In a recent interview, hockey insider of Daily Faceoff Frank Seravalli took some time to point out what he sees as several concerns about the Toronto Maple Leafs. From his perspective, the primary issues Toronto faces are related to their defence and goaltending. In the video below, he outlines three things he believes are wrong with the Maple Leafs.

Is he correct? Here are Seravalli’s key points:

Point One: The Maple Leafs Have Uncertainties on the Blue Line

Seravalli believes the Maple Leafs might be worse off this season than in previous years because the team faces uncertainties surrounding their blue line. His points emphasize the need for defensive improvement. He believes the team has too many question marks on its blue line; and, he indicates a weakness in their defensive play. His points concern the team’s defensive capabilities and performance.

In response to Seravalli, while there have been injury issues on the team – specifically with John Klingberg and Timothy Liljegren (who came back against the Pittsburgh Penguins) – the team has shown up and played solid hockey. Simon Benoit, William Lageson, and Conor Timmins have all been playing much better than expected. All three of these defensemen have held their own.

I’m not sure Seravalli is correct that huge changes must be made – especially at huge costs. The team sits nicely in second place in the Atlantic Division with a goal differential of +16. Something is going right.

Related: No Job for ex-Maple Leafs Phil Kessel: Is It Over for Him?

Point Two: The Maple Leafs Have Goaltending Problems

While there is a positive note with Joe Woll’s impending return, Seravalli believes there are questions in the crease. Those particularly focus on Ilya Samsonov’s up-and-down season. Yes, Samsonov has been all over the place; however, the team still seems to be as good in the net as most other teams who don’t have a world-class goalie.

Perhaps Woll might become that world-class goalie; if so, perhaps that’s still a few seasons away. However, even in the past few games, both Samsonov and Martin Jones have thrown shutouts against the opposition. Again, as I noted earlier, the team is holding its own. The goalie situation is what it is. However, the uncertainties or challenges related to the goaltending situation that Seravalli points out have not deterred the team thus far.

Related: Prediction: Conor Timmins Will Have Breakout Season in 2023-24

Point Three: The Maple Leafs Management Is Too Cautious When Aggressiveness Is Required

Finally, Seravalli believes Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving is too cautious in his approach. He seems to believe that the team should go all in this season again at the trade deadline so that it has the best chance possible to win the Stanley Cup.

He believes that, given the team’s significant investments in the Core Four of Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Mitch Marner, and John Tavares, they need to be more aggressive this season in pursuing success. For Seravalli, this includes proactively addressing defensive issues and taking advantage of what he sees as an Eastern Conference that might be there for the taking.

William Nylander, Maple Leafs

For Seravalli, the bottom line is that the Maple Leafs should be pursuing success harder than they are. He seems to worry that the team isn’t working hard enough to address the issues it faces.

Perhaps Seravalli is correct. We won’t know until the season is completed. However, I for one believe that a different approach is needed. Specifically, had the team been more patient and kept more of its draft picks without “wasting” them at the trade deadline, the team’s lot in their division would have been much improved.

As I say, he could be right; and, I could be wrong. We’ll see soon enough.

Related: The Good, Bad, & Ugly In Maple Leafs’ 7-0 Shutout Of Penguins

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