TradeRumours
photo

Tyson Barrie discusses early season struggles, things under Sheldon Keefe, and the team's cup chances

Josh Vold   ·   22 janvier 2020
Tyson Barrie was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs this past summer for Nazem Kadri, Calle Rosen, and a 2020 third-round pick. The Maple Leafs received Alex Kerfoot in the deal as well.

Things didn't go very smoothly for Barrie to start his Maple Leafs career, after dealing with the first trade of his career, he began his season with an 18-game stretch from early October to mid-November where he only registered one assist.

It wasn't just Barrie struggling during that time, it was almost the entire Maple Leafs roster, this led to Mike Babcock being relieved of his head coaching duties on Nov. 20, 2019. Sheldon Keefe was hired as Babcock's replacement, and things have went a lot more smoothly for the team since then, and Barrie is looking a lot more like the talented defenceman that he was in Colorado.

The Maple Leafs have officially began their bye week, and Barrie will be spending it in the Bahamas with a group of his buddies.

"I think at this point of the year everyone's got bumps and bruises," he said. "There's things that could feel better. A week of not skating, it's huge for injuries and just letting the body kind of get back to neutral."

Who was the first Swedish hockey player to appear on stamps?
Henrik Zetterberg
Joe Sakic
Mats Sundin
Nicklas Lindstrom
Peter Forsberg
Thomas Andersson


Barrie recently sat down with Sportsnet's Chris Johnston for a Q&A session where he discussed his early struggles, how much things have improved under Keefe, and the Leafs' chances at the cup this season.

Q: Your season has featured a little bit of everything for you. How do you look back on your first 50 games as a Leaf?

A: Really a bit of a roller coaster, you know? It’s a lot of expectation when you get traded for a guy that’s such a big part of the team like (Nazem) Kadri. You want to come in and do what’s advertised and be the guy that I was in Colorado. Obviously it didn’t shape up like that in the first 20 or so games, and it was a bit disappointing, but I feel like I’ve kind of found my stride in the last little while and things are starting to go a little bit better for me and the team’s having success. So it’s, right now, a very positive thing for me.

Q: Did you have any doubts early in the year about whether it was going to work here for you?

A: Yeah, I think it’s human nature. When you’re not doing what you’re used to doing, or you’re not having the success that you’re used to, you start doubting yourself. It’s hard to stay positive. But you just stick with it and thankfully there’s a lot of good guys in this room, and they were good to me when I was struggling. We kept it light and joked around and it’s nice to come out the other end of it.

Q: You’re a veteran guy, but did you learn anything about yourself going through that?

A: That was the worst start I’ve ever had in my career, so it was nice to just kind of find out what kind of guy you’re going to be when things aren’t going well. I tried to stay positive and be a good teammate. It’s easier said than done sometimes, but I was proud of it. I think there’s light at the end of the tunnel if you can get through the hard stuff.

Q: You’ve been open about the contract year being tough to deal with, have you gotten to a better place with that?

A: For sure. It is what it is, it puts a little bit of added pressure on you. You can’t dwell on it; it’s going to take care of itself. I think at the end of the day you’ve just got to trust the process and come to the rink and do what you do that’s got you here and made you be successful. I think that’s kind of the mindset that I’ve taken.

Q: Has anyone given you advice about how to deal with it?

A: No, no. There’s guys going through so many different things in this league all the time. It’s part of the gig. You’ve just got to deal with it.

Q: As a defenceman who relies on a lot on his offensive instincts, did you face much pushback when you were younger?

A: No, not at all. My dad (former NHLer Len Barrie) was my coach and he really encouraged it. I played forward in the summer and then defence in the winter and he was always encouraging me to be creative and jump in the play and try to create offence. If I was doing something stupid he would let me know, but he was always super supportive of the style of play.

Q: What about when you got older?

A: Even when I went to junior (with the Kelowna Rockets), I was used to doing things in minor hockey and kind of getting away with it because I was faster and maybe a little better. But once you get to junior you’ve got to figure it out a little more and tighten it up. I was fortunate in that I had good coaches and good people around that kind of saw what my game was and tried to help take it to another level.

Q: How has your relationship developed with Sheldon Keefe?

A: He’s been great. The way that he wants to play the game, it suits my style very well. It’s a five-man offence, getting the ‘D’ involved, and it’s a five-man defence with everyone chipping in. I think that’s more what I’m used to playing and how I think I’m successful. It’s been a good fit and he’s an incredibly intelligent hockey guy and a nice person, so it’s been a good fit.

Q: Do you see many other teams trying to play like you guys?

A: A little bit. Since we made the switch, you can kind of see teams are maybe wondering ‘Oh, maybe there’s something to this.’ It’s exciting for the fans to watch and I think it’s the way the game should be played.

Q: Now that you have a better feel for this team, what do you think it’s capable of?

A: The thing that’s scary about us is we can score five, six, seven goals on any given night. That’s a luxury that not a lot of teams have. The defensive side of it, that’s on us — that’s all heart, that’s will, that’s commitment to it. And we’ve got an outstanding goaltender. So there’s no reason we can’t contend for the whole thing. I don’t see any reason why we wouldn’t.

Q: Do you understand why some people question whether your style can work in the playoffs?

A: Yeah, 100 per cent, but you never know what’s going to happen in the playoffs. It’s such an unpredictable one. We’re going to be 22 guys in here that are committed to winning and when the playoffs roll around, I mean everything just dials up. You’re so focused.

If we’re playing the way we are and you’re supposed to be F3 you’re going to be F3. There’s not going to be the lapses that maybe we’ve shown a little bit — and we’re trying to work that out, we’re going through video, we’re sorting it out. I think when that time comes we’ll be pretty dialled in.

Q: What did you learn from your playoff run with Colorado last spring?

A: Beating Calgary was a great experience and then losing Game 7 (to San Jose) was brutal, it was tough. Just winning a round and then getting to Game 7, being one game away from the conference final, it just kind of takes it off a pedestal for you. You feel almost that it’s attainable and you kind of wrap your head around it, so I think that was a big step for myself.

Q: You live downtown and take TTC (public transit) to the games. Do you get noticed much? What are your impressions of the city

A: Everyone’s really nice. If they notice me, they always just say ‘Hey good luck’ or ‘Welcome to Toronto.’ Everyone’s been super supportive. I’m starting to really enjoy the city and getting to know it. Knowing my way around. It’s an amazing city and a very vibrant spot to live. I’m grateful to be here.



That was definitely an interesting look at Barrie's transition into becoming a Maple Leaf.

Barrie and the Leafs sit fourth in the Atlantic Division with 57 points (25-17-7) and are three points out of the second wild card spot. They will return to action following the All-Star break on Jan. 27 versus the Nashville Predators.

Source: Sportsnet

POLL
PRESENTED BY MARKERZONE.COM
Hockey - LNH - Canadiens de Montreal
Which of these Habs players do you think could be traded by the transaction deadline?
   Max Domi
   Ilya Kovalchuk
   Tomas Tatar
   Jeff Petry
   Nate Thompson
   None
FEBRUARY 20, 2020
TOP 20 G A PTS
MARK SCHEIFELE
3 1 4
JONATHAN HUBERDEAU
1 3 4
TRAVIS KONECNY
1 2 3
JAKE MUZZIN
1 2 3
ALEKSANDER BARKOV
2 - 2
BEN CHIAROT
2 - 2
STEVEN STAMKOS
2 - 2
OLIVER BJORKSTRAND
1 1 2
KYLE CONNOR
1 1 2
DREW DOUGHTY
1 1 2
NICK FOLIGNO
1 1 2
KEVIN HAYES
1 1 2
ALEC MARTINEZ
1 1 2
MAX PACIORETTY
1 1 2
MARK STONE
1 1 2
GABRIEL VILARDI
1 1 2
NICKLAS BACKSTROM
- 2 2
AARON EKBLAD
- 2 2
NIKITA GUSEV
- 2 2
VICTOR HEDMAN
- 2 2
COMPLETE LIST  
NHL LEADERS
POINTS GP PTS
LEON DRAISAITL
60 95
NATHAN MACKINNON
59 84
DAVID PASTRNAK
61 84
CONNOR MCDAVID
55 81
ARTEMI PANARIN
58 79
JONATHAN HUBERDEAU
61 76
JACK EICHEL
59 75
PATRICK KANE
60 75
BRAD MARCHAND
61 75
NIKITA KUCHEROV
59 74
COMPLETE STANDINGS  
GOALS GP G
DAVID PASTRNAK
61 43
AUSTON MATTHEWS
62 43
ALEXANDER OVECHKIN
59 41
SEBASTIAN AHO
59 34
LEON DRAISAITL
60 34
COMPLETE STANDINGS  
ASSISTS GP A
LEON DRAISAITL
60 61
JOHN CARLSON
60 55
JONATHAN HUBERDEAU
61 54
BRAD MARCHAND
61 52
CONNOR MCDAVID
55 51
COMPLETE STANDINGS  
DEFENSEMEN GP PTS
JOHN CARLSON
60 70
ROMAN JOSI
59 57
VICTOR HEDMAN
59 51
QUINN HUGHES
59 47
ALEX PIETRANGELO
61 47
COMPLETE STANDINGS  
ROOKIES GP PTS
QUINN HUGHES
59 47
CALE MAKAR
51 45
VICTOR OLOFSSON
45 40
NICK SUZUKI
63 40
DOMINIK KUBALIK
58 38
COMPLETE STANDINGS  
WINS GP W
ANDREI VASILEVSKIY
45 32
JORDAN BINNINGTON
44 26
CONNOR HELLEBUYCK
50 26
FREDERIK ANDERSEN
46 25
CAREY PRICE
52 25
COMPLETE STANDINGS  
SHUTOUTS GP SO
ELVIS MERZLIKINS
30 5
MARC-ANDRE FLEURY
44 4
CONNOR HELLEBUYCK
50 4
JAMES REIMER
24 3
JAROSLAV HALAK
27 3
COMPLETE STANDINGS  

TradeRumours.com
Copyright ©2020
All Right Reserved.
Privacy policy