Every now and then a new annoying trend in sports occurs. For the past couple of seasons that trend seemed to be podcasting, but now something new has emerged, and it’s the Toronto media asking any player with a cup ring what is wrong with the current version of the Maple Leafs.
As a starting point, I want to acknowledge that there are plenty of things wrong with a team as talented as the Leafs failing to win 50% of their games so far this season. It warrants the question, what’s going wrong? I would however argue that the locker room where it makes sense to ask that question is the home team’s room at the Scotiabank Arena, not the visitors.
Despite that, we’ve had soundbytes from Alexander Ovechkin…
Ovi says the Leafs need to ‘figure out if they’re playing for themselves or for a Stanley Cup’ and if they want to win they need to play differently 👀 pic.twitter.com/oWTV5qUfmn
— Yahoo Sports Canada (@YahooCASports) October 29, 2019
and now Drew Doughty…
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 4, 2019
I’m not going to say that either of these guys are wrong, well, maybe Ovechkin a little, but both seem to be stating the opposite and happily just using the platform to take some shots at the Leafs in advance of the game.
The fun fallout from these questions are when they resurface as getting reactions from the Leafs players and Mike Babcock, usually with Babcock undermining his team for some reason in favour of the opposition player. And I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ve heard enough “we’ve got to be better” replies in the past month to last me a lifetime.
The reality is the Leafs are a very skilled team that haven’t had much luck in the playoffs and are off to a slow start. Picking at those open scabs is easy. Throw in the fact that the Leafs need to be a tougher (an adjective that probably warrants a full exploration at some point) and that things haven’t been ideal beyond that so far this year, and we are now passing off stating the obvious as a hot take.
That’s why I thought I’d cut out the middle man, and we can just start attributing quotes to players through a spin of the wheel.
Now if you feel the need to have a commonly held belief about what’s wrong with the Leafs corrected by an opposition player, just give the wheel a spin and nod your head in delight. Hooooo doggy is it satisfying to have that player acknowledge the issue I have with the Leafs. Now I think the Leafs might actually fix it.