Rick Zamperin: Red hot Leafs don’t need much tinkering
There is only one thing Maple Leafs fans don’t like about the team’s current hot streak.
Five straight wins and victories in 10 of their last 12 games, what’s not to like?
The problem — and in the grand scheme of things this is really minuscule — is that it’s February.
It is not April, May or June when teams are battling tooth and nail for the Stanley Cup.
But again, I’m nitpicking.
Why is Toronto so smokin’ hot right now?
Goalie Frederik Anderson is the No. 1 reason.
The big Dane is having a career year between the pipes. He’s among the NHL leaders in wins (29) and has faced more shots than any other puck stopper in the league this season.
Case in point, Anderson turned aside 54 shots to lead Toronto to a 6-3 win over Columbus on Wednesday night.
The Leafs’ top line of Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Zach Hyman has been a force all year long.
But Toronto has really taken off ever since head coach Mike Babcock put Nazem Kadri, Mitch Marner and Patrick Marleau together.
Barring a collapse of epic proportions over their last 23 games (knock on wood), the Buds will make the playoffs again this season.
And now with the NHL trade deadline arriving in less than two weeks (Feb. 26 to be exact), Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello has to determine the best way to improve his team for a long post-season run.
I don’t anticipate a high-priced, superstar player arriving in Toronto because I don’t think Lamoriello wants to mess with the chemistry on this team.
But look for depth moves to be made to prop up the Leafs’ blue line and possibly the addition of veterans and proven playoff performers.
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