Ryan Reaves admits the sad truth on early-season struggles

There wasn't much going right for the 1st year Leafs forward early in the season.



The Toronto Maple Leafs decided to bring aboard hard-nosed forward Ryan Reaves, who is known far more these days for the use of his fists rather than any offensive flair. He was signed to a rather eyebrow-raising three year contract by new Leafs general manager Brad Treliving worth a total of $4.05 million (AAV of $1.35 million), a confusing deal for the 37-year old. 

He's managed to play in 44 games so far this season that also included a stint on Injured Reserve in December, only for him to later say that he was being held out of the lineup despite being fully healthy. 

“Yeah, I’ve been ready for a couple weeks now,” Reaves said in late January. That’s a question for them. I am not in those rooms, in those conversations. I’m not going to speculate anything. Just stay ready. And if I get called upon, I do. If I don’t, I get my work in.”

Reaves, who dropped the gloves earlier this week against Tampa Bay Lightning forward Tanner Jeannot, admitted that he didn't have much confidence early on in his tenure with the Leafs. 

"Used that as a mini training camp," Reaves said of his six-week absence from the lineup. "I worked on everything that I could. I was doing two-, three-a-days (training sessions) sometimes.

"Just trying to get confidence back."

"Confidence is a real thing," Reaves said. "First time I've probably gone through something like that in my career where I just felt like nothing was going right. I just felt like I had no confidence. Used that opportunity to try and build it back."

Meanwhile, Reaves said that a potential appearance in the lineup for himself in the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs isn't a choice for him to make.

"Not a question for me," he said. "I can only do what I can do — play physical and take care of my own end and get chances. 

"That's above my pay grade."

Recommended articles:

Source: TSN