Steve Spott hopped on Leafs Lunch yesterday to discuss coaching amid the Leafs’ death spiral.

Spott mentioned there’s been  added emphasis on the amount of time spent on individual development with some of the younger assets on the team, mentioning Holland, Panik and Kadri.

On coaching objectives in a lost cause:
What we’re trying to do here, we’ve talked about it at length, is lots of individual stuff. This morning I did a session with Peter Holland, Chris Dennis is meeting with Richard Panik. You have your team message, then you have a lot of individual stuff. It’s hard when you have 22 guys in the same room trying to pound home the positive messages. A lot of what we’re doing right now is individual stuff with video.

On tuning out the white noise of the media and fan base:
I remember when I was going through the interview process for this job, where I sat down with Randy Carlyle in Philadelphia at the draft; we were talking candidly with each other about that. He had talked a lot about the highs being very, very high, and when there’s lows they are very, very low. There’s never a level of ‘just ok.’ [It’s never a case of] You lose a game, that’s fine, you get on the horse and you get onto the next game. Or you win one, it’s fine, you prepare for the next game. It’s very, very high or very, very low. It’s really rung true for me this year. When we were on that the win streak we could buy a coffee anywhere in the city, now we’re in situation where we can’t even go to the mall. It’s an amazing thing to live through it. Our job as coaches is try to block out as much white noise as we can keep out of the locker room. We’re doing that right now, trying work with these players individually, we’re doing that as much as possible.

Tuesday Links:

  • Anthony Petrielli: Leafs Notebook – February 23 (MLHS)
    There is a lot of talk around Toronto about trading Kessel and then in separate breaths, hoping to get Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel in the draft. There’s very little talk about what happens after you hypothetically draft one of those two.  It would be nice to have an elite scoring winger to play with one of those two players, perhaps someone like Phil Kessel.
  • Jonas Siegel: Leafs burned by two-month scoring crater (
    “There’s slumps, but not for a team with this much skill though,” said Joffrey Lupul, injured for most of the scoring nose-dive and thus careful as not to criticize teammates. “It’s really odd that that would happen. There’s not one thing. It’s a number of different things.”
  • James Mirtle: NHL’s foray into analytics not off to great start (The Globe and Mail)
    The troubling part of the NHL’s launch is how confusing and, in some cases, wrong the new data are. Without a filter for games played or ice time, for example, little-known players such as Andrew Agozzino and Miikka Salomaki lead the league in points per 20 minutes.
  • Michael Langlois: Always waiting for the future can be draining for Maple Leaf supporters (VLM)
    The truth is, while it would be nice to see the Leafs win some games (winning always beats losing in pro sports), it’s just awfully difficult to attach significant meaning to almost any results that we see right now.
  • James Mirtle: The Leafs aren’t this bad (The Globe and Mail)
    “This isn’t the situation I thought I’d be in at all,” Lupul said of when he signed his five-year deal. “But I don’t think this team is as bad as we’ve shown the past couple months. I think there’s some really, really positive pieces and some young guys playing better.
  • Kevin McGran: Maple Leafs’ Dion Phaneuf ‘hopeful’ to return this week (Toronto Star)
    “It feels good to be out with the guys again,” said Phaneuf. “It’s tough mentally when you’re out by yourself day after day and just doing treatment and rehab. It wears on you. I’m hopeful to play this week. I want to see how it (the hand) responds.”
  • Sean Fitzgerald: Are the Maple Leafs ‘bulletproof’? How a full-scale rebuild could affect TV, sponsors and businesses (National Post)
    A year after teaming with Bell to buy a 79.53% stake in MLSE, Rogers Communications Inc. announced it would spend $5.2-billion over 12 years for exclusive Canadian rights to the National Hockey League. Would a bad Leafs team soften ratings projections?
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