If you’re like me, Wednesday must’ve been a mighty fine time to listen to the radio. Not only from all the pre-trade deadline buzz, but because of the return of the ‘Leafs need more grit’ narrative.
We all saw it. The first two periods of the St. Louis Blues game was brutal. The Leafs were being outplayed in every category of the game and Vince Dunn threw some weight around resulting in a Nazem Kadri early exit. Zach Hyman, Auston Matthews, and Frederik Andersen dragged the team to a point and the rest is history.
Though we continue to bring up the same stories. As a team, we at PPP have had several individual and group conversations on this idea that the Leafs need to throw assets like hot cakes at Philadelphia and Carolina for Wayne Simmonds and Micheal Ferland. Hey, maybe Adam McQuaid can join the squad too.
Back to Kadri, he’s out with a concussion and the same concerns are heating up again ahead of another first-round series with the Boston Bruins. The same Boston Bruins who acquired Charlie Coyle from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Ryan Donato and a fifth-round pick.
Ironic isn’t it? The Bruins add a centre while the Leafs lose one. Haha...
Here’s the thing, and I’ve had this opinion for a long time, the Leafs don’t need to add a player to be a physical team. Why are we in a position where it would be better to rely on someone else to bring that component rather than ask the stars on the team to kick it up a notch? Isn’t that what the playoffs are all about? Taking your game to the next level to do something great and end a (checks calendar) 52-year championship drought!?
Who knows what Kyle Dubas chooses to do ahead of Monday’s Trade Deadline. What we do know is he’ll do his best to put the Leafs in a position to win a round. Not only Boston, whoever stands in their way.
So bring Coyle on, we’ll see you in April, and if there is any positive from Kadri being out is that it’ll be an opportunity for the whole team to step up. Why? Because the franchise said so.
Auston Matthews on dealing with the Nazem Kadri injury:— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) February 20, 2019
"When you lose a key player like that, other guys need to step up. We put Willie there in the middle for most of the game & he kind of answered the bell, did well ..."
In Case You Missed It
Forecasting a boring trade deadline for the Maple Leafs - Pension Plan Puppets
We’ll have to entertain ourselves with the misfortunes of others if the Leafs stand pat.
Women’s Hockey Links: Canada USA Rivalry Series, playoff season - Pension Plan Puppets
Canada and USA provided the best hockey of the week but there were plenty of intense games to go around.
Toronto Marlies Recap: Engvall line comes to life in 4-3 win over Manitoba Moose at School Day Game - Pension Plan Puppets
And some cool experiments on the power play.
Around the Hockey World
My Advice to Blues Fans During Historical Run: Take it in! - St. Louis Game Time
Rabble rabble rabble rabble.
Buffalo Sabres | Conor Sheary drawing unfair criticism - Die By The Blade
Despite the vitriol that has been directed toward him from portions of the fan base, Conor Sheary is performing as expected this season.
Columbus Isn’t Elite Yet, But They Are a Good Team - The Cannon
Will this hold up after Monday?
Deadline Targets: Dallas a “Stealth” Contender For Artemi Panarin - Defending Big D
If the Stars want to swing big this trade deadline, why not try to catch the biggest fish of all?
Gostisbehere and the (apparent) great divide - Broad Street Hockey
There has been a lot of talk about Shayne Gostisbehere’s future as a Philadelphia Flyer and I need to have a session about this ridiculousness.
Radko Gudas suspended, Robert Hagg fined - Broad Street Hockey
Fulemin: He'll be back by the time we trade for him, so he can get suspended again.