NHL Toronto Maple Leafs

The Leafs bottom-six is holding up their end of the bargain

The Leafs have started November on the right foot with two consecutive wins, but with the bottom-six driving the offense, when will the big-guns pick up their needed consistency?

Heading into the season, the Leafs big players had their big contracts and with the four biggest dollar values on the top two lines, the preseason eyes were fixed on how the bottom six would perform.

A month and two games into the season and it wouldn’t be over the top to suggest the Leafs bottom-six has outplayed the top six by a good amount. Point totals show the top-6 are firing at a solid rate, but the inconsistency of the big guns has put unfair pressure on the bargain players on the bottom two lines. The silver lining? The bottom-six has picked up the slack.

The most recent game against the LA Kings proved this. Yes, Auston Matthews and William Nylander grabbed two points each, assisting on each other’s goals, but outside of that 30-second instance where both players scored, they were invisible on the night.

The shot total showed this as well, with the porous LA Kings defense keeping the Leafs to just 23 shots on goal. This shouldn’t ever be acceptable for an NHL team, but the skill gap between the Leafs forwards and the Kings’ defenders should have seen been enough to push the Buds in the 40-shot range. Especially when you factor in the number of lopsided losses they’ve had this season.

Alexander Kerfoot’s game-tying goal in the second period, an unassisted goal created by a speedy forecheck and a great interception, capped off a solid night for the third-line center who also fought off concussion spotters to get back on the ice. Kerfoot has been great this season and is a driving force for the bottom-six’s contribution.

There isn’t much to conjure up from this game other than the Leafs top-six have more and more mounting pressure on them to contribute consistently. Ilya Mikheyev, Alex Kerfoot, Kasperi Kapanen, Frederick Gauthier, Trevor Moore, and Nick Shore have all kept up their end of the bargain, but the Leafs aren’t going to be anything unless their top-six start earning their money more consistently.

2 comments on “The Leafs bottom-six is holding up their end of the bargain

  1. David grant

    Matthews with 18 points,Marner with 17 points.More then a point a game and you say they are not performing. I think you need an attitude adjustment as much as or more then they neef to perform better.

    • Where does this article say they are not performing. This is entirely about consistency which you’ve glossed over. As well, you say that the players need to perform better, so what are you getting at?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: