Joel Edmundson
Photo credit: NHL

Leafs defenseman puts his stick to work, shows off his patented lower-back cross-checks on Leon Draisaitl

Published March 24, 2024 at 10:10
BY MIKE ARMENTI

When the Leafs acquired roughneck defenseman Joel Edmundson from the Washington Capitals before the trade deadline, many had viewed the move as pretty underwhelming in the grand scheme of things. However, after a couple of weeks in Toronto, Edmundson is really beginning to show his true value.

The consensus ahead of the deadline was that the Leafs needed a significant upgrade on the blueline, particularly on the right side, so when they went out and nabbed Edmundson, it left fans a little perplexed. Yes, Edmundson can kill penalties, block shots and make life miserable for the opposition, but the left shot defenseman did nothing to shore up the right side, which was the perceived area of need.

After a bit of a slow start in Toronto, Edmundson enjoyed his best game as a Leaf last night, playing just under 23 minutes and leading the team in most underlying stats. He also made life difficult on the Oilers in the Leafs' defensive zone, blocking 3 shots, landing 6 hits and putting his stick to work on the lower back of Oilers star Leon Draisaitl.




Edmundson also fired 3 pucks on net for the Leafs, getting involved in the offensive zone as well, showing that he can be a 3-zone player and not just a defensive specialist. Just a couple short weeks ago, Canadiens head coach Martin St. Louis told the media that Edmundson's offensive game is very underrated. After last night's game, with the media coverage that the Leafs get, I don't know if people will underrate him as much anymore.

Edmundson's game was a treat to watch last night and gave fans a taste of what to expect from the former Stanley Cup champion in the playoffs. His teammates also appreciated his efforts, as Edmundson was awarded the Player of the Game belt during their post-game celebration.


Could the Leafs have used another right-shot defenseman? Maybe, but after watching Edmundson play for a couple of weeks, it has become very clear that he can help this team in a lot of ways. His contributions have been noticeable and I'm sure Draisaitl is feeling those cross-checks this morning.
POLL
March 24   |   428 answers
Leafs defenseman puts his stick to work, shows off his patented lower-back cross-checks on Leon Draisaitl

Will the Leafs end up offering Joel Edmundson an extension this summer?

Yes, and as well they should33678.5 %
No, they'll bring in someone else153.5 %
I only want him back if the price is right7718 %
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