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@Burtonboy Well although that's not hard to do, its encouraging. Hopefully he can keep up with Orr and MacLaren. ;-)
4 weeks ago on Leafs Sign Jerred Smithson
Is Smithson just a smaller version of what the Leafs had with Steckel? Someone good on faceoffs, who can play some PK and some 4th line minutes. Not liking that he is a slow skater though.
I'd go back to Bernier in net against the Hawks for a couple of reasons. Gives him a chance to shake off that bad goal and redeem himself. Also he's watched and played against the Blackhawks more and should be slightly better prepared. May also give Reimer another day or two to make sure his head is 100%.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Game in 10: Game #8, Canes 3 at Leafs 2
some interesting points raised during this HotStove....
As Aaron mentioned, Reimer has noticeably improved his glove hand this year. I'm not sure it was a true weakness before, but it does seem stronger this year.
Also the point about the changes to the goalie equipment, and limiting the length of the pads. Not sure it has that big an impact, but anytime a goalie allows a puck to get through the "5-hole", commentators/analysts immediately reference the change in goalie pads and imply the goalie is more vulnerable. As Eli said, it may be simply a case of "stick discipline" rather than pad changes.
1 month, 4 weeks ago on Maple Leafs Hot Stove Hangout – Episode #5
@dlb eh By 5on5, I meant "even strength". In the playoff series Leafs (other than game 1 and 3) played pretty well. If you recall, they got dominated in game 1 and we're outshot two to one.
This year they have new players and hopefully in the coming weeks the players will work out the kinks and start to play better. Have to cut down the turnovers and improve their defensive zone coverage. It will come, hopefully.
2 months ago on Why I have become more open-minded about hockey analytics — and a blurb on Morgan Rielly
@dlb eh Well, if I were in his shoes I'd certainly credit Bernier stepping in and buying time for Leafs to crawl back into the game. Well done. Maybe even say Raymond had a solid game for the Leafs.
But Lupul's PP goal got the Leafs back in the game late in the second period. That was off a dumb penalty. Call it an excuse if you will. but changed the complexion of the game.
@dlb eh You can't win without good special teams and decent goaltending. But you can't go very far if you can't match up with your opposition 5on5 also.
@dlb eh He wasn't using it as an excuse, but rather identifying it as something they can't afford to do. Dumb penatlies often come back to hurt a team.
@Cameron19 The Leafs relied heavily on both last year. And yes, a number of Leafs' play have drawn important penalties which can hurt the other side. As a Leaf fan I would like to see them improve their 5on5 play as well, and not have to rely on excpeptional goaltending to keep them in games.
@dlb eh The penalties he was referrring to, were penalties out of their own zone, that were not needed to break up a Leafs scoring opportunity. I'm not implying Ottawa didn't have its own problems, only the main reason why their coach felt they lost the game.
@dlb eh @TML__fan Actually he was far more disappointed his team took needless penalties. He sighted the reason they lost was allowing Leafs too much PP time. They gave up 2 goals to the Leafs powerplay. All four Ottawa goals were at even strength.
Puck posession time (and zone) is quite important.
Two of the more meaningful stats are "Turnovers" for and against, and "Scoring chances" for and against. Just because there is a shot, doesn't mean it was a quality scoring chance. Analysts like to say that the "quality" of a scoring chance is weighted within all shots, so in a large sample size they are meaningless.
Last night the Leafs had a lot of defensive zone turnovers, and gave up far too many quality scoring chances. If it wasn't for the PP and some quality goaltending, they wouldn't have stood a chance.
@Dangle_My_Berries Some speculation it was "flu-like" symptoms, but suppose enough the doctors recommended he go to hospital. Either that or Nonis was coughing up uncontrollably, not unlike Ranger was coughing up the puck last night. Hard to stomach watching as many turnovers as they have been making the last couple games!
The conditions for a 3rd rounder haven't been disclosed yet, have they? Someone suggested 10 goals 35 points, but do we really know this to be true?? Just glad to hear Flames will try him at centre and hope he can fit in their rebuild. Joe is now back home in Calgary, where I'm sure he will want to play well in front of his hometown fans.
2 months, 1 week ago on Joe Colborne Traded to Calgary Flames for 4th round pick
@TheCanucksnaphook The magic number I believe is $925K. If Liles is sent down, the Leafs must retain his cap hit (minus $925K). For Colborne, his cap hit was only $600K, which is well below the $925K threshold. So if he cleared waivers, the team would not retain any cap hit, only if they called him back up.
@TheCanucksnaphook No they would avoid the cap hit, but likely a team (like Calgary) would have claimed him, and the Leafs got nothing. Least they get a 4th rounder.
It is disappointing to hear Colborne has been traded, and even more so for as little as a 4th round pick. For whatever reason(s), he had a very unimpressive camp, and the option of going back to the AHL was gone. Quite likely he would have been claimed by somebody on waivers, so at least Leafs are getting a 4th rounder, and Joe gets to go back to Alberta. Its a shame the Leafs couldn't packaged Colborne with say Liles, and got something more substantial in return (maybe a 2nd & 3rd rounder?).
One guy who has improved his game, and played well in preseason is Carter Ashton. He fits the winger position that is open, has good speed, toughness in the corners, and a bit of an offensive upside too. Not sure they can afford his cap hit though, but could fill in nicely for MacLaren, or as a depth player to allow others to slide up to fill in for Clarkson.
Leafs are cap-compliant now, so any roster moves may simply be short-term.
Is this like those Olympic figure skating judges in the past where we throw out the high and low score and use the others? LOL
We know what happen to those bias judges!
2 months, 1 week ago on Maple Leaf Hangout Episode #3: Franson, Kessel, team ratings
I was really feeling for Michael L in that situation. I thought he was about to jump out of his chair and shake his fist like that character in the movie "Network". Being a long-time Leaf fan myself, I share similar views with respect to making sure great players and moments in Leaf history (in all decades) have an honoured place in the Leafs building. Actually I thought Aaron was basically agreeing with Michael, albeit perhaps not with the same passion. I hope Michael S was indeed being a devil's advocate. Hey, maybe Tom Leiweke should be a guest sometime in the future. *wink*
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Introducing the Maple Leafs Hot Stove Hangout
That's true Alec. Each guy can only do so much to improve their own cams/microphones.