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The summer of their discontent


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  The Leafs went out with a whimper, not a bang, losing 3-0 to the lightning, combined with the wins by the Wings and Jackets the Leafs are officially eliminated and can start scheduling their tee times.


  I don't know where to start. They seemed a lock up until three weeks ago then with Bernier getting injured playing his former team the Kings Reimer took over and essentially stunk up the joint, by the time Bernier came back the team was hesitant and just plain out of sync and never recovered.


  Kessel and JVR are locks to stay, Bernier as well. Beyond that and a few of the kids maybe, who knows.


  Dion Phaneuf very well could be gone. Cody Franson proved to be a liability. Clarkson seems a lock to stay because nobody wants him. Bolland and Bozak were supposed to be the centers along with Kadri and it did not work out.

  A top line center. Change in the defensive personnel. These seem a given.


   The Leafs are just built wrong. You build a championship team from the middle out, Wingers are easy to find and a dime a dozen. They have Lupul and JVR and Kessel and Raymond, four solid wingers and nobody to get them the damn puck. Okay, a slight exaggeration, Kadri was good and Bozak when healthy was not that bad, but neither are of the same caliber as their wingers and that killed the team. If Kadri could play with Kessel and JVR and step up a bit the top line would be set, but the wingers pulled Bozak up not the other way around and if he is taken off the top line his numbers will fall like a stone and essentially make them a one line team. Ask around, that don't work.

  I loved the club last year, this year they started hot and then fell off the face of the earth. And the prospects knocking on the door are knocking lightly because most of them are C or C plus prospects anyway, guys like D'amigo and Devane are good complimentary players and that is about it.

  It will be a long summer in Toronto. I think Calryle will get it in the neck and maybe even deserves to as he did ruin Reimer's confidence early in the year and put all his eggs in Bernier's basket. Who knows how this is going to shake out.

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 Ahh, where's Vader when you need him?


 Is there a team in sports who lets down their avid fans as often and as hard as the Leafers? Most seasons recently, until last, they're sitting in the bottom 5 looking like a sure thing for one of the top picks in the draft and a player they can hang their hat on for a decade or more. Then they'll win out and end up one point OUT of the playoffs, with a middle of the road pick. This year, they did it the opposite..came out of the gates like gangbusters, were a top 4 team in the east for most of the way, until it counted, and then lost out.


 Phaneuf ain't going anywhere with that contract, lousy skating, inaccurate shot and no brain. 7 years, $49 Million? .OK, there IS one gm (please Homer no!)

Clarkson...Leafs fans are talking about buying him out already. That would beat Homers Bryzaster move. Sort of.

Bolland was hurt all year so he gets a pass...and is UFA anyway.

Bernier proved he's a very good goalie. But he didn't prove he could play a starters role and stay healthy.

JVR and Kessel can light it up, and let in even more the other way. Rumours came out the players on Team USA didn't exactly get along with these two...they are different. And I doubt they're going anywhere.

Jake Gardiner can dazzle you with brilliance as he skates and dangles his way around 4 players on the opposing team, then passes off to the 5th and sends him on a breakaway to score the gamewinner against his own team. All the tools, no tool box.

Morgan Reilly looks like he's going to be a fun kid to watch.

The Leafs might have the lamest centers in hockey.


 Last year the Leafs were one of the fastest AND toughest teams to play against in the league. They somehow managed to lose both in one offseason. They have one of the leagues best minds when it comes to shutting down the other team, but none of the players listen to him apparently.


 Just another offseason in T.O.

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  My problem with the Leafs is not wingers Kessel, JVR, lupul or Raymond, it is the fact that they just do not mesh.

  Same with the centers. Bozak, Kadri, and Bolland are all okay to good but do not mesh either.

 Same with the D. As much as Phaneuf gets ripped he can play same with Gardiner and Reilly, Franson proved in the first half that he can run apower play but something was missing.

  And Carlyle can coach. He has proven that with the Ducks but something is missing.


  This Leafs team, IMHO is like like taking all of the leftovers out of the fridge, pie, jello, chicken, bacon, and mixing it all together and expecting it to taste good. Individually some things to like, all together a complete mess.

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 Even when they were winning, they were getting outplayed almost every single game. The puck would be in their end 40 minutes a game. The shots would be 45-25 against. Bernier or Reimer would have to be a star for them to win. They'd have one line scoring.


 Not a very good recipe for success if you make the playoffs and have to win a best of seven against a team that can work on shutting down your one line.

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I'm rabbling as hard as I can. Rabble rabble!


I'm not sure discontent is the right word. It's more of a confused hatred. A soul-search with added rage.


The team is a mess right now. Us Leafers thought that we were finally seeing progress. A glimmer of hope. And now it's come crashing down again with the spectacular third season-ending collapse in a row. We thought last year was a bad one, but at least that was in the playoffs instead of collapsing themselves out of the playoffs at the last minute.


The forward corps as a group is badly balanced and poor defensively. The defense group is weak in their own end and lead by a somewhat overpaid Bryan McCabe 2.0. Goaltending is good and young, so that's a plus.


The forward group needs an overhaul and a balance between offensive and defensively strong forwards, as the entire top six is piss defensively except Bozak (JVR is not horrid, but not good), and the bottom six is baby's bottom soft outside of Kulemin and Bolland (who was gone most of the season), and with the exception of those two seems to play like a bunch of top six rejects. They need strength down the middle especially. Phaneuf might have worn out his welcome in Toronto, but he's still a good (overpaid) defenseman despite the knocks. The defense might be able to be rebuilt internally as they have two young good players in Gardiner and Rielly, as well as a pretty decent prospect pool. Unfortunately, next to the title "forward prospects" the Leafs have a picture of a giant turd, and next to "goaltending prospects" the Leafs just have a blank.


The system right now is a joke. They play shinny until they get a lead, and then sit back playing "defense" (which is basically allowing shots on net and lettle Bernier and mid-season Reimer bail their asses out). I don't think Carlyle is a bad coach, but he seems to be trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. He wants to play a Boston game, but he doesn't have the personnel. He's got a soft speed group and seems to be trying to play a grit game. I think he'd be a good coach if he had the right personnel, but I doubt he'll be given the time for Nonis to try and fix this. He's likely gone.


I don't think it's all doom and gloom, but it's disgusting. Time to get creative and get this team back on track. Unfortunately, the Leafs are awful at contract signings and have some dead weight going forward.

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@flyercanuck I know you don't want Phagoof's contract, but honestly I think he'd do quite well in Philly. Suits his style and he wouldn't be relied on near as much. I think you'd be in for a surprise, despite the flak he catches. If he becomes available, I wouldn't be surprised to see Holmgren in hot pursuit, if it weren't for cap space issues.

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Holy crap, I just realized I'm a Leafs fan! I have those feelings pretty much all the time...


But do you toss and turn at night with visions of Dion Phaneuf's ugly mug with a blue background? If so: Welcome to the club, brother.





....Get out while you still can.

Edited by Commander Clueless
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