Friday, October 27, 2017

The Leafs' Hot Start Put Into Perspective

The NHL season is just about one-eighth of the way through, and the Toronto Maple Leafs have got off to one of the best starts in recent memory. They sit second in the Atlantic division behind Tampa, and are top 10 in the whole NHL. This is a large part due to the exciting offence that has fuelled the Leafs almost every game. Gone are the days where the Leafs relied on a couple guys to score. The Leafs now have three full lines (possibly four if Mitch Marner remains on the fourth line) who can score and strike at any point to cushion leads, create comebacks, and conjure something out of nothing. However, there is one glaring issue that the Leafs need to fix, and that is the defence, particularly in front of the net. Frederik Andersen has played pretty well in his first couple of games. He's nowhere near the level that he was at during the latter stages of last season, but have faith, he'll get there, probably sooner than later. However, his goals against average is quite high, due to one reason. Tip ins, tip ins, and more tip ins, none of which are his fault. This is due to the fact that the Leafs can't seem to move players in front of the net. Sure, adding Roman Polak helps in that department, but the Leafs, as a defensive unit, need to step up and help Andersen out. You can't stop what you can't see, and if this problem isn't fixed, teams will be crashing the net more times than often this year. However, if they fix this problem, the Leafs will undoubtedly take a giant step in the right direction in their quest for success this year. But that's the only real issue this year. The Leafs are 2nd in their division, on top of Montreal (How many times has that been said in the last 5-10 years?). The net problems are issues that can be fixed, and will be fixed. Other than that, players and fans have to be pleased with the quality of the team around them. The Leafs have a good start to the year. Let's see if they keep it up.