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yave1964

Leafs year in review

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PRESEASON OUTLOOK another offseason with a first round TKO from the damn Bruins and the Leafs made some changes. out went Kadri to the 'Lanche for Kerfoot and Barrie, Jonsson, Sandin, Mikhayev and Engwall all were promoted to more or less full time ice time. The hope was that although less tough with Kadri gone the new blood would spread the skill level to other lines and they would be improved.

 

FINAL RECORD 36-25-9 81 points 3rd in the Atlantic when the season was paused. Lost to the Jackets in the play in round in five fun games.

 

STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR Auston Matthews had 32 goals in 34 games at home but was a very ordinary 15 goals in 36 games on the road. Opposite of that, Marner had 12 on the road but a anemic 4 at home. Continuing along that vein Nylander had 8 ppg at home and only 1 on the road. The Leafs roster is dotted with such scoring splits throughout, individual players who dominated either at home or on the road but were nowhere near teh same in the other venue. Probably more than any team i have seen.

 

HIGH POINT OF THE SEASON Game four of their play in series against Columbus comes to mind, a comeback for the ages, down 3-0 with four minutes to play and the goalie pulled they managed to tie the game and win in overtime on a Matthews goal. Regular season, they had a sizzling month from December 7th through January 4th they went 11-1-1 scoring an insane 60 goals while giving up 33. They looked like a legit contender under new coach Sheldon Keefe.

 

LOW POINT OF THE YEAR Either the goal by Foudy in the third period of game 5 to put the game out of reach ending the Leafs season or if you want to go back to early in the year the firing of Babcock after a six game losing streak dropped them to 9-10-4. Dirty laundry was aired and it put a black eye upon the team.

 

WHAT WENT RIGHT Matthews was a beast with 47 goals and 80 points. Marner was nicked up and his goal scoring slipped to 16 but he had 51 assists in 59 games to rival Wheeler in Winnipeg as the best passer from the wing. Tavares was very solid. Nylander had a very fine bounce back year. Andersen was as good as it gets in net. Hyman missed a chunk of the year but came back strong. Barrie was a solid power play specialist. Kapanen and Kerfoot were nice spare parts. Muzzin came over from the Kings and helped put the defense together. Dermott was steady as she goes as a stay at home blueliner allowing his partner to roam. Holl established himself as a legit NHL blueliner.

 

WHAT WENT WRONG Morgan Reilly had a meh year, his scoring was down and he missed over 20 games. Andreas Johnsson in spite of being given many chances didnt do much. Ceci played big minutes providing little in the way of offense and was okay at best defensively and missed 13 games. Kids Sandin and Lilejgren were given oppurtunity when blueliners went down and both looked a bit overwhelmed. Once again the Leafs backup goaltending was a disaster, Michael Hutchinson is a good AHL goalie disguised as a pathetic NHL backup going 4-9-1 with a ridiculous goals against aproaching four per game forcing the team to trade a draft pick for Jack Campbell who finally righted the position but Campbell is a very high priced backup at 1.7 million per for the next two years and he cost two 3rd rounders.

 

FREE AGENTS Barrie and Ceci are both free agents and unless one of the frowards can be dealt will be near impossible to sign. The Leafs hope to have them back, forwards Spezza and Clifford almost certainly will not be retained.

 

OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS sigh, here we go again, another season, another disappointing first round end.  Barrie will almost certainly not be back as they cannot afford him, they desperately need Lilejgren and Sandin to step up to the plate and draw a regular shift next year. Will there be a fall guy? Last year Kadri took the heat and the blame for his suspension against the Bruins turning the tide, none of the big boys will likely be dealt, will Hyman who was dreadful in game five, two blind passes intercepted and led to goals one and three, will Hyman be dealt ? Johnsson has too much term at too much money and they would love to find a way to move his bonehead contract if at all possible. Kapanen will again be involved in rumors.

 

  They went for it this year with Muzzin, Barrie, Ceci, Campbell, Clifford and Kerfoot, all fine pieces added and once again it ended much earlier than anticipated, The Leafs need to fix the chemistry of this talented team but God knows what comes next.

 

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On 8/10/2020 at 2:48 PM, yave1964 said:

OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS sigh, here we go again, another season, another disappointing first round end.

 

  They went for it this year with Muzzin, Barrie, Ceci, Campbell, Clifford and Kerfoot, all fine pieces added and once again it ended much earlier than anticipated, The Leafs need to fix the chemistry of this talented team but God knows what comes next.

 

I think it's time to make some changes to the "core group".  This group has had several years to mature now and take the next step (a deep playoff run) and this year was a regression as far as team results are concerned. Instead of losing in the first round of the playoffs, they "missed" the playoffs because they lost in the play-in round. As a fan, I have no confidence that the existing group can do any better. Matthews and Marner are great players, but there's nobody else on the roster that I'd miss if they were gone.

 

While we all know the NHL is going to adopt the 24-team playoff format as their new format, all it means is that making the playoffs now counts for nothing as an accomplishment. Winning the play-in round will be the new bottom to avoid an "F" grade on the season, and the first real round of the playoffs is when it gets down to 16 teams again. 

 

And with COVID, it appears we won't be seeing an NHL season in 2020-21, so I'm curious how people felt about the playoffs and getting to see "something" because that's all it's going to be for quite some time. For me personally, I couldn't get into it after the Leafs went out.  I was the most gung-ho pro playoffs member in the forum. Even while everyone else shat on it, I wanted to see playoff hockey...... and then the Leafs let me down by not showing up.  So hooray for Tampa and Dallas..... but I never watched a single game.  :) 

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On 10/6/2020 at 8:37 PM, WordsOfWisdom said:

 

I think it's time to make some changes to the "core group". 

 

Wayne Simmonds is here to save the day...

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7 minutes ago, OccamsRazor said:

 

Wayne Simmonds is here to save the day...

Bottom six, second power play unit, 14-15 minutes a night at 1.5 million, low risk, low reward, really not a bad deal.

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12 hours ago, OccamsRazor said:

 

Wayne Simmonds is here to save the day...

 

Oh dear......  😩

 

If I'm being honest (which usually means not being politically correct), I think the move serves a dual purpose: neither of which is related to performance on ice (which is typical of modern hockey moves in this day and age).  I believe they signed him because he's from Scarborough, Ontario (hometown hero points) and because the Leafs want to attract more black hockey fans. They'll never ever admit it, but if I mic'd up their front office, that's what the sales and marketing discussion would have been. "Crowd too white!"

 

Simmonds real role with the Leafs is going to be the team representative to the black community in Toronto. He'll be on every TV show, commercial, magazine cover, maybe even strategically placed at Toronto Raptor games wearing a Leafs jersey to draw attention to the Leafs. He'll be treated like a prop. They will use him as the team's PR piece for strategic marketing. He's going to get MORE media exposure and more press than Auston Matthews or Mitch Marner. I guarantee it. Just watch.

 

As for what he can do on ice, it looks like "nothing".  He provides toughness.... which the Leafs (and the league) no longer value. He's a defensive liability by the looks of things. (Exactly what the Leafs like to see in a player.) His scoring days are long behind him. If he's not good enough for the Flyers (a successful team now without him) then he shouldn't be good enough for the Leafs.  My two cents.

 

 

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10 hours ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

Simmonds real role with the Leafs is going to be the team representative to the black community in Toronto. He'll be on every TV show, commercial, magazine cover, maybe even strategically placed at Toronto Raptor games wearing a Leafs jersey to draw attention to the Leafs. He'll be treated like a prop. They will use him as the team's PR piece for strategic marketing. He's going to get MORE media exposure and more press than Auston Matthews or Mitch Marner. I guarantee it. Just watch.

 

I hope nobody takes this comment the wrong way.  Had the Leafs acquired Wayne Simmonds 10 years ago my reaction would have been "giddy up" and I don't think anyone would have batted an eyelash at his ethnicity... because 10 years ago the world didn't care about this issue. Today however, we live in a world where every decision like this has ulterior motives. Here's an article that ran earlier this summer:

 

 

Hidden Content

 

"In my eyes, this was an amazing response and shows that this is one small step in making sure that hockey really is for everyone. Now while this was an extremely powerful player-led gesture, the elephant in the room is still the lack of diversity and representation in the Maple Leafs organization. 

 

The Leafs have come a long way when it comes to race relations in hockey, but is it enough? 

 

In a city like Toronto, with the Raptors excelling on the diversity front and making folks of all cultures feel like they are at home within their organization, what can the Leafs do to get on their level?"

 

And now we see the rotting, festering, stinking pile of crapola that pervades the sports landscape today.  Now it's a "competitive" thing according to the media. He who has the most black players on their roster wins the social justice/public perception war. Let the game begin!  Raptors vs Leafs!  

 

I've watched the Leafs for over 25 years and not once have I ever cared that there were no black players on the team. It might surprise the league to learn this but.... nobody missed them. The NBA is a mostly black league. The NFL has maybe a 50/50 mix. Baseball has a good portion of black players but mostly white and latin American born players.  Nobody has ever cared about the racial breakdown in the various sports. Chalk it up to personal preferences. Black people aren't into hockey much..... and that's fine. They don't have to be.

 

As soon as sports teams feel PRESSURED into achieving race or gender QUOTAS on their rosters, I will take my money elsewhere and support a real professional league that puts TALENT ahead of IDENTITY.

 

My two cents.  (I promised no political discussion so I apologize. I want politics out of sports but the league keeps bringing it in. Write to the NHL and complain. I think all fans should complain to the league that we watch to be entertained, not to be lectured to about diversity. This is all I will say on the issue.)

 

 

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14 hours ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

 

Oh dear......  😩

 

If I'm being honest (which usually means not being politically correct), I think the move serves a dual purpose: neither of which is related to performance on ice (which is typical of modern hockey moves in this day and age).  I believe they signed him because he's from Scarborough, Ontario (hometown hero points) and because the Leafs want to attract more black hockey fans. They'll never ever admit it, but if I mic'd up their front office, that's what the sales and marketing discussion would have been. "Crowd too white!"

 

Simmonds real role with the Leafs is going to be the team representative to the black community in Toronto. He'll be on every TV show, commercial, magazine cover, maybe even strategically placed at Toronto Raptor games wearing a Leafs jersey to draw attention to the Leafs. He'll be treated like a prop. They will use him as the team's PR piece for strategic marketing. He's going to get MORE media exposure and more press than Auston Matthews or Mitch Marner. I guarantee it. Just watch.

 

As for what he can do on ice, it looks like "nothing".  He provides toughness.... which the Leafs (and the league) no longer value. He's a defensive liability by the looks of things. (Exactly what the Leafs like to see in a player.) His scoring days are long behind him. If he's not good enough for the Flyers (a successful team now without him) then he shouldn't be good enough for the Leafs.  My two cents.

 

 

 

 I think they brought him in to give the team more leadership and heart. Simmonds took less money to play in Toronto than Montreal offered him. I'm not surprised one bit, cause the guy is nothing but a class act who was raised properly. Now his family can catch his games live without having to travel far (IF there's fans).

 

 I know there's a story that Wayne had to work construction as a teenager to pay for his hockey because his father told him the family came first and he couldn't afford it...so if I'm Simmer, i'm telling my dad he can buy his own Leaf tickets, while supplying the rest of the family with them! Even if it's just before he hands him his ticket.

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2 hours ago, flyercanuck said:

I think they brought him in to give the team more leadership and heart.

 

I think the leadership needs to come from the top (meaning Matthews, Marner, etc.)  If those guys can't be good leaders they should be traded away for replacements who can be.  It's really hard to lead from the 4th line. Sometimes that happens but most of the time the team's leader is one of the best players on the team if not the best player.  :) 

 

2 hours ago, flyercanuck said:

Simmonds took less money to play in Toronto than Montreal offered him. I'm not surprised one bit, cause the guy is nothing but a class act who was raised properly. Now his family can catch his games live without having to travel far (IF there's fans).

 

That's all well and good, but I don't care about those details.  Being a good person and TALENT gets you to the NHL. I rarely ever pay attention to the off-ice stuff in pro sports however. I'm old school. A player could be a multi-time convicted drunk driver who sleeps with 10 different women at the same time and as long as they perform on the ice and aren't a cancer in the locker room for other players, I don't pry into their private life. Since I don't know any of them personally, I don't care how they behave in their private lives. I enjoy having the "curtain of separation" between my sports heros and my personal family and friends and never mix the two together. 

  

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11 hours ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

 

I think the leadership needs to come from the top (meaning Matthews, Marner, etc.)  If those guys can't be good leaders they should be traded away for replacements who can be.  It's really hard to lead from the 4th line. Sometimes that happens but most of the time the team's leader is one of the best players on the team if not the best player.  :) 

 

 

 It's why I said "more leadership and heart". And it's pretty apparent the Leafs need it.

 

 

11 hours ago, WordsOfWisdom said:

 

 

That's all well and good, but I don't care about those details.  Being a good person and TALENT gets you to the NHL. I rarely ever pay attention to the off-ice stuff in pro sports however. I'm old school. A player could be a multi-time convicted drunk driver who sleeps with 10 different women at the same time and as long as they perform on the ice and aren't a cancer in the locker room for other players, I don't pry into their private life. Since I don't know any of them personally, I don't care how they behave in their private lives. I enjoy having the "curtain of separation" between my sports heros and my personal family and friends and never mix the two together. 

  

 

 

 Maybe you don't care, but the guys in the locker room usually do.( I mean I doubt they care if the guy sleeps with 10 women at the same time, as long as it isn't the night before a big game). But I doubt players want to share a locker room with rapists and murderers or just outright douchebags (unless you're in the NFL...then you're likely a felon yourself). 

 

 I personally always loved playing with guys who played with heart like Simmonds. And despised guys who were born oozing talent and couldn't be bothered to put an effort in.

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3 hours ago, flyercanuck said:

It's why I said "more leadership and heart". And it's pretty apparent the Leafs need it.

 

If he's like another Nazem Kadri then the Leafs definitely need a player like that. Several in fact.  :) 

 

3 hours ago, flyercanuck said:

 Maybe you don't care, but the guys in the locker room usually do.( I mean I doubt they care if the guy sleeps with 10 women at the same time, as long as it isn't the night before a big game). But I doubt players want to share a locker room with rapists and murderers or just outright douchebags

 

My rule of thumb is that if the player is able to make it to the dressing room and play the games, their off-ice issues are minor. If the player is unable to make it due to say..... being incarcerated (lol).... then that's the cut-off point where the player's off-ice issues have now affected their performance on ice.  :) 

 

3 hours ago, flyercanuck said:

(unless you're in the NFL...then you're likely a felon yourself).

 

lol :bigteeth:

 

3 hours ago, flyercanuck said:

 I personally always loved playing with guys who played with heart like Simmonds. And despised guys who were born oozing talent and couldn't be bothered to put an effort in.

 

Toronto seems to like shipping those guys out. Not sure why. The franchise enjoyed it's greatest successes in recent decades while being led by players with heart. Doug Gilmour. Wendel Clark. Mats Sundin. Gary Roberts. They've never had a player like any of those guys ever since. It's truly remarkable. 

 

Phil Kessel was no Wendel Clark. Not even close.

Auston Matthews/Mitch Marner is no Doug Gilmour. Not even close.

 

When people say the Leafs lack toughness and heart, they're right. It's so obvious everyone in the league can see it. 

 

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On 10/10/2020 at 12:53 AM, WordsOfWisdom said:

Oh dear...... 

 

 

The Toronto Maple

Hidden Content

have 9 players with active trade protection:

NMC
F Tavares
D Muzzin
D Brodie

NTC
F Simmonds
D Bogosian

Limited NTC
F Hyman
D Rielly
D Holl
G Andersen

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    • 1
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      Wayne Simmonds is here to save the day...
    • 1
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      It's why I said "more leadership and heart". And it's pretty apparent the Leafs need it.          Maybe you don't care, but the guys in the locker room usually do.( I mean I doubt they care if the guy sleeps with 10 women at the same time, as long as it isn't the night before a big game). But I doubt players want to share a locker room with rapists and murderers or just outright douchebags (unless you're in the NFL...then you're likely a felon yourself).     
    • 1
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      If he's like another Nazem Kadri then the Leafs definitely need a player like that. Several in fact.        My rule of thumb is that if the player is able to make it to the dressing room and play the games, their off-ice issues are minor. If the player is unable to make it due to say..... being incarcerated (lol).... then that's the cut-off point where the player's off-ice issues have now affected their performance on ice.        lol      Toronto
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      The Toronto Maple Hidden Content have 9 players with active trade protection:NMCF TavaresD MuzzinD BrodieNTCF SimmondsD BogosianLimited NTCF HymanD RiellyD HollG Andersen

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