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How do the leafs rank in overall defense and defensive depth in the NHL?

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10-01-2012, 03:46 PM
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The stats are due to the "Wilson affect." When I say this I mean, Wilson ran a terrible system when it came to defense. The team will be much more sound defensively the next season due to Carlyle playing a much more defensive system.

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10-01-2012, 04:24 PM
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Our future is excellent. Phaneuf and Gardiner are very good and should be around for a long time, and we've got one of the better groups of d prospects in the league with Rielly, Percy, Blacker, Finn, etc.

Our present is IMO below average.

Top pairing (at even strength):
Phaneuf is a solid top pairing dman, but not an elite top pairing dman, and Gunnarsson is very weak for a top pairing dman. Not that Gunnarsson is bad, he's decent offensively, a decent puck mover and decent defensively, but he's not physical and doesn't stand out in any way like a top pairing dman should. He's an OK bandaid fix for our top pairing, but ideally he's a top notch bottom pairing dman or mediocre 2nd pairing dman, he's a weakness on the top pair. Overall our top pairing is below average.

2nd pairing (at even strength):
Gardiner is a good 2nd pairing dman already, but who will he be paired with. If we can re-sign Franson, then probably him, but does Franson want to stay in Toronto after getting scratched so often last season? If we lose Franson, then Komi is probably on our 2nd pairing, and he's played very poorly the last few years. I'd say our 2nd pairing is average with Franson, below average with Komi.

3rd pairing (at even strength):
Liles and Komi if Franson re-signs, otherwise Liles and . . . Holzer maybe? Liles and Komi is a strong bottom pairing, Liles and Holzer is decent. Overall an above average to good bottom pairing, BUT the bottom pairing has the least impact on winning games, because they simply do not play as much as the top 2 pairings.

Tonnes of PP threats with Phaneuf, Liles, Gardiner, and if we can re-sign him, Franson. Very strong group for the PP.

Poor group, nobody who actually stands out on the PK. Phaneuf/Gunnarsson were our top PK pairing last season, and they're more suited to be a 2nd PK pairing.

We have some very offensively talented players on d, but a weak PK and below average top pair (plus a potentially below average 2nd pair if we lose Franson) means that our defence just isn't that strong at the moment. Below average right now, though again, I think the future is very bright on d (excellent prospects, some good young talent already on the team, and we can patch up any holes with trades over time).

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10-01-2012, 06:28 PM
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The Leafs have a defense?since when?

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10-01-2012, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Schenn View Post
The stats are due to the "Wilson affect." When I say this I mean, Wilson ran a terrible system when it came to defense. The team will be much more sound defensively the next season due to Carlyle playing a much more defensive system.
Toronto's Goals Against ranks since the lockout:

2006- 21
2007- 25
2008- 27
2009- 30
2010- 29
2011- 25
2012- 29

And this is with 3 different coaches. It has nothing to do with coaching. The Leafs defense/goaltending has been consistently bad since the lockout.

And Wilson has always been a great defensive coach. Granted his teams in Washington and San Jose had talent but his Mighty Duck teams from the 90s were very respectable defensively. (GA finishes of 8th, 10th and 11th)

You think Carlyle is going to be significant better than Wilson? Just because he won a Cup? Its pretty much the same roster from last year too.

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