Last week in our blog we posted a story that seemed to piss a lot of Leaf fans off. Well, Sorry not sorry. You should be used to being pissed off at this team by now. Believe me when I say these quotes upset me as well. They really shouldn’t come as a surprise as we’ve all seen the way these guys have folded in the playoffs the last 3 years.
There’s no question about the high end skill that these 3 (Matthews, Marner, Nylander) possess and in my opinion they can rival any other teams top 3 skaters. The problem here is not their skill levels, but their compete levels and desire to win day in and day out. the consistency is what really plagues this team. Will this year be different? Will they finally figure it out and put it all together? That remains to be seen but there is a reason for optimism. Provided we get this Covid crap under control and the NHL season gets going in January, I feel as though the Leafs can take that extra step for 3 reasons. With all due respect to T.J. Brodie those 3 reasons are Wayne Simmonds, Joe Thornton, and Zach Bogosian.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that these 3 will add a ton of skill to this group because they won’t and they don’t need to. What they will add is Leadership, Accountability and Toughness.
Simmonds is on the downside of his career so I don’t see much more than 30-35 points out of him but in all honesty I don’t care one bit about his point totals. He’s here for one reason and the reason is to play tough. I fully expect him to set the tone from the get go in Game 1 of the season. He’s tough as nails, and plays the game hard. The downside is the he has had some injury concerns over the years. Lets hope he’s as close to 100% as possible for this year. This was a no-brainer for Dubas.
Bogosian. big, mean, Stanley Cup champion…..but he’s brittle. If this guy can stay off the IR and play close to a full season it will be a slam dunk signing for Dubas. He’s the exact type of player they need on the backend in Toronto. Slotting in next to Muzzin on the second pairing makes for a solid shutdown combo. Bogo should be the first one over the boards on the PK as well.
and finally Jumbo Joe. Part of the infamous quote from Torts back in 2011 – “He could go down as a player, being one of the better players in our league to never win anything”. Well let’s hope Joe can win something while he’s here in Leaf land. He did come close in 2011 and again in 2016 but he’s no longer the player he was then. While I love this signing for the Leafs, I don’t expect much more production than what Spezza brought last year, and that’s OK. What I do expect is a no nonsense approach to the game and a big voice in the dressing room. Will Matty, Willy, and Mitchy fall in line or just tune him out and flip on the PS5? I guess we’ll see in January.
Let us know what you think in the comments below.