World News – CA – Kyle Dubas doubles his vision for the Maple Leafs


By Chris Faria October 6, 2020

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas held a virtual press conference Monday afternoon ahead of an action-packed week that will include both the NHL Draft and the opening of the free agency Naturally, much of the discussion centered around the Maple Leafs’ options with their 15th overall pick, as well as potential roster changes to meet apparent needs in the future – namely the desire of the team to become more difficult to face

What really stood out to me, however, came in Dubas’ response to learning from Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning and that may suggest we won’t see so many fireworks this offseason than previously thoughteval (ez_write_tag ([[300,250], ‘thehockeywriters_com-medrectangle-3’, ‘ezslot_1’, 662, ‘0’, ‘0’]));

There’s no question the Leafs had a disappointing end to their 2019-20 campaign With their qualifying-round loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2015-16 – the infamous (and painful) year of tanks that saw them draft franchise center Auston Matthews And on the heels of such disappointment, fans and members of the media have called for big changes

Defense needs an overhaul, they said Team needs more physicality, they said Swap William Nylander or Mitch Marner, they saidval (ez_write_tag ([[580,400], ‘ thehockeywriters_com-medrectangle-4 ‘,’ ezslot_0 ‘, 664,’ 0 ‘,’ 0 ‘]));

There are always things you can learn – not just hockey, but all the other sports teams that have come a long way in the playoffs and have very successful seasons. We can learn a lot from Tampa…

I thought their top players were facing huge questions after the 2019 loss I thought their best players – all of them – were spectacular in the playoffs They were extremely competitive They produced at a really high level They responded when the team was down As much emphasis is on changes off the roster – which I thought were good moves – I thought it was top of their roster and at what how competitive they were and how dominant they were from the moment they entered the bubble until the Stanley Cup It really marked me and I hope we will take advantage of it

eval (ez_write_tag ([[250,250], ‘thehockeywriters_com-leader-1’, ‘ezslot_5’, 656, ‘0’, ‘0’])); eval (ez_write_tag ([[250,250], ‘thehockeywriters_com-leader -1’, ‘ezslot_6’, 656, ‘0’, ‘1’])); We all know Dubas is a little enigmatic: he plays his cards close to the chest.However, in answering the question of what the Leafs can take from Tampa Bay success, I think he gave us a clear insight of his process of thinking about how the team will be built under his leadership

What Dubas saw in the Lightning’s Cup race this summer was a team driven by his stars – his heart – and he’s right Nikita Kucherov led the way with 34 points, followed closely by Brayden Point with 33 and Victor Hedman with 22 who won the Conn Smythe Trophy People want to focus on the transactions made by Tampa on the deadline, claiming that the courage and physicality of the last six like Patrick Maroon and Barclay Goodrow have them pushed to the limit There is no doubt that they were useful additions and it certainly makes for a great story, but it is clear who ran the team and who ultimately won them their first Cup since 2004: their hard core

Speaking of core, this current Tampa squad really started the build-up process in 2008 when Steven Stamkos was drafted first overall He was quickly joined by Hedman (2009), Kucherov (2011) and Andrei Vasilevskiy (2012 ), then finally Point in 2014 This is a team that made the Eastern Conference final for the first time in 2011 and even reached Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015

This is a team that has been a constant contender for the past decade, but never got the job done This is a team that won the Presidents Trophy a year ago an, to be swept away by the Blue Jackets in the first round It’s probably more embarrassing than any loss this Maple Leafs team has suffered, but guess what? They didn’t blow it up They stuck to the process, and that’s Dubas point

And as long as Dubas is in charge, the Leafs’ success will rest on the shoulders of their main four: John Tavares, Matthews, Marner and Nylander There will certainly be a learning curve (it only took 10 years) in Tampa!), but the GM is protecting his bets so they understand it

It’s clear that Dubas has confidence in his main players, but with that confidence comes great pressure and great responsibility Coming back to the Lightning and their crushing loss to the Blue Jackets last year, he is clear that they entered the 2019-20 season with a sense of revenge and a chip on the shoulder The same is expected from this group of the Maple Leafs next season

[Tampa] had a big disappointment after a record-breaking regular season for them the year before, and how that affected their mindset heading into the season in terms of focus and competitiveness, how they wanted to play and how it manifested through the regular season and playoffs

The fear that you still have or that I think about a lot is that you’re going to hear a lot that our team is going to be judged in the playoffs – which they will do – but one of the key things that we have been doing in the last years, whether it was the start of last year or the end of the 2018-19 season, had bad stages in the regular season that cost us to finish higher in the standings and put us in a more favorable position for the playoffs This year, this manifested itself by us being in a qualifying round and not in the round robin

The key to us that we can learn is how essential the regular season is, along with our mindset, focus and competitiveness every day in the regular season The regular season serves you in the playoffs; it serves you in your positioning and in the fact that you have built a way of playing competitively throughout the year It serves you in the playoffs

Dubas might have a different point of view than some, but he obviously sees the same things everyone else does.In this case, he’s well aware that the Leafs haven’t been consistent enough from night to night last season They would dominate a team like Tampa one night, only to be embarrassed by a bottom-feeder days later They’d put on an offensive clinic just to give their two or three-goal lead like candy It’s those young (immature?) Mistakes that the Maple Leafs will need to clean up if they want to succeed, and it starts with their hearts

We saw Matthews become a dominant two-way force on the stretch, but he’s going to have to bring that level of competition up every night.We saw Marner increase a pace of over 90 points again, but he seemed largely invisible for a long time to come. long periods of time, and that just can’t happen given what it’s being paid for We’ve seen Nylander set a new career high with 31 goals, but he’ll have to prove himself again (and again, and again) and that level of consistency will bleed into the rest of the roster, like at Tampaeval (ez_write_tag ([[728 , 90], ‘thehockeywriters_com-large-mobile-banner-2’, ‘ezslot_7’, 670, ‘0’, ‘0’]));

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Toronto Maple Leafs, National Hockey League, Kyle Dubas, Jason Spezza, draft

World News – CA – Kyle Dubas doubles his vision for the Maple Leafs


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