#1 in Hits / #1 in Fighting Majors = Recipe for Success?
Just loving this style of play and team toughness that hasn't been witnessed in a LONG time around here. Everyone sticking up for each other and our small guys playing a few inches taller out there every night.
And as much as I'd like to think Burkie had his fingerprints all over this, it's actually RC who should be given the credit for whipping our boys into shape and changing the defeatist culture in the dressing room - things were looking pretty bleak last season, and I must admit I had my doubts that he could get the job done in righting the ship.
With that said, would anyone be surprised if we ended the season still atop of these rankings? And if so, do you think they can take us to the promised land??
Say what you will about RC but Nonis has iced a very different team than Burke has.
A lot of subtle moves that have made us bigger and tougher. Komarov finally coming over didn't hurt either.
I'll partially agree.
I think the team is playing the "Burke" style of hockey, but I also think that has a lot to do with Carlyle rather than Nonis.
Truth-be-told, we won't know what Nonis has up his sleeve until he's given a little bit of time to mold this roster. If Nonis has the luxury of an off-season or two, this roster might look very different than what it is now.
OK.... THIS is my opinion on the topic at hand, it's been discussed for years on end.
IMO it depends on the type of team and players' personality if toughness and having someone like Orr kicking so much ass is really that effective. I think our team REALLY feeds off of it, whereas a team like Detroit maybe not so much. Typically smaller, younger players (Kadri, Kessel, Gardiner, Frattin) like to feel like they can do anything they want on the ice... they're skilled, they need to be free and have no limitations and they can play anyway they choose on this team. Also someone like Phaneuf who has guys constantly challenging him and guys agitating him can just sit back and play his game, he knows there will be teammates who can answer the bell for him and let him do what he does best.
Our team's personality just really benefits from a tough persona.
Think it is more the hits rather than the fighting majors that are helping the team be successful. The fights might swing momentum in our favour but the hits have a more of an impact on the game. Take teams like Ottawa when they faced Anaheim in the SCF, I predicted Anaheim in 5 or 6 most, because Anaheim was a "tough" team. It made me hated by people who were blindly cheering for a "Canadian team" but some teams just can't compete against hard hitting teams.
Fans should take full-credit for this turn around. and for the dismissal of RW. One of the best moves this organization ever made. Something Burke would not have done if not forced to.
Burke also stated this about his teams' season "Burke likened the teamís season to a 30-tonne truck being driven off a cliff". That is a clear reflection of the team he put together each of the four years he was here.. A team that never got the job done. A team that was pitiful.
Crediting Burke for the teams success this year ignores the fact that there is a ton of parody in the NHL and it is sometimes the small things that make a difference at the end of the night. Nonis has made some subtle moves promoting from within.
Burke needs to take blame for the endured suffering and poor play the Leafs experienced under Wilson. The average fan could see the harm RW was inflicting. The fact that a 5 million dollar per year GM in the national hockey league had to be forced to make the logical move by fans is one of the biggest blunders in the history of professional sports.
Without Burke the entire persona of this team has changed. The black cloud this team played under is gone. It's a fresh start. One that would not have been present if Burke had still been at the helm. And I doubt very much they could play to the level they have been under the black cloud. The cloud where every little mistake was made much larger than it should have been. Where all that was talked about was negative. You simply can't succeed under those circumstances and that kind of pressure.
Nonis gave the team a fresh start. It made a world of difference for this club.
Carlyle is getting the best out of each players best assets,and we are no world beaters,but they work hard,play for each other,and its a simple concept that has always worked. The players are happy in their own skin,because they are asked to stay within their own limits of their talents,and no more.
The hits/fights are part of the 3 zone pressure Carlyle like but the opposition doesn't like lol. Carlyle needs the scrapper in every player to make it all successful in the team first concept we are seeing.
This is a team playing for each other,having fun,and showing a whole lot of respect for the Coaches imo.