The season is just four games old for the Maple Leafs, and they are still winless at 0-3-1. Does this mean that there is reason to worry about the Buds? No.
The last time the Maple Leafs began a season 0-4 cannot even be found.
The Maple Leafs look like they should be able to compete in the Northeast division this season, at least on paper. Brian Burke acquired the likes of Mike Komisarek, Colton Orr, Francois Beauchemin, and Jonas Gustavsson in the off-season.
In four games, Francois Beauchemin is the only new Maple Leaf that has been struggling. In fact, he is a minus 5.
Every other new Maple Leaf is a minus 1.
Another new Maple Leaf will hit the ice in November, as Phil Kessel is expected to boost the Maple Leafs’ lineup.
So, if all the new Maple Leafs are playing alright, with the exception of Francois Beauchemin, then why don’t the Leafs have a win?
Jonas Gustavsson, their best goalie so far, is now injured for the next week meaning that Vesa Toskala, who is sporting a 4.97 GAA in three games, will have to take over.
Is it the veteran Maple Leafs that are not playing up to expectations? Well that’s a toss up because there are four Maple Leaf players that have a plus-minus better than even:
White - +4
Grabovski - +3
Hagman - +3
Ponikarovsky - +3
However, while plus-minus may be the best stat to look at when debating this topic, you still need to look at their offensive stats as well.
Beauchemin, who is a minus 5, still has two assists in those four games, which isn’t that bad at all considering that he is a defenseman. Komisarek has gone pointless in four games, and is a minus 1. Kaberle has three assists.
The above statistics do not lie. In general, all Maple Leaf players have played the same.
So if you cannot blame the Maple Leafs winless record on the players, than who can it be blamed on?
A lot of people are still believers that Ron Wilson, Rob Zettler and Tim Hunter is still the right coaching staff for the Maple Leafs.
The Maple Leafs, however, failed to make the playoffs last season and have begun the year winless in four games in what is believed to be a big year for them.
Whenever you do a complete roster make over like Brian Burke did, you need to hire new coaches as well. If you do not, than those old coaches, no matter how long the coaches have been there, they will be trying to teach on old system to a completely new team.
This could be the reason for the Maple Leafs’ struggles this year.
We have yet to find out for sure, but for now the Maple Leafs are struggling, and bad.
Don’t worry… yet.