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BluPuk

What now???

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Watching the game last night against the Lightning, the only impression I got was that Tampa Bay looks really good. 

 

Beyond that, all was as it has been the last 50 years or so.......¬†¬†ūüėÄ

 

Tampa should be a serious contender for the Cup. Is there a "jealous" or "envy" smiley??   

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On 10/11/2019 at 7:56 AM, BluPuk said:

Watching the game last night against the Lightning, the only impression I got was that Tampa Bay looks really good. 

 

Beyond that, all was as it has been the last 50 years or so.......¬†¬†ūüėÄ

 

Tampa should be a serious contender for the Cup. Is there a "jealous" or "envy" smiley??   

 

Not to worry.  It's a long season.   :)  Leafs bounced back nicely against Detroit last night for the win. 

 

There's a good chance they don't make the playoffs this year though.  I'm not convinced the team is stronger this season than it was last season. The moves made during the off season were either sideways moves or even backwards moves. I don't see any improvement defensively as of yet (beyond what they were last season), and until something changes there, this team will live or die by it's scoring. 

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Sadly, I think you're right WOW. It isn't tough defensemen they need, it's tough defence - as in team defence, not just the actual defensemen. I agree though that it's a long season and we still have time for these guys to start playing as a team. Here's hoping JT can light a little fire under these guys......¬†¬†ūü§ě

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On 10/15/2019 at 11:56 AM, BluPuk said:

Sadly, I think you're right WOW. It isn't tough defensemen they need, it's tough defence - as in team defence, not just the actual defensemen. I agree though that it's a long season and we still have time for these guys to start playing as a team. Here's hoping JT can light a little fire under these guys......¬†¬†ūü§ě

 

Last time I checked, the Leafs were 1st in goals-for and 31st in goals-allowed.

 

They currently sit fourth in the Atlantic division and are on pace for 89 points.  I think it's pretty clear that Boston, Buffalo, and Tampa are the class of the division this year. The Leafs are destined to be the odd team out, and it's going to be almost impossible to plug the holes in this roster given how top heavy the Leafs are contract wise. I think this coming off-season Toronto will say goodbye to one of Tavares, Matthews, or Marner, in an effort to acquire an elite defenceman to complement Rielly and become a more complete team.

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I think TO did acquire that elite d-man during the summer and we now finally have him playing with Rielly.  if you search your memory banks and revisit TO's games of last year you will come to the realization that teams generally entered TO's end on it's weaker side, Hainsey's side. Hainsey didn't have the speed to properly protect TO's zone, to have proper gap control to deny entry. His one value was protecting the house which always put far to much pressure on TO's ability to defend and ultimately made he and Rielly look horrible. Babs wanted TO to protect the house, Keefe wants TO to deny entry into TO's zone thereby protecting the house which should be more suitable to TO's personnel. 

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On 12/12/2019 at 1:03 PM, hobie said:

if you search your memory banks and revisit TO's games of last year you will come to the realization that teams generally entered TO's end on it's weaker side, Hainsey's side. Hainsey didn't have the speed to properly protect TO's zone, to have proper gap control to deny entry. His one value was protecting the house which always put far to much pressure on TO's ability to defend and ultimately made he and Rielly look horrible.

 

How do you remember this level of detail?   :) 

 

All I know is Hainsey was +30 (or whatever it was last season), the best on the Leafs if I recall, and the Leafs ditched him. Say what you will about +/-, but whatever he was doing last season was working with Rielly. The Leafs were a better team with Hainsey and they were a better team with Kadri than they are today.

 

Other interesting tidbits:

 

Based on how the team is playing, I guess Mitch Marner is the MVP of this team after all. The team couldn't win without him. 

 

Thoughts on recent game vs Oilers:

 

This was another game where the Leafs were hemmed into their own zone and it looked to be going Edmonton's way before a gaff by the Oilers gave Toronto that late goal. 

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Hainsey had a great + rating last year but I think that had more to do with Rielly having a career year, last year was Rielly's first + year. 

 

The detail I remember is only because it was something I was looking for.

 

I would say Mitch is an MVP along with Andersen but so is Tavares, Matthews scores but his value beyond that is often muted.

 

I watched a fair amount of the Vegas/Van game tonite, the first period was mostly Vegas, the 2nd period totally Vegas and after Vegas has a healthy lead Van took over, hemmed Vegas in and looked like they were the better team. If someone had only watched the 3rd period they wouldn't believe that Van was losing.

 

After TO had a good lead the 4th line was deployed more often, how the minutes are doled out usually depends on the state of the game.

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9 hours ago, hobie said:

Hainsey had a great + rating last year but I think that had more to do with Rielly having a career year, last year was Rielly's first + year. 

 

Morgan Rielly this season has 22 pts in 34 games and is a +/- of 0.  The offence is still there with Rielly, but the numbers say the team is weaker defensively without Hainsey.  If anything, the loss of Hainsey has also hurt Rielly.

 

In fact, Hainsey is a +5 on a dismal team in Ottawa this season, second best on the team. 

 

 

 

 

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I believe last year before Xmas the duo of Rielly and Hainsey were + high 30s but after that they were bleeding like the rest of the team.

 

Rielly at 0 isn't that great considering he's supposedly TO's best d-man and who he gets to play with, players like Matthews, JT, Mitch and Ny.

 

During the 2012/13 season Mark Fraser was TO's best d-man by +/- measure at +18, it wasn't long after that season that he was no longer in the NHL.

 

That dismal Ottawa team is only 6 points behind TO with a game in hand. 

 

TO's problem has been that it doesn't have a truly dominant line, 50% of the Cap is tied up in 4 forwards and they aren't dominant. I'm hoping that Keefe will eventually construct a line like Matthews/Ny/Mitch. I feel that Matthews would be better as a winger due to his inconsistent effort on the fore and back checks  but he with Ny and Mitch who would do the grunt work would make for a dynamic line capable of dominating. I like Ny being the center on that line because he's a righty which is best to set up Matthews, JT is a lefty. 

 

TO has all that money tied up in forwards but on a goals per game basis is only 9th or there abouts in the NHL. TO is set up to outscore it's other problems but is just hanging on so that needs to change. Everything about TO screams that it will dominate offensively which should include territoriality but it hasn't been happening and that needs to change because the players are there. That dominance should ultimately result in a better defensive team because like Dubas and Keefe hope TO should own the puck.   

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On 12/16/2019 at 11:33 AM, hobie said:

I believe last year before Xmas the duo of Rielly and Hainsey were + high 30s but after that they were bleeding like the rest of the team.

 

Yep. The team went into the playoffs ice cold. 

 

On 12/16/2019 at 11:33 AM, hobie said:

Rielly at 0 isn't that great considering he's supposedly TO's best d-man and who he gets to play with, players like Matthews, JT, Mitch and Ny.

 

That's my point. Rielly has to be pretty weak defensively to only have a 0 +/- given how many points he gets. The guy is basically a forward playing defence. 

 

On 12/16/2019 at 11:33 AM, hobie said:

During the 2012/13 season Mark Fraser was TO's best d-man by +/- measure at +18, it wasn't long after that season that he was no longer in the NHL.

 

Anomalies do happen sometimes. Don't even remember him. 

 

However, in general, where you rank within your own team in +/- does matter. If your top forwards have 0 +/-, your team isn't a winning team. A strong team will have many + players on it. A weak team, exactly the opposite. The best defensive player on the team is the player who maximizes this formula:

 

DEFENCE    =    +/-     -    (Points - Power Play Points)

 

(Sorry that there's no better way to write that.)  If you sort all the players in the league by that formula, you should see the best defensive players with the highest scores.  It's not perfect, but it's close.   :) 

 

On 12/16/2019 at 11:33 AM, hobie said:

That dismal Ottawa team is only 6 points behind TO with a game in hand. 

 

Exactly. 

 

On 12/16/2019 at 11:33 AM, hobie said:

TO's problem has been that it doesn't have a truly dominant line, 50% of the Cap is tied up in 4 forwards and they aren't dominant.

 

Well and that's a much bigger problem for Toronto. Fans were hoping that this group would be the next Crosby/Malkin, Toews/Kane, etc.. and I'm not sure if they've plateaued or not. Matthews is a consistent point producer, but he's "Mats Sundin" not "Peter Forsberg". Marner is a great playmaker, but is he "Adam Oates" great or "Mats Sundin" great?  Right now there are plenty of other teams in the NHL with better forwards than the Leafs top guys. That calls into question whether we have the right core group here or not. 

 

They've been playing better lately, although they couldn't have been much worse a few weeks ago. Not sure what this group really is beyond a 90 point team.     

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I have issues with all performance measurement stats, none of them tell the whole story. How many fans and media types are so happy that Gardiner And Hainsey are gone yet they were TO's best d-men by the +/- metric for their last 2 years, Gardiner was +28  and Hainsey +42. Rielly is absolutely loved yet he was +20 over those 2 years and last year was his first + year ever.

 

During the last 2 years, not this one, TO's +/- story appears to tell two different stories and those stories aren't consistent with TO's results.

 

In 2017/18 TO set a franchise record for points for all time, during that year TO only had 5 players with a +rating above +10, Matthews +25, Hy +22, Ny +20. Dermott +16 and Hainsey +12.

 

Last year tho TO had 100 points it felt like there was an 18 wheeler happening. Last year TO had 10 players above +10, Haisey +30, Rielly +24, Marner +22, JT & Gardiner +19, Hy +16, Johnsson +14, Kappy +12 and Brown & Muzzin at +11. 

 

Some teams have had great cores but didn't win Cups like SJ over the last decade. We have a core that can win it all but things have to unfold just right to win it all.

 

TO might just squeak into the playoffs this year but I like the looks of this team and the changes Keefe is making.

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      Watching the game last night against the Lightning, the only impression I got was that Tampa Bay looks really good.¬† ¬† Beyond that, all was as it has been the last 50 years or so.......¬†¬†ūüėÄ ¬† Tampa should be a serious contender for the Cup. Is there a "jealous" or "envy" smiley??¬† ¬†

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