Toronto Maple Leafs: 10 Storylines to Follow This Seasons

9 of 11

Nov 14, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs center Leo Komarov (47) knocks down Vancouver Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis (2) in the first period at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Leo Komarov Providing Stability

There are not many Leafs fans who dislike the type of game that Komarov provides every night, it is the opposing team and its fans who probably hate the rough style that Komarov brings. When he first played with the Leafs many loved the fact that he would deliver hard hits that would agitate the opposing team. There are very few times where you see Komarov stand out in a bad way because his game is simple and does not try to overthink what has to be done. That type of play has earned him a spot on the top line with Kadri and James van Riemsdyk and into Babcock’s good graces.

Babcock has been known to put a grinding forward with his more skilled players because they do a good job getting the puck and get to the dirty areas especially in front of the net. However Komarov has been more noticeable recently in a good way something his coach has appreciated.

"“Leo’s been, you know I don’t know…,” said Babcock, choosing his words carefully after the 4-3 shootout loss. “He’s been unbelievable. He’s dangerous every night, he plays hard every night. He finishes his checks. He plays on offence, he plays on defence. He just plays. “He’s a good player.”"

Nov 21, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs center Leo Komarov (47) gets set to check Boston Bruins center

David Krejci

(not pictured) during the third period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Could this be the reason why Dave Nonis pushed hard to get Komarov after he went back to the KHL? When Komarov first signed his contract there were people questioning the amount of money that the Leafs paid Komarov only for him to play on the third line. Now Komarov’s contract is looking like a steal because Babcock has found a way to maximize his value. Komarov used to play on the first line in the KHL and on Team Finland so it is not like he has not been in this position before. For now the Leafs can enjoy the emergence of Uncle Leo and hopefully other players can flourish in the Babcock system like him.

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