In this post, I would like to talk about the new season of the Toronto Maple Leafs and my insights from watching them in the preseason games.
First of all, I need to mention that they have the same core of players from last season which is a big advantage. This group of amazing young and talented players had performed above everyone expatiation, and Toronto is still in the rebuilding process. Two years ago the started the process of reconstruction and the five-year plan that the higher goal is to restore Toronto glory days of the 70th. They are basing their roster on a core of young and talented players which in my opinion is the best thing to do. They have a fantastic farm system and management that have an incredible eye for young talent. I think that the management and the coaching staff does an amazing job in restoring Toronto to its glorious days. They brought to the team Patrick Marleau and other veteran players that will help the young players which in my opinion was a brilliant move.
I saw the preseason games, and I think that Mike Babcock has a lot of work to do even though that it’s only the preseason there are some issues to address. I believe that Anderson is not in the same shape that he was at the end of the season and playoffs and the defense isn’t as good as it supposes to be. I saw the Sweden defenseman that Toronto signed, and they still need to adjust to the league, and it will take time, but I think that they have a potential to be good players in the NHL and help Toronto defense. Also, the coordination of the team still need to work on, but I guess that during the start of the year it will get better. I think that there are also some good things that I can take from this game, and the main things are the obligation and the desire that they bring every game to the ice. Also, the new guys and Patrick Marleau bring the same passion and desire to help Toronto win. In my opinion, the combination is perfect even though I thought that Marleau should be on the first line with Matthew but after I saw what Babcock did with the line, I was proven wrong.
I saw that in the first games against Ottawa that Toronto didn’t play good and in my opinion, it was because there was a lot of young players that didn’t play with each other.
In Buffalo games, Babcock integrated players from last year, and you could have seen the chemistry that they have, and Toronto started to play better and to win. Also in Montreal, they played great and as a team and the coordination was excellent, but there is still work to do.
Another thing that I liked to see is how the play with the lead and in my opinion they improved in this area from last year in the few games that I saw. they are pressing the opponent, and at defense, they are still making mistakes but less and playing with more mature than last year.
I liked to see their game, and I think that we will have a great team. Toronto still need to find the chemistry with the new players, and some players need to go, but I have faith in Babcock that he will find the right combination and the right players for the team. Also, their defense needs to improve, but I think that they are on the right track.
I saw today the roster for the new season after the cut that they did, and in my opinion, Babcock has chosen the right players and made some good decision. I think that the roster that we have is a great one with the young and talented players that carried us last year and also of great veteran guys who are led by Patrick Marleau. I think that the players that were cut they are not good enough for the NHL and they need another year in the AHL to improve. I believe that next year they will be better and get into the team and it’s a good decision. There are two players that I wanted to see in the roster, and the first one is Roman Polak who is an excellent defenseman and helped Toronto a lot last year, and in my opinion, he deserved a roster spot. The second player is Kasperi Kapanen which is an excellent young player that has excellent speed and skills, and I thought that he had a good preseason. I believe that these two players should have been on the final roster and I hope that I will see them this year if Toronto will need in case of injuries.
I believe that Toronto has a great core of young and talented players that continue from last season and will have incredible success. I think that we have incredible firepower and talent on this team that Babcock will use wisely. Also, I believe that the defense is better than last year and they have a better maturity than last year and especially playing with the lead. There are still issues that Toronto needs to improve on, but I think that they are in the right direction and playing better than last year.
Hopefully, we will build on last year success and reach a higher place in the standings and the playoffs. I know that now most of the teams know us, and we won’t be able to sneak up on teams like last year because they will be ready for us but I trust Babcock and the coaching staff to guide this team to another successful season. I am crazy about the Maple Leafs and can’t wait for the season to start.