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Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Leafs players make a delicious word salad

If you are looking to seek comfort in anything said today you are heading down a path to disappointment. There’s hope that Keefe, Dubas, and Shanahan might provide some optimism this afternoon, but players are going to slip into cliche mode and at best let a couple of disheartening truths slip out. That was the case today. Here’s a small sampling of what was said today.

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That likely means that Barrie has his bags packed, his condo up for sale, but he’s not sure what city he’ll be pointing the moving truck in the direction of. There’s never been anything either from Barrie or the Leafs showing this relationship will continue, so goodbye Barrie.

This is interesting as well. There is certainly some trade Andersen talk going on, and this is only going to fuel it. Andersen did state that this was his best playoff series in Toronto, but after the 2020-21 season it doesn’t seem likely that Andersen would continue being a Leaf. Moving on now might be something the Leafs attempt if an opportunity presents itself.

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I can appreciate that Matthews feels that way, but hopefully he also considers that this goes back to 2005, and while that isn’t his fault, there’s a reason why fans of the team have no patience left for figuring it out.

A healthy Jake Muzzin is required for the future, and an extended amount of time for Muzzin to heal might be the sole benefit of the early exit.

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Thanks. Now it would be great if you could go into games aware of that.

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I don’t where to start with this. You are playing in an elimination series, after hockey has been shutdown for four months. You are skating out onto your home ice, in front of millions of fans watching at home because they can’t be there to support you. You are playing with the most talented roster we’ve seen on the Leafs in at least 15 years, and you decide to phone it in? While making on average $10.893M a year. This is damned unacceptable.

I’m sure that is not what Marner meant, but the Leafs need to learn to stop letting the kid speak and leave his PR to Darren Dreger.

Goals are good. Hopefully he makes up his mind on if he’s going to with the Rocket Richard or the Selke next season, because both seems unrealistic.

Please bring Spezza back. Assuming he’s not looking for a sizable raise, Spezza coming back to the Leafs every year seems like a great idea, as long as he still has some hockey left in him. He’s a great personality for this team.

Reminder that William Nylander is a team player, and while he wasn’t particularly good (read: bad) in Game 5, he was trying to take on a lot in order to support his team and coach.

I’m going to focus on the word “Generally” in that quote. I think it’s a smart qualifier by Rielly, because there has to be a realization within that room that changes are needed, and are coming. Given the defensive partners Rielly has had over the years, I’m sure he has a very specific idea in mind for what needs to improve.

This vote of confidence is nice. Marner also stated he’s looking forward to a full year of Keefe. Hearing from Keefe and Dubas this afternoon will be interesting, as we know for certain there will be at least one new assistant coach behind the bench next year, and that it will be a coach focusing on special teams. Keefe is still working with a team that was more or less built for Dubas’ philosophy but coached by Mike Babcock. This offseason is an opportunity to put the personnel in place that can best support what Keefe wants to achieve.

Up in an a little while are the Leafs bosses, and with those soundbytes might come a bit more hope than what the players provided. The slightest glimpse that things will get better will probably calm a large portion of this fan base, but I also wonder if Dubas has learned his lesson from his early people pleasing comments. His commitment to have Tavares, Matthews, Marner, and Nylander all under contract has undoubtedly come back to bite him in the ass and we might hear some more noncommittal responses today.