The Leafs are officially in the midst of their first losing “streak” of the season. Tuesday’s contest sees the 7-1 Anaheim Ducks visit town, which will be another difficult test for a Leafs team who have yet to really hit their stride despite being 6-3 on the season. The Ducks shellacked the Stars 6-3 last night, and Getzlaf, Perry, Jakub Silfverberg, Selanne and Mathieu Perreault, who is getting a chance to center their second line, are all off to hot starts.
While the hope will be that the return of Kulemin and Clarkson from injury and suspension will help the Leafs dictate the flow of games a little better, between an improved forechecking presence and more depth in offensive options, they’re going to have to try to find a way to compete better with who they’ve got on Tuesday. Clarkson will be eligible to return to action Friday, Frazer McLaren will likely draw back in on the weekend, and hopefully Nik Kulemin isn’t too far from his return, although he’s yet to skate.
The Leafs assigned Carter Ashton, David Broll and Trevor Smith to the Marlies for their 2-1 win on Sunday (Ashton scored the game winner in a 2-1 win over Hamilton), but have recalled Trevor Smith this morning as per Sportsnet.
Some Leafs links on this Monday morning:
Friedman’s 30 Thoughts
Important takeaway: The reevaluation point on Rielly is 40 games because a) that’s when his season counts as credit toward arbitration and free agency determinants (40 games on active roster); b) that’s the last game before Christmas, when he could possibly join the World Juniors.
Marlies highlights from yesterday’s 2-1 win:
Brennan keeps on ripping it up. Ashton with the game winner.
The lack of grit in the Leafs game (so far) this year should surprise no one. Last year, the jam and grit came from wingers Orr, McLaren, Komorov and Kulemin. And while I was worried we would miss Komorov (we have), Clarkson should be an upgrade/substitute. So that means our 4 grit-providing wingers are now Orr, McLaren, Clarkson and Kulemin.
The problem is, we have 3 of those 4 guys missing all at once and Orr can't do much on his own. Throw in the loss of our only sandpaper d-man (Fraser) and we're getting about what one should expect. (I too have been puzzled by the lack of hitting/toughness from Broll, Devane and Bodie - but they weren't here last year, so I can't compare effectively.)
We've got to wait and judge when Clarkson, McLaren, Kuli and Fraser are all back.
That doesn't excuse the extra listless effort of the last three games however.... And an ability to win A LOT more face-offs would help also....
If we're still sandpaper screwed a few months from now, we'd better get Leo back....!
Leafs' Carlyle 'has changed quite a bit' since Ducks days
I took a look at the CF (Corsi For) for Bozak, Kadri and Bolland this season
Bozak has an event every 6.45 minutes (29 events) TOI/60 21.6
Kadri has an event every 4.35 minutes (30 events) TOI/60 16.0
Bolland has an event every 6.22 minutes (23 events) TOI/60 15.9
all has played 9 games
This is not good news
Hey guys, back from a work trip... Saw the games second hand on Leafs TV - not impressed.
What happened to the Leafs being tough? If we don't play physical, we're not going to win IMO.
Orr has been playing fantastic hockey for him the last couple games, but he also needs to lead by example with his physical play. Obviously we also need McLaren and Fraser back desperately, but I think guys like Broll, who I thought we could count on, and Bodie would step up some.
Speaking very generally, because obviously the Leafs had some ups and downs last season, but the Leafs as a team pressured and supported the puck better last season than in previous seasons. That's what I expect from Carlyle's team regardless of who is out of the lineup. It's not been there the past three or four games, which is a bit concerning.
@Burtonboy link ?
@Burtonboy This is what's wrong with the Leafs. Colton's gotta lead by example with his toughness and the rest will follow. It'll also help of course when McLaren and Clarkson get back and eventually Fraser..
@Burtonboy So can we put the argument that Bozak is a good faceoff man to bed.
@Burtonboy And just as a I posted that comment below, you link this. Nice timing.
@Great Dane its pretty good news for Kadri :)
@Alec Brownscombe And if you listen Carlyles interview today it seems he's taking a different approach then I expected. Lupul says he's mellowed lol
@rustynail Not sure about that - but let us hope so
@Shift_Disturber1 Absolutely. That would get the Corsi /possession number up. Not that it is goal in it self.
@Burtonboy @Alec Brownscombe He's talked about staying patient. I wonder if that's to do with who he's waiting to return to the lineup. Also could be because he's aware going too hard on the team this early in the season, day in day out, is how you can lose the room over time. He's talked about being a different coach than he was in Anaheim.
@Burtonboy You know my feelings regarding Bozak. They haven't changed.
He was, He is and He will be horrible on the first line.
@Burtonboy You are absolutely right - but this is like crossing the Hudson Bay and not getting wet.
@4evrblue Off course it will . lol
@dlb eh Shooting the puck at the goal also help winning games.
Bozak is not playing the third line Bolland is. That is stuff you want from your role players.
@Greg Fenton do the research, I'm interested in your findings
@Greg Fenton Spezza is around 3.30 minutes per event.
Lars Eller around 3.78 minutes per event.
And bozak is then playing more than 21 minutes per game