I became a Leafs fan back in 1978. Lanny McDonald scored over the Islanders in game 4 of the Quarterfinals and I was hooked for life.
@Cameron19 @Leafs2 Isles1 @Yaknowwhat @Burtonboy No, I'm certain it was Gardiner. It makes sense. Everyone thinks that Burke just robbed Anaheim in that trade. But Anaheim knew exactly what they were giving and gaining (two guys who didn't fit their long term plans for one guy that did).
1 day, 21 hours ago on Game Review: Game #9, Toronto Maple Leafs 4 vs. Buffalo Sabres 0
@Yaknowwhat @Burtonboy I read a line by a scout (albeit an anonymous one) that stated that Gardiner got on the wrong side of Anaheim's management because he insisted on going back to college when Anaheim wanted him to go to the AHL. What I read into that was that Anaheim didn't like having a 20 year thinking that he knew better than them.
@Yaknowwhat @Potcy The problem with trying to get 3 or 4 first round draft picks is that you're setting your team up to having 3 or 4 rookies playing on the team at the same time. Rookies don't know how to play in the NHL. They need to be taught by veterans. I think that too many rookies allows for too many mistakes. That can get contagious.
I've been looking around the league for real chances to get a good young center. Teams don't trade these guys away. What does everyone think of Bjugstad in Florida? He's big, has good hands, and seems to try and care. If we could get him, our centres could be Bjugstad, Holland and Gauthier. That's some good size down the middle.
I'm at a point where I'd be willing to see the Leafs trade Kessel to Florida for Bjugstad and something. Florida should want to win sooner rather than later (Luongo isn't going to be getting better). A top line of Huberdeau, Barkov and Kessel would be enticing to them. Kessel wouldn't have to be the best guy on that line.
5 days, 4 hours ago on Game Review: Game #8, Boston Bruins 4 vs. Maple Leafs 1
@ingy56 @MaxwellHowe @docmma @loomx Yeah, then we'll all have eternity to blame the ice conditions.
5 days, 15 hours ago on Game Day: Game #8, Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m., CBC)
@ingy56 @Leafs2 Isles1 @wendelsfist Everything looks better in black and white. Mamma don't take my Kodachrome away.
@ingy56 @Leafs2 Isles1 @wendelsfist Was born in 1968. Its the only movie I've ever seen.
@ingy56 @Leafs2 Isles1 @wendelsfist Just enough hope to spend some money on free agents and pretend that their as good as a top 4 draft pick.
@wendelsfist You know what would happen. The Leafs would be in last place all season long, and then have a miracle run over the last 15 games - just enough to draft 9th or 10th.
Get a first line of tough veterans with a history of playing hard. I don't care if they are stars. I just care that they are hard to play against and that they play with pride. Same as the first D pairing. Make them your leaders. Then, slowly start bringing up the guys from the Marlies. If they are lazy or soft, let the team leaders grab them by the scruff of the neck and shake them around a little bit. If they don't like it, get rid of them. You let those vets also know that they are their to protect the young guys on the ice until they earn their stripes. This team needs an "all for one" attitude that is seriously lacking.
@T K O yeah. I never bought it. Other GMs knew what they were giving up.
Carlyle's got to know that he's going to get fired eventually. He's been around the league long enough. I'd like him to make a statement. Sit Kessel for a game or two. Throw Bozak up there too and Gardiner as well. See if those guys have enough professional pride to come back and play with some effort.
@B_Leaf I just don't think a rookie on the 4th line would make that much of a difference.
@loomx 'cause we know we wouldn't get much back for him. The other guys might get a return to build around.
@JWaterdrager @WendelGilmour @Kenny Powers I don't even think they are a rush squad. Their a "we like to have fun" squad. How many times did they "rush" to the Bs blueline without the puck, leaving the Leafs D stuck with no one to pass it to?
@Hmmm @Leafs2 Isles1 @Leafbites Well, you're right about that. The Leafs showed truculence 4 times tonight.
5 days, 16 hours ago on Game Day: Game #8, Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m., CBC)
@Leafbites Yeah. What I find amazing is that these were the guys he brought in after his truculence and testosterone speeches.
@GreekGod @Cloud09 Maybe he should start caring BEFORE he gets the one armed face wash.
@Jordan29 @Savo43 If you threw a cookie into a corner, my 4 year old would come out with it if all he had to do was push Kessel around.
@Savo43 @Leafs2 Isles1 @Jordan29 I think I made my point. Kessel is getting paid more to be a Leaf than the combined income of every Leaf fan I know over our entire lifetimes. For that money, he can try...TRY...when the he's playing the other team's 3rd and 4th line.
@Savo43 @Jordan29 Well, he's an $8 000 000 #2 guy then. What are we supposed to pay the #1 guy? For $8 million, he's earning enough to try to get the puck against the other teams 3rd and 4th line. I've got no sympathy for his lackluster play.
@vinoa @Leafs2 Isles1 @Komas Taberle You're right. It is a "what if game."
But, if we had the proverbial "potato" for a GM, who just drafted the guy that was rated next highest, I wonder if things wouldn't be better. Seems like the pressure to "win' and "make an impact" have hounded our GMs for a long time (as mentioned by ingy56).
6 days, 4 hours ago on Friday Mashup: Chara out 4-6 weeks, Leafs play Boston Saturday
@Komas Taberle @Leafs2 Isles1 So we would have young stars in a goalie, defence and centre. We would be deep at center. Oh, and part of the Kessel trade was also Dougie Hamilton. So, our D would be Reilly, Hamilton, Gunnarson, Stralman, Blacker and Schenn.
@Komas Taberle @Leafs2 Isles1 You wouldn't call Rask a potential star?
Read Burtonboy's earlier post about trades, which got me thinking.
What would have been (an old Leaf fans saying) if the Leafs just didn't trade anyone and kept all draft picks (and managed to draft who was drafted in their place)
Would our centers now be Seguin, Steen, Kadri, Mitchel and Stajan (one of them playing a wing)? What about defence? Reilly, Gunnarson, Stralman, Blacker, Schenn and Holzer (maybe White would still be servicable)? Rask and Reimer would be our goalies. Wingers would be Tlusty, Kulemin, Stalberg, Boyes, Frattin, and maybe some guys from the Marlies or even Antropov or Poni would still be around.
I really wonder how that team would be compared to the current team.
Above average goaltending. Stronger down the middle. A defence with mobility.
@Tim Horton @Cameron19 @Leafs2 Isles1 @Yaknowwhat He didn't take the plates off of his car. He never had plates on it. They were never issued to him. He taped some junk mail to his rear window to pretend that he had temporary plates.
6 days, 5 hours ago on Friday Mashup: Chara out 4-6 weeks, Leafs play Boston Saturday
@Yaknowwhat I agree about everything but one point. He wasn't a terrorist. He was a Muslim. He was addicted to crack. On a number of occasions he pleaded with the courts to put him in jail; telling the courts that he had a mood disorder and was addicted to drugs. When the courts told him that they couldn't do anything, he resorted to breaking the law in minor ways (robbing a McDonald's with a sharp stick) to get arrested. This guy had a mental problem. He was an addict. There is no evidence that he was a terrorist.
6 days, 6 hours ago on Friday Mashup: Chara out 4-6 weeks, Leafs play Boston Saturday
@dlb Mad @Yaknowwhat I get the feeling the other teams have just learned how to defend the Leafs top line. Bozak plays in a pretty one-dimensional way on that top line. When it works, it works well. But when it doesn't he doesn't have a second dimension to go to.
1 week, 5 days ago on Game Review: Game #6, Red Wings 1 vs. Maple Leafs 0 (OT)
I think our Dis alright and will get better. But we have too many forwards who want to attack on the fly but don't want to come back and help the D out when the tide turns. With the D corps that we have, their weaknesses are exposed too often as a result of this. When the 3rd line is playing, our D plays better too. I think that that has a lot to do with playing more often in the O-zone. But when the 3rd line loses control of the puck, the opposition are hampered enough to slow the play down. It gives the D a chance to react in a structured way. When other lines lose the puck, it seems like the opposition comes flying out of their zone. It makes it much harder to defend in a structured way.
@T K O @MaxwellHowe @Doorman If they're already tired, I can only imagine how they'd play if we ever made it to the second round of the playoffs.
@Jay31 @TorontoMapleLeafs And when a GM is in a selling mode, other GMs start circling like sharks. It is not like we'd be getting true value for our players if their is a fire sale.
@Cameron19 @TorontoMapleLeafs It all looks good on paper. But you're making moves that other GMs have to agree to. It gets messy pretty quickly when other GMs start asking for different players in return.
@peterbleafs @B_Leaf @Cameron19 But what are the changes? Rielly and Phaneuf on the top pairing? Play an unproven 4th line more minutes? Switch Lupul and JVR?
I just don't see those moves being enough to really make a difference.
@Cameron19 @Leafs2 Isles1 @Knights2Leafs I hear you. I agree that Carlyle is stubborn about Phaneuf playing his side. He's got a good reason but it hasn't panned out.
@deedrag @Leafs2 Isles1 @WendelGilmour @T K O I agree with you to an extent. I think that the NHL has turned into a flawed league because of the way it is set up. A bunch of money losing US teams can out vote the money making Canadian teams on most decisions. Pressure for US sponsorship affects how the league is run as well.
@Burtonboy @T K O True. But that's what a coach does. He puts his unproven players in those situation to see what they can do. It is hard to put in an unproven line in a 0-0 game. If the 4th line had some jam on Friday, they'd have played more on Saturday.
@WendelGilmour @T K O Veteran teams know how to be subtle with their dirty play. I don't know why the Habs get away with it. Maybe because small players are given more leeway.
@Knights2Leafs @Leafs2 Isles1 Or, the Red Wings are a less talented team that is put together better, listens to their coach (even when it leads to boring hockey) and has a history of mentoring younger players.
The Leafs are shallow at Center. Their top Cs don't defend well and aren't good at faceoffs. That is a management problem, not the coach's.
The Leafs made Dion captain when he should have been a number 2 D being mentored by a veteran. That's just a problem with the Leafs' history. But what are they supposed to do about it? They don't have a better D on the team. Carlyle tried playing Robidas with Phaneuf and it didn't work out so well. Gardiner hasn't been playing well. He's tried Franson and that has had some scary moments.
If any other coach in the league were coaching the Leafs, the results would be similar. Coaching isn't magic. Any of the changes that people are suggesting would lead to similar results and everyone would be pointing their fingers at the guy making the changes and complaining that they can't coach.
Players learn as much from watching their team leaders as from their coach. Kronwal got to learn from Lidstrom and Chelios.
Possibly the only thing that Carlyle could do is to sit Kessel for a game. But that would probably cause him to lose the room completely.
I hate to be the guy who is the Carlyle apologist, but I don't think he is to blame. People are nitpicking his "mistakes" because the Leafs are losing. But his "mistakes" are decisions that a coach makes when the coach is trying to win.
His first line isn't clicking. What do you do when this happens at the beginning of the year? I think that most coaches play them a lot to get them going. They have a history of scoring goals even when they seem disinterested for long stretches of the game. So, in a 0 - 0 tie, you keep throwing them out there. You even try throwing them out there against the other teams 4th line in the hopes of taking some advantage of the difference in skill. It is not Randy's fault that his first line can't manage to take advantage of the situations that they are put in.
His top scorer isn't scoring. What do you do when this happens? Most coaches play him until he gets his touch back. They try to do some line matching. They double shift him to get him playing against inferior competition. It isn't Randy's fault that Kessel can't take advantage of the situations he's put into.
The Wings are a well coached team. Everyone knows that. Their coach tells them to play Kessel hard and a little dirty. They respond by not giving him much space and by taking some "just the right kind of dirty" whacks at his hand. Kessel wilts. How is that Randy's fault. Where was the push back from the Leafs? Randy can't go on the ice and cross-check Kronwall himself.
How does a coach throw out an unproven 4th line in a 0-0 tie? He sends Holland out to win face-offs for Kadri, and Holland loses the draws. He sends his 3rd line out to get some momentum and the 1st either loses the momentum or the Leafs lose a face-off. How does Randy take the face-offs for the team?
The truth is that Carter isn't an improvement on Panik, Leivo isn't going to win games in replace of Frattin and Kontiola and Carrick aren't better than Holland. And none of that group is trustworthy in a close game.
I could go on about the D. But the truth is, the Leafs have scored 1 goal in two games against a team that doesn't have a great D and is missing thier top Center.
@gjdevlin Watch him when he's against the boards with another guy. He just stands there. Sometimes he pulls his arms in tight against his body and just does nothing.
1 week, 5 days ago on Game Day: Game #6, Maple Leafs at Red Wings (7 p.m., CBC)
@vinoa @Leafs2 Isles1 @Burtonboy And if his cardio and strength training is better than mine, than he can say that. He an say that he keeps his workouts to 4 days a week because he's so exhausted he's ready to barf at the end of a session. Or he can say nothing.
1 week, 6 days ago on Game 5 Scoring Chances: DET 4 vs. TOR 1
@vinoa @Leafs2 Isles1 @Burtonboy Because he everyone can see that he could try harder. The whole team can see that he could try harder. That's what his leadership does.
@vinoa @Leafs2 Isles1 @Burtonboy Not saying he's out of shape. I'm saying that he's a leader because of his ability. He needs to either lead by example, talk like a leader or just stay quiet. Saying that he doesn't skate much over the summer, tries to be a normal guy and works out 4 days a week is basically saying that he's got the workout routine of a 40 year old guy with two kids a job.
The fact is, he's not a normal guy and he's not being paid to be a normal guy. He's being paid to be one of the best hockey players on the planet.
@Burtonboy Showing up out of shape is subjective. Does it mean Olympic level speedskater shape or average NHL veteran shape. What bothered me most was Kessel's l'aissez faire attitude towards it. He's a leader on the team whether he cares to be or not. His leadership can be positive or negative. If he doesn't want to skate hard in the off season, I can live with that. He's an all-star. But I don't like it when he talks about that in public for other Leafs to hear. The younger guys can't help but be affected by what he says. There are better ways of responding.
@Great Dane @Leafs2 Isles1 @Burtonboy The Bruins seemed almost glad to get rid of Kessel. Over the years, they've played him harder than anyone else in the league. There is some obvious resentment. It makes me wonder whether Kessel can follow anyone's leadership.
He doesn't want to be a leader. He isn't a good follower. He seems to just want to be Kessel. That might be fine if he's searching for inner happiness. But he's a professional hockey player. His inner happiness should come from winning.
@Burtonboy @Leafs2 Isles1 I agree that, to me, Kessel raises more concerns. Not just for not buying into the system, but because he is a leader whether he wants to be or not.
@Burtonboy I'm a firm believer that their are many systems that can work for any team. The question is whether the players buy into it or not. If everyone buys in, than the chance for success skyrockets.
I look at guys like Kessel and Gardiner and I ask myself why we got them in trades. Why was Boston willing to give up on Kessel and Anaheim on Gardiner? Certainly both players' talent has always been evident.
I can't help but feel that they are difficult to manage - the kind of players who don't want to buy into a system unless it is the system that they want. Scoring goals is great fun. But I want players who hate to lose.
@BrandonCheema @T K O A system needs players to buy into it to work. There is more than one way of doing anything. They'll all work if everyone is on board. I find it frustrating the highly paid professional players are allowed to simply not try because they don't like the system.
1 week, 6 days ago on Game Day: Game #5, Detroit Red Wings at Toronto Maple Leafs (7:30 p.m., SNO)
Pretty much every club in the NHL is using analytics now. In my opinion, the best way of improving is taking advantage of this. Most clubs are using similar algorithms. The way to improve is to find players with good analytics (on paper) and trade them for players whose on-ice contributions are better, but not observed through computer models.
The club who can do this can pick the pockets of other clubs.
2 weeks ago on Thursday Mashup: Leafs Analytics Tools On Display, Lupul hurt
@Loric76 @Burtonboy that's Matt Kassian, not Zach Kassian. Matt Kassian and Barch are the goons.
1 month ago on Game Review: Preseason Game #5, Maple Leafs 6 vs. Sabres 4