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The "soon-to-be" crowded blueline

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Old
02-11-2013, 01:06 PM
  #1
caribouPINE
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The "soon-to-be" crowded blueline

Ok, probably a week or two away but pretty soon Gunnar and Gardiner are going to be with the big club.

My buddy emailed me asking what I'd do so since I already typed it out....


1st pair: Phaneuf-Holzer

*Phaneuf played some of his best alongsideRegehr, a big, tough stay at homer in Calgary. Holzer is big and tough, likes to hit, and scrums after every whistle. Hes a safe guy. See him against MTL sat? He was ALWAYS in a scrum. Let Phaneuf pinch a bit (when appropriate) and Holzer be the big safe dude.


2nd pair: Gardiner-Gunnarson

*Similar to first pair, tho Gunnar isnt as tough as Holzer while being better offensively. Everyone that plays with Gunnar plays well. He's very sound. Safe. Legit type of guy. Both guys can play heavy minutes too. Holzer's minutes have to be more sheltered. I think if ANYONE can transition best to the right side, it'd be Gunnar (yes I know Phaneuf likes the right also).


3rd pair: Fraser-Franson

Could be a solid bottom pairing duo, both are very big, Fraser very tough. Safe player. Franson has the shot. I'd put Franson on the PP instead of Holzer. Fraser is PK worthy. Fraser, to me, is one of those quiet guys every team loves to have back there.


There's a great mix of size (pretty much everyone) and toughness (again, everyone except maybe Gardiner). Skill is Gards, Phaneuf and Franson.

Speed MAY be an issue. Though Gardiner is fast and the 1st pair while be fine. 3rd pair can/may get caught but Frasers a safe dude.



7th man: Kotska

Low maintenance. Has show he can play heavy minutes, wont whine, wont complain, can play an offensive role or a defensive one (for short term). Can throw him into ANY pairing and he'll be ok. Cheap contract. 27 so he's been around.



Taken out back: Komisarek


Traded: Liles.

He's now redundant with Gardiner coming up. Similar skillset, though Gards is 9 years younger and $2.5M cheaper.



Thoughts?

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02-11-2013, 01:10 PM
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bobbyflex
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seems pretty accurate

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02-11-2013, 01:15 PM
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mokspeed
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In regards to this season alone, I don't think our blue-line is actually as crowded as people think. Our team has been one of the more fortunate ones compared to others in regards to injuries. Look at Detroit, they lost how many defensemen (not to mention other players) in the first week?

I think that Holzer is being given a great opportunity now, but not sure if he's really a #2D man in this league. He may prove me wrong. The same thing with Kostka - btw, I like that you have him as our #7, because he really is a #5-7 Dman, not a #2.

In regards to Liles, he needs to stick around for at least this season, maybe next as well depending on how Gardiner plays. Gardiner may be recovering from his concussion now, but he might also be going through the sophomore slump.

As for Komi - I think he's actually played really well this season so far, and the only reason he hasn't been put in the lineup yet is because the Leafs have been winning. He has simplified his game and isn't playing like poorly.

Whatever it may be, I would not consider our blueline crowded seeing as 2 of our Dmen are NHL rookies.

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02-11-2013, 01:19 PM
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We still give up way too many shots. Not sure how it is really crowded. Just because we have so many d-men doesn't mean it. Whoever doesn't perform good enough or gives up too many (quality) shots should be benched.

Its not like Leafs are playing amazing defensively. Reimer is bailing us out.

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02-11-2013, 01:19 PM
  #5
drewski1988
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I'd flop Holzer for Kostka. The Kostka/Phaneuf pairing has been good, and in a short season let things that work stay the same for now. I love the Gardiner - Gunnar pairing IF Gunnar can play the right side, however it seems Carlyle likes dmen play their strong side..

Also, Fraser should be the 8th man.
So:
Phaneuf - Kostka
Gardiner - Gunnar
Liles - Franson

Holzer/Fraser.

Komi is gone very soon I suspect..

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02-11-2013, 01:20 PM
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Lobstertainment
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Phanuef-Gunnarson
Gardiner-Franson/Liles
Fraser-Holzer
Komisarek
Kostka

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Old
02-11-2013, 01:21 PM
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The Iceman
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Holzer reminds me of a young Danny Markov.

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Old
02-11-2013, 01:22 PM
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Mojo19
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I like your combos. Only thing I wouldn't do is get rid of JML right now, we'll need him when injuries, inevitably, occur. JML has been a 40+ point player 3 times and 30+ 7 times in his 8 NHL seasons.

Props for slotting Franson in, dude's a beast and still hasn't hit his ceiling IMO.

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02-11-2013, 01:23 PM
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bobbyflex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo19 View Post
I like your combos. Only thing I wouldn't do is get rid of JML right now, we'll need him when injuries, inevitably, occur. JML has been a 40+ point player 3 times and 30+ 7 times in his 8 NHL seasons.

Props for slotting Franson in, dude's a beast and still hasn't hit his ceiling IMO.
agreed. i actually like a Phaneuf-Franson pairing

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02-11-2013, 01:29 PM
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caribouPINE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lobstertainment View Post
Phanuef-Gunnarson
Gardiner-Franson/Liles
Fraser-Holzer
Komisarek
Kostka
Don't mind it. The only one I wouldnt do is Gardiner-Liles. Though I guess it could be a good combo if we're in need of offense (down a goal late for example).

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Old
02-11-2013, 01:33 PM
  #11
caribouPINE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mokspeed View Post
I think that Holzer is being given a great opportunity now, but not sure if he's really a #2D man in this league. He may prove me wrong.
Just because you slot him next to your top guy, I don't think that necessarily makes them your #2 guy.

Look at LA, they paired Willie Mitchell next to Drew Doughty and won the Cup. I don't think LA thought Willie Mitchell was their 2nd best dman.

Ottawa uses Marc Methot next to Karlsson.

It's just about chemistry and trying to have each guy bring out the strengths of the other. Just because I have Holzer next to Phaneuf doesn't mean I expect him to play 25-30min. He won't see any PP time really, and may get spotted out time and again.

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Old
02-11-2013, 01:35 PM
  #12
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We're fortunate to have 9 NHL quality d-men. Injuries are inevitable. All will be needed throughout the season/playoffs.

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02-11-2013, 01:38 PM
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drewski1988
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caribouPINE View Post
Just because you slot him next to your top guy, I don't think that necessarily makes them your #2 guy.

Look at LA, they paired Willie Mitchell next to Drew Doughty and won the Cup. I don't think LA thought Willie Mitchell was their 2nd best dman.

Ottawa uses Marc Methot next to Karlsson.

It's just about chemistry and trying to have each guy bring out the strengths of the other. Just because I have Holzer next to Phaneuf doesn't mean I expect him to play 25-30min. He won't see any PP time really, and may get spotted out time and again.
I agree. You look for a guy to slot next to your #1 to make him more comfortable in his #1 role. Look through a lot of teams, I doubt the #1 guy has a TRUE #2 next to him...just a guy that's been groomed to play on the top pairing.

Ex.
Chara - Boychuck, I doubt he's a true #2.
Vlasic - Boyle are the Sharks top pairing, yet Burns/Stuart are on the second pairing.

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02-11-2013, 01:38 PM
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diceman934
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I really do not see Gardiner back in the line-up any time soon.

The way we are playing currently along with the fact that some players can not be sent down without clearing waivers makes decisions on players not only about skill but about losing them.

So the players who are still eligible to be sent down will be the first to go. Unless we make a trade. I agree that Liles is redundant as we have Gardiner and Rielly next year to take his spot. I think he will be moved at the trade deadline unless we are rolling along in a very good position. Then he could be moved in the off season.

I would not be surprised if Gunnar gets moved this year along with C Mac in a package for a player who is moving towards UFA....who we can sign.....thinking Perry here.

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02-11-2013, 01:41 PM
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There is nothing stating Gardiner HAS to be on the Leafs this year. Yes, he had a good year last year, and yes it sucks that he got hurt and lost his spot, BUT, you don't just plug him back in because of who he is. At this point he is the 8th D-man at best, behind Gunnarson and maybe even Komi in terms of getting a crack at PT. If something happens with Liles (trade or injury), then maybe he jumps the line, but the way the guys are playing, you don't mess with what's working.

As for Gunnarson, same thing, right now he bides his time and will have to make the most of it if one of Fraser/Holzer/Kostka starts to fade (my money would be on Kostka being the closest to losing his spot, but Carlyle does like him so...).

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Old
02-11-2013, 01:44 PM
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HockeyGuruPitka
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Its not even about this year. Its about next year and quite honestly this back-end is loaded. We need to make sure that its an even balance of size and skill.

A lot of these guys are stepping up.

There are a lot of moving parts and with a near guarantee that Rielly makes this squad next season, something has to give.

After the past 5 games i see the line-up staying as is.

Phaneuf Holzer

Kostka Liles

Fraser Franson

However for next season i see:

Phaneuf Holzer

Kostka Gardiner

Fraser/Franson Rielly

Franson/Fraser

Liles and Gunnarsson are the moveable parts at this point. I would hate to see liles get traded. Hes been playing great, has heart, and brings an element of leadership to this team.

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02-11-2013, 01:56 PM
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Phaneuf
Franson
Liles
Gardiner
Gunnarsson
Kostka
Fraser
Holzer
Komisarek

We could have 4 d-pairs.

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Old
02-11-2013, 02:21 PM
  #18
crump
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Bottom line is it's nice to have depth. Injuries are going to happen and past question marks like Kostka, Holzer and Fraser are showing they can play at a high level. Sure we can trade from the depth when there is a risk of losing someone on the waiver, but until then injuries are going to pop up and we will need the numbers. I don't see Gardiner coming up until injuries or a string of bad games come up for some current Leaf D.

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02-11-2013, 02:24 PM
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MakeTheIronSing
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just me

phaneuf kostka
liles gunnarson
gardiner franson holzer (any combo depending on play)

my logic is this

fraser is rfa status at the end of the year, so there's no need to really go crazy on them

liles is on board for a while, and unless someone comes knocking at the door for him, he is capable, especially on the pp

komi is worth more to the leafs on another team

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Old
02-11-2013, 03:02 PM
  #20
Anthrax442
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There are many team hurting badly on the blue line. It's all a matter of when someone breaks and overpays for one of ours.

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02-11-2013, 03:13 PM
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I think Nonis is playing his cards right here. Might as well stockpile D until we hit the deadline. The Leafs were smart by going for depth in the short season. I doubt we add anyone and just trim the fat for picks if we're in a playoff position.

1 D and 1 Forward will be moved imo. Gardiner is probably going to stay in the AHL unless we hit injuries down the stretch.

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02-11-2013, 03:25 PM
  #22
HockeyGuruPitka
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Random Fact: Cody Franson is for Salmon Arm BC.........

Random Thought: But Salmon dont have arms?.....

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02-11-2013, 03:44 PM
  #23
theneuf33
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i feel like when Gunnar is back holzer will be sent down to the marlies not based on play but contract status, we dont want to lose any guys on waivers. after that it will be whoever plays well stays in the lineup

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02-11-2013, 03:48 PM
  #24
pooleboy
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i know holzer played well against montreal but i wouldn't pencil him in for #1 pair with dion quite yet.

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02-11-2013, 04:07 PM
  #25
Drew311
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyGuruPitka View Post
Random Fact: Cody Franson is for Salmon Arm BC.........

Random Thought: But Salmon dont have arms?.....
Stick to making terrible trade proposals.

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