There is a very strange feeling in my stomach that I can’t explain. It may have something to do with obsessively checking the clicking the NHL.com/standings shortcut in my browser or perhaps this is more of a result of that hot sauce soaked slice of cold pizza I had for breakfast. Only time will tell.
Nevertheless it is very disconcerting to look at the standings these days. The Leafs’ goal differential isn’t improving, (unless you pretend they’ve never played Boston) they’re consistently falling behind early and a solid 60 minute game is hard to come by. I would mention the PK as well, but from what I’ve seen the Leafs don’t have one.
That would be something though. Imagine those Boys in Blue taking the ice when they get a penalty instead of sitting on the bench in protest. It is a radical idea, I know, but it does warrant some consideration. As it is they only get scored on nearly 30% of the time, effectively neutralizing their suddenly deadly powerplay, so with a few quality kills here and there could make a huge difference.
I would start with the simple things:
– Cover passing lanes
– Don’t let players (ie:Kovalchuk) stand still unchallenged with the puck
– Be aware of where all players are
That’s all and I would bet that almost every player on the Leafs learned how to play shorthanded at some point. If they don’t pull this PK together I am afraid that this habit of treading .500 continue and I am not sure my body can take it. If not I may have to make some dietary changes, maybe utilize the microwave.