The Toronto Maple Leafs are gearing up for a vital matchup in opposition to their most up-to-date rivals, the Tampa Bay Lightning, on Monday night time (Nov. 6). To be frank, the workforce has been taking part in poorly this season. There are two points that, if not addressed, will proceed to hang-out them. First, the workforce has failed to repair its defensive struggles. Second, there’s no scoring depth on the workforce.
The second reality, in itself, is a little bit of a shock. Both Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi have ‘scorer’ on their resume. So why the massive drop-off? Why is neither of those gamers becoming in but?
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Without addressing these points, there’s a great likelihood the workforce received’t be capable of snap its four-game dropping streak.
How Profound Is This Maple Leafs Depth Scoring Problem?
On Saturday night time, the workforce’s five-game homestand obtained off to a rocky begin with a 6-4 loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Auston Matthews confirmed up and recorded his third hat trick of the season, and Mitch Marner lastly had a Marner-like recreation and chipped in with a aim and three assists.
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However, the Maple Leafs’ defensive points and lack of scoring depth have change into an anchor that’s holding the workforce in place. The workforce can also be dealing with damage considerations. They are presently with out defenseman Jake McCabe (who has a groin injury) and Timothy Liljegren (with an ankle injury). The phrase is that McCabe is now skating, and his standing for Monday’s recreation is iffy.
While Matthews, Marner, John Tavares, and William Nylander have been constant scoring contributors, the supporting solid of newcomers Domi and Bertuzzi usually are not producing, and each appear to be having a tough time becoming in. Domi has not but scored a aim and has solely 4 assists. Bertuzzi has two objectives however solely a single help in 11 video games.
As the Maple Leafs get set to face the Lightning, they must be centered on shoring up their protection and searching for improved offensive contributions from their supporting gamers. The recreation may very well be a compelling conflict between two gifted groups, or if the Maple Leafs can’t get out of their funk, it is likely to be over rapidly.
The Lack of Depth Scoring on the Maple Leafs Is Hurting
That the Maple Leafs are grappling with an enormous problem is to me (as I famous) stunning. There’s a scarcity of constant (okay, actually any) depth scoring, and it has had a transparent affect on their total aim differentials.
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Ryan Reaves, particularly, has confronted important challenges this season. For the little time he spends on the ice, he carries an alarming aim differential of minus-eight. Additionally, each defensemen McCabe and John Klingberg have a four-goal deficit.
This is stunning as a result of the attention take a look at tells me in a different way. Forward, Noah Gregor additionally finds himself in the identical state of affairs with a minus-four aim differential. However, in latest video games, he’s bumped up the lineup and appears to be producing higher.
The level is that these destructive differentials underscore the Maple Leafs’ urgent want for extra balanced scoring all through their lineup. Without it, how can they anticipate to realize success?
A Deeper Dive into Maple Leafs Scoring Statistics Highlights the Problems
The scoring distribution and tendencies reveal an fascinating image of the Maple Leafs’ efficiency this season. The workforce’s prime gamers have been productive. Matthews and Nylander are tied for the workforce lead with 15 factors – Matthews has 11 objectives and 4 assists and Nylander has six objectives and 9 assists. These two are the first drivers of the workforce’s offense.
Marner has began to heat up and now has 13 factors (4 objectives and 9 assists). Tavares stays a point-per-game participant, with 12 factors in 11 video games (5 objectives and 7 assists). The solely defenseman who’s placing up factors in any respect is Morgan Rielly with two objectives and 6 assists (eight factors) in his 11 video games. Klingberg has no objectives however has registered 5 assists.
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Then we come to a major drop-off in scoring. Depth forwards Calle Jarnkrok (5 factors) and Domi (4 factors) have been comparatively quiet. No shock actually, however defenseman Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie haven’t scored a lot, and with David Kampf, these three gamers have mixed for under 5 factors. Matthew Knies, for all his promise, has 4 factors (two objectives and two assists).
The Bottom Line in Maple Leafs Secondary Scoring
The Maple Leafs want extra balanced scoring all through their lineup to alleviate the stress on their prime stars and enhance their total efficiency. Saying it merely, the shortage of secondary scoring is a key space that must be addressed to win extra video games.
If this problem just isn’t mounted (and it will appear that the personnel is there to repair it), it received’t bode nicely for the season.