Wanna blog? Start your own hockey blog with My HockeyBuzz. Register for free today!

Frustration building in Leafs Nation

December 5, 2019, 9:20 AM ET [512 Comments]
Lucas Neilson
Toronto Maple Leafs Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
At the end of the game Mitch Marner’s face said it all.

The Leafs lost yet another game, and yes, another back to back. Two games in two nights and both games we could only manage scoring one goal. It’s getting ugly, and quick as the Leafs honeymoon period with their new coach Sheldon Keefe has come to an end.

It’s nice to see Keefe making some adjustments on the bench, both offensively and defensively. He’s been shuffling the lines around a bit trying to get a spark going or see if he can find some unfounded chemistry between a couple players. Desperate measures call for desperate times and you can bet we haven’t seen the last of Marner and Matthews together. Personally I think they just need a bit of time playing on the same line in real game situations and they should be able to get it going. At this point I’d like to see anything happen that gets Matthews off his ass.

I’ve seen Matthews play in just about every NHL game of his career (as most of us have), and something just seems off. He seemed pretty excited, pumped even when the Leafs got rid of Mike Babcock. But overall, he just doesn’t seem to be dominating the play like he usually does. I’m not sure if it’s a confidence thing with his game right now, maybe he’s getting smothered more than usual on the ice, perhaps it’s just a rough patch which we have seen in the past. I’m just hoping everything is good in the dressing room and everyone is on the same page and not divided. It’s a team game, and if the team isn’t all playing as one and committed to a strategic game plan, then we just may be in some trouble.

If Marner and Matthews playing together doesn’t spark up the offense of the team I would be shocked. So it’s good to see Keefe making some quality adjustments trying to really get the boys going. He’s also put Tyson Barrie with Morgan Rielly, hoping to add some offensive pop here as well. It may not have worked last night versus a red hot Grubauer, but give it some time and we may see things begin to click.

I’m all for Auston Matthews calling out the Maple Leafs players after a pathetic finish to Tuesday’s game but if he’s going to do that he damn well better be the best player in the next game. As much as I love Auston, I’ve got to say I think that both Marner and Hyman stood out more in last night’s game.


What the Leafs really need is some aggression in their game. They need some ferociousness when on the ice in so many different facets of the game that they simply don’t have right now. Not saying the Kadri/Kerfoot/Barrie trade was a bad one, because it wasn’t. But the Leafs need a player like Kadri and there is no denying it. It doesn’t exactly mean its Kadri we need because as much as I’ve always been a big fan of Kadri he really did hurt us by getting suspended two playoffs in a row. He does the team no good in the penalty box, let alone out of the lineup for the most important games of the year. Don’t forget that, because it’s likely a big reason as to why the Leafs management felt he was the piece to move. Was it the right move, I honestly don’t know but I do know that Barrie has a lot more to offer than we’ve seen so far, and Kerfoot is certainly no slouch.

I’ve been done with Spezza for a good month plus now, but what can you do. He solidified my stance last night by standing there like a plug at the blue line. I had some choice words for the television after that bone head play. Both he and Rielly just completely blew that play, a double brain fart. Let’s pull it together here boys, the season isn’t even half way done yet there is plenty of time to turn it around and play like we can.

We all know the boys are much better than this. They need a turning point, like an event or breakthrough and it looked as if the coaching change was the key. I’m hoping Shanahan and Dubas have something in mind, perhaps Shanahan needs to go into the dressing room before next game and have a complete rage fest, smashing sticks and breaking water bottles. Something, anything!

Let’s hope this is our rock bottom part of the season and it’s up from here.

Keep your heads up Leafs Nation this party isn’t over yet.

Thanks for reading.
Join the Discussion: » 512 Comments » Post New Comment
More from Lucas Neilson
» 2020 NHL Season in Jeopardy
» Flopping like a fish out of water; Leafs host Tampa Bay
» Matthews Quest for 50; Leafs vs Kings
» Leafs Nation: Are we back in business?
» Leafs Nation: The Playoff ‘March’ Approaches