Skip to content

Leafs coach wants better defense from Jake Gardiner

Mar 31, 2013, 11:17 AM EST

Jake Gardiner Getty Images

Jake Gardiner is a player the Maple Leafs like a lot, but he’s struggled to stay in their lineup this season. Why? Leafs coach Randy Carlyle believes he’s not living up to the defensive part of being a defenseman.

James Mirtle of The Globe And Mail hears it from the Leafs coach about how he’s trying to get the best from Gardiner while not discouraging him.

“He’s got to be better defensively,” Carlyle said after practice. “It’s as simple as that. We’ve asked him and he’s very well aware of the expectations. The games mean too much. Right now, we’re not in a development stage. We have to win hockey games.”

Gardiner is more of an offensive defenseman than anything. His ability to handle the puck and create scoring chances is at an NHL level for sure, but the combination of the Leafs’ success and his struggles in keeping opponents at bay have kept him in the press box.

Mirtle goes on to say Gardiner isn’t going back to the AHL this season, so he’s got that going for him. Learning on the fly in a playoff race, however, has to be tough.

Latest Posts
  1. Canucks hold Hansen out of Monday’s game, call for more tests

    Dec 22, 2014, 8:30 PM EST

    jannikhansen Getty Images

    He collapsed on Vancouver’s bench this past weekend in a scary scene.

  2. Panthers scratch Boyes, Fleischmann vs. Penguins

    Dec 22, 2014, 6:50 PM EST

    Buffalo Sabres v Florida Panthers Getty Images

    Pittsburgh’s dressing seven defensemen against Florida.

  3. Weiss is ‘ready’ to play Tuesday versus Sabres

    Dec 22, 2014, 5:29 PM EST

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Detroit Red Wings Getty Images

    Click for a surprising stat about the 31-year-old forward.

  4. Dougie Hamilton, a.k.a. ‘the future’ of the Bruins, earns praise from Julien

    Dec 22, 2014, 3:31 PM EST

    Dougie Hamilton AP

    “He’s 21 years old. I think we’re getting a lot out of a 21 year-old defenseman right now.”

  5. Ex-Blackhawk Barker heads back to KHL

    Dec 22, 2014, 3:20 PM EST

    Cam Barker AP

    Signs with HC Slovan Bratislava.

  6. Red-hot Sharks have tough stretch ahead

    Dec 22, 2014, 2:14 PM EST

    Brent Burns AP

    Have won eight straight at home, but must travel to Anaheim tonight.

  7. Devils test Elias, Havlat for mumps

    Dec 22, 2014, 12:52 PM EST

    New York Rangers v New Jersey Devils New York Rangers v New Jersey Devils

    After teammates Travis Zajac and Adam Larsson both had them.

  8. The Wild’s poor goaltending is costing them valuable points

    Dec 22, 2014, 12:28 PM EST

    Calle Jarnkrok, Darcy Kuemper, Mikko Koivu AP

    Will GM Chuck Fletcher do anything about it?

  9. Kopitar, Voracek, Fleury named NHL’s three stars of the week

    Dec 22, 2014, 12:12 PM EST

    Anze Kopitar AP

    Kings’ center broke out of his slump in a major way.

  10. Stars loan Honka to Team Finland for World Juniors

    Dec 22, 2014, 12:06 PM EST

    Julius Honka Getty Images

    “I talked with Dallas and they think it’s a good experience for me to play for my country and play for the national team.”

  11. Pens send Downie, Sutter, Greiss home for mumps test (Updated)

    Dec 22, 2014, 11:56 AM EST

    Pittsburgh Penguins v Minnesota Wild Pittsburgh Penguins v Minnesota Wild

    All three traveled with the club to Florida for tonight’s game.

  12. Sens rookie Lazar to captain Canada at World Juniors

    Dec 22, 2014, 11:36 AM EST

    Colorado Avalanche v Ottawa Senators Colorado Avalanche v Ottawa Senators

    Connor McDavid and Sam Reinhart will be the alternates.

  13. The Atlantic Division race is going to be fascinating

    Dec 22, 2014, 11:33 AM EST

    Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs Getty Images

    Lots of pressure on the Bruins and Leafs.

  14. Pens, Panthers renew hostilities after Saturday’s feisty affair

    Dec 22, 2014, 11:28 AM EST

    Kris Letang, Willie Mitchell Kris Letang, Willie Mitchell

    Will Willie Mitchell and Kris Letang square off again tonight in Florida?

Featured video

More than a Stanley Cup hangover?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. B. Bishop (3845)
  2. S. Crosby (3786)
  3. C. Perry (2577)
  4. B. Elliott (2410)
  5. C. Crawford (2226)
  1. C. Kunitz (2086)
  2. J. Schwartz (2058)
  3. D. Krejci (2032)
  4. O. Palat (1718)
  5. T. Hall (1689)