Colorado head coach Jared Bednar said he sees 'a lot of similarities" between his players and the Maple Leafs' roster but is the comparison fair given the Avalanche's blue line strength?
- Hey everyone. Welcome back to another episode of "In the Mentions." I'm TicTacTomar and Jared Bednar made me cry. No exaggeration.
So obviously, Colorado, Tampa or in the Stanley Cup Final, not the Leafs, unfortunately. And after Game 1, I want to say, Jared Bednar was talking about the team overall and how they play, and one thing he mentioned was that he paid close attention to the Leafs and Lightning series based off of how the teams play. And he did say that there are some similarities between the player personnel on the Leafs and the Colorado Avalanche.
Now, that was nice to say and nice to hear. It was another little moral victory, because that's the only thing that we can get as Leafs fans, just moral victories. But I actually thought about it for a second and was that fair to say? Was that right?
A lot of people are kind of saying, "Oh, you know, obviously, we have to talk about the Leafs, even though it's the Stanley Cup Final, they're not even playing." But I thought about it. Is that right? I mean, you have the franchise centers, Nathan MacKinnon versus Auston Matthews, you have some incredibly skilled wingers, Mitch Marner versus Mikko Rantanen. You have a pretty clutch, well thought, well round, sturdy Captain, John Tavares versus Gabe Landeskog.
You have some supporting cast players and especially this past season with the Leafs, a lot of good entries, Michael Bunting, [? Onjay ?] [? Costa, ?] David Kampf, Ilya Mikheyev, Pierre Engvall. Goaltending can be good and also can be a little problematic. And that's another thing the Leafs do share.
Jack Campbell was solid. He had some moments where he was not too great, but in the playoffs who is great. Darcy Kuemper in Colorado has kind of been a little up and down, but he's been solid, solid so far. I think the big difference is on the blue line.
And Colorado's blue line doesn't even touch the Leafs and I don't think anyone can say otherwise. I mean, yes, the Leafs have great names. Morgan Rielly is solid, TJ Brodie is the king of blocking shots.
Mark Giordano, signing for another two years, that's solid as well. But I think what we see in Colorado is just from top to bottom effective, skilled, mobile dynamic defenseman. Cale Makar is like on another level. And I'm so jealous of Sam Change for having Cale Makar on her team, but Cale Makar is nuts.
Sam Girard, who unfortunately was injured, he's been great. Bowen Byram has been awesome. Devon Toews, who they got for two second round picks. And I think if you look at the Leafs blue line, I mean, we have maybe players who will hopefully grow into that.
I'm talking about like Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren. But I think that's the key difference is the blue line. Now, maybe that could be a focus moving forward.
Maybe when it comes down to finding ways to improve the team, maybe it does come down to prioritizing the young Sandins and Liljegrens, as opposed to trying to keep the older veteran players, which has actually been an interesting conversation, especially considering the fact that two need new deals in Sandin and Liljegrens. Who knows? I think it would be cool if one day we do look at the Toronto Maple Leafs in the same way that we look at the Colorado Avalanche. One, because the Avalanche are sick, and also because they can run around.