If there is one salient element to produce itself over the last 17 days of this hockey season, it is the regression of LukeSchenn on the blue line.
Schenn is currently sitting on a minus five for the season, and on Saturday night against the New York Rangers, Ron Wilson threw Schenn on the ice for only three shifts in the final period. Schenn was averaging about 20 minutes of ice time last year, This year he and is considered a top four defence man.
The chemistry with Francois Beauchemin is not clicking and the young defenceman seems to be very indecisive. Some of the better forwards Schenn has opposed have highlighted some severe inexperience and confidence.
The goal last night by Enver Lisen, underlined Schenn's complete lack of awareness. Lisen skated right behind him to knock in the rebound, Schenn looked dazed and confused. The goal by Cammilleri on opening night is another example of smart, quick forward exposing some serious flaws in Schenns defensive skills
For the benefit of not only the player and the team's future, Schenn needs to be moved down to the Marlies. This will remove him for the toxic atmosphere in the Leafs dressing room. It will remove him from the confidence destroying situations he finds himself in right now.
With a road trip coming next week, the leafs could end up winless in the month of October. Toronto's palpable anger might get directed at the young man from Saskatchewan.
The Marlies will allow him to feel more secure and feel free to make mistakes as he improves his attacking skills. Confidence will improve has he feels dominant in the AHL and start beating up on some lower players.
Luke Scheen was Toronto's fifth round pick in 2008 and has been highlighted as a future captain of the team. It would be futile to expose this young man to this kind of criticism, anger and soul destroying environment so early in his career. It is best to demote him in the spirit of future success and not short term distress.