Leafs Need Toughness Where It Counts

Just a short post to get some thoughts from the TSM readers before you depart for the long weekend.

It occurred to me…While we do have added toughness on a shift by shift basis this season with at least one of Komisarek, Beauchemin or Exelby on the ice at all times (except against the Sens on Tues)…they are all on the backend.

Remember the days when the “tough guys” were not relegated to only the 3rd and 4th lines but played a role on the 1st and 2nd?  This years Leafs roster is built with toughness that only see 2-5min per game.  I don’t think it is enough to add guys like Mayers, Rosehill and Orr to be your only up-front toughness. Either one or more of the guys noted above need to play higher up in the line up to truly create space for the skill guys and force the play with a tough forecheck and timely hit or Burke needs to go find toughness that can.

Anyone remember Wendel Clark?  That’s what I’m talkin’ about. 



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October 9, 2009 4:44 pm

Yea, thats what i think too but we have no one whos tough AND can play on the first 2 lines. There are only a few players that fit the bill in the whole league. Lucic, Brown, Getzlaf and to some degree Iginla are the few that i can think off when it comes to toughness and top 6. The power forward is not as common because the league has moved towards speed and skill.

October 10, 2009 11:51 am

@LeafFan1989….You are right…there are very few guys that would play the role that Clark did. I wonder if there is any value in letting Orr or Rosehill play a few shifts on Grabovski’s wing. Neither player would score like Clark or the others you mention but they could provide some aggressive fore-check and toughness to give Grabs more space…worth trying in my opinion.

October 11, 2009 9:58 am

Amazing…as if Wilson read my post on the bench. Did you notice that Orr, Rosehill and Mayers moved up and joined the skill lines? We didn’t win…and it was probably a little too late but many of the shifts with the tough guys helping on the forecheck were the teams best shifts….especially liked rosehill (who scored)…he can skate!

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