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I will never understand why hockey starts in October and ends in June. Should start in early September and end in May.
12 hours, 55 minutes ago on Tuesday Mashup: September!
Definitely the top line has room for growth. A healthy Bozak would be huge.
If JVR, Bozie, and Kessel get some support from other lines carrying there load, then yes they could be effective over 82 games instead of 65.
1 week, 5 days ago on Thursday Mashup: Analytics, Analytics… Nothing but Analytics
Our key players are JVR, Kessel, Bozak, Kadri, Lupul, Phaneuf, Bernier, and Reimer. I think we pretty much know what we are getting although the coaching adjustments may effect some players. Kadri is probably the one player in that group who might be able to step forward and do more.
While Rielly and Gardiner are a big part of the future, they already play big minutes. They will have a profound effect on the team. It is just a lot to ask a 20 year old and 24 year old to drive the bus. Any advancement by these two could effect the team in a positive way.
I think we know pretty well what we get from Komarov, and I expect Polack, Winnik, Franson, Booth, and Santorelli to provide reasonable NHL depth, and will contribute points, hits, blocks etc.
I think the X factor players for the Leafs are as follows:
Robidas...his age and health...can he play his game...can he help the kids?
Kontiola...is he a legit 3rd line C in the NHL...can he win draws here like he did in KHL
Frattin...can he return to form of two years ago and maybe improve on that
Clarkson...can he find a way to be useful in whatever role he is given
In all honesty I don't think we will see too much Orr this year...he looked like he was slowing down quite a bit last year. Holland cost us a 2nd rounder, I doubt we are just going to trade him. If he plays well enough he will move up the line-up, if not he will be a depth guy. It is as simple as that.
@ingy56 @Mind Bomb
I actually thought the article was well informed...only surprised by Orr's inclusion, I thought it would be McLaren, lol.
@Mind Bomb @B_Leaf
Holland for me right now is a 13th forward fighting for a spot. I think he will get his chance to play this year at times and he will have to grab the moment. The good thing is that he will be playing with decent wingers. My personal expectations are not overly high but I hope he surprises.
That was a good peice IMO, almost exactly how I see the line-up working itself out. Only difference for me is that I see Frattin on line two and Clarkson on line four.
I also like Holzer for the seventh D, while Granberg spends a little more time in the AHL with his new countrymen Nilson, Loov, and Nylander.
I think we have great depth on the wings, so hopefully Nylander can play top six C on the Marlies and provide some insurance should Kadri or Bozak go down at some point.
We also have Leivo who could be called up if needed.
On D we Granberg or Percy who might be able to provide injury depth.
@Mind Bomb @B_Leaf @MaxwellHowe
Yes, I agree. If I didn't like our prospects I wouldn't mind calling out the Leafs management. But That list is dominated by guys who have team and personal trophies and awards that are pretty solid. CHL scoring champ, plus/minus leader, memorial cup champion/finalist, rookie of the year/roy finalist. WJC gold.
Also based on Hughes comments it sounds like our Sweedish invasion on D has some bite to their game.
I was surprised to see Loov ahead of Leivo. No disrespect to Loov, but I view Leivo as a pretty solid prospect. I probably have Leivo as high as number two on that list.
NHL season should start in September, around the 15th, preseason Sept 3
It was an interesting read going through the nhl.com link above to the Leafs prospect list. I was a little surprised with the rankings...no Granberg.
Since Bozak has almost never been on the ice without Kessel isnt that make the analysis a very small sample size. The only significant time without Kessel is when PKing
1 week, 6 days ago on Maple Leafs hire Brandon Pridham as new assistant GM
This one was a beauty too
I woke up the neighborhood, lol
For some reason my mind just went back to Gilmour digging the puck out of the corner to find Clark coming off the bench bursting through the high slot and one timing a wrist shot over Hrudey.
Lots of good hockey talk on here today!
@dlb Mad @B_Leaf
Great points, which are why this season has the potential to be all over the map...it could be winning a playoff round to McDavid, or the tenth overall pick...ugh
@Burtonboy @B_Leaf @dlb Mad @Bobsyouruncle
Furthermore, I think Nonis is the problem, but correct Shanahan may not...his bad, lol
Well if his guy was unavailable, he might. Shanahan is also known to be boardroom savvy so he may have a plan to keep a fall guy around...some people operate like that.
@dlb Mad @Mind Bomb
So far yes...but to this point he has done absolutely nothing of significance to improve the team. Yet he has probably made good moves (ie Komarov was a good signing)
@dlb Mad @Bobsyouruncle
Maybe Nonis is just there until someone else is available. Clearly Shanahan is running things.
Maybe Nonis has been the problem.
@Burtonboy @B_Leaf @Mind Bomb
That is great to hear. I spent some time researching his stats extensively, watching some highlights etc, and came away feeling he had a decent chance. If I recall he does win draws. He also showed a key ability to raise his game when it mattered most. Until you watch in full games you don't know but I think there is a chance there. On the positive he will get to play with NHL caliber wingers!
@Mind Bomb @B_Leaf @Burtonboy
Hopefully a guy like Kontiola sort of comes out of nowhere and surprises. He is a natural C.
I hope you are right...it is better for sure but is it enough?
I agree we are in decent shape. It might be enough to get us in the playoffs. That would be a step in the right direction.
Yeah for sure...loved that guy. Man we have had some good Russians on this team.
Valiev has some high end offensive skills too.
I think the C position is very important. My concern is not the lack of a perceived number one, although that might be nice. I have things I really like about both Bozak and Kadri...and I expect some improvement there too. However I would feel much better looking at the three and four hole and seeing something better...like Grabovski or something.
Look at the depth in the middle for the top teams...it is pretty solid.
But yes Kessel, JVR, and our goaltending will be major factors. If somehow Rielly and Gardiner have great years that could change our fortunes as well..but that is questionable.
@Burtonboy @Mind Bomb @B_Leaf
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Just a few years ago though, Grabovski, Kulemin, and MacArthur were leading the entire league in many advanced stats.
Absolutely the improved bottom six wingers will help.
And while the PP could be top five, the PK is a big concern.
The two areas of need that concern me is our depth at C...after Bozak and Kadri it gets thin. I mean if one of those guys went down for any length of time, we might be talkin McDavid. The other concern is Carlyle...he just seemed like a train wreck last year.
Between Finn, Percy, Granberg, Valiev, Nilson, Loov, Knodel, and MacW at least a couple of those guys should hit there ceiling.
Mornin Bomber...I pretty much feel the same. I am not sure the product on the ice will happen right away. I am a little nervous about how bad we could be this year. The disconnect between coaching and players that we saw last year, the lack of good systems, the lack of puck winning players on a team giving emphasis now to possession. This year could be one of upheaval. On the other hand we have some of the best scorers and goaltending in the league...so if we can improve everything else...who knows.
@Mind Bomb @Burtonboy @B_Leaf
Exactly my concerns too.
It is a very important year for our prospects. The Marlies should be interesting to follow, especially is Nylander plays some games there.
One thing I really like is our depth of prospects, and the fact that their skill set nicely dovetails with our current NHL roster. In other words the skills needed at the NHL level seem to be the very skills highlighted in many of our prospects. For example a guy like Gauthier or Carrick could be a really good fit in our bottom six if they continue to improve.
Valiev is a guy to watch....he has the "it" factor IMO
Interesting opinion...since Nonis has been in charge....I hold him responsible for decisions not Loiselle.
Anyway it is likely more changes are coming over the year ahead especially if the right peope become available.
But is Shanahan the right guy at the top? I really don't know...I would say that so far he has been savvy in the things he has done to slightly improve the team, and to keep a couple fall guys around for later.
Well this Leaf team is now one big contradiction...funny to see how it works. We have many players who are not advanced stats friendly, we have a coach who certainly is not cozy to advanced stats, a GM who completely misused buy outs. And now our front office is driven by these advanced stat guys. It would be funny if it worked.
Bozak is the least of our problems...it would be nice if we could clone him and have another.
2 weeks, 1 day ago on A look at Tyler Bozak’s improved 2013-14 Season
Well, it depends which Grabs and Kule you get. Hard to know how much they were effected by injury, or coaching in a negative way. But I will say this...If the Islanders get the Grabovski and Kulemin from 3, 4, years ago, they got two good players.
2 weeks, 3 days ago on Friday Mashup: Second Assistant GM Hire to Come Next Week
When Grabovski and Kulemin were here and playing at there highest level they really drove puck possession in our favor. They had a positive effect on others, and were dependable. Nonis moves out Grabs, and things get worse. No doubt the inability to win pucks becomes a mental thing that effects the team, but still this was a problem almost every period of every game all season....more than just the coaching.
@lukethenuke @EricHussey2Day @B_Leaf @Cameron19
Exactly...the type of players has a lot to do with it. Adding a Komarov and Winnik helps...but there are still a lot of holes in that aspect of the game for them
@lukethenuke @B_Leaf @Cameron19
Yup, It was almost unbelievable at times...like the team had been drugged or something.
If competitve heart is the wrong word than just call it lack of puck winning skill.
I agree with those points, but what I am referring to are simple one on one 50-50 puck battles (so to speak). This team found ways to lose pucks, and found ways to let opposing players with pucks just get away to easy. That is what I mean. And it was terrible. To be as bad as it was it was both the coaching and a lack of competitive heart.
They have a decent team...if they can upgrade a spot or two on D they will be even better.
Look Cameron, I have never seen a team so weak in puck battles as this team last year. I will admit they were not as bad two years ago, but they also moved out some of their best puck winners from two years ago. By no means do I excuse Carlyle, but there is no way you can pin it all on him.
CBJ is a playoff team IMO
I still think we are a 30% chance to make the playoffs. It really is a shame with so many key players hitting their prime. JVR 25, Kessel 26, Bozak 28, Bernier 26, the list goes on. The core of this team is really coming of age, the only young one is Rielly and he is already good. But the lack of depth up the middle and the lack of competition in this group for winning pucks is hard for me to over look.
This team scores almost at will, and I think our goal tending is great, we should be able to have a top five PP. But if you can't check, and you cant win pucks or hold on to it sometimes then you are going to get hammered when games matter most. I guess we can see what the new additions can do but I don't see them helping enough to make a difference.
If we could deal for a quality C who could play a solid 15-18 minutes a night it might up my percentage for the playoffs to 50%.
On the other hand if Bozak or Kadri suffer an injury, I see us as a legit top 5 pick in the draft.