Toronto Maple Leafs: Three things they can do to turn it around

Here’s a look at three ways they can break their slump and bolster their drive for a playoff berth:


Give James Reimer the task of leading the team over the remainder of the schedule.

Both Reimer and Ben Scrivens have improved this season. But the season is now at a desperate stage, and every team in the Eastern Conference seems to have elevated its game.

Time to trade?

Corey Perry’s name is the name that has surfaced on talk surrounding the Leafs with regards to trade or off-season moves.

But another name making the rounds around the Leafs is Mike Ribeiro, a top-six centre.

The Leafs are said to be interested in adding a centre and a top-four defenceman.

No more excuses

Toronto will be hard-pressed to hang onto a playoff berth if it allows defensive coverage lapses to continue.

They must prevent disasters like that four-goal second period Saturday night against Winnipeg. Good teams, playoff teams, manage those blips down to a goal or two at most. Toronto has to start looking like a playoff team defensively; it certainly has the offensive weapons to make a serious post-season bid.

9 Responses to Toronto Maple Leafs: Three things they can do to turn it around

  1. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    YES, Reimer should be number 1. Carlysle was right to give him a rest and mix things up against Pitt. Wrong not to put him back in against Winnipeg Saturday. Scrivens is a great battler and is a good back-up who can come in and spell Reimer when needed. Reimer is no doubt, the better goalie.IMO

    Getting Perry would be great if the cost is right. I would swap Kessel for him and even add if had to.

    No shit on defensive play needing to improve. I said a couple of weeks ago that we are losing too many puck battles and we are not possessing the puck enough and it worried me. We were still winning despite those deficiences. It has now caught up to us. We played well against Pitt and deserved a better result. Otherwise, we are getting the results we deserve lately.

  2. leafy says:

    I think the forwards are terrible on the defensive part of the game.

    I don’t think Reimer has outplayed Scrivens since he came back from injury. (Scrivven by the way was the Leafs best player in the first 2 periods vs. Winnipeg…the only player who showed up!!)

    I agree they need a top 4 D (eg, someone with skill), but why trade for one when you have a perfectly good Gardiner?

    As everyone already knows, they need a top center.

    Lastly, I think Carlyle’s coaching decisions are so suspect and at times ridiculous, he makes Ron Wilson look like Al Arbour or Scotty Bowman. Carlyle is driving this team into the ground.

    • nordiques100 says:

      No I don’t agree that the coaching is that bad.

      I mean Kessel is backchecking. That alone is impressive.

      And Franson was left for dead by Wilson and now he is flourishing.

      And the way he’s shielded Kadri and having him take advantage of 3rd pairings has been good.

      And, at least Carlyle attempts at putting 2 centres on for key defensive draws. And if he can, not have Grabo take them. Wilson was more than happy to have say a 40% guy like Kadri out there just to maintain the 4 line rotation.

      Unfortunately for some teams, like say Pittsburgh, he is outmatched personnel wise in who to put out there. Bozak can’t check Crosby. He can’t check Derek Stepan never mind Crosby. But who else does he have? There are still holes in this lineup. And big teams, like a line of Wheeler/Ladd or the Staals in Carolina, cause havoc.

      I think a few of the players, like Grabo, Kulemin, and a few others who played for Wilson are still having lingering effects of his style still a part of their game. Even the top line, Kessel, Bozak, you can see small things they use to get away with in the Wilson era still creep into their game. After a bit of success in the Carlyle way, it looks like some of the players feel they can get away with a few shifts playing like they did for Wilson.

      Those few shifts have proven costly the past couple weeks. For a couple games the shifts have lasted all game long.

      If they manage some strong practice with their 3 day break I am really hopeful they come energized and put the pedal to the medal vs Tampa on Wednesday. There is no excuse for not being full speed. Checking the Tampa stars will be tough, but that D is terrible, so getting back to being ridiculously crazy with the forecheck is a necessity.

      They’re fully capable of being successful under Carlyle. Its just for some reason they choose not to play his way for pockets of time and want to still play Wilson’s way. I don’t know. Maybe it at times is a reflection of their captain or the lack of leadership in the room to you know, be fully engaged in the plan.

  3. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    Don’t get me wrong Leafy, I like Scrivins. He is goalie who relies on reflexes and a strong work ethic. He battles hard, but he is not a calming force. He fights shots off instead of eating them up. He pushes the puck back in play instead of holding it for whistles. This causes some of the run-around in the Leafs end. He has played well.

    Reimer is a much more controlled goalie who calms the game down in his own end by controlling and covering rebounds better than Scrivins. He is athletic for his size and more technically sound. As for not outplaying Scrivins since returning…the Leafs have been horrible the whole time during Reimer’s return. The only good game they played was against Pitt.
    Neither goalie has had much help lately. Scrivins may have been the best player Saturday through 2 periods (which was not hard to do lol) but he still let in 4 goals in the second on 15 shots. He was not at his best.IMO
    Top 4 D skill is needed and I thought Liles has been solid since returning to the game.

    • leafy says:

      If it’s Reimer BEFORE his knee injury, totally 100% agreed. He’s better and more technically sound than Scrivens. In fact, he played like a friggin all-star!!

      But I’ve found Reimer quite shaky since he come back. He had that one great game right after returning and then after that has looked average.

      I think he’s not 100% recovered, which the Leafs will obviously not tell us. A nagging knee injury is not easy to deal with.

  4. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    I thought it was more poor defensive coverage and Reimer didn’t have much chance on the goals, but that’s still a fair assessment you have. Reimer did look very calm in the third, overtime and shootout against Winnipeg I thought.

  5. LN91 says:

    Can we get Eakins on the Leafs?

    The end of the lockout depleted that entire roster…And they look better then before

  6. leemon says:

    perry resigns with the ducks, Bobby ryan maybe?

Leave a Reply