Most people pegged the Leafs to be 12th in the East and they're certainly playing down to expectations.
That said, the two biggest and most common question before the Leafs' season started - is Bozak ready to be a #1C and who is going to score for this team - have turned out to have rather ugly answers so far (No; nobody).
It's hard to believe that the Leafs scored more goals (16) in their first four games than they have in their last ten (15). The team is now on pace to score fewer goals this season than any team since the lockout.
One win in their last nine, shut-out three times in their past six. The trend lines are all pointing in the wrong direction.
The worst part is, lots of people saw this coming.
Looking at this mess of a club, to my mind the latest horrific slide appears to come down to:
- The team has tuned out the Coach. The penalty kill is bad and the power play is a whole new level of atrocious. Too frequently the team comes out flat and isn't coming up with an adequate compete level; and/or
- Burke has consistently mis-judged the state of the club and applied the wrong "fix." (When the team had three wins in their first 18 games using the NHL's most expensive group of defencemen, acquiring another "stud" d-,an didn't strike me as the club's biggest priority. This off-season, with goals at an absolute premium, committing $3.5M to 15 goal man Colby Armstrong seemed like a horrible use of resources).
If it's the latter (and the voices in my head are telling me it might be) I'm not ready to go there quite yet...
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