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Leafs Hockey IQ

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Old
02-15-2012, 08:29 PM
  #1
Stephen
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Leafs Hockey IQ

How would you rate the Leafs hockey IQ as a team and individually? Lately, as the team struggles, I can't help but notice how dumb most of the team looks every night. It seems like we're seeing very little of the opportunistic, shifty plays and short smart passes we saw from the Grabovski, Kulemin and MacArthur line as an offensive unit. Very little vision and precision in terms of offensive breakouts like we saw with Kaberle in his prime here, and our defensive coverage is sorely lacking in the kind of cool under pressure decision making of a Carl Gunnarsson. The offense seems to run around, come up against some defense standing up to them, and they give up. The defense is often pinching at bad times, pigeon footing, puck watching and screening the goalie. A guy like Phaneuf seems like he has his head in the clouds half the time he's out there. Blaming the coach only goes so far, because they often look like a fast dumb team out for a pleasure skate. Who are some of our smarter players who can do better?

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02-15-2012, 08:31 PM
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iPunch
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Crabb/Lombardi/Kulemin

= zero hockey IQ. That line is only instinct.

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02-15-2012, 08:33 PM
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BIitz
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Connolly has great hockey IQ.

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02-15-2012, 08:41 PM
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ForzaZuffa
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Great post Stephen, really agree and see everything you see to a T. Most nights the IQ looks incredibly sub-par from most, if not all the players. The notables, imho, are Schenn, Phaneuf, Aulie/Komisarek (whichever is playing), Lombardi, Armstrong (if he ever plays).

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02-15-2012, 09:08 PM
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Eyedea
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Phaneuf needs to relax and stop going all "Bobby Orr" every other shift. I acknowledge his offensive abilities but he seems to create way to many odd man rushes for the opposing team. Even though he's struggling, Nik Kulemin seems to have the highest hockey IQ on the team in my opinion. The man just plays the 200ft game and his dump and chase is really effective. Not to mention he has one of the best GvA:TkA ratios on the team.

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02-15-2012, 09:11 PM
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S2S
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I love Phaneuf big time but some nights he looks like dumb as a door nail. Kills me.

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02-15-2012, 09:19 PM
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This thread jynxed that Oiler goal! WOW...

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02-15-2012, 11:37 PM
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A win is nice, but we were lucky. Too many dumb plays, it makes you wonder sometimes with their decision making. This needs to improve. Inopportune pinch, horrible passes and giving up the puck and questionable positioning. Gotta smarten up.

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02-15-2012, 11:55 PM
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The K Man
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Liles frustrates me the most with his IQ. He seems to shoot when he should pass, and pass when he should shoot. Too many bad passes in our own zone too that result in turnovers.

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02-15-2012, 11:57 PM
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SeenSchenn2
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It's extremely low.

The defensive lapses are in large part with low IQ, but also the fact tha the system is awful.

I just wish we could play a proper defensive game for once.

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02-16-2012, 12:25 AM
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Pyromaniac3
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The system that we play requires high lvl of IQ. Extremely fast breakout is needed to be successful in this system. That is why Schenn and Komisarek struggle because they are not adept at moving the puck really fast. The system also probably makes the defense men look "dumber' than they are.

I will give the defense a 7 out of 10.
Offense 7.5 out of 10.

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02-16-2012, 07:16 AM
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johnny_rudeboy
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Bottom 3 in the league.

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02-16-2012, 08:16 AM
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93KILLER93
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IMO On a scale from 1 to 4 with 4 being the best hockey IQ(positioning and offensive instincts):
For the current lineup

Phil Kessel 3
Joffrey Lupul 3
Mikhail Grabovski 3
Tyler Bozak 3
Clarke MacArthur 2
Tim Connolly 4
Nikolai Kulemin 2
Joey Crabb 1
Matthew Lombardi 1
David Steckel 1
Mike Brown 1
Colby Armstrong 2

John-Michael Liles 2
Cody Franson 2
Jake Gardiner 4
Luke Schenn 2
Dion Phaneuf 2
Keith Aulie 1
Mike Komisarek 1
Carl Gunnarsson 3

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02-16-2012, 08:25 AM
  #14
Newfie John
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I think the IQ is fine. Positionally the Leafs are leaps and bounds better than previous years (Calgary game notwithstanding). They make a lot of clever passes as well as they cross the blue line, and criss cross well when entering the zone. Other than Kadri and at times Connolly, there are hardly ever any giveaways at the blueline.

The problem I have with this team is it's boardsplay. Not enough grit down low. In both ends, when the puck goes to the boards, the Leafs lose the battle almost every time. Last night Armstrong was great in this regard. Kulemin is also valuable here. The Kessel line is terrible. MacArthur loses a lot of battles, and so does Lombardi (I like him much better at center).

What the Leafs truly need is another winger or 2 with great size. Everyone points to the center spot, but to be honest I'm fine with having three second line centers. Our production from the center position is one of the strongest in the league.

Right now the fourth line is a bit too small on the wings (though Brown and Boyce provide great effort). I think at some point down the line Lupul and Kessel have to be split up. I'd like to see a Dustin Penner (who has a big body but at times is lazy) or Rick Nash on the opposite wing of Kessel. That allows Kulemin to help on the boards on the Grabovski line, and allows Armstrong to work with Lupul and Connolly.

BIG SKILLED WINGER - Bozak - Kessel
Kulemin - Grabovski - MacArthur
Lupul - Connolly - Armstrong

I'd like to see that as our top line. We maintain our counter attack game, but can also have some retention in the offensive zone which is sorely lacking.

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Old
02-16-2012, 08:44 AM
  #15
Ash35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The K Man View Post
Liles frustrates me the most with his IQ. He seems to shoot when he should pass, and pass when he should shoot. Too many bad passes in our own zone too that result in turnovers.
Liles? Outside of a couple of bad passes over last couple of games he might be our most reliable defencemen this season. He rarely makes mistakes out there.

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02-16-2012, 10:01 AM
  #16
Stephen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyromaniac3 View Post
The system that we play requires high lvl of IQ. Extremely fast breakout is needed to be successful in this system. That is why Schenn and Komisarek struggle because they are not adept at moving the puck really fast. The system also probably makes the defense men look "dumber' than they are.

I will give the defense a 7 out of 10.
Offense 7.5 out of 10.
I agree with this statement. If our playing style was left in the hands of the Detroit Red Wings, and we had guys who could think and adapt to the quick play, the system would be more consistently effective.

Last night was a total disaster despite the win. I think they played just as poorly as they did in Calgary, and while I'm glad we got the points, it shows we're still very much in the woods.

-How did Hemsky get behind the defense like that for that breakaway?
-The Lombardi change leading to the Hall goal.
-How did Eberle get like three steamboats in the slot to tie it up?
-Connolly giving up on the puck before the 4-1 in OT was a disgrace. I don't think his game winner makes up for his patent lack of urgency.
-Liles was making horrible passes behind the play all night and getting handled in front of the net.
-Very poor gap control, it was like both teams were out for pleasure skates, I've seen more attention to details in this year's All-Star game.

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