The Leafs are on pace for 27 points. #MyColumn:

The Toronto Maple Leafs got their big fish in Mike Babcock this summer – addressing apparent issues off the ice instead of on the ice. But if you ask me Randy Carlyle was a hockey board, hockey player, and bench away from the real problem. Yet the Leafs didn’t address the real issues, and that’s showing already. 

And I’d be okay with that – this is supposed to be a slow process – but they carried themselves with such bravado this past offseason that I find myself angry at how bad this team still is. They talked about change, playing the right way, playing with a totally different system. But if there is supposed to be so much change, why is this team playing the exact same? 

The Leafs are off to an 0-2-1 start. That puts them on pace for 27 points over an 82 game season. Now I’m no stat guy, but I think it’s safe to say that would be the worst point total of all time. The Leafiest part? They’d be doing that with a new draft lottery format, which wouldn’t guarantee them the 1st or even 2nd pick. Instead, they could miss out on franchise-changers Auston Matthews and Jakob Chychrun and fall all the way to the 4th overall pick. 

But it’s not just the lack of points that worry me – after all, it’s only been three games. What is truly concerning are the trends that are already evident. 

plusminus

Last year, the Leafs had the 4th worst team +/- in the league. So far this year? Tied for second worst.
Their goals against this year is already 12 putting them third last in the league. They’re currently on pace for 328 goals against, which is unsettling when the league-worst Oilers only had 283 against last year. 
Mike Babcock was supposed to make the Leafs a more defensively-responsible team. So far, the results are poor. The worst part is that this isn’t even surprising – how could anyone with a brain think that Babcock would improve this team dramatically over Randy Carlyle, a well-respected defensive coach who has won a Stanley Cup?
It is becoming very clear that the problems with this team was more than just a coach. Management hasn’t focused enough time and effort on changing the players that actually play the game (other than one move which told us how Shanahan Phils about a certain player) and they need to soon or else this team will miss the playoffs once again. 
  • Harte of a Lion

    You never fail to amaze me with your bum attitude and constant negativity. Does this mean the Bruins will give up approximately 427 goals and get 0 points or the Kings will surrender 369?
    I have watched all three games. Yes, the team continues to have mental breakdowns and their confidence is comparable to your own when you asked that hot girl to the grade 9 dance.
    I bet you wet yourself when she laughed in your face?

    Bobby, ow does it feel when others crap on you the way you $hit on the Leafs?

    The main difference I have witnessed so far in the early season is that the team “works” every shift. Even when they lose most of the players know they left everything on the ice.
    That, you sanctimonious idiot is the beginnings of the culture change Shanahan has preached so when Nylander and the other young players make the team, there is no question what is expected.

    I truly believe that if the management stays the course this time, the wins will come. Unfortunately there will be no room on the bandwagon for you and all those whiners and complainers who think Shanahan could wave his magic hockey stick and trade our sows ears for every other teams silk purses.

  • Puck_Stops_Here

    Oh my God, 3 games into the season, new system a team is trying to learn, about 9 new players who haven’t really played together and people are already complaining.

    True rebuilds aren’t done overnight especially when you’ve had management that were as stupid as the leafs had over the last 10 years. They virtually had no decent prospects, horrible contracts, basically everything was a mess.

    Making the playoffs are slim to none but this year will be at least be watchable I think as you can tell their actually working their asses off each shift.

  • Bertly83

    This would have been better if you point out how bozak and lupul are some of the better players that despite babcock’s poor coaching is on pace for 27 goals.

  • Harte of a Lion

    Come on guys! This was written by a high school clown, obviously. It’s not like he’s a professional or anything. If he was he would understand that acting like Steve Simmons is only going to get you the horns. No, wait until he’s at least 19 before you wade in.