The Toronto Maple Leafs seem to have hit a bit of a slump lately, at what we’ll call a... less than optimal point in the year. I don’t know what exactly the issue is – I don’t think anyone does, otherwise surely the Leafs coaching staff would have fixed it by now. I also really doubt it is as simple as there being any single factor to rout out that has led to the current dearth of both goals and saves for the Leafs.
With Sheldon Keefe having confirmed that Frederik Andersen will once again be facing the Penguins as our starting goaltender tonight, it’s clear that for now, at least, the goaltending isn’t something that is going to change. There are still other things that the coach might try in terms of shuffling players around though. We’ve seen a lot of retooling of the bottom six lately, to... well, very little effect. What hasn’t been revisited in a while, however, is the switch that happened earlier this season on the top two lines.
I’m not arguing, by any measure, that reuniting William Nylander and Auston Matthews, and Mitch Marner and John Tavares, will solve all of the Leafs’ various woes...
Auston Matthews scores on the one-timer. 5-1 pic.twitter.com/EMKS9VgiOQ— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 19, 2020
What a pass by Mitch Marner#Leafs x #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/kL9lZ9hRiV— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) December 13, 2019
...but I’m also not not arguing that.
Can’t hurt to try, right?
If you thought you read the headlines wrong... well, you did, sorry. It’s not a typo, it’s a:
A cheerful look at past trade disasters!
Maple Leafs trade deadline deals that didn’t pan out
Andreas Johnsson to miss six months:
Andreas Johnsson has successful knee surgery: that’s the good news
Keefe had some spicy quotes for the media after Tuesday’s game:
Sheldon Keefe Post Game, Penguins 5 vs. Leafs 2: "You've got a team over there that has built a championship culture and an environment of what is acceptable... We're not there" | Maple Leafs Hotstove
Editor in Leaf makes an argument for why Leafs fans should be rooting for Tampa right now:
Why Toronto Maple Leafs Fans Should Be Cheering For Tampa
Maple Leafs Hot Stove also takes a look at the newest member of the Toronto Maple Leafs:
Toronto Maple Leafs acquire Denis Malgin from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Mason Marchment | Maple Leafs Hotstove
Sportsnet talks to Auston and Ema Matthews about family, food, and Matthews’ pride about his Mexican heritage:
And all the rest...
Alec Martinez is on his way to Vegas, so any Leafs fans who had him on their wish list can officially cross him off:
Alec Martinez Officially Traded to the Vegas Golden Knights
A look at the largest distances between AHL teams and their NHL affiliates... and which teams are looking to relocate because of that distance:
NHL teams moving AHL squads closer - ProHockeyTalk | NBC Sports
ESPN looks back at the USA’s defeat of the Soviet Union at the 1980 Olympic Winter Games:
Inside the Miracle on Ice: How Team USA defied the numbers 40 years ago
And that’s all for now! Don’t forget to check back in later this morning for our preview of Pittsburgh II: Revenge of the Leafs. In the meantime, please enjoy this video of a very big kid playing with some very small kids.
don’t worry guys, the tiny clifford sons are here at #leafs practice, boosting spirits and working on their shots pic.twitter.com/b5CC1IG9Yr— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) February 19, 2020