Paul Bissonnette Rips the Toronto Maple Leafs a New One for their Defensive Play

Published November 9, 2023 at 11:01

There is no question about the caliber of the Toronto Maple Leafs offense. The team has plenty of firepower to go around. Defense is an entirely different story.

Following the Leafs 6-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators last night, former NHLer and current TNT analyst Paul Bissonnette, who is usually very pro Toronto, ripped into the team for its defensive play, adding they are flirting with missing the playoffs.

"It's just ugly."

"It's just lost coverage, no sticks in lanes, no commitment to blocking shots, not protecting the most dangerous area of the ice, which we call the house, not taking away time and space, awful gaps, not protecting the defensive blueline...the list goes on and on and on."

"It's disgusting, and if they keep playing like this, they're probably going to miss the playoffs."

Bissonnette added he does not believe this is a goaltending issue for the Maple Leafs. It's strictly poor defensive play that has led to Toronto giving up an average of 3.62 goals per game so far this season.

"It's a defensive zone, defensive structure, and a team commitment to playing defense issue. And if it's not addressed, like I said, it's going to get uglier, and uglier and uglier."

One of the defenseman getting plenty of blame for the Leafs blueline play is John Klingberg. He was on the ice for four of the Leafs goals against last night. Asked if he was concerned with Klingberg's play, Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe was very blunt.


"We need to protect him better."

November 9   |   34 answers
Paul Bissonnette Rips the Toronto Maple Leafs a New One for their Defensive Play

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