Toronto Maple Leafs: 5 storylines to watch during training camp

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 23: Frederik Andersen
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 23: Frederik Andersen /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO, ON – APRIL 2: Morgan Rielly #44 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Buffalo Sabres during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on April 2, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Sabres 5-2. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Morgan Rielly /

5. How does the defence improve?

The toughest challenge that still doesn’t have an answer yet is how Babcock gets the team to play a more defensively sound game. Call the Leafs defence for what it is but it is clear the team wants to make those improvements internally.

This sentiment was echoed by Morgan Rielly when he addressed the issue about the team’s struggles on defence.

"“You hear the reports or whatever you want to call it, about the doubts in the blue line and you take that personally and you use it as motivation,” Rielly said on to the media on the first day of training camp. “It’s up to us to improve as a group and work hard to be the best we can be because we believe in ourselves. We take it as a compliment from (general manager) Kyle (Dubas) and the coaching staff of keeping us together and now it’s on us to prove we are capable of being a very good back end.”"

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So how does the team look to improve defensively? They will need to hope that a player like Nikita Zaitsev can have a bounce-back season and the competition brings out the best in players like Carrick, Andreas Borgman, Calle Rosen, Justin Holl and Igor Ozighanov.

One thing the team needs to cut back on is how many shots they allow on goal because teams will feast on the opportunities no matter how strong your offence. The series against the Boston Bruins showed how vulnerable the back end was and hopefully, this year’s group can move the puck more efficiently.

Babcock seems open to the idea of letting the third pair become an intense battle which should only benefit a player like Travis Dermott who isn’t guaranteed a spot in the lineup.

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Which storyline are you looking forward to following during training camp? Which player do you look forward to watching during camp? Let us know in the comments below.