Maple Leafs News and Views => Main Leafs Hockey Talk => Topic started by: nutman on December 31, 2017, 06:14:31 PM

Title: Leaf defense.....
Post by: nutman on December 31, 2017, 06:14:31 PM
We need upgrades real bad.  They can't keep the puck in the other team's end when pressure is on, as well no one can make a pass to free up the forwards.  in our end, they are just the worst.
Title: Re: Leaf defense.....
Post by: Al14 on December 31, 2017, 07:27:54 PM
I question what is being taught to our team regarding team defense.  Babcock has not got them playing well defensively at all.  I know he hasn't got Lidstrom back there, but still, the same mistakes are being made over, and over, and over again!

It doesn't make sense to me that Babcock can't get them to play better defensively at all.

Is Babcock really that great of a coach?
Title: Re: Leaf defense.....
Post by: Chris on December 31, 2017, 08:12:54 PM
I kind of feel like it's partly a lack of physical play. There were numerous times today when Leaf forwards were separated from the puck in the offensive zone by hits along the boards. I'm not talking about crushing hits, most of it was just effective positioning and use of the body, followed by a quick pass leading to a controlled breakout. I don't see that very much in the Leafs defensive zone, teams seem to be able to cycle and maintain possession for long periods of time. Leaf defenders are not overly big and aren't known for physical play, but you don't have to be a bruiser to rub a guy out along the boards.

The other thing seems to be the tendency for the forwards to leave the zone early, which limits the passing opportunities for the defense when they do have the puck. Many of the resulting long passes are intercepted and possession is lost. So I think it's partly personnel and partly system. Early in the season it didn't look as bad because we were scoring at will, but as the offense has regressed to the mean, it exposes those defensive flaws.
Title: Re: Leaf defense.....
Post by: sickbeast on January 01, 2018, 11:28:23 AM
The thing is, the Leafs have guys like Kapanen sitting on the bench while they have guys like Marincin filling in for Zeitsev.  They have excess forward depth and a complete lack of defensive depth.  They absolutely need to make a trade.  They should extract maximum value out of one of their forwards for a good young defenseman, and then play Kapanen every day.  They could even trade two forwards and then let Kapanen *and* Leivo play every day.  I could live with that.  It seems prudent at this point.
Title: Re: Leaf defense.....
Post by: Chris on January 01, 2018, 11:44:28 AM
If they could get a good defenseman for JVR, I'd rather go that route and play Kapanen every day. I'd rather not trade Kapanen at this point, but that may depend on how management feels the younger defense prospects (Dermott, Nielsen, Rosen) are progressing. Are any of them capable of stepping in and improving the defense next year? I don't ever see the Marlies so I have no idea.

Even with a defensive upgrade, I don't think this team is ready to be a serious contender...yet. So I'd rather not move one of our best offensive prospects especially when it's not clear what else is happening up front with JVR, Bozak, Komarov. But at some point, it will have to be considered.

(edit to add - I think I had misread your post, for some reason I thought you were advocating trading Kapanen but now I realize that's not what you were saying. Too much New Years for me, I guess!)