The Toronto Maple Leafs have had plenty go their way this season. From their league high nine shoot out victories, to their winning ways in spite of giving up the most shots in the NHL and the knowledge that two Americans are leading the charge; the Leafs are doing pretty good, all of that considered.
With the Sochi Olympics hockey tournament soon to be wrapped up, we can now look ahead to the end of the season, and what that may bring for the Leafs roster.
GM Dave Nolan is highly regarded as a savvy operator, and his off season signings not withstanding, he has a good track record when it comes to trades.
The question ultimately, is whether he thinks the Leafs, as-is, are good enough to challenge the likes of the Pittsburgh Penguins or the villainous Boston Bruins.
I have thought, and still think, that the extenuating circumstances regarding the Leafs record showcase their deficiencies when compared to the true upper echelon.
One aspect of the Leafs that I have had a change of heart about is Jonathan Bernier. When the Leafs went through a brutal stretch early on in the new year, I was ready to write off both Bernier and James Reimer as hacks.
Instead, I was forced to acknowledge the weak play in front of them as the main cause for their combined poor performances.
Couple that with coach Randy Carlyle‘s seemingly ceaseless flip-flopping between the two, and you had the recipe for a goaltending disaster.
However, since the four game losing streak that ended on Jan 10, the Toronto Maple Leafs have gone 11-3, vaulting themselves from the 10th seed, all the way up to 5th. They are tied in points, but are behind the Montreal Canadiens, and just one point behind the Tampa Bay Lightening, who are third.
So should the Leafs make a deal or two when it comes down to it? The addition of David Clarkson has been a huge flop, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Nonis feels obligated to make a move to get the bad taste out of his mouth.
As Andrew Millichamp wrote, the Leafs are now just getting back to full health, and any moves would be driven by salary more than anything else.
Thankfully, the Leafs seem to be in no hurry to make reactionary moves, and as the season has progressed, the team has stuck by each other and their coach. In doing so, they have once again returned me to the bandwagon.
Whether I stay on though is a discussion for another day.
Do you think the Toronto Maple Leafs should make a trade? If yes, then who should we target? Is a defenceman more needed than front line help? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.