The Maple Leafs are in early season crisis mode so here are four things the team needs to do to course correct.
As we've all talked about, the Leafs are in shambles to an extent. But I have a couple of things that I think they should keep in mind moving forward, especially when they're back at home. First thing, effort-- which is a wild thing to say in professional sports. But literally try. There are so many games where I'm watching the Leafs, and it seems like they're not trying. They're kind of coasting and giving up on assignments. And we've lost that fire.
We're starting to see signs of it, but we need that consistent fire back from the team. Stop making the same mistakes! Sheldon Keefe mentions over and over again the multiple things that the Leafs have to stop doing. Stop being cute. Stop making unnecessary plays.
Stop turning the puck over. Stop giving up goals in un-ideal times. Stop taking penalties. Protect the goalie. Protect each other. Stand up for each other. So those things-- just stop doing it. Be on a more positive end of those things. Hopefully that helps.
Remember who you are. I feel like Mufasa speaking to Simba, because I think the Leafs have kind of forgotten who they are, their identity as a team, because right now, they're just-- nah. They're just playing in any way. Where is the speed? Where is the high-octane skill?
Where is the fear that they inject in teams whenever you have Matthews or Marner or Nylander or Tavares who have open lanes? And yes, the teams are doing a better job in defending them but, you're the Leafs, with high-octane skill! Remember that. Who cares [INAUDIBLE] defending you? Break through thatm score goals, and win games. So remember who you are.
And the accountability needs to be enhanced to a millionth degree. Yes, Keefe will hold players accountable to an extent. [INAUDIBLE] will get benched sometimes. I want to say Holl's been sat down a couple of times. But just recently, Mitch Marner has gotten the seat after making a couple of mistakes, and that needs to increase. Now, I know some people might say, oh, no, you don't want to do that. You don't want to take the stars off.
But at this point, Keefe needs to do something to ensure that everyone is held on the same level. If you make a mistake, here's the consequence. You turn over the puck, here's the consequence. Because if everyone is doing that-- if everyone is on the same page-- then everyone's going to ensure that those mistakes aren't being made consistently. It can be very frustrating when you make a mistake, you're sat down, or you're demoted, and another player does it, and nothing happens to them. So hold everyone accountable, whether it's players, coaching staff, anyone in the organization.
Kyle, I'm talking to you. Mr. Dubas, you too. Start holding people accountable. I think that we have exceeded our thoughts right now, and we're focusing on the playoffs, but we still need to play the regular season. And if the Leafs don't change these things, the regular season is going to be very, very difficult. And again, I'm not calling for anyone to be traded, to lose their job, whatever.
But at this point, they can't continue doing the same thing and expect the same result. And for a person like me, and like all of you, who desperately want the team to do better, something needs to be different.