FanPost

BeLeaf in the team, the Leafs are right where they should be!

As the summer continues to dwindle away, the hockey season draws closer and closer. Last season, the Toronto Maple Leafs were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for the sixth consecutive year but this time at the hands of the two-time Stanley Cup Champions: the Tampa Bay Lightning. Ever since, Kyle Dubas and the Maple Leafs have brought in some new faces which include Adam Gaudette, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Calle Jarnkrok while addressing the goalie situation by trading for Matt Murray and signing Ilya Samsonov to a one-year contract. Despite continuing to fill roster spots, fans and journalists have pegged the Leaf's goalie tandem as a downgrade from the previous season.

The loss of Jack Campbell to the Oilers was difficult, but somewhat inevitable based on his performance for the Blue and White over the past two seasons. Although Dubas did manage to add a hometown player in Matt Murray and a young goalie in Samsonov, many view this team with a glass half-empty mindset. The two-time Stanley Cup champion struggled and saw his performance in the net dip during the 2018-’19 season after the passing of his father. The following season Murray’s numbers plunged below .900 for the first time in his career. During the offseason, Murray signed with the Senators, but injuries plagued the netminder and on a rebuilding Senators team Murray’s save percentage and numbers continued to drop. However, there were times last season when Murray showed signs of his former self posting a .900 or higher save percentage in 12 games. Similarly, Ilya Samsonov in a span of 89 games played through three seasons has posted a record of 52-22-8 with a .902 save percentage. While his numbers last season may have regressed below .900 but Samsonov has shown the ability to be a reliable goaltender in the NHL and is a relatively young goalie at 25 years of age with plenty of upside. Lakesha Ruise once said "Opinions are like hearts. Everyone has one, but they are not all healthy." Likewise, not everyone may agree with the acquisition of Murray and Samsonov, but to discredit their abilities as athletes and state the Leafs are weaker in goal would be untrue. As mentioned previously, yes Murray has struggled over the last few years, but he is still a two-time Stanley Cup champion. They say passion motivates us to do the things we love, and Murray like many others in the locker room was a passionate Leafs fan as a native of Toronto.

While there is still work to be done for the Leafs and Kyle Dubas as Rasmus Sandin is still without a contract. The bottom line is that the locker room is getting players who are eager to dawn the Blue & White. This team set multiple records last season and with the core intact, the Leafs in my opinion are better poised in goal than they were last season. Lastly, Dubas managed to add some toughness to the bottom six forward core which the Leafs have lacked when compared to divisional rivals. Change is inevitable and over time the Toronto Maple Leafs have shown resiliency while adapting and succeeding as a group. In summary, this team still has the ability to be a contender in the Atlantic Division.

PensionPlanPuppets.com is a fan community that allows members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Toronto Maple Leafs and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editor of PensionPlanPuppets.com.