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Excellent interview thus far. Looking forward to the next two part!.
The comments we are hearing about Nylander are all very positive, and build enthusiasm about his future potential. It will be interesting to see just where he plays this coming season. If he goes back to Sweden we'll be missing out watching his development.
2 days, 17 hours ago on MLHS in conversation with Dave Morrison – Part 1
@Cameron19 @Murph2417 Unless Leafs are prepared to give Clarkson some PP time, he'll likely be unable to get anything more than 15 maybe 20 goals. Can't imagine he could ever repeat how awful he was last year.
5 days, 21 hours ago on Weekend Mashup: $2.2 million apart
If Franson arbitration award is over the new threshold limit (previously 3.5M), do Leafs walk away? Would he be valuable at that price in a trade??
1 week ago on The Cody Franson Arbitration: What is he Worth?
I'm assuming Santorelli plays wing and Kontiola and Holland are 3C & 4C.
1 week, 2 days ago on Maple Leafs re-sign Peter Holland to 2-year, $1.55 million deal
@Burtonboy @4evrblue Unless the arbitration award is more than $3.5M the team can't walk away from the arbitrators decision. I don't think they can trade the player either for one year. Arbitration contracts are usually just 1-2 year deals anyways..
1 week, 5 days ago on Steve Spott, Peter Horachek named Maple Leafs’ Assistant coaches
Panthers coach Peter Horachek's pregame speech prior to their victory over the Maple Leafs on Feb. 4. http://video.us.msn.com/watch/video/panthers-coach-peter-horacheks-pregame-speech/125r7dmd …
Horachek mic'd up at a Predators practice. http://video.predators.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=94746&catid=1503 …
Notice the tall lanky defenceman that he's talking to in that clip. Will he be around in the future?
2 weeks ago on Steve Spott, Peter Horachek named Maple Leafs’ Assistant coaches
@Yan28 @TML__fan I hope you're right. As Marlies coach he was asked to implement the same systems as the Leafs (under Carlyle). Just never heard Spott speak anything but praise for Carlyle, or question/alter the tactics incorporated by Carlyle. So, as long as he speaks his mind under Carlyle, I'm happy with that.
Spott is certainly well spoken, and it will be refreshing to hear more from the assistants than in the past. Likely Carlyle will be more open to listening to his assistants given how short a lease is probably around his own neck. Spott certainly spoke well of Randy previously. I just hope he doesn't slide into a "yes-man" role, or fade a bit into the background. Doubt Nonis or Shanny would have promoted him if they thought that was the case.
Well if Horachek and this hopefully improved D group can better results, I'm all for that. Can't see how it could be worse than last year.
Does this sound workable?
JvR - Bozak - Kessel
Lupul - Kadri - Santorellii
Komorov - Kontiola - Clarkson
Ashton - Holland - Bodie/Frattin
Lots of questions with 2RW, 3RW, 3C & 4C
Least we have depth now at C and maybe injuries there will be more manageable.
3 weeks, 1 day ago on Mike Santorelli signed by the Maple Leafs to 1-year, $1.5 million contract
Based on latest signings. what do people think will be the likley line combinations??
@Cameron19 Injuries and suspensions forced unusual line combinations, and that hindered a lot of guys, along with Kulemin. To be honest, I liked him most when he was centered by Holland, and had Clarkson or Raymond on their wing. They got cycling and caused havoc at times for the opposition. I just don't see him being a consistent 2nd line winger. Love him on the 3rd line, but wants to be paid like he's a top-6 forward. Interesting he hasn't signed yet.... or Grabo. Asking too much maybe??
3 weeks, 3 days ago on Free Agent Frenzy: Day 1 Digest
@Cameron19 D'Amigo will likely always be a utility player, so who knows he could be acquired again at some later time. Kulemin was given lots of offensive minutes last year, especially with injuries. Carlyle used him a lot. The only time Kulemin has excelled offensively was when paired with Grabo and Mac (when each had career years). His shooting percentage was totally unreal. Yes, he can get points if he plays with good wingers and on the second line, but can he do it consistently... probably not.
Raymond was a nice player who had his offensive moments, but his lack of consistency and physical play just made him expendable. Kulemin on the other hand has no problem with physical play, and is a quality 2-way player. But for whatever reason (and people can come up with many) he just struggles to contribute offensively. He was given lots of opportunity this past season. I'd still love to see him back to play 3rd line wing, but at a decent price. If another team wants to pay more and elevate him to a top 6, we'll see if he can produce for them.
I did like Frattin as a Leaf, but he hasn't really stepped up his game as yet. I don't think LA plays a fast enough game and thus Frattin may have struggled there. That's not to say he didn't struggle at times when he was in Toronto. I'm curious that the Leafs were open to trading D'Amigo to get Frattin back, so we'll see if it pays off. Frattin has more offensive upside, and although not a defensive specialist, he's not a defensive liability either.
Komorov (aka "Uncle Leo") will be nice to have back. I'm not particularly worried about any drop-off in his play over the term of the contract. He's a durable, hard-hitting, relentless, in-your-face kinda player.. A bit pricey to start, but once the cap rises his contract is very cost-effective. Will he put up a lot of goals, probably not, but he can contribute offensively.
Robidas hopefully will be the veteran D the Leafs need on defence. IF his leg remains strong and he stays healthy, he's great pickup. The contract won't cripple the Leafs if Robidas gets injured again. Despite his age, if he stays healthy, he can provide a lot that the Leafs need.
If the Gunnarsson of old was still playing at the same level, they might have looked at other options to balance their D. But with his lack of physical play and ongoing hip issues, it was time for a move. Not sure on the timing of these discussion on Georges. Were they trying to do that deal and it couldn't come together, so they opted to do a trade with STL?
Sure sounded like they were now hoping to add a D through free agency, and failing that will look for another trade. I think they are trying maybe to get Boyle, and if not will look to trade if they can.
Nice to hear that Shanahan has been working the phones and talking to some of the FA's. He's quietly trying to make this team better, while avoiding the bigger media spotlight.
3 weeks, 6 days ago on Draft Day Two Wrap Up: Gunnarsson for Polak, offensive focus to Leafs’ draftees
@wendelsway1 @KingTon @TheCanucksnaphook read his response in the Sun article. http://www.torontosun.com/2014/06/18/maple-leafs-gm-dave-nonis-talks-draft-bolland-and-trades
" We’re hopeful the next 10-days-to-two weeks we’ll be able to reach some kind of conclusion on the assistants."
1 month ago on (Thursday Mashup) Silly Season
@Xxxxxnew Well, Leafs have never been the type of team to offer-sheet anyone. Heck BB opted to trade with Bruins rather than offer-sheet a cheaper deal. As far as the Leafs showing a blueprint, well that's never happened either, and many would question whether they've had a blueprint at times.
1 month, 1 week ago on Ryan O’Reilly and the Colorado Avalanche’s Club-Elected Arbitration
@Zeus_WilliamMapleLeafs By going the club-elected route, the Avalanche force the issue, and there is no way ROR can just walk away.
@Xxxxxnew @Zeus_WilliamMapleLeafs If it is "team-elected" arbitration, I don't think they can walk away from the arbitrator's decision, and they are stuck with the player and the contract for one year. They can trade him after that.
@Zeus_WilliamMapleLeafs Quite likely you're right... but if ROR wins his arbitration, they're stuck paying him a higher salary and no option to trade him or walk away from the deal. Correct?
At what price point would Colorado be unwilling to match? Certainly ROR didn't show any hesitation to sign an offer sheet before. Price is high for compensation, but ROR is just 23 and still improving.
Apparently Marc Crawford has talked to some teams about head coach opportunities. Wonder if he'd consider coming in as an assistant coach, with the possibility of stepping in as head coach if Carlyle stumbles? Not sure Crawford or Carlyle could swallow their pride/egos to work together behind the same bench.
Had Carlyle been fired, there were (are) several experienced and quality coaches for consideration
- Crawford, Blysma, Trotz (now with Washington), DeBoer
Mind you, there are 4 vacant NHL head coaching jobs right now (VAN, FLA, CAR, PIT) , so the demand is still high.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Maple Leafs Assistant Coach Candidates: Ted Dent and Mark Morris
@Komas Taberle Read the article. It mentions him....
With that in mind, we asked friend of the site Peter Hassett of the excellent Russian Machine Never Breaks blog to answer a few of our questions on the potential hire.
2 months ago on Five Questions on Maple Leafs Assistant Coach candidate Adam Oates
Not exactly a glowing endorsement from Peter Hassett on Adam Oates. Oates seems to have just one area of strength, and that is on the PP, and tha's the least of the Leafs' problems at the moment. Their powerplay has been fairly productive, whereas their defensive zone coverage has been abysmal. The powerplay certainly has NOT been the issue for the Leafs. Can't see bringing Oates in just for his name, experience and PP specialty.
On the subject of Gardiner and Rielly.... They are both talented kids, and have great skating and passing skills, BUT in most cases they need time and space, and the puck! The Leafs struggle to get and maintain the puck in their defensive zone. When their opponents implement a strong forecheck and physical work along the boards, the Leafs struggle to get to the puck, and then collectively have difficulty working it out of their own zone. Teams know what Gardiner and Rielly can do with the puck, so they work hard to limit their time and space. As well, they know that these kids lack a physical game, so the opposition gets on them quickly and knows they can out-muscle them in defensive zone battles (especially along the boards and in front of the net). Speed and mobility are great, BUT you've got to have the puck and the time and space to move it out of your zone.
This is an excellent assessment, and I'm surprised the Leafs still haven't addressed their problems with defensive-zone coverage and their transition game. Basically the only time the Leafs have had much success with their systems is when their opposition is not a fast hard-forechecking team, or has their own problems defensively.
I wonder how much blame to attribute to the coaches and how much to the players. Whatever the coaching staff is trying to do, it is not working. Part of the blame obviously rest with the players, and that in turn stems back to management and the GM. Still one has to wonder why Carlyle and his staff continue to preach a system that is obviously not working every night. I just don't see much evidence of the Leafs adjusting their play (or system) based on what their opposition is doing.
I remember clearly during one of the 24/7 HBO shows hearing Babcock say to his players to keep pressuring the Leafs and that the Leafs couldn;t handle them down low.
As you nicely put it.... "Blueliners looked confused and outmuscled. They’re late to pucks, lose races and beat in 50-50 battles." The defence, if they do manage to win a puck chase/battle, predictably slide it up along the boards to the winger. In most cases the opposition is already pressuring that winger and intercepts the pass or forces a turnover.
4 months ago on The Maple Leafs Transition Game
Excellent Hangout session Michael and Michael. Nice to have a guest such as Peter who is really up to speed on their team and can provide valuable insight. Always wondered how much of the Capitals' success/failures to attribute to Oates, but it is clear Peter feels that much of the blame lie with coaching. Wonder if they'd be worse or better off with Carlyle and his staff? *rhetorical question*
Was it me or did Peter's bulldog have his "game face" on?? Either that or he just got a bit tired of "hanging out", and wandered off.
Big game today for the Caps. Hope the Leafs are up to the challenge.
4 months, 1 week ago on Maple Leaf Hangout Ep. #24: Leafs vs. Capitals
Great responses Anthony. I'll be interested to see how Holland might be utilized during remainder of this year, but more importantly next. Got to be a way to get this kid into the lineup on a full-time basis. He may not be ready for center on the top two lines, but is at the development stage where he needs some decent NHL minutes.
4 months, 3 weeks ago on AP’s Mailbag: Deadline targets, bottom 6, “impact” prospects, PK and shots against
Well, nice to get a chance to talk about hockey metrics on CBC, but that short piece was like walking a kid by a candy store, but not even going inside to see what they have.
5 months, 2 weeks ago on Michael Stephens on the CBC
Regarding Leafs PK, there are a couple of other observations that are worth noting. With the addition of Gleason these numbers should change, but certainly prior to his arrival both Gunnarsson and Franson were playing substantially more PK minutes per game. Also, as much as we might think of Fraser as a 7th or 8th D-man, he was playing a lot of PK minutes last year. Holzer also ate up some PK minutes. They had size and could block shots or clear bodies from in front of the net.
The other big change is the absense of Leo Komorov on the PK this year, plus of course that Bolland has been missing for much of the season.
With Gleason in on the PK now, and assuming Bolland can come back and be effective, the PK should improve considerably. What would also help tremendously is for the Leafs to take fewer penalties and simply reduce the amount of time they are shorthanded!
5 months, 4 weeks ago on Leafs Notebook – January 27
The note about Gleason and Liles is certainly a valid one. Not sure many saw this scenario possibly unfolding where the Leafs could exchange Liles for another D from another team who has a similar contract. Their styles are complete opposite, but seem to nicely fill the void on the other team. Who would have thought. Credit to the Leafs making it work.
@-Keon-Hopefully the injury issues are behind him and he can return to form. Assuming Ranger is on track and can get a solid game going, the D will become a much stronger group of 7.
6 months, 3 weeks ago on New Year, New Beginnings
Anyone heard from Tim Gleason as to his thoughts of coming to the Leafs? Have not seen any quotes from him as yet. Also, I would think Fraser is now the odd man out. Any word on whether he is being discussed in trade talks, or would Leafs simply put him on waivers and send him down.
@Burtonboy Well although that's not hard to do, its encouraging. Hopefully he can keep up with Orr and MacLaren. ;-)
8 months, 2 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%.
9 months, 1 week 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.
9 months, 3 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.
9 months, 3 weeks 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.
9 months, 4 weeks 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.