The Leafs….10 Games that they should get back

The Leafs have played there first 10 games of the 2002-2003 season, and should ask to have those games back. All but 1 or 2 games did the Leafs show what they could do. while all other games played like a bunch of unorganized Pee-Wee players. I think that I have kind of figured out what some of the problems are, and how they could rectify them. There really is no quick fix to solve there woes but if you have watched all there games like I have, you will notice that there are some really big problems screaming at you when you watch.We have all heard the belly aching and whining about how bad the defence is, and that that will be the downfall of the Leafs. I however beg to differ and say that the defence is not as bad as everyone is saying. There is always room for a good defenceman on any team, however the core group of guys the Leafs have are quite adequate to do the job that is needed.

The issue is not that the defence is the problem, the fact that the Leafs were allowing the defence to carry the puck out of the defensive zone is the problem. Other than Kaberle and Colaiacovo, the defence should not be carrying the puck out of the zone. The forwards are all cherry picking waiting for that picture perfect pass through the neutral zone (which happens 1 out every 20 times) which in turn created a turnover. For the last 10 games that turnover has lead to a goal.

The defence does not have an out, a second player in which to pass to when there is a fore check coming. Right now you have a D to D pass with the forwards between the bluelines. There is no out for the defence to have an optional pass to keep the fore check guessing. If you have watched any of the games this is very evident as the defence is trying lug the puck out pass the blueline.

While the defensive zone is in question, so is the offensive zone. You have 2 amazing offensive players in Sundin and Mogilny. They are 2 very “creative type” offensive players. However they are the one only gifted offensive players that can make the drop pass, no look pass, and a bunch of other passes. Having Hoglund and Corson trying to make the pretty pass to a non existent player, while then creating a turnover and then a goal. What is up with that? They need to keep it simple for lines from 2 through 4. Let the 1st line make all the pretty passes and be creative and get everyone else to grind it out. Drop it to the blue line, throw some bodies in front of the net and let the shot go and hope for the best.

The last and final part that I have seen that just started to show in the last game was the physical aspect of the game. The 10th game Domi got into his first fight. Has the world stop spinning on its axis? That is Domi’s job, create an emotional lift. Instead they look like they are playing like a non contact seniors league. They need to start to hit and get emotionally into the game. The last game they played (vs. Anaheim) they finally started to hit and play the gritty way that they should. This gets the team in the game and gets them thinking along the same lines.

Like I said in the opening, this is not a quick fix solution. However these suggestions I think would greatly improve a struggling team so early in the season. I hope that this will open lines of discussion between hockey fans, to realize that most teams have problems that cannot be fixed with a trade. You need to look beyond the surface, and at the true heart of the matter.

23 Responses to The Leafs….10 Games that they should get back

  1. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    I have to disagree with a lot of what you’re saying. With the style the Leafs play, the defense should be moving the puck passed the blue-line. Transitional attacks usually start from the defense-out. The Leafs have a lot of mobile defensemen. Kaberle, McCabe, Svehla, and Pilar all move the puck very well and they all skate very well. So I fail to see how the defense is the problem here?

    I mean, don’t kid yourself, if you think Kaberle, McCabe, Svehla and Pilar don’t have the passing skills or the ability to bring the puck out of the zone, then I don’t know who does.

    The defensive problems the Leafs have had are not the fault of the forward, defensemen or goalies. The problem is with the WHOLE team, as a group. As a group they haven’t done enough, from the forwards to the defensemen.

    The only thing that will make the Leafs play better is if

    a) The team as a whole commits to playing better D.

    b) They play more-physical.

    Enough said.

  2. Tradedude says:

    this is crazy! they won one game and there’s article’s how the leafs will rebound within a snap by winning 10 straight.

    There’s nothing wrong with their defense, its just they want to be a part of the scoring

    and they have been playing more offensively then defensively, and Belfour can’t help all those breakaways. I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again. “Leafs always have their winless streak, usually after christmas or in february. But this season, there having it in the first month, we shouldn’t expect an immediate rebound, just a slow process of winning, then they’ll catch on to the undefeated streaks”

    most leaf fans say after a leaf game:

    1) if leafs win we say “we’ll win the cup”

    2) if leafs lose we leaf fans say “we’re finished, doomed”

    Not all fans say this, but in a way we do, i sometimes say it myself, but you can’t predict their season after a few games, or in that case, after A GAME. Leaf fans are not the only ones thet do it. Other than the pestimistic ranger fans who get after their team cause of a bad shift.

  3. saiklo says:

    Speaking of 10 games, can anyone tell me who is leading the league in scoring after 10 games? And, specifically, can anyone tell me if he was on the poll this site conducted before the season started?

  4. Cam says:

    the Leafs just suck period. belfour is doing okey.Joseph was better in goal.Cefense is okey.the offence needs help. they are a 1 line team and vancouver isnt. Enough said

    Down with the leafs. Up with the Canucks

  5. Tony says:

    Mario is leading the league. why? what does that have to do with the article?

  6. big_booty says:

    Isn’t that just like a Leafs fan. You guys want a “do over?” That’s just plain laughable.

    I can see it now:

    Pat Quinn: “Gary, my team didn’t really play up to snuff those first 10 games. I’m asking you to do everything in your power to either count them as wins or let us play them again.”

    Gary Bettman: “What? Why?”

    Quinn: “Because we’re the Toronto Maple Leafs.”

    Bettman: “Are you out of your scotch-swilling stogie-sucking mind? Get out of my office, you buffoon!”

    Maybe your team should go back to the pee wee league, they might let you play those first 10 games again. Then again, they might not.

  7. devodawg says:

    I think what’s even more laughable is that this is happening to a team like the Leafs. They are one of the few teams that have the budget available to them to put an excellent team on the ice. You let Cujo go and then proclaimed the Eagle you salvation. Lord only knows why guys like Blake and Kasparatis wouldn’t sign there, but evidently it was either the money, or Toronto isn’t the great place to live that everyone thinks it is. Then again, it could always be that the key free agents sees in the Leafs what everyone outside of Toronto does. A crappy team that will stuggle to attain a colour photo of the cup. Face it, rather than join the elite teams, you’ll be just another team that sits in the middle of the pack, but in your case you dress like the big boys, but you by your cloths at walmart.

  8. Freeze says:

    The Leafs are a one line team. Stop Sundin, Mogilny and Tucker, and you stop the Leafs.

    The Leafs are finally getting penalized for their illegal tactics with the new wave of obstruction calls. The Leafs are unable to adjust to that.

    Free Agents aren’t attracted to Toronto because they don’t like giving most of their paycheck to the Canadian government. Even if you get paid in US dollars, if you have to give up 60% of those US dollars to the government, it becomes costly for a player to play in Canada. Add to that a cement head coach in Pat Quinn who asks his players to clutch, grab, hack, and cheap shot other players, and players don’t have the sense that this is a winning organization. The coach you can change. The tax situation is much more difficult to change. Why bother with any of this? Just play elsewhere. Right Cujo?

    And foolish people have called Toronto, “The mecca of hockey.” HA!!

  9. bubbakazoo says:

    The seven plagues will fall on the Queer’s City, I mean the Queen City…hey, that’s the same thing…never mind.

  10. mikster says:

    Toronto is the mecca of hockey and it is the capital of hockey. If not, then Montreal since they have the most Cups.


    Again, it’s too early to even hit any buttons. So much hockey left ot play. Obviously these lost points will haunt them, but they have yet to finish the 1st half and the 2nd half is where every team has to play strong hockey.

    Nothing can change these past games for the Leafs, so put them behind and look forward.

  11. Stescotty says:

    The issue is that the defence is carrying the puck and giving up way too many turnovers. To stop the leafs from skating out throw out a forechecker on each defenceman and watch them scramble and turn over the puck.

    But maybe I’m the only one who sees that.

  12. Stescotty says:

    IF you actually red the article it was on the last 10 games that they have played. Not saying that they will be back in 10 games……Just that they have played 10 games and should get those games again, because the played so poorly.

  13. Stescotty says:

    Interesting enough.

    What is Cujo’s amazing record in Detriot?

  14. Stescotty says:

    Very well put. I agree, my article was not a negative, but more along the lines of what I have seen.

  15. Overtime says:

    Ask me again in April. In all fairness, one thing I don’t like about Cujo is the rebounds that he gives up. This is where he a cut below Hasek and Roy and Brodeur. I think he plays too deep in the net. I don’t know why he does that. Making the save and giving up the rebound is unforgivable. Cujo does that often. Heck, Chris Osgood knew how to do that. Cujo has A LOT to prove in Detroit. Let’s see if he can.

    It’s certainly not a given that Detroit will win the Cup again. Not at all.

  16. saiklo says:

    It was a point of sarcasm aimed at the fact that most people on this site only care about the Flyers and Leafs, two clubs that havenot won a cup in decades.

  17. Overtime says:

    Why is Toronto the mecca of hockey? Is it because the Hockey Hall of Fame is in Toronto? Big deal. Toronto has O-N-E more Stanley Cup than Detroit. Why not Hockeytown?

    To me, Montreal is the mecca of hockey. I think they have about a dozen more Stanley Cups than Toronto. Let’s not punish them just because they’re French. Give them their due. I know the playing field was tilted where Montreal had draft rights over every kid coming out of Quebec, but the success and tradition of Montreal is too hard to overlook.

  18. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    I dunno.

    The way I see it, the whole team is just having problems with D. The D have been moving the puck pretty well. I think if they just played better as a team, rather than individuals, then they’d be doing much better.

  19. Tradedude says:

    man, do i have a problem with assuming or what, lol

  20. BayStBullies says:

    Well come down to Toronto and say what you just did and one of those seven plagues will indeed come true.That being shoving my size 12 shoe so far up your ass that they could shoe polish my shoe out from your mouth at the same time , they could use your lost teeth as tic-tacs.Strike one for me!

  21. bluntman says:

    i dont want to be part of these amazing hockey experts who think they know the problem with the leafs after 10 games. all that matters is if the team wins. end of story and argument. i am a leaf also but until the leafs get a 10 game winning streak, we should problably let the players figuire out what’s wrong since they are playing the game, and not you.

  22. bubbakazoo says:

    fuck you man= fucking toronto faggot

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