In what was called the "market deal" with the Los Angeles Kings, the Toronto Maple Leafs finally got their envoy coming in the form Jake Muzzin. Muzzin did not come cheap, price Sean Durzi, Carl Grundstrum, and the first round of selection from the first round in 2019. In all cases, it was a fair trade of both sides. Some even went so far as to call this business a "home run" for Toronto. They may be right. There are some experts who call this store that will win the Toronto Cup. We just slow down there.
Yes, Leafs finally got the amphibian defender they needed so much. Muzzin brings the Stanley Cup experience, a strong versatile play and another good attitude to add to the dressing room. He is not afraid to throw and can play on the right, which is a good thing because Toronto is weak. No, he does not cut his right hand. No, they do not have to be the "right" top of two defenders, but at Leafs they can not go wrong.
Now, for all reason and reason, the defense corps boasts something similar:
Morgan Rielly – Jake Muzzin
Jake Gardiner – Nikita Zaitsev
Travis Dermott – Ron Hainsey
This is one of the best backend configurations the Leafs had in years, maybe even decades. This means that it does not mean they will win the cup.
Toronto still needs a few puzzles of puzzles
The truth is, on paper, this list of Leafs is the best thing to do in a moment. Austin Matthews, John Tavares, Mitch Marner, Morgan Rielly, Frederik Andersen and the new addition of Jake Muzzin makes this team quite solid, certainly a "candidate" on its own. It does not mention names like this Kasperi Kapanen, Zach Hyman, a Nazem Kadri.
The only thing that Toronto is missing and maybe needed is the playback time. So I think a player, like Nazem Kadri, can get under the skin of the other team and protect the stars of Leafs.
If you look at teams like Washington and Pittsburgh who have won the Stanley Cup in the last two seasons, they had players. Captains had Tom Wilson, maybe sometimes a little too violent, but his work nevertheless did. Nick Bonino he seemed to be able to incite Penguins even when he needed it. They could not win the Cup for their teams but definitely helped the way to victory a little easier to navigate.
Who should Toronto target?
Of course, with about a month into the deadline, Leafs CEO Kyle Dubas he will still dump some tires. Perhaps he will shoot at the top-sixth or other kind of forward Zach Hyman. Someone to look for is Philidelphia Flyers Radko Gudas.
Gudas has a good time and fits into Toronto. According to Cap Friendly, Gudas' cap cap for the next two seasons (2018-19 and 2019-20) is $ 3,350 million (USD). Perhaps if Toronto had somehow managed to persuade Philly or another team to accept Zaitsev's contract, Maple Leafs could agree. Such a move would help the Leafs get a bit harder for the play-off and helped them get the edge over like Boston Bruins or Tampa Bay Lighting.
Toronto, as it stands now
Toronto, when sitting, is a great team that could have a good playoff if they manage to overcome Bruins and / or lighting. Who knows, maybe if Montreal is going to play as if they were playing, maybe Maple Leafs could deal with them in the first round? This is something that holds in their backs on their minds.
Frederik Andersen will have a rest and, fortunately, this year is not much used. That is to say, a backup goalkeeper Garret Sparks was sometimes shocked and made several fans a little nervous. Looking back, keeping up Curtis McElhinney he could kick that fear out of the back door, but many felt that Sparks deserved his chance and now he has it. Besides, in the play-off, everyone knows Andersen will nod. As long as Sparks can win 70-75 percent of the games it plays, everything should be fine.
Does Toronto have a Boston number?
If we look at papers and in-depth charts, it should not be a question either. Toronto should be able to defeat a team like Boston, but like Ohio State has a Michigan number in college football, Boston has a Toronto number in hockey. Fortunately for Maple Leafs, this is the year when they should have Boston. Really off Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak line, Boston is really a poor person of Toronto. As for the play-off, Boston comes to play, and like a match, one can win with one stroke.
Eastern Conference: Tampa Probably upstairs
Call me "Doubting Thomas," but I still think a team like Tampa Bay has a border over Toronto. They have experience, they are deep and have a better goalie. Andrei Vasilevskiy, may sometimes look like the best player in the NHL. Yes, he had his swings and falls in play-off, but if Tampa is scored with three or more goals, he closes the door. This is no insult to Andersen, who is the best Leafs goalkeeper for a while. Andersen is an MVP team in the last few seasons, and Leafs in 2017-18 do not play-off without him. This does not mean that these teams do not fit well beyond the goalie category. This does not mean that Tampa is just destroying Toronto. Being real, the series should be close.
The question is, does Toronto have what it takes to defeat the best league? I'm not selling it yet. The Leafs Nation was heavily hit by the relief of escape, and the old saying is "history must be repeated". Why should this year be different? It's time for the Leafs to prove I'm wrong.
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