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Atlantic Spotlight: Toronto Maple Leafs

January 25, 2022, 9:28 AM ET [13 Comments]
Lucas Neilson
Blogger •Atlantic Division Writer • RSSArchiveCONTACT
It really wasn’t all that long ago that the Maple Leafs were one of the worst teams in the National Hockey League. There were countless seasons where my hopes were high and expectations were low, I just wanted to see some Toronto Maple Leafs playoff action. The Leafs were notorious for finishing just outside of a playoff spot and ending up with a mediocre draft pick. The fans would be left with that hunger inside of them for an appearance in the post season, and now we take it all for granted.

The Leafs roster is a powerhouse and you better believe every fan of hockey is impressed with the play and goal scoring ability of Auston Matthews. It’s been round one exit after round one exit and the fans are getting rattled, they want to see the team go on a run, a deep run, a Stanley Cup run. Well I’m sure the players feel the same way, most of them at least.

Count them on your hand, that’s five straight playoff appearances and five straight first round exits for the blue and white. Before that they had only made the playoffs once in eleven years, so things could be a lot worse.

The reality is, the last five playoff exits mean absolutely nothing when we square off against one team in a best of seven series. The Leafs will undoubtedly make the post season for a sixth straight season and will be squaring off against another Atlantic Division Cup contending team. Tampa Bay, Florida and Boston could all do some damage come playoffs and the Leafs will have to beat the best to get a chance to climb over the hump and make it to the second round.

It really is a must win series, but not necessarily for the Leafs or their players, but the fans. The Leafs faithful need this win, so the Leafs management better make the right additions to improve their team. No big name players are needed on this roster, they need quality guys who have try hard syndrome and will give 110% every shift. Are they finally going to bring in another defensemen to help accomplish what seems to be the impossible?

A few defensemen who are unrestricted free agents at seasons end and could be potential additions are Calvin De Haan, Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson and Colin Miller. These rental defenders are all from teams that will likely not make the playoffs and may be open to a trade. The Leafs could use an experienced defender who can fit into the system and add some grit. Someone who can take the body, block a bundle of shots and even add a bit of nastiness wouldn’t hurt the Leafs, not one bit.

When assessing the Leafs roster it seemed as if they were going to need to add someone to the third line. Since Ilya Mikheyev has returned to the lineup the Leafs have looked more dangerous than they have all season. If Ilya can keep up this style of play and production, the Leafs won’t need to worry about adding anything up front and they can concentrate on addressing the needs on the back end.

Let’s see Dubas make this trade before the deadline, give the player some time to adjust and be as prepared as possible with the club. There is no doubt the Leafs must go for it and the players better show some true character in this years run.

Who would you like to see the Maple Leafs add to the roster?

Thanks for reading, have a great day!
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