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@GreekGod @leafersutherland  I think the real question is, are there any moves they could possibly make that would fix this mess, or are we headed towards having to tear it all down? Are we just delaying the inevitable?

13 hours, 4 minutes ago on Four Questions on Peter Laviolette

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@Xxxxxnew  Man I envy their team right now.  That top six is absolutely amazing, and perfectly set up cap-wise for us.  If it were us in their situation, we'd be laughing. The only reason one of them might shake loose is because they aren't super rich. And even that's a just a big maybe.

14 hours, 1 minute ago on Four Questions on Peter Laviolette

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@Xxxxxnew  We should have traded for him before Sherman came along. I'm sure he was available when they were in the gutter. 

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EDIT: Before Sakic came along. 

14 hours, 8 minutes ago on Four Questions on Peter Laviolette

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@docyqx @Xxxxxnew  Lets remember that for the last 2 years, every time I mentioned Stastny's name here, everyone laughed and said Bozak was just as good. Not everyone, but a great many posters.  Even those that wanted him thought his price-tag was too high. Perception shifts a great deal when things are looking good for a team.

14 hours, 12 minutes ago on Four Questions on Peter Laviolette

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@leafersutherland @Cameron19  Yea, I don't think it's likely, I just also don't think it's a foregone conclusion. 

14 hours, 17 minutes ago on Four Questions on Peter Laviolette

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@Xxxxxnew  Yea, but it's really about looking 2 years down the road with this particular player. In 2 years, they will have to be heavily re-investing in D, and MacKinnon will also be getting his boost to the 6M range. At that point, you would have to imagine Stastny will be a 3C for them.

14 hours, 18 minutes ago on Four Questions on Peter Laviolette

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Having said all this, I won't deny this is also me just being incredibly hopeful.

14 hours, 26 minutes ago on Four Questions on Peter Laviolette

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A note on the notion that Stastny's recent surge means he'll definitely be resigned - Keep in mind Colorado is currently spending just 11.475M on their top six defenders. Now granted, they still have everyone pretty cheap next year, and they do have some dead spots on their books they could clear up in the next couple season, but they are going to need / want to invest in their back-end at some point in the near future.  If their current guys keep getting the job done, they will require massive raises. If they don't, they will need to spend to bring in replacements. With Landeskog, O'Reilly, Duchene and Varlamov all getting raises next year (most of those significant), Stastny may be too rich for them at this particular junction.

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I know the counter argument is that a couple rounds of playoffs makes everything okay, but remember, this is a franchise that was bleeding money for the last few years.  Their ownership may not view a few playoff games as the cure-all for all financial woes - especially considering this team had a similarly surprising turnaround after Duchene and O'Reilly arrived 4 seasons ago. 

14 hours, 27 minutes ago on Four Questions on Peter Laviolette

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@wendelsfist @ShiftyD @Cameron19  I think that all the teams with those bad contracts that might have been bought out have now realized that they can just pull a Philly and when the time comes for Richards, Hossa, Franzen, Luongo, etc....to retire...they will simply invent a career-ending injury and use LTIR to avoid cap penalties. 

18 hours, 7 minutes ago on Four Questions on Peter Laviolette

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@Jordan29 @mike_84 @Cameron19  I would prefer to not even look at the defensive personnel this year. With all the prospects we have, I would just pretend there's nothing wrong with the D and focus on restructuring the forward group. I think that our forwards are so bad at forechecking and defensive zone structure that it basically makes it impossible to accurately evaluate our defenders. 

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Fix the forwards first. It will probably take 2-3 years. But by the time that is done, a lot of your prospects will have developed, and you'll have a more accurate idea about what actually needs to be added back there. 

18 hours, 11 minutes ago on Four Questions on Peter Laviolette

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Question 3: How do you change the defensive culture of the forward group?


-They need a coach they believe in, first and foremost. This doesn't mean the players are off the hook for their performance, but I think it's safe to say that Carlyle is a bit of a dinosaur in terms of his ability to both strategize, and communicate effectively with his players.  Accountability was also a joke with him, but that is harder to achieve in the NHL than most fans will tolerate in conversation. It's really fucking hard to punish  millionaires  in Toronto without crippling an asset. 


-They need a system they can buy into - square-peg, round-hole doesn't work. While I agree with Nonis that you want some players to come out of their comfort zone a litlte more, you also need a system that for the most part caters to their strengths. This team was not so weak physically that they should have been told to not even bother with defensive zone board battles in favor of "the swarm". That is nonsense, and totally emasculating, and it showed. The players deserve heat for some parts of their performances, but this one is totally on Randy. 


-They need some major changes in personnel. While a better system will help, there MUST be a combination of both intelligent two-way forwards, and physical forwards capable of maintaining an offensive-zone forecheck added to this group. This is not to say you can't have gifted rush forwards on the team, but moving forward, they need to be the ones adapting to forechecking culture of the team, and not the other way around. We cannot be having guys like Clarkson coming here and being totally lost because of the all-rush-all-the-time play we exhibit. 


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Some of these problems will be addressed by a coaching change. Some of them will be addressed by adding Marlies to the mix (Holland, Ashton, D'Amigo, Leivo, Granberg) and then actually giving them playing time. Most of this will have to be solved through trading, drafting and free agency though. This team is a mess right now.

18 hours, 13 minutes ago on Four Questions on Peter Laviolette

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@Jordan29 @Cameron19  Big risk as he's a bit of a one year wonder.  We can't really afford any more albatrosses with Clarkson already in the fold. 

18 hours, 16 minutes ago on Four Questions on Peter Laviolette

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Question 2: How do you get the most out of Dion Phaneuf?


-He needs a partner who is capable of playing against top lines. Gunnarsson is the Bozak of the defense. He's done a nice job for a long time, but with no support behind them, and no help from the forwards, this pair cannot continue to be relied upon to shutdown top units every night. 


-He needs a player on the second pairing who can take at least some tough shifts. Having someone like Girardi on the second pair, might be enough to take the burden off Phaneuf and allow him to open up his game a bit again. Preferably though, you'd upgrade Gunnarsson AND improve the second pairing.  Both issues need to be addressed in time.


-He needs the forward group to collectively start playing defense, and a system that forces it to happen. This is probably the biggest obstacle for the defense right now, and the one that should be addressed first and foremost. The reason only Phaneuf can be trusted for the shutdown minutes is because of how useless the forward group is.  I am confident that a lot of the Phaneuf criticism would reverse quickly if this issue is taken care of. I am also confident that his offensive game would return to the 50 point region.  

18 hours, 20 minutes ago on Four Questions on Peter Laviolette

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Trying to stay away from MLHS and limit my internet time, but thought I'd stop in and join the convo for 20 minutes or so.  Been thinking the last few days about what needs to be done if we are to continue to move forward with Kessel and Phaneuf as the centerpieces of our core. Came up with a list of 3 questions that need to be addressed. Question #1:

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How do you maximize the asset that is Phil Kessel?


-He needs a defensive center who can match-up well with top units. Bozak has done a nice job this year, but when it comes time to match-up against Krejci, Bergeron, Toews, Getzlaf, and so forth - he is going to get smoked. The fit here doesn't have to be a superstar, but a quality match-up center. Either Staal brother or Stastny would be a good start.


-He needs support from the other lines so that a cold spell doesn't mean curtains. That is simply too much pressure for one player, or one line. If the other lines are picking up the slack when Kessel goes cold, I bet you would get a much shorter cold spell.  It's a lot easier to come out of a funk when you're not feeling the weight of the world on your shoulder. Very few other stars experience that kind of pressure.


-He needs to expand his willingness to compete and be a leader in areas besides scoring. He was making progress here, but I really believe that Carlyle derailed this by simply being a coach totally out of sync with the vibe in his room. Having said that, fans are going to have to accept that Kessel will never be a guy who is going to be putting himself in positions to get crunched night in and night out. And should he be? I would rather Kessel for 82 games than a slightly more well-rounded 60 games.




18 hours, 25 minutes ago on Four Questions on Peter Laviolette

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Well boys, now that the draft lottery is over and Leafs news is going to be sparse, I'm going to try and take a bit of an internet hiatus and cut back my MLHS time significantly. Time to find some new hobbies.  Talk to you all as soon as there's news or something exciting happens in the world of hockey. Cheers!

3 days, 9 hours ago on 2014 NHL Draft Lottery – Harnessing the Power of 3.6%

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@mike_84 @Pent_House  We have no idea what he said. 

3 days, 9 hours ago on 2014 NHL Draft Lottery – Harnessing the Power of 3.6%

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@Pent_House  We don't know the context. 

3 days, 9 hours ago on 2014 NHL Draft Lottery – Harnessing the Power of 3.6%

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So the Oilers are likely to miss out on the big D available again. 

3 days, 11 hours ago on 2014 NHL Draft Lottery – Harnessing the Power of 3.6%

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@hometeem @Cameron19 @Belfour20/JB-45  COMPETE!!!! Why isn't this working???

3 days, 12 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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@Belfour20/JB-45 @Cameron19  Yea, that's borderline flattery. 

3 days, 12 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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@Belfour20/JB-45  RC is a moron. It's as simple as that. 

3 days, 12 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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@hometeem @Cameron19 @CanuckUKinToronto @LeafsGuru  One amounts to resigning. 

3 days, 12 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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@HHT  That's exactly why trade value isn't subject to the whims of a players most recent games. It's not like other GM's don't know that Reimer will be a good starter elsewhere. It's not like they think Lupul won't be a 25g, 25a man for the foreseeable future.  

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Having said that, Clarkson's performance was so bad, and his contract is so awful, it probably is impossible to move. 

3 days, 12 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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@hometeem @Cameron19 @CanuckUKinToronto @LeafsGuru  Leaving of your own accord isn't the same as not accepting an extension.  That said, I agree, it's highly unlikely. 

3 days, 13 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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@hometeem @CanuckUKinToronto @LeafsGuru  Contract is up though. 

3 days, 13 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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@loomx @Belfour20/JB-45  Yea, recognizing the team is bad defensively is one thing. His solution was the same as Wilson's: hope the defense can consistently make miracle passes while dodging an unimpeded fore-check. 

3 days, 13 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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@Belfour20/JB-45 @loomx  lol, You make it sound like the fans of this team have positive feelings about their team and can't handle hearing negative things.  There is not a fan base anywhere in pro sports that is more self-loathing and negative towards its team; bar none. 

3 days, 13 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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@loomx @Belfour20/JB-45  Players can provide compete in different ways. Compete for Phil Kessel isn't going to look the same as it does for Troy Bodie. 

3 days, 13 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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@Belfour20/JB-45  They didn't do it last season either though. The shots against were unacceptable last season too. And the last team he was with had the exact same problems. Now the Leafs aren't good enough to have the kind of turn around Anaheim did post-Carlyle, but their turnaround is dramatic enough (both in terms of results, and based on all the possession stats) to provide damning evidence against Carlyle. 

3 days, 13 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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@Fish Head @Cameron19 @Jay31  No idea. Don't know enough about the latter. 

3 days, 14 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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@rustynail @Cameron19  It's not like the media won't tear a proven candidate apart, too. Sell it. "This team is still in a growth phase, and we wanted a coach that could potentially grow with the team."

3 days, 14 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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@Fish Head @Jay31 @Cameron19  Wouldn't bother me if we went with Spott. 

3 days, 14 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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@Jmessih @Cameron19  Probably will hit 30 a couple times. 

3 days, 14 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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@Jmessih  To be fair to Murray, what else is he going to say?  Ryan is still young enough to be improving somewhat.

3 days, 14 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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@Bruffins @Cameron19  It just has to be someone hungry, in my opinion. Not someone living off a reputation. 

3 days, 14 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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@ingy56 @mcloki  He's already the smartest guy with the media we've had in....ever? 

3 days, 14 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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@Jay31 @Cameron19  Sure. I don't really have names in mind. I just see no reason to go from one big name to another simply for the sake of getting big names. 

3 days, 14 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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I don't really want Trotz. More of the same. This group still isn't going to be winning the Cup in the next 2 years, so whoever this coach is will likely feel enough heat that he won't be around when it matters anyways. I would take a gamble on an unknown this time around - someone younger.  Worst case scenario is high draft picks and clearing out contracts for the next couple years. 

3 days, 14 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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@Komas Taberle @Cameron19 @Jmessih @lukethenuke  That committee had him on Team Canada's Olympic tryout roster. How dumb do you have to be to think they wouldn't invite him to this shitty tournament? Wait...don't answer that. 

3 days, 14 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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Bozak and Rielly should not be hesitating to respond to their invites. 

3 days, 14 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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@leafersutherland @Jmessih  Shouldn't have though. I believe they were undefeated with Reimer. 

3 days, 14 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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@Komas Taberle @Jmessih @lukethenuke  He's obviously hurt. 

3 days, 14 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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@loomx @Komas Taberle@CanuckUKinTorontoEven Tavares isn't a very good defensive center. He's a minus usually, and yes he's on the Islanders, but he's not really a 'match-up' center.

3 days, 15 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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@Bruffins @Komas Taberle@Pent_House Careful now, you don't want to let thought or reality enter the equation.

3 days, 15 hours ago on Five Questions on Barry Trotz

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@Bobsyouruncle So are we getting rid of Gardiner now, too?

3 days, 16 hours ago on Randy Carlyle End of Season Presser

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@GreekGod @Cameron19@Chris JayOh yea, he's implying that Gardiner thinks he's an all-star or something. I really doubt that though. You don't hear many hockey players talking like that.

3 days, 16 hours ago on Randy Carlyle End of Season Presser

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@GreekGod @Chris JayWe don't even know the context of whatever Gardiner supposedly said though, do we? He could have just said something like "I see myself as a rover, sort of like Scott Niedermayer." Doesn't mean he thinks he is as talented as Scott Niedermayer.

3 days, 16 hours ago on Randy Carlyle End of Season Presser

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@Bruffins @Cameron19@XxxxxnewThey are right to be concerned about Miller though.  He could easily sign elsewhere, and so far, his save percentage since the trade is worse than Bernier and Reimer's during that same stretch. Ott has 3 points in 21 games since arriving, and he was a -12 (and even worse, -38 for the season). They gave up Stewart and two first round picks for a player they may not resign, and a player they shouldn't resign. Ott is garbage.

3 days, 16 hours ago on Randy Carlyle End of Season Presser

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@Jmessih @Cameron19I think they just gave him a couple maintenance days.  He, Backes and Oshie are expected to play the first game of the playoffs.

3 days, 16 hours ago on Randy Carlyle End of Season Presser

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