The Leafs should not pay the price for Riley Sheahan

Ryan Hobart
February 26 2017 11:05AM

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Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY SPORTS

On Saturday Night Headlines, Nick Kypreos reported that the Leafs are inquiring about Brendan Smith and Riley Sheahan

A number of pieces have already been written, including several by myself, analyzing the state of the Leafs' fourth line centre situation. Here, here, here, and here. One might suggest that all that can be said has been said (I definitely plan to leave it be after this unless an acquisition is made). And, other than the new factor of the pursuit of Riley Sheahan, that certainly seems true. So this piece will focus entirely on the value of Sheahan himself and the Leafs' apparent pursuit thereof.

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Postgame: Leafs Anti-Air guns show up late, beat Jets

Ryan Hobart
February 21 2017 08:57PM

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Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY SPORTS

The Leafs faced off against the Winnipeg Jets tonight in Toronto. With Trouba out on suspension, and Tyler Myers and Tobias Enstrom injured, the Leafs had a prime opportunity to get a win.

The Leafs currently sit 4th in the Atlantic Division and 8th in the Eastern Conference in points percentage, which puts them in the 2nd Wild Card spot assuming all remains constant (which is never a good assumption to make).

From the roster the Leafs iced on Sunday against the Hurricanes, the only change is Gauthier stepping in for Ben Smith.

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Postgame: Senators overtake Leafs in Toronto

Ryan Hobart
February 18 2017 08:10PM

The Leafs took on the Ottawa Senators tonight in Toronto. With Mitchell Marner out, the Leafs certainly will miss his energy. But, Nikita Soshnikov returns to the lineup, who himself will certainly bring some level of energy and offence himself.

This is the 4th of 4 meetings between the two clubs this season, with the Leafs getting points in each of the previous 3 games (1-0-2). 

Huge shoutout to Stephanie Vail (@myregularface) for the gifs used below.

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Leafs claim Alexey Marchenko, waive Frank Corrado

Ryan Hobart
February 04 2017 10:28AM

Today, the Leafs made the move some had been suspecting for a while - replacing Frank Corrado with a different good, young, right-handed defenseman - one that Babcock can comfortably use.

Marchenko got 13 games under Babcock in his last year as the coach of the Red Wings. Since Babcock joined the Maple Leafs, Marchenko has had a more steady role on the veteran Red Wings blueline until very recently. Playing 96 games and scoring 17 points over the last 1.5 seasons, Marchenko is certainly a more recently battle-tested option than Corrado.

Frank Corrado, despite coming in with a lot of hype and promise, never found the trust of Babcock and was used almost entirely as the 8th defenseman. He existed on the roster purely as injury protection, playing just 2 games this season. One of which was purely because he was healthy and Marincin and Rielly were not.

It's possible the Leafs have the same in mind for Marchenko, but there's also a potential to have him replace Roman Polak on the bottom pairing after an upcoming, long-foreseen deadline deal renting Polak away.

It will certainly be interesting to see how Marchenko fits into this Maple Leafs' defense that has thus far been both well-established and under-performing. 

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The Leafs made the wrong choice sending Gauthier to the minors

Ryan Hobart
February 03 2017 07:00AM

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Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY SPORTS

To get this out of the way off the start, here's a link to TLN's own Dom Luszczyszyn's piece on why fourth lines and bottom pairs matter. Great, now that that's out of the way... 

The Leafs sent down Frederik Gauthier to the Toronto Marlies yesterday. Ben Smith was able to come off of the Injured Reserve and join the team to re-claim his spot at the team's fourth-line centre for last night's game. So, between Gauthier and Smith, they chose Smith. But, based on what we know, they were 100% wrong.

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