Leafs Defence: Why The Criticism?

One game after the all-star break and I look back on the start of the season and ask myself, why are fans so hard on our defence group? …

One game after the all-star break and I look back on the start of the season and ask myself, why are fans so hard on our defence group? Of course we never criticize Kabby as he is our most complete d-man and one of the best in the league.

But McCabe although he may not be worth his no-trade clause and huge contract, is doing very well. As of late he has been giving up less chances. He is second on the team in assists and 3rd in points to boot.

Although getting off to a bad start, rejuvinated by being paired with Kaberle, Pavel Kubina has picked up his game lately and could be crawling closer to his 5 million dollar contract. He still has a way to go but is slowly proving his worth to this team, his lates movement in a 3 point night against Montreal on Saturday.

Hal Gill is constantly criticized for being too slow and having a negative effect on the team yet he is second on the team in +/- with +6 and one of our top penalty killers and can hold his own defensively. Then we have our very bright future in Colaiacovo and White which can not be argued.

I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t be so quick to judge our defence by a bad first half because there are only 2 regulars from the 05/06 season so chemistry is also thrown in there. I’d like to know your thoughts on this and go easy on me since this is my first article ever.

8 Responses to Leafs Defence: Why The Criticism?

  1. lukeleim says:

    I agree to an extent. Though, I think Hal Gill is horrible!

  2. curtman96 says:

    Their Defence isnt bad at all its just that they have invested too much money towards it. Kubina and Mccabe are great but it would be nice to have them at a price of what their really worth or at least a little closer to it in order to invest more money up front. The leafs are a painfully average team that spends at the cap max. Plain and simple that is just bad management. I do love Kaberle's contract tho.

  3. Hoondog2 says:

    I like the Leafs defense, problem is there is to much money tied up and not enough ice-time for 3 top 2 defenseman.  I say our best move leading up to and after the deadline would be to move McCabe if possible (I know about the clause).  Gill is playing pretty good but I think a cheaper and just as effective way to go might be Wozniewski.  I'd try to move Gill too.

    Kaberle             Kubina
    Colaiacovo         White
    Wozniewski        Bell (or Kronwall or Harrison)

    Under 14 mill. tied up in the defense which will be good to go for years.

  4. the_word says:

    Gill has played fine, the reality is that no matter how well he plays, he'll never get any respect for what he brings to the game.  You see, there are a lot of  fans who drank all of the 'New NHL' koolaid, who think that because a player doesn't skate like the wind, or is over 5 '10 they don't belong in their narrow understanding of the game of hockey.  So it doesn't matter if Gill plays well or not, because the perception will remain the same.

    Kubina has played very well, he doesn't get enough time on the PP, where he is most productive because they're is no room for him because Kabby and McCabe work well together.  Kubina plays well in his own zone, is physical presence but that may not be enough to justify his contract.


  5. 92-93 says:

    Gill is a decent #5 D-guy. Gill and many other larger, slower defencemen who get bet on a nightly basis – but who can also do well clearing the front of the net and on the PK – are good D-guys to have if they are not getting huge ice time.

    all of this has nothing to do with 'new NHL' or 'old NHL'

    but is Gill as a #5 D-guy worth 2.1 million? nope. and should a player's salary get into a debate on who to keep and who to trade or what was a good or bad move? OF COURSE – especially in the cap era – such concerns  and aspects are absolutely relevant.

    Kubina is playing better. no question about it. I'm not going to give all the credit to playing beside Kaberle but obviously that move helped. by the way, Kaberle is god. there i said it.

  6. mojo19 says:

    I agree with your assesment of Kaberle. The best defensman the leafs have had since Borje Salming.

    Hal Gill is overpaid, by about a half a mil, but that's what happens when you get guys via free agency.

    And yes, Kubina's numbers are naturaly going to be lower than most guys who get paid #1 d-man money because he is not on the top PP unit. That being said, he's had his moments this year, and hopefully keeps improving the way he has the past couple weeks.

  7. Hoondog2 says:

    Dare I say Kaberle may be an eventual Norris winner?

  8. ty656789 says:

    I personally dont think their d is that bad. I just wish that McCabe didnt have the no trade claus. Kubina is a more complete d-man on both ends of the rink and he has a pretty hard shot. I wish they could trade Mcabe to free up a ton of money and then sign a couple of forwards or one pretty good one to play with Sundin and/or try to trade for Biron somehow. Kaberle and Kubina are a really good pair and would compare with other top 2 dmen pretty well. On top of that, they have played together for pretty much their whole lives. I like McCabe but that no trade claus is going to bite us in the ass really hard for a loooooong time. They are going to end up trading Kubina which I would hate to see. Bottom line, their goaltending has sucked overall, not their d. ahem Ottawa early in the season ahem

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