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WordsOfWisdom

A Look into the Leafs Future

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This is the price you pay when you squander points in the schedule against easier opposition:¬†¬†ūüíÄ

 

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One thing we should appreciate about the Leafs is that they try to match their effort to their opponent. TO hasn't been playing that well but so hasn't their opponents, the opponents that are also trying to make the playoffs.

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LOL.  Another hand-wringing thread.

 

The FACT is, the Leafs......like ALL teams.....have ups & downs.  Surprise, surprise.  

 

Since Keefe took over, they are 22-11-4.  That is not bad, no matter how hard you try to spin it all the time.  Yes, they've struggled a bit lately.  Remember the early part of the season, when Tampa was sucking so bad?  They seem to have recovered, haven't they?  You seriously think the Leafs are incapable of having any GOOD stretches?  Only bad, huh?

 

You keep crying, whenever things are tough.  Lame.

 

Edited by Holymakinaw

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13 hours ago, hobie said:

One thing we should appreciate about the Leafs is that they try to match their effort to their opponent. TO hasn't been playing that well but so hasn't their opponents, the opponents that are also trying to make the playoffs.

 

We'll see what happens starting tonight, but this is the most brutal schedule ever to finish off the month of February. 

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6 hours ago, Holymakinaw said:

LOL.  Another hand-wringing thread.

 

Yes.  :) 

 

6 hours ago, Holymakinaw said:

Since Keefe took over, they are 22-11-4. 

 

That's fantastic!  :) 

 

6 hours ago, Holymakinaw said:

Remember the early part of the season, when Tampa was sucking so bad?

 

Did Tampa play any games before December? Their schedule was so wacky.  

 

6 hours ago, Holymakinaw said:

You keep crying, whenever things are tough.  Lame.

 

Well it wouldn't make any sense to cry when times were good.¬†¬†ūüė≠

 

The whole point of this thread wasn't so much to complain as it was to point out how nasty Toronto's schedule is to finish off the month. That was my point.  

Edited by WordsOfWisdom

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6 hours ago, Podein25 said:

I love it when Leafs fans murder each other. 

 

There aren't too many of us in the forum (we're an endangered species here), so we can't tear each other apart too badly.¬†‚ėļÔłŹ

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Winning tonite would be nice but thank God there's March coming up, the struggle gets significantly easier unless TO continues to pile on the injuries.

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17 hours ago, hobie said:

Winning tonite would be nice but thank God there's March coming up, the struggle gets significantly easier unless TO continues to pile on the injuries.

 

Based on how they played last night against Pittsburgh, it may be over by March. The Panthers are poised to put a 10-point gap between themselves and the Leafs.  :( 

 

Even the commentators were finally starting to turn on the Leafs, pointing out the horrible defence. It was laughable. The Leafs have no penalty kill. If they draw a penalty, it's a guaranteed goal for the team on the PP. They must be 31st in penalty killing by now.  

 

 

 

 

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It's still up to the Leaf players, Keefe and Dubie. Last year TO had a .500 record from Xmas to the end of the year, that isn't good enough to make the playoffs from here on in.

 

It's interesting TO changes coaches then goes on a fantastic stretch where they basically dominated , thru that stretch TO continued to get scored on a lot but TO was being, mostly, the team Dubie was looking for, a possession and goal scoring beast. Now the opposition is still scoring against TO but TO's offense is down to a dribble.

 

When teams change coaches there is usually a spike where the team wins for awhile but not normally for 20 games yet TO did so what has changed? 

 

I often think coaches get in their own way, they all believe that defense wins, pay attention to details, hustle, be responsible is the common mantra. I don't think that mantra suited this Leaf team with Babs and I doubt it will with Keefe's Leafs.

 

The changes we're seeing makes me feel TO has gone full circle right back to Babsian hockey, the passive box in the d zone both 5v5 and when PKing, the stretch pass, forwards vacating the d zone to early, 1 player harassing the opposition in the opposition's zone, not adapting to what's being seen like continuing with the same lines when nothing is happening, grousing about the players after the game and there's more.

 

You can't do the same old, same old and expect things to improve. Now it might make sense to stay the course and the results might improve, who knows.

 

I would like to see Keefe really change the lines, really shake it up because right now non of the lines are doing well.

 

Kerfoot/Matthews/Spezza

Engvall/Tavares/Hyman

Clifford/Nylander/Marner

Korshkov/Malgin/Kappy

 

Barrie/Holl

Muzzin/Sandin

Dermott/Marincin

 

The lines and d pairings shouldn't be written in stone, whoever has the jam should be get the most icetime and if these aren't working try something different next game.

 

Matthews/Tavares/Spezza

Engvall/Hyman/Marner

Kerfoot/Nylander/Korshkov

Clifford/Malgin/Kappy

 

and on and on. Keefe has fallen in love where he's allowed the lines to settle but it might be true that familiarity breads predictability and with some teams that might not be ideal.    

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On 2/18/2020 at 12:40 PM, Podein25 said:

I love it when Leafs fans murder each other. 

 

Ever been to HF Boards? That place is a cesspool and Flyer on Flyer murder!

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2 minutes ago, brelic said:

 

Ever been to HF Boards? That place is a cesspool and Flyer on Flyer murder!

 ..yes and it is not pretty .....

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7 hours ago, hobie said:

I often think coaches get in their own way, they all believe that defense wins, pay attention to details, hustle, be responsible is the common mantra. I don't think that mantra suited this Leaf team with Babs and I doubt it will with Keefe's Leafs.

 

 

 

Defense usually does win down the stretch and in the playoffs. 

 

I saw at tweet about the Leafs this morning, saying that in the history of the NHL, no team has ever won the Cup being ranked worse than 20th in goals against.  

 

The Leafs are 26th.

 

From an outsider's perspective, I believe it was a mistake to sign Tavares. You had everything you needed on offense already. Toronto just needed a bit of time to have them all develop, and then in the meantime, use that money / picks to address a top pairing defenseman. 

 

But now Tavares is gonna be 30 at the start of next season, signed for another 6 years at $11M. The Leafs have $40M tied up in 4 forwards.

 

Your entire defense corps is paid less than Matthews.

 

The alternative was to leverage Nylander's hold out year and trade him for much needed help on defense... not sure why there was a pressing need to sign him as well. 

 

Bottom line is that Dubas has not allocated resources very well so far. 

 

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49 minutes ago, brelic said:

 

Ever been to HF Boards? That place is a cesspool and Flyer on Flyer murder!

 

Yeah, I'm will aware of it. I go there for research at times, but I prefer you idiots for chatting.

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1 hour ago, brelic said:

From an outsider's perspective, I believe it was a mistake to sign Tavares. You had everything you needed on offense already. Toronto just needed a bit of time to have them all develop, and then in the meantime, use that money / picks to address a top pairing defenseman. 

 

I can see what they were going for. They wanted Matthews and Tavares to be like Crosby and Malkin in Pittsburgh; however, Crosby and Malkin were essentially the #1 and #2 best centers in the game. So Matthews and Tavares need to be the two best centers in the game in order for that strategy to work (to be able to have so much offensive firepower and depth that you out-score your defensive weaknesses). 

 

1 hour ago, brelic said:

But now Tavares is gonna be 30 at the start of next season, signed for another 6 years at $11M. The Leafs have $40M tied up in 4 forwards.

 

Your entire defense corps is paid less than Matthews.

 

The solution is quite simple: You trade Tavares for a defenceman. You might even trade Nylander or Kapanen for a defenceman. The assets are there. It's just a question of getting fair value in a trade. If teams expect to land a player the calibre of Nylander or Tavares and not give anything up, then no trade happens. Simple as that. 

 

At the end of the day, we can play 12 FORWARDS and they can only play 6 DEFENCEMEN. So it doesn't do a franchise any good to have 10 NHL calibre defencemen and leave 4 of them sitting in the press box. We can ice all of our superstar players. Can they?

 

:) 

 

 

Edited by WordsOfWisdom
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8 hours ago, hobie said:

When teams change coaches there is usually a spike where the team wins for awhile but not normally for 20 games yet TO did so what has changed? 

 

Probably fatigue and injuries setting in. There have been enough injuries recently to create too much roster churn. Tough to get into a rhythm when the lineup is different every night.

 

Ceci (whom everyone despises) is still injured. Say what you will about Ceci but he gets most of the defensive zone starts, is still +8, logs big minutes, and has the best GA/60 on the team among defencemen at 2.1.  The team hasn't done well without him. 

 

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2 hours ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

I can see what they were going for. They wanted Matthews and Tavares to be like Crosby and Malkin in Pittsburgh; however, Crosby and Malkin were essentially the #1 and #2 best centers in the game. So Matthews and Tavares need to be the two best centers in the game in order for that strategy to work (to be able to have so much offensive firepower and depth that you out-score your defensive weaknesses). 

 

Sure, that makes sense on the surface. And you could make an argument that Tavares and Matthews are among the top centers in the league, so mission accomplished there.

 

But then there's Marner at $11M and Nylander at $7M. And both of them showed exactly where their priorities lies - with themselves. 

 

Compare that to Crosby who took less money so that the team could be more competitive.


 

Quote

 

It‚Äôs been so long since Sidney Crosby had thought to think about his contract that on Wednesday afternoon ‚ÄĒ a day after Auston Matthews agreed to an extension with the Toronto Maple Leafs ‚ÄĒ Crosby could barely remember when he signed his current deal with the Penguins or the one before it.

 

Crosby did, however, recall an important aspect of the negotiations.

 

‚ÄúIt was my choice,‚ÄĚ Crosby said of taking a so-called discount on extensions he inked during the summers of 2007 and 2012, respectively.¬†

 

‚ÄúIt doesn‚Äôt guarantee anything. But that was something I thought might give me a better opportunity to win.‚ÄĚ

It was a thought that shaped the NHL in this salary-cap era. 

 

Crosby’s willingness to twice forsake opportunities to become an unrestricted free agent in pursuit of a max salary set a precedent for the Penguins to maintain a nucleus of players who have won the Stanley Cup three times.

 

 

 

2 hours ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

The solution is quite simple: You trade Tavares for a defenceman. You might even trade Nylander or Kapanen for a defenceman. The assets are there. It's just a question of getting fair value in a trade. If teams expect to land a player the calibre of Nylander or Tavares and not give anything up, then no trade happens. Simple as that. 

 

At the end of the day, we can play 12 FORWARDS and they can only play 6 DEFENCEMEN. So it doesn't do a franchise any good to have 10 NHL calibre defencemen and leave 4 of them sitting in the press box. We can ice all of our superstar players. Can they?


Absolutely. I would say it's harder to trade Tavares because a) that's a lot of salary for a player who has in all likelihood already hit his career statistical peak, and b) the return would have to be something like a #1 defenseman, which teams know are more important (and harder to find) than top offensive player and might be reluctant to trade.

 

The next 4 days will be interesting for both our teams!

 

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I don't think there's anything wrong with how the $s are allocated, pay the better players what they're worth then be happy when they are the better players. Expect the Cap to move making their salaries a reasonable consideration.

 

It would be great if all GMs could deal with Pastrnak's agent but that's not always possible.

 

After this year Tavares' contract has 5 years left.

 

Crosby signed in 2013/14 for 8.7 mil per which was 13.5% of the cap, Matthews signed for 11.6 mil. per which is 14.2% of the cap. 

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1 hour ago, brelic said:

Sure, that makes sense on the surface. And you could make an argument that Tavares and Matthews are among the top centers in the league, so mission accomplished there.

 

I think so too. While Tavares is a defensive liability, Matthews is a solid two-way player and can take faceoffs well. All Matthews is missing is some play-making to go with the sniping, but I love seeing that Matthews one-timer. I don't know why or when the one-timer became a lost art -- and most people don't even seem to know what a true one-timer is any more -- but AM is bringing it back in a big way. 

 

1 hour ago, brelic said:

But then there's Marner at $11M and Nylander at $7M. And both of them showed exactly where their priorities lies - with themselves. 

 

Compare that to Crosby who took less money so that the team could be more competitive.

 

Well there's a special place in salary cap h_ll for players who put themselves above the team. We see it happen time and time again where players who go for max money end up playing the rest of their career on broken teams, never getting so much as a sniff at the Cup. 

 

Marner and Nylander are great players, but for the money they take up, the Leafs could acquire two very good defencemen in their place. It would be poetic justice to see the Leafs win a couple Stanley Cups while Marner/Nylander are sitting at home somewhere else watching. All because they made themselves expendable with their contracts. All kinds of possibilities. 

 

It's ironic but in today's NHL, there are two ways you can become worthless to a team:

  • Not being a good player to begin with
  • Being a good player who is paid too much

:) 

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1 hour ago, hobie said:

I don't think there's anything wrong with how the $s are allocated, pay the better players what they're worth then be happy when they are the better players. Expect the Cap to move making their salaries a reasonable consideration.

 

It would be great if all GMs could deal with Pastrnak's agent but that's not always possible.

 

After this year Tavares' contract has 5 years left.

 

Crosby signed in 2013/14 for 8.7 mil per which was 13.5% of the cap, Matthews signed for 11.6 mil. per which is 14.2% of the cap. 

 

You don't think the Leafs are top heavy?¬† ¬†ūüėź¬†

 

If there was no cap, I'd be thrilled with this team. I'd be anxiously awaiting the trade deadline where bad teams would go into "fire sale" mode and start dumping their best players for prospects. Remember those days?  You would get to the trade deadline and find that Brian Leetch or Chris Pronger or whoever was in the final year of their bazillion dollar contract (and that their current team couldn't afford to re-sign them) and ta-da... they would suddenly be on the Leafs roster helping our playoff drive.  It was just money.  :) 

 

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1 hour ago, hobie said:

 

 

Crosby signed in 2013/14 for 8.7 mil per which was 13.5% of the cap, Matthews signed for 11.6 mil. per which is 14.2% of the cap. 

 

 Ya...the difference is Crosby was the best player, easily, in the league. Mathews is more in the arguably top ten range. 

 

 His contract isn't terrible by any means. It's just all the money is spent on offensive forwards. In a game where defence becomes huge over 4-7 game series.

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39 minutes ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

I think so too. While Tavares is a defensive liability, Matthews is a solid two-way player and can take faceoffs well. All Matthews is missing is some play-making to go with the sniping, but I love seeing that Matthews one-timer. I don't know why or when the one-timer became a lost art -- and most people don't even seem to know what a true one-timer is any more -- but AM is bringing it back in a big way.

 

Enjoy it while you have it! We haven't had a 40 goal scorer in over a decade.

 

We haven't even had a sniper. Simmonds and Couturier are the closest things to it, and they ain't no snipers. 

 

39 minutes ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

Well there's a special place in salary cap h_ll for players who put themselves above the team. We see it happen time and time again where players who go for max money end up playing the rest of their career on broken teams, never getting so much as a sniff at the Cup. 

 

Marner and Nylander are great players, but for the money they take up, the Leafs could acquire two very good defencemen in their place. It would be poetic justice to see the Leafs win a couple Stanley Cups while Marner/Nylander are sitting at home somewhere else watching. All because they made themselves expendable with their contracts. All kinds of possibilities. 

 

It's ironic but in today's NHL, there are two ways you can become worthless to a team:

  • Not being a good player to begin with
  • Being a good player who is paid too much

 

I think there's a few things happening. 

 

First, I believe that for the majority of NHL players, they wouldn't fight tooth and nail over some of the negotiation salary gaps if left to their own devices. It is driven by agents who want to maximize their own money, and the players' association that wants to apply upward pressure on wages. Not at all suprising, but I doubt it is driven by the players themselves to that extent. I know they live in a different reality, but if I demanded $50M over 8 years and you offered $42M, I'd be perfectly happy anywhere in that range because that kind of money can guarantee a high quality of life, period. 

 

But like I said, I get that it's a different reality. I know Matt Carkner and he was telling me that what a lot of people don't realize is that the lower-paid guys need to fight tooth and nail for those 8-12 years they are in the league, because they need to make enough to sustain their family after retirement. And he also mentioned the pressure of having to keep up with your high-earning teammates - there's almost an expectation.

 

Secondly, there's been a shift to players wanting their big lifetime contract to come as soon as they reach their first RFA year (as opposed to UFA). Marner and Nylander are prime examples.

 

On one hand, it makes sense, because generally those will be a player's statistical peak years. So it's more like you're paying for future production rather than past production, which is the UFA model.

 

On the other, it's a much bigger risk for GMs because these guys are typically the most heavily relied upon players (contrary to high-cost UFA guys who get paid a lot but generally past their prime years and not the best player on the team at that point), and they get stuck if the player doesn't perform. Either way, you're stuck with a bad contract, but the RFA guys have much much less of a proven track record of success and are typically expected to be the best players. 

 

Anyway, I apologize for the long digression lol.

 

 

Edited by brelic
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20 minutes ago, brelic said:

Enjoy it while you have it! We haven't had a 40 goal scorer in over a decade.

 

We haven't even had a sniper. Simmonds and Couturier are the closest things to it, and they ain't no snipers. 

 

Toronto hasn't had too many snipers in its history either. We have AM now, prior to that it was Kessel (yuck), then Sundin (who was a reliable 30+ goal guy), Mogilny (who had a cup of coffee with the Leafs during his final years), and then I guess you have to go all the way back to guys like Doug Gilmour, Wendel Clark, and Dave Andreychuk.   :) 

 

It's pretty rare for Toronto to have an elite goal scorer, even though it has always been a offensively-driven franchise in my lifetime.

 

24 minutes ago, brelic said:

First, I believe that for the majority of NHL players, they wouldn't fight tooth and nail over some of the negotiation salary gaps if left to their own devices. It is driven by agents who want to maximize their own money, and the players' association that wants to apply upward pressure on wages. Not at all suprising, but I doubt it is driven by the players themselves to that extent. I know they live in a different reality, but if I demanded $50M over 8 years and you offered $42M, I'd be perfectly happy anywhere in that range because that kind of money can guarantee a high quality of life, period. 

 

But like I said, I get that it's a different reality. I know Matt Carkner and he was telling me that what a lot of people don't realize is that the lower-paid guys need to fight tooth and nail for those 8-12 years they are in the league, because they need to make enough to sustain their family after retirement. And he also mentioned the pressure of having to keep up with your high-earning teammates - there's almost an expectation.

 

Oh I totally get it. Each player wants to cash in when the money is there. Maybe the key is to get them on the next contract. Once they've earned their money and start craving a Stanley Cup, that might be the best time to start looking for players who put the team first. At age 23 you want the money over the Cup. By age 30, with $100 million dollars in lifetime earnings, you probably want the Cup more than another couple mil/yr salary.  :) 

 

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I think TO was/is built to win via possession and offense and when those aren't working something must be done to shake it up, refind the chemistry. There might be other ways to win but this team isn't built to suit those other ways.
 
Edmonton was essentially built to win the same way and many have said that their best/All-Star d-man couldn't check his coat. They were never a superior defensive team but they could/did win because of their scoring and goaltending. 
 
TO's goaltending has been sub par this year, TO's d has been iffy in the past yet TO has managed multiple 100 point seasons. It doesn't matter how good the d is if a team has bad goatending.
 
TO's d hasn't been the best in the past, isn't the best this year and might continue to be a problem in the future, that's the result of a cap system. Balance, covering all bases isn't possible, watering down what's superior about a team to prop up what's bad probably just means you'll end up with a more balanced mediocre team.
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1 hour ago, hobie said:
 
 
Edmonton was essentially built to win the same way and many have said that their best/All-Star d-man couldn't check his coat. They were never a superior defensive team but they could/did win because of their scoring and goaltending. 
 
 
 

 

 

 When you have arguably ...the greatest player of alltime

                                                       greatest goal scorer

                                                       greatest leader

                                                       greatest offensive defenceman...

 

 you can get away with not playing great D and win cups. The Leafs have none of that. Let alone ALL of it.

 

 

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      ..yes and it is not pretty .....
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      I love it when Leafs fans murder each other. 
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      Ever been to HF Boards? That place is a cesspool and Flyer on Flyer murder!
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