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Maple Leaf Hangout Episode 22

With the Leafs just past the halfway mark in their NHL season, we pulled everyone together to broadcast Episode 22 of “The Maple Leaf Hangout” on Monday evening.  Our guest is Gus Katsaros, Scouting coordinator for McKeens Hockey.

We cover a range of Leaf topics, from coaching, individual players, systems, the penalty-kill and concerns within Leafworld about the overall play of the team.  But we look for hopeful signs, too.


If you’d like to check it out, click here.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Michael
    Its probably the point in the season after an awful game when all our hopes for this team are at the lowest point. Your previous post had a majority of Leaf fans not so optimistic about having much success this season. Perhaps all the evidence may suggest this and rightfully so.

    However, sometimes it doesn't take much to turn a game around or for that matter a season around. Recently we can look back at the game against Carolina last year when Lupul went end to end to score a beautiful goal and solidify our playoff drive.

    We can see in years past that teams at the mid point of the regular season who were near .500 teams but finished strong and propelled themselves to the cup finals. LA in 2012, Edmonton in 2006, Calgary in 2004 were all 8th seeded. But they all finished the season riding high. In 2001New Jersey fired their coach with like 4 games to go and won the cup.

    It doesn't take that much to turn a season around and there is still a lot of hockey left to play. Maybe its the fact that us Leaf fans have suffered so much during the past 3 decades that our psyche is scarred. Not just with the Leafs but in recent times with all our sports franchises. We almost have reflex reaction and say "I've seen this before and know how it will end". But we have to remember that this is a completely different team. This may be the growing pains of having such a young and inexperienced team. We need to grow together and build on small victories and learn to close out opponents the way true contenders do. Then we can win a few in a row and go on a nice run.

    We can look at it and say we got destroyed by the Rangers who are not even a playoff team at the moment with their backup. Yet we can also say that we have earned points in 5 of the last 7 games. There are positives to built from here.

    Maybe Carlye will be replaced, maybe he will realize that he has to change the system since it is not working to the advantage of his players strengths.

    We do have top goaltending and it will keep us in games most nights. Our PK last year and earlier this year was outstanding. Our PP at home is lights out. Maybe all it will take is a return to the lineup by Holland and all the pieces will fall into their correct positions. With certain players excelling at their prescribed positions and rolls.

    Again, you have mentioned it before that the East is pretty weak and most of the teams have struggled mightily throughout the season.

    I remember the exhibition game against Buffalo when Clarkson was suspended, it felt like it brought the team together and we opened the season with some wins. It doesn't feel like the same team right now but it is.

    When we beat Anaheim this year the Duck players were really impressed with our game. We played our finest games against Chicago and pretty darn well against LA in a losing cause. So its not like this team cannot do it. There is parity in the league like almost never before and any team can win and also lose any given night.

    We are just caught in a rut right now and need something to happen that'll turn this ship around. I don't think it'll take much but a few wins in a row may just do it.

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    Replies
    1. You are absolutely correct, BlueANDwhite, this is a different Leaf team, at a different time and place. And I, too, have tried to say here that a few wins could change the mood around the club very quickly.

      I don't think many fans doubt there is talent here - and especially some young talent that, developed properly, could be very good for a long time.

      Right now there is a seeming disconnect, a missing link, something off- whatever we want to call it. There is still plenty of time to "turn things around" and in fact, if we set aside the Ranger game, the Leafs were, as you say, picking up point most nights.

      You cite several teams in recent seasons who finished strongly and that took them into a very successful playoff run. These things do happen, because the players and the coach are on the same page, get things "right", and the players work their butts off to achieve success.

      Confidence can be a fragile thing, and momentum comes and goes. But a will to work hard, compete and win are key. Thanks BlueANDwhite.

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