The Maple Leafs have played two completely meaningless exhibition games meant for players to get into game shape and for coaches and management to make decisions on fringe roster spots games against their bitter rivals, the Ottawa Senators. They lost both of them.

For a team with not only playoff aspirations, but goals of contending to be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, this doesn’t matter at all because it’s the middle of September, these games don’t count towards the standings and aren’t an accurate representation of how the team will perform when firing on all cylinders the Leafs certainly don’t look like a Stanley Cup team.

Today’s What Would You Do Wednesday question is about how to respond to these exhibition, borderline shinny games the Leafs just dropped. Should we smash the panic button?!

The case for smashing the panic button:

The Maple Leafs just dropped back-to-back games against the Senators, our bitter rivals from Ottawa. This is a embarrassment and shame for the city of Toronto. The Senators, fresh off reaching the Eastern Conference Final, made fools of this young, weak, scared, lazy, entitled, filled-with-millennials Leafs squad.

Tyler Bozak was a DISASTER in the circle with these new face-off rules he’s never played with before. Martin Marincin, a bottom-pairing-maybe-seventh-defenceman had some TERRIBLE giveaways. Leo Komarov isn’t allowed to wear his visor anymore because he has a BAD ATTITUDE. Patrick Marleau ONLY scored one goal. The Senators get to raise a banner in their stadium for these wins and we get NOTHING. Sometimes it’s just really fun and worthwhile to get mad about hockey online!

The case for not smashing the panic button:

These games don’t matter. I promise! They don’t!

Remember a few years back when the Leafs were really, really #ActuallyBad? And they would go on these tears during the pre-season and beat up the other good teams with a wealth of random grinders going all out for rosters spots? Those teams would roll into the season and get pounded, night in, night out, because looking good in a mid-September game when everyone is adjusting to new teammates, getting into game shape, working on new tendencies and systems doesn’t mean anything.

And if you don’t believe me and want to tell yourself that these games do matter for something, fine. There was actually some stuff to like. How about that Marleau-Kadri-Komarov line? They looked fast and sneaky good. Marleau is skating very well for a old dude. Also, Mitch Marner. He had a hell of a game on Tuesday and easily could have had more than one apple if JVR could pull the trigger on some setups.

What do you think, Leafs Nation? Wanna smash that panic button? 

  • Matmarwill

    Hi Cam, I am a little concerned for a number of reasons:

    a) the buds seemed to lack jump, or urgency, particularly if they werent the top two lines
    b) the goaltending lacked the necessary steadiness (which even the sens backups had)
    c) i hate losing to the sens, particularly their farm team
    d) the defense in general was weak, got turnstiled regularly
    e) for all yhe talk of fourth line depth, the only good fourth line that played out of five was johnsson+smith+grundstrum, and they’re headed to the marlies

    What i did like:

    f) the top two lines were ok, especially on the pp
    g) dermott and borgman should make the team
    e) marleau looked good

    Generally, the bad overshadows the good, so today i’m a bit glum.

    • Undyingjack

      A)both different lines played. The top two lines each night were the 4 lines the leafs are going to run. The bottom 4 on both lines were prospects.
      B)you’re right the goaltending was awful, but Andersen looked good. We knew going in that the backup position was up for grabs for anyone.
      C)keep in mind the sens farm team has experience. The leafs had an 7 rookies join the team from their system. Most of the sens prospects have played in these tournaments/preseasons multiple years now without getting roster spots. What was positive to me was seeing first time prospects show flashes of skill and that we have a lot more talent coming up.
      D) 100%
      E) the 4th line both nights were people who were people who were 100% not making it out of camp.

      Matthews line looked good
      Marner line looked good
      Marleau looked great with kadri
      Moore proved he can skate

      Also, dermott better make the team over marinchin

  • FlareKnight

    If you suggested smashing the “let’s relax” button, I’d probably lean towards that. But the temptation to smash a button is pretty strong. Even if it is the panic button.

    I can’t draw good things from those games. Can say “well it’s not that big a deal” since it isn’t, but I can’t say “woo we lost both games and one of them was pretty ugly.” The one thing I take from this is that we don’t have enough good d-men to spread them out across a couple teams. The Ottawa lineup wasn’t amazing in the second game, but frankly outside of Gardiner our blueline was pretty poor.

    I just want to see this team come together and win some games. Mostly I just want to hurry to the regular season and see what we’ve got.

  • The Russian Rocket

    It’s Babcock’s job to reel everyone back in from all of the excitement last year. Once the final roster is set, I think he’ll set the tone and we’ll see the real Leafs again.

  • Robert

    Matthews healthy? Yes.
    Marner healthy? Yes.
    Nylander healthy? Yes
    Andersen healthy? Yes.
    Rielly healthy? Yes
    Gardiner healthy? Yes
    Conclusion……No Need to Push the PANIC Button!!