yave1964 Posted October 10, 2017 Share Posted October 10, 2017 I picked the Leafs to go to the SCF and represent the East and after the first week or so of the season I still stick to it and the main reason is the defense is catching up to the forwards. Don't get me wrong, the kid forward group led by Matthews, Nylander, and Marner with other talented youngsters such as Hyman and Connor Brown and a cast of rugged vets the forward group is the envy of the entire league. Players such as Soshnikov and Kapanen who IMHO are NHL players right now cannot even crack the team. The forward group is stacked and loaded. But the defense which has long consisted of overpaid UFAs such as Robidas or the immortal Jeff Finger or aging vets on bloated contracts playing out the string is instead is being built for right now as well as the future. Veteran Ron Hainsey was brought in as a penalty killer and defensive zone steady as you go defensive specialist, an under the radar signing and Gardiner and Reilly both bring something to the table but the talented forwards now have counterparts coming in waves on the blueline. NIKITA ZAITSEV Showed excellent vision after coming over from the KHL last season, he looks even more comfortable this season running the power play and rushing the puck. CALLE ROSEN is a rail thin sneaky fast defenseman in his rookie year. I studied him last night, his stick never stops moving and he knows what to do when the puck is on his stick. He and Zaitsev seem to feed off of each other. ANDREAS BORGMAN another rookie, he loves to hit, he absolutely destroyed Debrincat last night against the boards. Every game this year that I have watched he has had at least one crushing hit. I watched him last night as well, he is a bit slow and tentative but that may be because he is a rookie who wants to stay in the lineup and is trying to avoid making mistakes but he looks uber talented. In the minors I LOVE Timothhy Liljegren, he slipped in the first round and fell into the Leafs lap. Travis Dermott is ready or nearly so, a strong cocky kid with a boomer from the point. The long and short is these are not your parents Leafs, the defense is churning out talented kids now left and right and Babcock is putting them in the lineup and playing to their strength and the team is feeding off their vibe. Good times in Toronto. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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