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Defensive prospects an area of strength for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ system

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Old
11-11-2012, 06:45 PM
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Defensive prospects an area of strength for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ system


The additions of defensemen Morgan Rielly and Matt Finn at the 2012 NHL Draft have bolstered what was once a weak point in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ system. They are added to a list of names such as Korbinian Holzer, Jesse Blacker, Stuart Percy, and Petter Granberg that are in the fold currently. Each player offers a different dynamic that should complement the team’s defensive core if they continue to progress in their development.



With a young NHL defensive core made up of names such as Dion Phaneuf (27-years-old), Carl Gunnarsson (25-years-old), Cody Franson (25-years-old), and rookie stand-out Jake Gardiner (22-years-old) at the NHL level, it leaves a few doors open for the Maple Leafs to bolster other areas of their roster if need be.… read more



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Old
11-11-2012, 07:05 PM
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Nice to hear about Mueller
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Restricted free agent forward Marcel Mueller, who was a member of the Marlies the past two seasons, returned to Europe this year likely due to the lockout. The 24-year-old has performed well sitting third in team scoring for MODO (SEL) with four goals and eight assists in 20 games.
Good article J.E.

We are getting there folks, slowly and steady we are making the overhaul happen.

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11-11-2012, 07:57 PM
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That's a great article and a must read.

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11-11-2012, 08:02 PM
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If your discussing defensive depth and potential on the blueline, then yes we have a great area of strength and were at the point where we can start trading off some prospects on the blueline to fix the front.

However, don't kid yourself we are still pathetic defensively and that has not changed. When I say defensively I mean as a whole, it takes 23 people to chip in to make the system effective, while we have a handful of defensively responsible players, the majority of the team is meh to weak in their own end. Now that you mention it even our blueliners arent that great either, Phaneuf is average yes he has moments of brillance in his own end but a lot of other times he's pure lazy and getting beat easily. Gunnarsson is by far our best defensive player, the guy is just calm out there is always in position and rarely coughs the puck up, he's an underrated gem. Gardiner while I think he has a lot of potential, he is just 21 years old with a lot of room to grow and improve, I wouldnt put him in the "above average" defensively area just yet. Franson is a wild-card, he hasn't been given a chance to show what he can do, he could be great or he could be horrible, so for now I'm putting him the "average" category defensively. Liles is pitiful, sure he's good at lugging the puck out and passing, but positionally he's bad, he's very soft in front of the net as well, plus he just doesn't sacrifice his body to make a defensive play either. Komiserak is Komi lol the guy is a nightmare whenever he has the puck on his stick but when he keeps things simple I think he's effective in limited minutes. Up front are two only above average players defensively are Kulemin and Brown, the rest are just pitfiul and that's all I'm going to say about them lol.

Until we bring in more balanced defensively responsible forwards AND defencmen this team will forever be a liabiltiy in their own end.

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11-11-2012, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingstonian84 View Post
If your discussing defensive depth and potential on the blueline, then yes we have a great area of strength and were at the point where we can start trading off some prospects on the blueline to fix the front.

However, don't kid yourself we are still pathetic defensively and that has not changed. When I say defensively I mean as a whole, it takes 23 people to chip in to make the system effective, while we have a handful of defensively responsible players, the majority of the team is meh to weak in their own end. Now that you mention it even our blueliners arent that great either, Phaneuf is average yes he has moments of brillance in his own end but a lot of other times he's pure lazy and getting beat easily. Gunnarsson is by far our best defensive player, the guy is just calm out there is always in position and rarely coughs the puck up, he's an underrated gem. Gardiner while I think he has a lot of potential, he is just 21 years old with a lot of room to grow and improve, I wouldnt put him in the "above average" defensively area just yet. Franson is a wild-card, he hasn't been given a chance to show what he can do, he could be great or he could be horrible, so for now I'm putting him the "average" category defensively. Liles is pitiful, sure he's good at lugging the puck out and passing, but positionally he's bad, he's very soft in front of the net as well, plus he just doesn't sacrifice his body to make a defensive play either. Komiserak is Komi lol the guy is a nightmare whenever he has the puck on his stick but when he keeps things simple I think he's effective in limited minutes. Up front are two only above average players defensively are Kulemin and Brown, the rest are just pitfiul and that's all I'm going to say about them lol.

Until we bring in more balanced defensively responsible forwards AND defencmen this team will forever be a liabiltiy in their own end.
Gunnarsson was our best defensive player by far?!? Man, you make him sound like Aulie, and the reason why Phaneuf is able to do anything out on the ice. Gunnarsson is a decent defensemen, who has no business being on the first pairing.

Team defense has to start from the system, something Wilson was awful at. Look around the league to see how hiring defensive minded coaches turned some teams around completely (Devils of two season ago, Blues of last season, etc). Our defense is better than what we have seen under the Wilson era.

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11-11-2012, 10:04 PM
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Pretty disappointed with this article. It has many typos so it was clearly not proof read, and there is also no mention of one of our best NCAA d-men in Andrew MacWilliam.

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11-11-2012, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by 4evaBlue View Post
Gunnarsson was our best defensive player by far?!? Man, you make him sound like Aulie, and the reason why Phaneuf is able to do anything out on the ice. Gunnarsson is a decent defensemen, who has no business being on the first pairing.

Team defense has to start from the system, something Wilson was awful at. Look around the league to see how hiring defensive minded coaches turned some teams around completely (Devils of two season ago, Blues of last season, etc). Our defense is better than what we have seen under the Wilson era.
Yes he was our best defensive blueliner by far last season, the guy may not have been noticeable in a standout way but he was quietly effective, always in position and rarely made any big mistakes out there. I agree though, on most teams he'd be a mid ranged pairing defencmen, which proves my point on how patheticly weak we are defensively.

I'm with you to a point, I do think the proper coach and system is needed, but you also need players who are willing and able to excuete it, problem is the majority of our players are offensive oriented, in other words we need to u-haul this roster for a defenisve system to properly work.

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11-12-2012, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingstonian84 View Post
Yes he was our best defensive blueliner by far last season, the guy may not have been noticeable in a standout way but he was quietly effective, always in position and rarely made any big mistakes out there. I agree though, on most teams he'd be a mid ranged pairing defencmen, which proves my point on how patheticly weak we are defensively.

I'm with you to a point, I do think the proper coach and system is needed, but you also need players who are willing and able to excuete it, problem is the majority of our players are offensive oriented, in other words we need to u-haul this roster for a defenisve system to properly work.
It's pretty easy not to get caught out of position when you're about the only defensemen on the team given a free pass not to take offensive chances (to allow Phaneuf to do his thing offensively). You could have put any defensemen in that position, and they'll look a lot better defensively than they actually are.

Season
GP
G
A
P
PPG
TOI/G
ToI
2009-1043312150.3521:26921:57
2010-1168416200.2918:141240:29
2011-1276415190.2521:421649:26

I don't think there's a question that despite getting better icetime, and having more years of development under his belt, his offensive production dropped last season.


Last edited by 4evaBlue: 11-12-2012 at 07:47 AM.
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11-12-2012, 08:03 AM
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Pretty disappointed with this article. It has many typos so it was clearly not proof read, and there is also no mention of one of our best NCAA d-men in Andrew MacWilliam.
I've made a note to my editor to give it another read through for any spelling/grammatical mistakes.

And yes I did forget to mention MacWilliam - which is surprising even to me because I do like his style of game (at least at the NCAA level). But my guess is I was focused on making sure I remembered some of the lesser known prospects such as Robertson/Everson/Knodel..I must have overlooked him.

I made a note of this as well to my editor and I sent them an updated version of that paragraph.

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11-12-2012, 08:41 AM
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Expected Petter Granberg to take a big step fwd this year, unfortunate injury will delay his progress. Hard to find vids on him, other than for those that remember seeing him win gold on Team Sweden last year at the Worlds.

But I managed to find some here:

http://www.skellefteaaik.se/trupp/SAIK/3218/video

Think he has a good chance he may become a depth defender for us one day, skates well, big, understated Swede.

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11-12-2012, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evaBlue View Post
Team defense has to start from the system, something Wilson was awful at. Look around the league to see how hiring defensive minded coaches turned some teams around completely (Devils of two season ago, Blues of last season, etc). Our defense is better than what we have seen under the Wilson era.
This is the key point.

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11-12-2012, 09:07 AM
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Other rookies at the minor league level include Spencer Abbott, Sam Carrick, and Andrew Crescenzi. All three have been reserve forwards so far this year, with Sam Carrick being the lone forward playing at the ECHL level. Carrick has appeared in eight games with the Idaho Steelheads and managed two goals. Abbott, who appeared in three games the Marlies at the end of last season, has recently made the most out of his chance in the Marlies lineup. He scored his first AHL goal in his first game of the season on November 2nd against the Abbotsford Heat. Crescenzi, has yet to see game action this season at any level. He has an opportunity to return as an overage player with the Kitchener Rangers, but does not seem likely to return at this point.
Just an update.. Without an official ECHL affiliate of their own, both Jamie Devane and Andrew Crescenzi have been loaned to the ECHL and have dressed for a game with the San Fransisco Bulls this year.

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/l...067312013.html

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11-12-2012, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John-Eric Iannicello View Post
I've made a note to my editor to give it another read through for any spelling/grammatical mistakes.

And yes I did forget to mention MacWilliam - which is surprising even to me because I do like his style of game (at least at the NCAA level). But my guess is I was focused on making sure I remembered some of the lesser known prospects such as Robertson/Everson/Knodel..I must have overlooked him.

I made a note of this as well to my editor and I sent them an updated version of that paragraph.
Under the Center heading, second line of first paragraph - should read lineups not linesup. That is the lone mistake still there.

Glad you added the MacWilliam mention as he is a huge darkhorse for our Leafs future d corps.

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11-12-2012, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Leaf Rocket View Post
Nice to hear about Mueller


Good article J.E.

We are getting there folks, slowly and steady we are making the overhaul happen.
Good article.

I agree our prospects are starting to show a great deal of depth especially on the D and a definite upgrade on all the young players coming through the system.

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11-13-2012, 03:59 AM
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Good article.

The Leafs have not been able to say they have a strong defense (as a whole) for a long time. It will be refreshing.

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11-13-2012, 10:02 AM
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Good read for sure. Thanks for the article. Future is starting to shape up

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