It’s way to early to make any definitive pronouncements on the state of the Maple Leafs. Three games doesn’t necessarily tell us a lot, though it may provide an inkling of what lies ahead.
Those three games have netted the Leafs one point so far in the NHL standings—earned as a result of the come-from-behind shootout loss to the Senators on Saturday night at the ACC. Boston and Columbus are also winless with in three games (without a point) so the Leafs have some early season company.
Some very preliminary thoughts:
- Our goaltenders aren’t stealing any games for us.
- I thought the back checking on a couple of the Red Wing goals on Friday night, for example, was less than what we will need to be competitive. If our forwards don’t work their tails off coming back, this will be a long season. Stretching and waving a stick at a guy won’t get it done.
- I’m not sure where the leadership will come from when the team hits rough patches.
- This feels like a roster built for ensuring the Leafs will get a high draft pick next June as part of the long term rebuilding plan.
- Almost a week off between games gives Babcock a chance to conduct a mini training camp with his full roster- and without the large numbers he had at camp.
My questions for you today are straightforward: recognizing that most Leaf supporters have long declared this year is not about wins and losses, surely we still expect something to come out of a long NHL season. So my questions include:
- Do we have one bona fide NHL star in this lineup?
- Can our goaltending win enough games to stay out of the Eastern Conference basement?
- Will we tire of saying, “Hey, it’s great to see the Leafs are working hard?” because working hard ultimately won’t be enough?
- Are expectations for this organization too low?
- Have any Leafs caught your eye this season so far?
Again, it’s awfully early. Lots of work ahead.