This post is talking about The rookies of the Toronto maple leafs that taking the league by storm, during this incredible year they broke the record for rookies in a single season that held since the 60s, also to what my opinion on the future of the team.
Toronto has a core of great and talented young rookies that most of them are barely 20 years old, rookies such as Austin Matthews, Mitchel Marner, Morgan Rielly, Zach Hyman, Nikita Zaitsev. I feel that I witness the birth of young and talented players that in the years to come will only get better and develop their skills that they have, and will take center stage of the NHL. Already when they are talking about Austin Matthew, all the analysts are comparing him to Sidney Crosby that currently is the best player in the NHL, and led the Canada team to win the last three Olympic and tournaments.
All the rookies have great skills and speed that keep the other team on their toes and disrupt their play. Also, they can handle the puck very well which helps them to cause the other team turnovers that a lot of time leading to scoring goals or great scoring opportunities. You can see in the game that Babcock is putting different lines during the game or changing them before the games to adjust it to the opponent, most of the times it works and disrupts their opponents game. Especially, Rielly and Zaitsev and veteran Kadri on defense or Mathew and Marner and Himen on offense. You can see their passion for getting better and learning and adjust their game every game, and Babcock is leading them and help them maximize their potential. It is exciting to see their progress and the success of the team because of this. Also to see during the game the chemistry that they have, in face-offs or how they communicate during the match without almost not talking to each other. Babcock has made them to one fantastic unit that is fascinating to see.
The biggest problem with is the lack of experience and sometimes not enough toughness from the players that leads to making sloppy plays and sometimes unnecessary dangerous passes, that lead to turnovers. Also, they still don"t know how to play with the lead. They are getting push to their zone instead of getting the puck to the offensive zone which will put the pressure on the opponent. Instead, they are letting the other team back into the game. It leads to unnecessary pressure which leading to losing too many points. But I guess that it"s part of the learning curve that they need to go through. Mike Babcock and the management is doing a great job of letting them play through the struggles that they have, this way they will learn how to deal with this situation in the future. The Management is also acquiring veteran players through trades in purpose to help the young core develop their mentality of being a winning team in the NHL.
Toronto has a five-year plan that started last year that means: building a core of young players from draft picks and minor league, establishing around them a group of veteran players that will lead them and teach them from their own experience how is to play in the big league.
The management and Mike Babcock building for the long run and not tempted to do trades only to get to the playoff this year, even though that Toronto is in the playoff picture but still have problems that they need to address. In all the interviews that I read, they are talking about the long run, and I trust them and glad to see that. I think that they are doing the right thing even if it will cost the playoff this year but we will benefit from having a winning team in the next years to come and maybe getting and winning the cup in an another few years.
I just hope that they will continue with the five-year plan and won"t stray from the primary goal that they made in the start of the rebuilding, Of making the Toronto Maple Leaf a winning and fruitful team in the next years to come like they were in the 60s and 70s.
I hope That I will continue to see them as my father saw them when he was young and grow up on them, a winning and fruitful team in the league and win the Stanley Cup.
Here is a link to a short clip about what I talked in the blog:
These kids are alright