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12-18-2013, 11:45 AM
New Liskeard
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Originally Posted by Pierre Gotye View Post
This team's problems aren't fixed by a complete roster alone:

-There is a bad mix of talent up the middle. Bozak is not a 1C, Kadri is best suited as a 2C, Bozak and Bolland are 3C's, and McClement beyond the 3C is scary. Holland isn't a 3C or a 4C. Smith is ok, but not a top 6 guy where he's seen time.

-The defenseman core has a multitude of problems. Dion not scoring, is a huge problem. Gunarsson will never be a point getter. Franson has been woefully inconsistent. Gardiner is an emerging talent but hasn't meshed well with anyone. Ranger has NHL talent, but can't find a niche. Fraser is struggling, and doesn't do anything very well. JML can't find a place and isn't suited for 3rd pairing minutes. Rielly needs ice time to develop, but can't find a good partner to play with. Having too many L shots is also a big problem.

-The strength of this team on paper is on it's wing. Aside from JVR/Kessel and Raymond, not much is going on there. Lupul has been inconsistent. Clarkson will never be a big scorer. Kulemin is a defensive forward. The team misuses the talent of Ashton. D'Amigo's been good but also deserves more time. Orr and McLaren aren't contributing very much, and never will. And neither of the two are even fighting very much lately, so it makes them both wasted roster spots, even if they only play 3-5 minutes a game.

-Bernier and Reimer worked earlier this season, but both are struggling lately. Reimer still panics in the net, scrambles for pucks, and last night the Leafs looked awful inside the slot and especially at keep pucks out of the crease area. Bernier is starting to allow too many softies.

-Don't get me started on coaching. The systems Carlyle is employing are not suited for this team. He wants a team to be a grinding, strong defensive team. This team was assembled by Burke for Ron Wilson who wanted to run and gun. Even with the Clarkson and Bolland additions, it's not geared to work under Carlyle's ideas. Good coaches know how to maximize team talents, not by personal preference, but by obvious skillset strengths.

There is not an easy fix for this lineup. The Leafs will panic, Nonis is going to trade Gardiner, because Carlyle doesn't appear to be very fond of him. Whoever acquires him will hit a homerun, and maximize his talent, and the Leafs will look dumb for dealing him.

The only way this team gets better is if Carlyle changes his tactics, which is unlikely, or if the Leafs figure out how to play in his systems(also unlikely). I hate to see a coach get fired, but I don't think RC get fired until it's official that the Leafs missed the playoffs. RC will use the injury excuse forever.
Says the Boston Bruins fan. No agenda there of course. The reality is this, the Leafs were one of the hottest teams coming out of the gate this season, made the playoffs last year and nearly/should have beat your beloved Bruins, the Stanley Cup finalists just for starters. The Leafs have better goaltending and depth in net, than they have ever had in many many years. Its still one of the younger teams in the NHL, and although improvement is needed, they are a better team than you are giving credit for, and strange how the timing of your posts comes out?

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