There has been a few pretty big disappointments so far this season on the Leafs. Lately, they all seem concentrated on defense.
Sure, John Tavares and Mitch Marner struggled to start the year even while putting up points. Now they seem to be putting up points but looking more dominant like they did last year. Sure, we got another slow start from Frederik Andersen, but he’s back to his usual self (third period last night notwithstanding).
But their blueline? Yeesh. Morgan Rielly has not looked good. Jake Muzzin has not looked good. Tyson Barrie looked nice for about 2-3 games after Keefe was hired, and is back to looking awful. We expected less than nothing from Cody Ceci and he can charitably be said to have met our expectations. When Justin Holl is earning a spot in the top 4, you have a problem.
Problem is there is no significant help coming. Not this year. They have little cap room or assets to go out and make an improvement. What they do have seems to more likely be earmarked for a backup goalie. I don’t know if Barrie or Ceci would have ANY trade value at all at this point, but I admit to dreaming on some deal to shed their salary to get a better backup and just call up Timothy Liljegren or Rasmus Sandin (or both) at this point. I dare to hope they wouldn’t be worse than either of them.
ONTO THE LINKS
Sheldon Keefe: “We don’t like to see any of our guys sit for too long because when you need them, of course, they are not as prepared as you’d like them to be” | by MLHS Staff
Scratched to prime time: Justin Holl’s rise with the Leafs is a study in perseverance | by Jonas Siegel
Leafs’ Jason Spezza opens up about fresh start under Sheldon Keefe | by Luke Fox
Nick Robertson with 2 goals and an assist last night, including this filthy backhand for a shorthanded goal.
OH. MY. ROBBY!!! A no look backhander into the top corner - shorthanded - by @nickrob2001! Assists: @zachgally + @hudson_wilson18. 5-3 Petes!#GoPetesGo | #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/AmXwVwXTTF— Peterborough Petes (@PetesOHLhockey) December 13, 2019
Ex-Bruins goalie Thomas talks about living with brain injuries and concussions | by TSN
Really scary moment in the OHL last night, as Niagara Ice Dogs goalie had a severe cut to his leg from a skate blade. He was immediately taken to hospital, and the remainder of the game was cancelled for the night. We thankfully got this update later in the evening on his condition:
Tucker’s surgery was a success. He is stable and safe in hospital.— Niagara IceDogs (@OHLIceDogs) December 13, 2019
The road to recovery begins.
Have a happy Friday everyone!
Which defenseman has been more disappointing?