Personal thoughts…

Tech, Hockey, and random thoughts…

Steen-Too much, too soon?

I really think the Leafs are putting too much pressure on Steen.
Now 3rd in ice time among our forwards, and quickly on his way to passing Lindros for 2nd. Playing on our first line, getting big PP minutes and PK minutes. Leading the Leafs in shots…

He’s basically on the ice doing everything offensively and defensively for us.
I love him… but he’s only 21, he’s not accustomed to playing 18min/game playing in all the pressure situations, and certainly not over a very long 82 game schedule.
I’m worried we’re going to burn him out late in the season, and we’re putting an awful lot of demands on him to be the focal point of them team in every zone.

We can see statistically he’d already slowing down a bit.

I know the popular consensus amongst fans is to thrust rookies into 1st line minutes immediately, and basically let them sink or swim… but we’re riding Steen awfully hard.
He doesn’t seem bothered by it in the least, and all past reports indicate he’s a great team player and his performance is stellar thus far, he’s probably out most consistent forward to date… so if anyone can handle the load it’d be him.
But I really think that even if it hurts us a bit in the short term, we’d be better off in future years and even by playoff time if we let up on Steen a bit right now.

Lindros has slumped a bit in recent games… maybe putting him up alongside Sundin in place of Steen might reawaken his offensively and in terms of his physical impact which was tremenous earlier this yr.
It’d allow us to drop Steen to the 2nd line, a bit less ice time but still in a solid role with capable linemates.

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December 2, 2005 - Posted by | Toronto Maple Leafs

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