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03-18-2012, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Leaf fans say this every year. They always (except this year) finish strong after they're out of the playoffs and then talk about how they finished on a hot streak...

I'm sorry to break it to you but a top pick is far better than finishing strong. There's no way around it. A top pick has the potential to be a star player for you for over a decade... there's no comparison as to what would be better for us.

There's nothing we can do about it though. The club is going to play hard to win. It is what it is and that's how it should be. And hey, it's nice to actually watch us win some games so we might as well just sit back and enjoy it as best we can.

Sure would be nice to see the Isles and Leafs win a game for once though...
Nope. That is far off the mark. A strong finish to your season leaves you motivated for the next season, while a crappy ending leaves you HOPING you get a good pick and there's a big chance that pick doesn't even turn into anything at the NHL level.

Leafs are the only team you can say have had above average second halves for a while now and still fail the next year. They have had a terrible team most of those years, with an ill-suited coach and average goaltending at best. Also, not much depth past their top two lines.

Then you look at New Jersey and see where they are after having a great finish to their season last year. They didn't roll over when they were pretty much dead last in the East, they fought hard and went on a very solid streak to end the season. Look where it brought them this year.

Detroit also fell far behind, I'm not sure if it was last year or the year before, but they fought back and never once stopped believing. Eventually, they made the playoffs.

Now look at the teams who have been finishing low for most of the past decades, teams like the Panthers and the Isles and the Oilers. They have so much young talent on their teams, but aside from the Panthers still fail every season. The Panthers are having a good season not because they have finishes last so much, but because they added some very key pieces in the offseason and decided they were going to make a huge push for the playoffs this year under new GM Dale Tallon.

A team like the Habs doesn't need to tank. They have built their core, they have a solid foundation for their future. That foundation is young and has so much potential. The best way to develop a young core is to put them to work night in and night out, to fight tooth and nail for that victory. Otherwise you're teaching them a losing attitude and not benefiting their development very much. It is nonsense to put too much pressure on them, putting them in every situation like some posters want here in order to tank. You play them like you would when you develop a young player in an established roster, and continue trying your hardest every game by playing your best players the most but at the same time giving your younger players certain opportunities to shine. One solid draft pick will hardly make a difference, anyone past Yakupov is an above average prospect at best. All you can do is HOPE that player will develop into something useful.

OR, you could root for the team to win even when everything is too far out of reach. It shows character and heart, and playing with effort will benefit both your young and veteran players for next year and will help them mentally, reassuring them that no matter what happens in the future that no one on this team will ever give up... even if their goal seems out of reach.

It disgusts me to see so many people hoping for their favorite team to lose, I don't care if you think that drafting one 18 year old can change our entire franchise because I know that he won't. He can develop into a great player, sure, but that is more luck than anything. We can draft a player at 12th overall and he can turn out to be better than almost everyone else in the draft. That's how drafting works: it is like the lottery.

So please, if you are a fan of this team you would hope for them to play well and succeed even when they are down and out, because you want your team to show conviction, heart and character for now and in the future. Because right now is where our core youth starts to get effective.

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