The Toronto Maple Leafs have the second-worst record in the NHL, are tied for fewest points and have traded four rotation players away in Dion Phaneuf, Roman Palak, Shawn Matthias and Nick Spaling.
They’ve also lost four games in a row and 11 of 15 overall. Needless to say, their on-ice performance is not improving.
Despite all that, Leafs head coach Mike Babcock swears the team isn’t tanking.
“If you think that I’m not trying to get these guys to play as hard as they can possibly play, you’re missing the boat,” Babcock told The Toronto Sun on Wednesday. “They give me a group and I do everything I can to help that team win. We go through how are we going to win.
“We know what we’re doing, we know what our plan is, we know what we are trying to do long term, and I think we have been diligent about doing that. We are working hard to try to get players better. … Were we a better team when we had Dion Phaneuf? Yes. Is it a good trade for Ottawa right now? Yes. Is it going to be a good trade for the Leafs? Yes. That’s what a trade is. It’s good for both of you. Trading (Polak) — is that a good trade for the Leafs? Absolutely. Do we miss (him)? For sure. That’s black and white. There is no grey area. You don’t have to surmise anything. That’s the plan.”
Don’t let go of your hats yet, though. There’s still speculation that, with several days remaining until the NHL trade deadline, the Maple Leafs might not be done dealing yet.
On the bright side, they won’t be worse than the 1974-75 Washington Capitals. So that’s something to cheer about, right?
Thumbnail photo via Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports Images
h/t to The Score
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