TJ Brodie skates during a Toronto Maple Leafs game.
Photo credit: Marker Zone

The Reason Behind TJ Brodie's Struggles Revealed

Published March 22, 2024 at 12:20

The Reason Behind Maple Leafs Defenseman TJ Brodie's Struggles could be attributed to increased defensive responsibilities and poor chemistry with defensive partners.

It's a common trend in sports that players tend to step up their game when they're in a contract year. Take Sam Reinhart, for instance. The guy's been on fire this season with 48 goals and 79 points in just 69 games. And then there's William Nylander, who's been tearing it up too. But not everyone's having a career year, you know? T.J. Brodie, for example, is having a bit of a rough patch.

TJ Brodie's Season of Struggles

The deal with TJ Brodie is that head coach Sheldon Keefe decided to shake things up and made Brodie a healthy scratch for their game against the New Washington Capitals.

In 66 games, he has 18 assists and a plus-14 rating. Yet digging deeper into his stats, Brodie's Corsi For %, Fenwick For %, and expected defensive rating have all taken a hit this season. He's been starting nearly two-thirds of his shifts in the defensive zone, facing some of the toughest matchups in the league. Let's break it down further: Brodie's CF% sits at 43.8%, with a -11.2 CF% rel, and his FF% is 43.9%, with a -11.7 FF% relóboth the lowest of his career. That's a significant drop compared to his numbers in Calgary with the Flames and his first year with the Leafs.

And let's not forget about the personal stuff Brodie's dealing with. The loss of his father and his wife's MS diagnosis aren't making things any easier for him mentally. It's a lot for anyone, let alone a professional athlete.

Timmins led the Leafs in ice time during the win, and the numbers don't lie.
With him on the ice the Leafs dominated possession, shots, and expected goals.

Maybe it's time for Keefe to reward him going forward. Give Timmins and Simon Benoit a permanent spot on that third pairing.

Sure, the stay-at-home defenders have their place, but in today's game, you need guys who can move the puck and create opportunities. It's all about controlling the play and dictating the pace.

Here's hoping Brodie can bounce back soon. He's a key player for the Maple Leafs, and they will need him down the stretch. Fans should give him some time to recharge, and hopefully, he'll come back stronger than ever.

Source Maple Leafs Insiders:
Reason for veteran Leafs defenseman's struggles revealed
March 22   |   605 answers
The Reason Behind TJ Brodie's Struggles Revealed

What do you think is the primary reason behind TJ Brodie's season-long struggles?

Increased Responsibilities9716 %
Personal challenges36560.3 %
Not enough chemistry14323.6 %
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