With just a bit over 2 days before the trade deadline, the Toronto Maple Leafs face some tough decisions. The Leafs management and players have put up a strong front by stating they are in a fight for the final playoff spot. However, as we have seen in the new year, the Leafs cannot compete and sit in 11th spot in the East and 8 points behind the Habs for that final spot.
The difference between the Habs and Leafs is , the Habs are putting up a fight by winning games, while the leafs have lost 3 in a row since the end of the Olympics, and 2 losses prior to them. The Leafs didn't show up against Washington or Buffalo. The competed to their best abilities against Ottawa and still lost. Whereas the Habs are 3 and 1 in their last 4. With strong goaltending. Belfour looks like the Eagle is going extinct. But you can't fault him completely. The defence is crap, and his confidence is shot. That can only come back if the team wins a few for him with strong defencive play. Reports indicate that tonights game is the test to see whether or not the Leafs blow up the team, or hope for the best and make a run with 22 games remaing.
So why not? Let the Leafs have this one last game as a test to see if they have what it takes to fight, and compete....soemthing we haven't seen in 2006. In fact, I think the "success" they had at the start of the season to December, was in large part due to them playing weaker teams at the time, and a strong powerplay. Also, if you observe carefully, the only time the Leafs show any puck control, or offensive zone presence is on the powerplay. They lack the speed and offensive skill to setup and breakout with the puck. They are very sloppy and slow!
Montreal v/s Toronto....lets see if they come out and play.