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Rick Nash is tending to his wounds which must be extensive but he hasn't retired, yet, and the rumor is that after Xmas he's planning to practice and play with the Marlies until he's ready to resume his career. He will then sign with TO for the rest of the year. 

 

TO's top 2 lines seem to have enough to win, now, but their scoring pace is bound to slow down at some point so having a 3rd line scoring option would be great. Kadri is a superior 3rd line player but it's hard for him to be productive without capable linemates.

 

How about a new 3rd line eventually of Nash/Kadri/Nylander, that would be another scoring option, another possession option and Nash is viewed as a defensively responsible player so a defensive option.

 

In the dark days not too long ago players like Nash wouldn't have ever seriously thought of TO as a team they'd want to sign with, play with, how the times have changed.

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The article I based the above on was speculation about Nash, I thought it was inside info.

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Interesting topic.   I think it is definitely possible as he is from Ont.  However can he get himself up to speed with the new Leafs?   Obviously, if he feels he can't help the team he'd likely retire.  Nash really hasn't been that great of a player in his last 3 years with the Rangers so I might be compelled to say I'd rather have Kapanen as a winger on the 3rd line over Nash.

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I'm sure that only at the end, when he has limited choices, would Rick Nash dare to have anything to do with Canada other than to play for the national team.

 

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Gimme a break guys. Rick Nash will never see an NHL rink again from ice level as a player. Period IMHO.

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Leafs are rolling. If it ain't broke don't fix it. 

 

:)

 

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It ain't broke that's for sure but can it be even better. I see that Matthews is +1, which would be 5v5 and his line has 10 even strength goals and this was against mostly bottom feeding teams.

 

TO should beat a lot of teams but beating a lot of teams isn't the goal, winning the Cup is what it's all about. Always looking to improve the team should be Dubas'/Babs' goal.

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49 minutes ago, hobie said:

It ain't broke that's for sure but can it be even better. I see that Matthews is +1, which would be 5v5 and his line has 10 even strength goals and this was against mostly bottom feeding teams.

 

TO should beat a lot of teams but beating a lot of teams isn't the goal, winning the Cup is what it's all about. Always looking to improve the team should be Dubas'/Babs' goal.

 

I think the only improvement left is to improve the defence. 

 

If this team thinks they can rely on Andersen to make up for not having a shutdown defenceman like they've done in the past to goalies such as Ed Belfour and Curtis Joseph, they're going to find themselves eliminated in the playoffs again in the conference final. You can't win without a proper #1 defenceman and you definitely need one or two quiet but effective "shutdown" defencemen who can stop the opposition from running amok in your zone.

 

Rielly seems to be stepping up to be that #1 guy, but the Leafs still allow far too many goals. 

 

 

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@WordsOfWisdom

 

I'm not trying to crap on the Leafs, because I like what they're building, but I think it's fair to put things in perspective, with regard to the "if it ain't broke, then don't fix it" approach.

 

-The Leafs haven't exactly been crushed by the toughest of all possible schedules so far.

-Despite that, they're sawing off the competition in some of the areas which are a tell for how a team is playing: shots for/shots against, scoring chances, etc, and are mid-pack in these areas.

-For now, they're riding a hot first line which won't keep up that pace over the course of the season.

 

EDIT - And only after do I see that @hobie essentially made some of the same points.   lol

 

Edited by JR Ewing
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JR, I get what you're saying but winning teams don't need to go into high percentage, high volume shot totals to win.

 

Sometimes those metrics are meaningless, TO when it was bad would often out shoot the opposition to no avail.

 

At TO's current pace 150 points seems statistically possible but also seems unlikely.

 

TO will have 2 1st lines when/if Nylander signs and TO sure didn't have that last year when it reached 105 points.

 

I consider the JT line TO's #1, Matthews with Nylander and Kappy would be an awesome line, if Marleau was moved to the JT line even more good things would happen.

 

Time will tell but beating Washington is a very good beginning.

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@hobie

 

Like I was saying, I'm not trying to crap on the Leafs. A good start is a good start, and all you can do is win the games they make you play. I just don't think they've been decimating the competition to a degree which suggests that everything is perfect. Getting Nylander back on the team is a step in the right direction.

 

And yes, the win against Washington was full price. Competitive game, and the Leafs created their offense in the right part of the offensive zone.

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@hobie  I have a hard time seeing Rick getting motivated to play 3rd/4th role and even harder to see him to be able to replace anyone in the 2 scoring lines when healthy. He's never been regarded as a speedster so it's a reach for him in any case. Seems like the Leafs are the least suitable option for him at this point. Uh, maybe the second least. The Wild already has enough of slow forwards in every line... 😏

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I agree the Leafs' priorities should be trying to find ways to improve the defense.

That doesn't necessarily mean drop players and bring in others...although, that could be the obvious first reaction.

It could be a matter of having your current crop of defensemen play a bit differently...the team is obviously going to put up goals, so how can the defense, relying on that, improve their coverage schemes.... or an even simpler solution? 
Just muddle through (outscoring teams is a GOOD way to 'muddle' while you figure this out!), while the younger defensemen like Dermott and Reilly continue to improve.
In-their-prime guys like Zaitsev, Gardiner, and this new KHL'er Ozhiganov are simply gonna have to play smarter in their own end.

 

As for Rick Nash, I don't believe he returns to the NHL. I think he is done as a player.
HOnestly, watching him in his waning days with the Rangers and when he got traded over to Boston, he didn't appear like a man whose heart n soul was in the tough game of hockey any longer.

He still showed talent (and I am sure if he DID return, he wouldn't be a complete waste of a roster spot based on talent alone), but he would be a far cry from the type of hungry player with a long term commitment to winning that a team like Toronto, or anyone else for that matter, needs.
And yea, he is nowhere near fast enough to keep up with many opposing clubs these days...not that killer speed was ever a forte of his.

 

I've pointed the Rick Nash thing out to others before, and I've gotten back, "Well, Patrick Marleau is older and about as fast as Nash, and he can still play well at the NHL level AND with the Leafs"...
True, but Marleau also still seems to have that desire to win, to put in the extra hard work, to go through the pain and punishment of an NHL season in order to win a Cup that Rick Nash, at least on the surface, seems to lack.

I just would not be surprised at all to find out Nash decided to call it a career and just enjoy his family life and personal pursuits now....or maybe pop up on a broadcast booth somewhere donning a suit and enjoying just talking about the game he once played very well.

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I've noticed that many teams in their pursuit of the Cup will mortgage the future for a Nash or a Nash type, Nash would be a free wallet and if signed even later in the year whether or not he's able to contribute will be determined. Babs has a totally different way of looking at players than many of us fans, he was always relying on Leo, even playing him more than any other Leaf forward in some games, last year.

 

TO spent 2nds on Boyle and Plekanec in the last 2 years, mortgaging the future, towards questionable results.

 

TO has a healthy Cap situation this year so in the short term adding players like Nash might be the difference. I'm not championing Nash, I'm simply hoping he might be a player that enables TO to compete against any opponent like a much larger Washington team. 

 

 

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I like Nash and wherever he ends up a team is adding a selfless two way forward who at this point is a nice complimentary secondary scoring player who can kill penalties and play the second unit on the power play on either wing. Provided he has the spark/desire he could be a tipping point player. He has been spotted at Nationwide in Columbus in the last week and I would love to see him finish where he started, either Toronto or CBJ seem an ideal perfect fit.

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    • 3
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      Rick Nash is tending to his wounds which must be extensive but he hasn't retired, yet, and the rumor is that after Xmas he's planning to practice and play with the Marlies until he's ready to resume his career. He will then sign with TO for the rest of the year.    TO's top 2 lines seem to have enough to win, now, but their scoring pace is bound to slow down at some point so having a 3rd line scoring option would be great. Kadri is a superior 3rd line player but it's hard for him to be productive without capable linemates.   How about a new 3rd line eventually of Nash/Kadri/Nylander, that would be another scoring option, another possession option and Nash is viewed as a defensively responsible player so a defensive option.   In the dark days not too long ago players like Nash wouldn't have ever seriously thought of TO as a team they'd want to sign with, play with, how the times have changed.
    • 2
      Post
      @hobie  I have a hard time seeing Rick getting motivated to play 3rd/4th role and even harder to see him to be able to replace anyone in the 2 scoring lines when healthy. He's never been regarded as a speedster so it's a reach for him in any case. Seems like the Leafs are the least suitable option for him at this point. Uh, maybe the second least. The Wild already has enough of slow forwards in every line... 😏
    • 1
      Post
      Leafs are rolling. If it ain't broke don't fix it.     
    • 1
      Post
      I think the only improvement left is to improve the defence.    If this team thinks they can rely on Andersen to make up for not having a shutdown defenceman like they've done in the past to goalies such as Ed Belfour and Curtis Joseph, they're going to find themselves eliminated in the playoffs again in the conference final. You can't win without a proper #1 defenceman and you definitely need one or two quiet but effective "shutdown" defencemen who can stop the opposition from running amok in your zone.   Rielly seems to be stepping up to be that #1 guy, but the Leafs still allow far too many goals.     
    • 1
      Post
      @WordsOfWisdom   I'm not trying to crap on the Leafs, because I like what they're building, but I think it's fair to put things in perspective, with regard to the "if it ain't broke, then don't fix it" approach.   -The Leafs haven't exactly been crushed by the toughest of all possible schedules so far. -Despite that, they're sawing off the competition in some of the areas which are a tell for how a team is playing: shots for/shots against, scoring chances, etc, and are mid-pack in these areas. -For now, they're riding a hot first line which won't keep up that pace over the course of the season.   EDIT - And only after do I see that @hobie essentially made some of the same points.   lol  
    • 1
      Post
      JR, I get what you're saying but winning teams don't need to go into high percentage, high volume shot totals to win.   Sometimes those metrics are meaningless, TO when it was bad would often out shoot the opposition to no avail.   At TO's current pace 150 points seems statistically possible but also seems unlikely.   TO will have 2 1st lines when/if Nylander signs and TO sure didn't have that last year when it reached 105 points.   I consider the JT line TO's #1, Matthews with Nylander and Kappy would be an awesome line, if Marleau was moved to the JT line even more good things would happen.   Time will tell but beating Washington is a very good beginning.

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