Why The Hiring Of Craig Berube Makes Sense For the Maple Leafs

St Louis Blues v Columbus Blue Jackets
St Louis Blues v Columbus Blue Jackets / Jason Mowry/GettyImages

Craig Berube was named the 32nd head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday. He will come into a situation in Toronto where the players have all the talent you can ask for, but can't seem to get over the hump in the playoffs.

Toronto and Berube together makes perfect sense. The Maple Leafs have some unspoken defiency in their mental game during the playoffs. Berube has won a Stanley Cup and is the definition of a players coach who has his guys back, but in return expects a lot from his players.

Berube is a big believer in all four lines giving their all every night. His style of play requires a lot of hard work from players, including winning puck battles, having a good forecheck, and scoring goals with a strong net front presence. He's like a mini John Tortarella, with much less emphasis on shot blocking.

The Maple Leafs players will have an adjustment to make with Berube.

One of the big things about Berube is that he's not afraid to call out his players. With how strong the media is in Toronto, this could be an interesting mix. The players were not used to being called out much under Keefe, so this new pairing might have some growing pains at the start.

It will all be up to the players. They aren't going to have a coach that will protect them when they have an off night, and they'll have to realize that Berube's style of play is both mentally and physically grueling.

The Maple Leafs showed in the first round matchup against Boston that the can play a very good defensive and physically hard game, exactlly what Berube will ask for.

The Maple Leafs and Berube can work. But it's going to take commitment from both sides to get the most out of this team.