Yesterday on Puck Daddy Radio, special guest Jeff Marek was talking to Pizzo and Wyshynski about the Leafs' struggles and gave a very interesting take on the situation. He said that at even strength, it's the GM's team. He chose those players based on the fact that they'll play most of the time 5 on 5 and that there's little coaching to be done there. It's hockey at its purest. Marek went on to say that on special teams, that's the coach's team. He has to pick who plays, pick the strategy they will employ, and get the team to buy in to that strategy. Right now, the team has struggles at both evens and special teams, but I see special teams as being the nail that sticks out the farthest. The quickest way to improve the Leafs is to nail down their special teams play, which is simply atrocious at the moment.; 21st on the PP, 29th on the PK.
For all the heat he is currently taking, in many respects, Kessel is as advertised: A small, one-dimensional sniper who has only four hits after 28 games. But that's what he has been his entire career, both when he scored 36 goals in 70 games as a Bruin two years ago and then 30 more in 70 games in his first season in Toronto last year.
For the seventh consecutive night, Kessel failed to score....Unfortunately droughts like this aren’t entirely new to Kessel.....From mid-December to late January last season, the former Bruin endured a 21-game stretch in which he scored only two goals. While he finished the season with 30 in seventy games, the month long famine hampered any chance the Leafs might’ve had to dig themselves out from under a horrific 0-7-1 start.
More after the jump.
5 games in a row now, they've conceded the first goal
11 - Now's a good time for someone not on our 2nd line to start scoring
MLHS looks at defensive pairings now that the captain is back
5-13-5. Yeah, that's not very truculent at all.
Game recap courtesy of The Hockey News
Courtesy of Slava Duris and The Leafs Nation
I hear he's even got a Twitter account
VLM ponders this and wonders who are Burke's untouchables.
Vintage Leafs with more photo goodness