NHL Early Look: Did Changes to Maple Leafs’ Lineup Make Them Better?

by | Jul 27, 2019 | News, NHL | 3 comments

 







3 Comments

  1. Well hopefully this comment won’t get bounced. I thin TML has done a pretty good job in addressing some the issues this off-season.

    Moving forward, I don’t think they are done tinkering either

  2. Good summary, Lyle, and I also think there are more moves coming.
    The question is whether they are better and the answer will come next April. If it’s Boston again, maybe the third (or fourth) time’s the charm.
    The stars up front are fun to watch but the Leafs will go as far as Freddie Andersen takes them.

  3. Just looking over the names of the players they lost and the ones that they gained, It is hard to see any improvement beyond added cap space and the added ability to ice 2 PP units with right-handed shots.
    Better face-off skills perhaps on the bottom 3.
    Less grit and less reliable 2-way on the support lines (3 and 4). Does that equate to more regular season wins? I don’t think so.
    If Ceci can elevate his game, then maybe he replaces Zaitsev. Zaitsev, Kadri, Hainsey, and Brown were all counted on heavily in shorthanded situations.
    So it appears that Babcock needs to start over from scratch in that department.
    The burden is squarely on the shoulders of Matthews, Tavares, Nylander and Marner to elevate their games (Assuming that Marner resigns before the season and does not require 10 to 20 games to catch up again).

    The Leafs are counting on a few home-runs on cheap contracts or a lot of players to elevate their game just to reach the 100 point mark again. In the end, they have not added size or toughness or shutdown defence for the playoffs.
    Dubas has a team that may allow him to spend $11 M on Mitch Marner, but I don’t think they are a better Playoff team.