When Mike Babcock elected to play the hard nosed Zach Hyman with Auston Matthews it raised a lot of eyebrows and questions, mainly:
“Why would a 4th liner be with Matthews?”
2 years later and now with new Maple Leafs star center John Tavares, we’re starting to see why. Although Hyman still isn’t overly offensive he brings absolutely everything else to the Leafs every single night. 110% effort, Ability to work the boards and win puck battles, trusted in the defensive zone, and on some nights a goal scorer.
The Michigan product has reached a new personal best this year with 16 goals and has accomplished such in just 54 games.
As we look around the league this has begun a trend that other teams are mimicking. Tom Wilson has turned into a star power forward alongside Alex Ovechkin, there are a handful of bottom 6 players Sidney Crosby has turned into stars in the National Hockey League while playing alongside him, most noteworthy being Chris Kunitz.
Although some nights we question Mike and his decision and although it may seem unorthodox, This is a prime example that sometimes we need to just sit back, relax, crack a beer and enjoy The team we have infront of us.
We as Leafs Nation need to put trust in the system and in our management and let it play out as it may, because this is a decision that has had very high reward for The Toronto Maple Leafs and very little risk.