I have read that our beloved Leafs are a top cup contender (some sources even have as no.1 overall). Why is it then that: (A)-That the ice is so often “tilted” towards our end, that the opposition seems to forecheck relentlessly and we are reduced to numerous stretch passes in defense (I read that we are the second highest team for giveaways in the league). Why do we seem to always be on our heels most of the time? Brian Burke (like him or not he does have insight) repeats that it is the quality of our defense that is the culprit. Is it that simple? Is it Hainsey, Zaitsev etc.? Why does it seem we never hardly have possession? Maybe there are stats to back this up or refute it? Babcock had said after the St. Louis game that the solution was to bring the forwards back closer to the defense, “close the gap” (he said he had observed this after watching the game from above). Against Winnipeg back to back it looked like he had it pegged, but then came Calgary. (B)-How easily St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Calgary have shut us down in recent visits to our home rink-it is painful to watch the traps they have set up. Are we doomed to s lot of 2-1 games? Is the word out to throw a blanket over the Leafs, clog the middle and front of the net? Is it going to be therefore a steady diet of this? Is it partly because visiting teams have lots of Ontario boys motivated to put on a show in the media capital in front of friends and family? Are we uptight at home because we know this, and therefore do much more relaxed on the road? (3)-Why do we draw so few penalties if we have all this offensive talent? (4)-Why the propensity to panic and skate around like “deer in the headlights” at times. Are we the only fans that cringe when we go into the third period ahead? Is it a lack of maturity? Isn’t that why we have the Hainsey and Marleau types come in (one reporter who follows the team, the name escapes me, said that he could see raw panic in our players eyes at times in the Boston Gardens last year during playoffs). I love them to death and will always cheer but I think it’s OK to point out the warts.