The Plus Minus: First round opponent almost set in stone for Leafs

The first round opponent for the Toronto Maple Leafs is all but set in stone. Again, they will face the Boston Bruins and again they will probably get their butts handed to them. So why bother watching?


Sometimes in life when all consensus, opinion and every possible media outlet is against a team they can develop an “us against the world” attitude, which is powerful. The media is making the Bruins such a heavy favourite that the pressure may be solely on their shoulders at this point.

North York native Zach Hyman will have to be an absolute monster in this series for the Leafs to have any chance. Of course, other GTA born players on the leafs squad will have to be electric as well, such as Tavares and Marner. But Hyman, and let’s say… Nazem Kadri, seem to be the only two players in blue who understand that hockey is a contact sport.

In all reality that’s the only “plus” I see here.


I can’t help but shake my head. Now I know this is old news, but every time I look at the Leafs’ roster or see the boyish, bashful face of Dubas, I yell at the TV “WHY!”. Does Dubas think his team of crafty little water bugs are going to with stand pounding hit after hit in the playoffs with no deterrent?

I’m all for having your own style and sticking to your guns and believing in your team etc. But this non checking experiment shouldn’t be conducted, especially in our starved market. Evermore so when we still have key players on entry level contracts that allow salary cap room for such gambles. Is it even a gamble? Of course not.

The Plus Minus: First round opponent almost set in stone for Leafs
Wayne Simmonds and I at a Gary Roberts Boot Camp in 2012.

The Predators parted with a mere fourth round pick and an average roster player for the services of Scarborough “scrapper” Wayne Simmonds. Wayne is much more than a “scrapper”. He’s a humble man of character, who never quits, he puts fear into the opposing teams defence and is a relentless hornet around the net. He has the legs to keep up with the elite players in a checking role if needed as well.

Does all this sound familiar? He’s exactly what this team needs. Just think how popular he would be in a Toronto uniform, a Jamaican Canadian fighter from Toronto (ok, Scarborough) playing in his hometown bringing blood guts and goals home, for once. Instead he joins a long list of GTA born players who will bring such glory to unworthy American markets, while we peddle the pint size water bugs. Don’t forget the lethargic, over paid Nylander.

As Babcock said when he took the job here “there’s pain coming”. Oh how right you are sir.