Maple Leafs Commentary: Dubas’ Future, Player Pride & Physicality

In this edition of Toronto Maple Leafs’ commentary, I’ll focus on the comments of The Hockey Writers’ readers as I share their insights about how they’ve seen the first-round series thus far. I’ll also specifically share the insights of a number of the readers as they look forward to the upcoming Game 7 tonight. [Please note that I’ve done some minor edits to fit the text.]

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I just want to once again say thank you to our THW readers who every day share their thoughts and insights with us in the discussion sections of the posts we all write on this site. Here are some of our readers’ thoughts as the Maple Leafs face round one’s Game 7.

Reader Insight One: What Happens to Kyle Dubas If the Maple Leafs Lose?

Regular THW reader and commenter Gcmgome shared an insight about the future of Maple Leafs’ general manager Kyle Dubas, even if the Maple Leafs were to lose tonight. Gcmgome noted that:

“It seems to be a foregone conclusion in the minds of many people that another first-round exit by the Maple Leafs all but guarantees the firing of Kyle Dubas. I have to admit to thinking this way at one time, but I can no longer agree with that belief. 

Kyle Dubas, Toronto Maple Leafs
Kyle Dubas, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Alana Davidson/NHLI via Getty Images)

What we all witnessed last evening (during Game 6) was not only two elite and equally-matched teams playing tremendous hockey but a true measure of just how far the Maple Leafs have come in icing a contender. Regardless of what happens in Game 7, Dubas has put together a pretty impressive team and I just feel it would be a mistake to not let the experiment continue.”

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Thanks for sharing that insight.

Reader Insight Two: What It Means for a Player to Win the Stanley Cup

Regular THW reader and commenter Coach shared an insight about what it means to be a player in the NHL who’s competing for the Stanley Cup. Coach shared that:

“For an NHL player, every season is a chance to reach the dream of their life. Some of them will be lucky and hang up the skates with more rings than one should wear. Others, both young and old, will never be so close to the highest honor again, and they don’t know it yet. 

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This is not the kind of game you play for fame or money or even for fun. This is the kind of game you play for your dad who broke his back tying up your skates for all these years, for your poor mom who shivered and sipped her double-double every weekend for you, for the little ones who will look at the pictures of you holding that cup like it’s the Holy Grail, for your community which hasn’t seen Lord Stanley’s little bowl since Lester Pearson was Prime Minister, for your veterans, for your coach and your gm who trusted you, for your critics. 

Jason Spezza Toronto Maple Leafs
Jason Spezza plays with pride as he seeks his first Stanley Cup with the Toronto Maple Leafs
(Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

This is a game you play with pride. Like when Joe Sakic scored that goal on Mike Richter in Salt Lake. Glory where it belongs, in the country of hockey.”

Beautifully written. Thanks for sharing. 

Reader Insight Three: On Matthews and Marner New Physicality

Regular THW reader and commenter Marsonice shared an insight about Auston Matthews’ and Mitch Marner’s physicality this season. The insight noted that:

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“If both Matthews and Tavares lines are going well at the same time tonight, it would alleviate a lot of the anxiety. Can’t say which team is better so far, just which is better on game day. Campbell has definitely done the job we all hoped for: no one can say the Maple Leafs’ goalie was second best. 

Toronto Maple Leafs Mitch Marner Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews
Toronto Maple Leafs Mitch Marner and Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews
(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

The physicality of Matthews and Marner is the surprise of the year. Didn’t think they had it in them. No need to be bruisers, just impede the progress of the opposition. (It’s) time for Maple Leafs to enter the second round and break Tampa’s record of wins after loss.”

Thanks for engaging regularly in the conversations. You are watching the same Matthews and Marner that I am.

Reader Insight Four: Round One Has Been Great Hockey

Regular THW reader and commenter BossSause noted that these teams 

“are so evenly matched that it’s a shame that one of them has to go home at the end of the night and hopefully not morning unless the Leafs win. There is no way that Dubas is getting the can tied to him after this brilliant year and very good line-up. I just hope that a fluky goal doesn’t win it.”

Thanks for your regular contributions to the discussions.

Thanks to Our Readers for Sharing Their Insights

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a number of our THW readers’ insights. Once again, I want to share how appreciative I am to the majority of the readers of our posts. They are both insightful and generous with their comments.

Related: 7 Cool Facts About Maple Leafs’ Goalie Jack Campbell

Just last week, when a reader corrected an error I had made (and I do make them), I noted that I felt as if the posts are sometimes community-written. Almost every post becomes a space for readers to add telling and insightful comments to the conversations about the Maple Leafs’ team. 

Thanks once again for your insightful comments.