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Is Morgan Rielly Overrated?

Morgan Reilly

Morgan Reilly
Is Morgan Rielly overrated? We’re about to find out what life is like without Rielly. Can the Leafs survive with their new duck taped blue line? (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)

Is Morgan Rielly Overrated?

How valuable is Morgan Rielly? We’re about to find out. Make no mistake about it, Reilly is a good player and his skillset will be missed. However, Reilly is very flawed in a lot of ways to the point where Toronto may not miss him at all.

Rielly, 28, is the Leafs powerplay quarterback and leads all Toronto defensemen in ice time (23:00). On the season, Rielly has 16 total points (all assists) in 20 games while registering a CF% of 52.2. Now that guy is gone from their lineup after Rielly has been placed on LTIR with what’s being diagnosed as a knee injury. We don’t have any news beyond that outside of the fact that we know Rielly will be gone for at least 24 days or 10 total games.

Here’s the things… are we sure this is such a terrible thing? Yes, it’s for sure not great for the Leafs from an offensive standpoint but Toronto already has Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander carrying that load. The Leafs are already terrific offensively and sported the league’s best powerplay percentage a year ago.

We knew what Toronto really needs; better goaltending and better blue line defense. Rielly, of course, provides neither.

Analytics don’t always tell the story but in this instance, they paint the picture. Really good offensively. Really bad defensively.

Over these next few weeks, we’re about to find out how important Rielly is. The new Leafs blue line isn’t exactly filled with star power. Will the offense creator? Will the defense improve or even get worse? Thus far through 20 games, the Leafs are second in the Atlantic with a record of 10-5-5 and are basically on pace or a tad behind to replicate their 115 point season from a year ago.

Morgan Rielly
(Daily Faceoff)

This is your Leafs blue line until Rielly returns. Jake Muzzin isn’t coming back either. The Norris version of Mark Giordano isn’t walking through that door either. I actually think Timothy Liljegren is really underrated but it’s still one of the worst blue lines right now the league has to offer.

William Nylander is a stud and is far from the problem in Leafs land.

Is Morgan Rielly overrated? Boy, we’re about to find out. Furthermore, if the Leafs survive this stretch, is it time to start asking yourself whether Rielly is capable of being the best defensemen on a cup winning team? Isn’t it fair to say Rielly’s past defensive woes have limited them come playoff time?

Get ready Leafs fans. This is your new reality.

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