Ryan Reaves buried over poor start to the regular season.

Ryan Reaves buried over poor start to the regular season.

Toronto Maple Leafs enforcer Ryan Reaves has been in the crosshairs of critics this week.

Jonathan Larivee

Toronto Maple Leafs enforcer Ryan Reaves has been on the receiving end of a deluge of criticism this week, one that may have very well culminated with Reaves being benched by his head coach on Saturday.

Reaves' critics took the gloves off this week with many speaking out about the poor play they have seen from the veteran enforcer. Maple Leafs superfan Steve Dangle went off on a tirade about Reaves earlier in the week, suggesting that Reaves had already quit on the team.

"In the first two games he runs over absolutely everybody.... and then packed it in," said Dangle this week. "Three year contract he gave you two games, that's it that's all so get off my team. We are 10 games into a 3 year contract, I'm done. I see that it doesn't work."

It's not just analysts in the media taking notice either, former National Hockey League player Sean Avery also took to social media to express his disappointment in Reaves this season.

"Where is Ryan Reaves?" asked Avery this week." You signed him as protection."

Avery went on to suggest that Reaves this season could go down as one of the worst players in league history.

"Ryan Reaves is -8 in 11 games," said Avery. "Bill Mikkelson 1974-75 Washington Capitals -82, he is the single season record holder for the worst plus minus in NHL history, Ryan Reaves is arguably on pace to potentially break that record."

Since Avery made those comments, Reaves has played in 3 additional games and is now a -11 on the season which certainly won't result in him toning down the criticism.

"Toronto Maple Leafs fans do you understands how bad Ryan Reaves is as a hockey player?" added Avery.

Avery also specifically called Reaves out for his lack of a reaction to the Timothy Liljegren injury, an injury that occurred after a puck battle with Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand.

"Where was Ryan Reaves?" asked Avery. "I saw his interview the next day he was talking about 'Well I didn't get matched up with Brad Marchand.' Well of course you didn't get matched up with Brad Marchand, you're minus 8, you're one of the worst players in the league Ryan Reaves.

"You need to find a way to make Brad Marchand still be afraid of you... you either need to work harder in practice on your shot or skating or passing or you gotta look over your shoulder to your coach and say 'Hey! Let's burn a win on this and send a message to the rest of the league that you don't do that to our star players.'"

As mentioned above, Reaves was benched by head coach Sheldon Keefe on Saturday in favor of a career American Hockey League player, so it seems the critics are not alone in their disappointment of Ryan Reaves.