Quinn wants forwards to come back and help

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:44 AM ET

Pat Quinn stopped short of calling them "goal sucks."

But you could tell he was thinking that very thing about some of his high-profile forwards after spending part of yesterday reviewing tape of the Maple Leafs' 5-4 shootout victory over the Boston Bruins on Monday.

In road-hockey terminology a "goal suck" is someone who waits in the opposing team's end for the tennis ball to be hoisted over everyone's head to him. It makes for some easy goals.

Unlike road hockey, there are offside calls in the NHL.

Nevertheless, Quinn has seen too many instances of his forwards refusing to help out enough in the defensive zone, opting instead to loiter in the centre-ice area for that big breakout pass.

"We've got too many guys just taking big swoops out there instead of coming back and helping out," Quinn said.

"The mentality seems to be that, because there is no red line, you can really stretch out the other team. But it doesn't work if you are in places out on the ice where you can not be found by your teammates.

"Right now we have no trust between our forwards and defencemen."

The result is a team that has been outshot in seven of its nine games.

What frustrates Quinn the most is that it is not young forwards such as Alex Steen and Matt Stajan who are experiencing these problems. The mistakes are being made by veterans who should know better.

"The kids are the ones who are giving up the least chances," he said. "At least they are paying attention."

Quinn had threatened a shakeup of the lineup after the Bruins game but isn't certain of that now. He might tinker with some of the line combinations during practice today but warned that nothing is as of yet finalized.


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