After eight games, the Toronto Maple Leafs sit near the bottom of the Atlantic Division with a 3-4-1 record. While the team’s early record is disappointing enough as is, the manner in which the Maple Leafs have started the year is what’s really worrisome. Tactics aren’t working. Motivation is lacking. Effort, as a whole, is missing.
Following a 4-1 loss to Boston, Nazem Kadri had a telling quote about the team.
Nazem Kadri says the #leafs "have to start caring a little more." Oh boy.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 26, 2014
What’s the root problem in Toronto?
That’s a difficult question to answer, but it looks like several players – perhaps a majority – have checked out on Randy Carlyle. There have been closed door meetings, but are the players buying into the message being sold behind the bench? It doesn’t look like it out on the ice and quotes such as the one from Kadri back that up.
It sounds like there’s a serious problem in Toronto. A coaching change in Toronto is almost expected at this stage with Mike Babcock becoming available at the end of the year, but it now sounds like one may come earlier than expected. If there’s a motivation problem and players aren’t giving their all for their team or coach, the first change usually made starts with the head coach.