So far this season the Toronto Maple Leafs have played pretty well. Anderson is starting to find his groove, others on the roster not named Matthews and Nylander and starting to chip in. There has been one glaring weakness this whole season and as you probably assumed by the title of this article it’s defense. The Leafs have one of the worst goals against per game so far this season. Yes that’s partly because of sub par goal tending to start, but its mostly caused by massive defensive lapses and defense man getting “lost” in their own zone. So what does the leafs defense look like?
Rielly-Zaitsev Marincin-Carrick Gardiner-Polak
All are decent defense man, in my opinion the only guys that are really worth keeping around are Rielly, Zaitsev and Carrick. I dont mind Gardiner and Marincin as a 5/6 pair but with limited minutes. Gardiner can be brilliant and in the same shift look like he is a house league hockey player. If he had consistency then maybe but he has had years to show that and it seems this year he has actually gotten worse.
To me we are missing a top pairing Dman. This is how I think the lines should look
Rielly ____ Carrick Zaitsev Gardiner Marincin
The big rumor going around is the leafs should pick up Jacob Trouba. at 6’3 200 lbs he is a big hard hitting defensively sound player that would pair nicely with Rielly on that top line. But at what cost? What will it take to get him from the Jets? Some may argue too much with picks and high end prospects like Kapanen, Dermott and Bracco being potential targets. To me… I think it would be worth it to get that kind of talent any chance you can get, especially if you have a ton of forward depth.
The question I ask to you, is this the right time? The Leafs are still rebuilding, the young forward core is still maturing and getting better. Would it be better to let them play and potentially get another lottery pick and draft a top end defense man in the up coming draft? What about in the Leafs system, do they have anyone that could fill the void of a big two way/ Defensive Defenseman? Is it worth waiting and letting these guys develop and use those prospects down the line for an even bigger move? I know what i would do, What would you?
Heres a link to a player i think could fill the void this season or next. http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=131262
Let me know what you guys think? Should the leafs move some offence for defense? Wait it out? Comment below or tweet me @TMLHockeytlk