NE Prediction: Montreal/Toronto
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07-11-2006, 01:23 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Originally Posted by
The two teams were pretty close last season at the tail end (3 points), but the Leafs accumulating all those points in the last 12 games counts for jack ***** when considering that there was no pressure on them. Their season was basically over after the thumping they took in Montreal.
We can sit there and and do a <>= on every single player between each team for the rest of the summer, but we all know a good hockey team is never the sum of it's parts.
However, what you can do is look at the three positions as a whole and decide how they rank.
Defense: Leafs have better top 3 (at least in terms of putting up points), but Habs have better 4 to 6. The Habs have more speed out of the back end. Right now it's even. I would have given the Leafs the advantage if they had not signed Hal Gill. He ruins the top 3. Plain and simple, he is a negative.
Goaltending: Habs have the Leafs beat no matter how you slice it. Huet / Aebi out rank whatever sieve the Leafs decide to go with. As of right now, if Huet falters we still have Aebi. If Raycroft falters (or remains like he was last year), the Leafs have Tellqvist. There is a big difference there.
Leafs had more goals last season, but that's because of an outstanding powerplay, not because they had more talent up front. They have lost Allison who was their second leading point getter amongst forwards. His production still needs to be replaced. We were supposed to see more skill and speed added to the lineup but that has yet to happen. In the end, the Leafs remain slow and soft at the forward position.
Habs have the same group as last season. The skill level and speed are both there, but maturity level remains a concern throughout the lineup. If we acquire another couple of scorers (and I think we will with the cap room available), the Habs definitely have the advantage.
I dont know how to rank either team's offense as of right now since both have noted question marks.
Since goaltending makes all the difference, Habs are better.
As far as I am concerned, the Leafs remain the worst of the Canadian teams. That is what I stated last off-season (and I was right) and that is the case again this off-season.
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