kyle Dubas insisted a tenet of the 2021 Maple Leafs would be “competitiveness, physicality and structure … defined by our ability to make it more difficult to get to our net and fight for space?”

Just how nine goals against in the season’s first six full periods follows that credo is a little cloudy. After giving his team defence a pass in the sometimes sloppy opening overtime win over Montreal, coach Sheldon Keefe’s COVID-19 mask looked ready to fly off with rage the way his law was churning. The Ottawa Senators owned the Leafs in their own end, 5-on-5 and on special teams in the 5-3 win.


Game highlights are below.

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



I have no idea how adding guys like Thornton and Simmonds
at this stage of their careers is going to help a team win - either via
aiding the Leaf’s all offense, skill and speed approach of last year,
or modifying it with complimentary grit. These are old slow penalty magnets
more than anything. And needing to import that much heart and leadership
doesn’t speak well of what was there prior. They’re probably better off with a guy
like Zach Hyman on a top line. He seemed like about the one effective, gritty complimentary winger they had to go with pure skill and offense.

Bogosian was a good pickup for a Tampa team that was already a contender.
But again: an older player being asked to do too much. If they are relying on Bogosian to be a shutdown D, like a second Muzzin, they’re expecting too much.
All Canadian teams have major flaws. Except maybe Montreal. In another division I’m not sure Toronto would be likely to make the playoffs.

Posted by lefty.30 on 01/16/21 at 09:49 AM ET


Leafs whole culture is toxic.  Theyre always trying to win on paper but cant see what makes teams champions. 

Of all the top tier forwards in the game, Matthews is easily the most immature seeming.  Has all those teenage qualities that make teenagers irritating.  Think they know everything, think they can do what they want, never accept responsibility.

But he puts the puck in the net so hes a star in Toronto.

Posted by ThatGuy on 01/16/21 at 10:46 AM ET



Wonder how long he’ll be there if they keep struggling
and the heat on him is turned up. Arizona has seemingly
been doing all it can to make itself a unattractive landing spot
for him or anyone.

I fully admit I fundamentally don’t understand the obsession
with crafting carefully crafted visual online personas down to the tiniest
tics, and I’ll plead generational ignorance. But Mathews sort of strikes me as a guy
who is as much about style and persona and image as he is about winning
the biggest, toughest hockey games doing whatever it takes. I’m not saying he doesn’t want to win or isn’t disappointed when it doesn’t happen. But it almost comes across like it’s his day job and his real focus in life is growing a cheesy mustache and wearing gaudy clothes and being “Auston Mathews”.

Marner’a salary demands and holdout though seem even more selfish.
This is your hometown team and it’s a dream come true and one dazzling 95 pt season and you simply have to have 11.5 million or whatever it is. As a winger.
Consistency, details and sacrifice to win big games. Being part of the best possible group who can stay together and grow and win together? Nice goals, but not as important as getting a ridiculous salary first. It’s almost like these guys see the Raptors and want NBA salaries, NBA star-first power dynamics, no real concern for a hard cap, and a public presentation of their personal style over winning.
But of course the Raptors - I didn’t follow them closely - were built to win and did win it all. It’s like these guys want that part to come first, rather than what it takes to get there.

Posted by lefty.30 on 01/16/21 at 11:47 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Of all the top tier forwards in the game, Matthews is easily the most immature seeming.

Posted by ThatGuy on 01/16/21 at 10:46 AM ET

Come on, TG, does this look like an immature guy to you?

To me, he looks like a very mature…porn star.  LOL

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 01/16/21 at 01:37 PM ET

calquake's avatar

To me, he looks like a very mature…porn star.

His forehead looks the size of a billboard. You know, potential ad revenue and all that. cheese

Posted by calquake from a.k.a. Covidquake, "Stay the F away from me" on 01/16/21 at 05:15 PM ET


Haha OTC, he looks like one of the perps in A Tme To Kill

And add that to the teenage list Lefty.  Self absorbed.

Posted by ThatGuy on 01/16/21 at 08:55 PM ET

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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.

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