Time Off Might Just Be What The Doctor Ordered For Toronto
So far this season, things aren't working right in Toronto. While its only seven games in, and despite missing the playoffs four years in a row, they haven't stumbled this badly out of the gate.
The goalies have looked weak and defensive play has been poor. Adding to the issues has been a lack of offense. Last season Toronto got points from unusual places and they found themselves able to score goals each night.
After a busy preseason schedule that saw the team win most of their games, they haven't been able to carry that play over to the regular season. So maybe that little time off caught up to them.
Other than last Saturday's game against the Rangers, this team has looked awful in each contest. They couldn't hold the lead against Montreal opening night and haven't scored enough goals since to even have a lead.
Last game they looked different though, they seemed to get the message that coach Ron Wilson was trying to convey. They crashed the net and took several shots creating plenty of scoring chances. Joey MacDonald, while not making overly huge saves, made enough key saves to get the team some confidence.
After hitting the net hard with both shots and bodies, nothing came of it and they found themselves down a few goals about halfway through the game. Whatever confidence they had vanished as they weren't the same team after that. They stopped shooting and throwing the body around and it allowed for New York to pull away.
So currently Toronto is sitting at 0-6-1 to start the season and looking for answers. Can the offense carry over the play from the early parts of last game and can the defense hold off opponents long enough to get a lead. Most of all can the goalies play well enough to win/steal a few games in the process.
All of this certainly won't happen overnight, but with a week off since their last game they have time for improvement. Most importantly this could allow Toronto to have four healthy goalies able to play by Saturday. Three at the very least. Gustavsson has been out since playing against Ottawa with a groin injury and is most likely the first one to return to action. Toskala meanwhile is still nursing a knee injury and may need another few days to rest up.
All these days of practice might just be enough to turn this season around for Toronto. And everyone from the coach, to the general manager to the fans is hoping that will be the case.
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