Here we are. We’ve reached the end of the TLN roundtable series that has run throughout the past couple of weeks. And while there are still a few days left in 2021, we thought we’d close out the series with another 2022 question, and one specifically focused on the New Year. Of course that means it’s resolution time, and the question is:
What should the Leafs New Year’s resolution be? (besides win the cup or win a round, please.)
Staying consistent. I think when you look at this team and what they need to do to win, it’s consistency. Obviously they have to play well, but we’ve seen that they have already throughout the season so far. If there’s anything they can do to help themselves get out of the first round, it’s that.
Play better defence and stick to their structure. December hasn’t been ideal for them (as of Dec. 12) and they are clearly not playing the same way they did in November and that is due to poor defensive structure and poor decision making.
Fix Justin Holl or trade him
A New Year’s resolution is typically a big sweeping gesture that people make and then abandon within 3 weeks, so I’m gonna turn this question on its head a bit and say that instead of a resolution, the Leafs should simply commit to keeping that same standard of play
Don’t let up. Up to this point the team has been incredibly consistent (aside from a slow start), and they’ve seemed to adopted a mindset to not take the foot off the gas, which is something that could be extremely important come playoff time to avoid an inevitable collapse. So, hopefully they keep applying that, and don’t let up, especially when they have a playoff spot locked.
Do It For Spezza. Who knows if this is his last year in the league, but treat it like it is. This is a guy who dropped the gloves in the playoffs against Columbus to try to ignite the boys. He avenges bad hits on our players. He shows up to play every game. Most Leafs players may feel like they have lots of time to win a championship, but Spezza doesn’t. If he’s willing to step outside his comfort zone to go to war for you, return the favour.
Keep on playing tougher. Don’t take this as add more tough guys to the roster. The Leafs seem to have a decent enough balance there, but from the less physical players, it would be nice to see increased comfort with taking the hit to make the play, being more competitive when going after a loose puck, and yes, throwing the occasional hit as well. The Leafs already seemed to progress in this area, but it would be nice to see it as second nature by the playoffs. Of course finding the balance where they don’t get themselves killed before May would also be nice.
Let us know your resolution for the Leafs in the comments below. Happy New Year!