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Leafs Defense: Not as bad as made out to be!

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Old
09-25-2003, 03:16 PM
  #1
McFly
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Leafs Defense: Not as bad as made out to be!

This has lingerd in my mind for too long, here's my spew!

In the midst of all this debate over the Leafs defense being so weak, I'm surprised nobody has mentioned how they are a very similar if not an improved group over the one that went to the Eastern Finals in 2002. That year we had a top 6 of Kaberle, McCabe, Berg, Lumme, Pilar and Cross. I'd say that's a grade lower than this year's potential group of Kaberle, McCabe, Marchment, Berg, Jackman, Hedin/Pilar/Colo,etc. Also factor in the chance of seeing Ken Klee signed aswell, I think this defense is not so bad!

I know that the year we lost to Carolina, it was driven by heart and desire, but a defense core takes you a long way. This year we have replaced Lumme with Marchment, a major improvement in my mind, and Aki Berg, and Kaberle are more experienced than they were two seasons ago. Also, Rick Jackman may prove to be a great No.5 dman, and No.6 can't be any worse than Cory Cross.

Another thing that bugs me is that people say we don't have a true No.1 dman. Well think of all the teams that have won Cups.....Niedermayer for NJ, Hatcher for Dallas, Lidstrom for the Wings. These guys emerged to become No.1 guys through their performances in the playoffs. These teams developed #1 guys from within, they weren't acquired in trades and by free agency. Toronto has Kaberle on the brink and McCabe also has that potential. Think of Kaberle as Niedermayer from 1995. He's not thought of as a star yet, but he may emerge to be that dependable dman.

So Leaf fans and bWo members, don't panic just yet. See what this team can develop. Quinn and Co. have the right idea, just believe in it for now. Think of the 1993 defense...no stars, but all very dependable. This team will be OK, just wait and watch before you judge them.

I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on this cause I don't think I'm alone.
GO LEAFS GO!

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09-25-2003, 04:28 PM
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berney fkaj
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Leafs D is good enough to win it all, if only they were coached by Pat Burns or Jocks Lemaire.

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09-25-2003, 04:35 PM
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im not panicking

im just a little bit...... nervous ?

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09-25-2003, 04:39 PM
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I dont think it matters whether or not the D is improved from 2002. The fact is we are much weaker then the other top teams in the league, we need to add at least one more top 4 defenceman to even have a shot at the Eastern Conference title. While I believe the potential is there in the form of Jackman,Colo,Kondratiev we are in need of an expereinced top 4 dman to make our defence able to compete with the other top teams

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09-25-2003, 05:28 PM
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i'll panic if mccabe gets hurt again



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09-25-2003, 05:36 PM
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I'm gonna take the pessmistic view.

I don't think our defense is good enough to be considered a Stanley Cup contender right now.

It needs to be addressed. Ed Belfour can't stand on his head again this year.

Obviously, the Leafs management felt that last years defense wasnt good enough because we acquired Wesley and Housley at the deadline.

And if they thought last years defense wasn't good enough, this years is even worse.

The problem is, we don't have a number one defenseman (Kaberle and Mccabe are both more number 2 guys). We have an aging veteran Marchment whom at this point in his career should not be seing second pair minutes. Berg, well he's just way to inconsistent to count on for strong minutes. Jackman, see Berg. Which brings us to Wade Belak and probably Jamie Pushor whom are no better than depth guys. It really is looking ugly.

We essentially have 2 number two defenseman, 3 number 5-6 guys and 2 Pressbox, AHL worthy matter.

I'm sorry but it's just not good enough to compete with some of the better teams in the NHL. Yes we have an outstanding offense whom when healthy (key word here) is among the best groups in the league. And we have an excellent, HOF worthy goaltender in Ed Belfour. But the defense just won't cut it.

Imagine if our backend sees a few bad injuries? We could see three rookie defenseman seing top 6 minutes. You can't even expect to make the playoffs like that.

I'm just not sure this will be a great year for the Leafs. I think we should be able to make the playoffs, but the division is Ottawa's to lose.

We have to face the reality, as Leaf fans, that this tea, RIGHT NOW is just not a Stanley Cup contender. We can try to look past it and we can try to be bias as much as we want. But we can't hide the real truth and it's a bit depressing.

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09-25-2003, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p.l.f.
i'll panic if mccabe gets hurt again


Or if Antropov and Roberts go down for any length of time and Nolan's back dosen't hold out for the season and ........

We will be just fine as long as we can stay healthy. We have had a few good years with good luck on our side and it has run out for the last 2-3. I just hope we can pull it together this year. But I guess that is what happens when your team is this old.

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09-25-2003, 05:42 PM
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im more 'concerned' about the blueline tho.
there is alot of good proven depth up front

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09-25-2003, 05:56 PM
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Everyone needs to relax.I'm sure it won't be as bad as the media is making it out to be.

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09-25-2003, 06:00 PM
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I am more nervous about our pathetic system then the personnel.

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Old
09-25-2003, 06:03 PM
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team defense , hmm.
how about one man in and crowd the middle

backcheck !

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Old
09-25-2003, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McFly_GoLeafsGo
This has lingerd in my mind for too long, here's my spew!

In the midst of all this debate over the Leafs defense being so weak, I'm surprised nobody has mentioned how they are a very similar if not an improved group over the one that went to the Eastern Finals in 2002. That year we had a top 6 of Kaberle, McCabe, Berg, Lumme, Pilar and Cross. I'd say that's a grade lower than this year's potential group of Kaberle, McCabe, Marchment, Berg, Jackman, Hedin/Pilar/Colo,etc. Also factor in the chance of seeing Ken Klee signed aswell, I think this defense is not so bad!

I know that the year we lost to Carolina, it was driven by heart and desire, but a defense core takes you a long way. This year we have replaced Lumme with Marchment, a major improvement in my mind, and Aki Berg, and Kaberle are more experienced than they were two seasons ago. Also, Rick Jackman may prove to be a great No.5 dman, and No.6 can't be any worse than Cory Cross.

Another thing that bugs me is that people say we don't have a true No.1 dman. Well think of all the teams that have won Cups.....Niedermayer for NJ, Hatcher for Dallas, Lidstrom for the Wings. These guys emerged to become No.1 guys through their performances in the playoffs. These teams developed #1 guys from within, they weren't acquired in trades and by free agency. Toronto has Kaberle on the brink and McCabe also has that potential. Think of Kaberle as Niedermayer from 1995. He's not thought of as a star yet, but he may emerge to be that dependable dman.

So Leaf fans and bWo members, don't panic just yet. See what this team can develop. Quinn and Co. have the right idea, just believe in it for now. Think of the 1993 defense...no stars, but all very dependable. This team will be OK, just wait and watch before you judge them.

I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on this cause I don't think I'm alone.
GO LEAFS GO!
I agree with you. I have also been making the comparison to our defence of two years ago for a while now.

That year the defence was fine, and it will be better this year. Svehla played great for us, but has anyone considered that maybe he messed up the chemistry? McCabe of '02 was better than Svehla of '03.

Plus, as I've said before, there will be no Lummes and no Housleys to worry about this year. People underestimate how important that will be. Lumme was a pushover all year long and Housley cost us at least one playoff win IMO. Getting rid of those two is what I call addition by subtraction.

I also bugs me when people say we don't have that #1 guy to win the Cup.

Did Montreal have anybody better than Kaberle? No.

How about the Rangers? I'd argue that Kaberle and McCabe are better defensive players than Leetch was back then.

Colorado in '97? Adam Foote at that time was not regarded as a dominant player. He was considered a very good defensive d-man but he was nowhere near the player he is today.

Dallas? Well they did have Hatcher, but he finished 11th in Norris voting that year. Coincidently Kaberle finished 11th this year. And if you point out that Hatcher is a physically dominant player and Kaberle isn't, I point back to Leetch.

The point is that all of these doomsday predictions about the Leafs defence are nonsense. They'll be just fine.

I would like to see the Leafs pick up a veteran guy before the playoffs, but there's no need to panic.

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Old
09-25-2003, 06:10 PM
  #13
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two years ago they were allowed to clutch and grab dont forget, now the lack of speed gets tested on that rickety blueline.
mccabe's infamous can opener wasnt working, and the speedy teams gave us nightmares.

ottawa- yikes!

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09-25-2003, 06:24 PM
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We have really good forward lines but that defence is horrible.We'll be among the highest scoring teams in the league but we'll also be up there for goals against.

You can't compare this years defence to the one of two years ago.McCabe had a real good year & Pilar's play helped ease the loss of Yuskievich that year.If McCabe bombs again we are screwed,BIG TIME.Any injuries to the defence(everyone here knows our track record with injuries.This team has gotten hit hard with the injury bug,players have dropped like flies for this team these past 3 years) will hurt the Leafs alot.Especially if Kaberle or MCCabe goes down.

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09-25-2003, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caber24
I am more nervous about our pathetic system then the personnel.
Ding ding ding. Agreed. Rick Ley and Pat Quinn couldn't teach a defensive system if it killed them! They haven't in the past, and I doubt they will now. Quinn hinted at changing things this year, but I see no indications of that so far.

Too many times you see the Leafs players get confused in their own end and end up scrambling to get the puck out of the zone. Defensive zone coverage, and the system need to improve! Forwards need to help out!

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Old
09-25-2003, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TR-TWѤ
Everyone needs to relax.I'm sure it won't be as bad as the media is making it out to be.
I agree that it wont be as bad as the media portrays it,nothing ever is.

But i honestly look at this season as the last gasp for the boys in blue and i hate to think we're taking this last stab with such limited depth on D.

I would like to see 2 #3-4 defenseman acquired this season,1 of which i'd like to see before the regular season starts and another hopefully at the trade deadline if not sooner.If we had mush,berg,jackman as our 5-7 guys this would be a team that could take a serious run at the cup.

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09-25-2003, 07:05 PM
  #17
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their team defense in the playoffs was fine 2 and 3 yrs ago.
you do remember blanking ottawa?
that wasn't just cujo.

without the clutch and grab in the neutral zone, quinn will have to make adjustments.
we've seen him get them to play good team defense in the past
what's encouraging he's talked about clamping down defensively this season, likely becuase of what happened vs hitchcock.

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Old
09-25-2003, 07:18 PM
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Unless they can move someone like Green, Belak, or Reichel for a defender don't waste assets.

This team isn't good enough, even with a minor upgrade on defense, and they can't afford a major upgrade.

Chances are someone would want the kids or picks, so why bother.

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09-25-2003, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p.l.f.
their team defense in the playoffs was fine 2 and 3 yrs ago.
you do remember blanking ottawa?
that wasn't just cujo.

without the clutch and grab in the neutral zone, quinn will have to make adjustments.
we've seen him get them to play good team defense in the past
what's encouraging he's talked about clamping down defensively this season, likely becuase of what happened vs hitchcock.
Big reason why last years team underachieved.You can't play sloppy defensively & expect to win a championship.Add a top 5 defencemen,You think the leafs would have won that series against the Flyers the way they played? i don't think so....not when your getting outshot & not playing good 5-on-5.

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09-25-2003, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McFly_GoLeafsGo
This has lingerd in my mind for too long, here's my spew!

In the midst of all this debate over the Leafs defense being so weak, I'm surprised nobody has mentioned how they are a very similar if not an improved group over the one that went to the Eastern Finals in 2002. That year we had a top 6 of Kaberle, McCabe, Berg, Lumme, Pilar and Cross. I'd say that's a grade lower than this year's potential group of Kaberle, McCabe, Marchment, Berg, Jackman, Hedin/Pilar/Colo,etc. Also factor in the chance of seeing Ken Klee signed aswell, I think this defense is not so bad!

I know that the year we lost to Carolina, it was driven by heart and desire, but a defense core takes you a long way. This year we have replaced Lumme with Marchment, a major improvement in my mind, and Aki Berg, and Kaberle are more experienced than they were two seasons ago. Also, Rick Jackman may prove to be a great No.5 dman, and No.6 can't be any worse than Cory Cross.

Another thing that bugs me is that people say we don't have a true No.1 dman. Well think of all the teams that have won Cups.....Niedermayer for NJ, Hatcher for Dallas, Lidstrom for the Wings. These guys emerged to become No.1 guys through their performances in the playoffs. These teams developed #1 guys from within, they weren't acquired in trades and by free agency. Toronto has Kaberle on the brink and McCabe also has that potential. Think of Kaberle as Niedermayer from 1995. He's not thought of as a star yet, but he may emerge to be that dependable dman.

So Leaf fans and bWo members, don't panic just yet. See what this team can develop. Quinn and Co. have the right idea, just believe in it for now. Think of the 1993 defense...no stars, but all very dependable. This team will be OK, just wait and watch before you judge them.

I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on this cause I don't think I'm alone.
GO LEAFS GO!
We didn't have a #1 defenceman in 1993 and we didn't win anything in 1993 either............Let the NHL history books be a lesson for the Toronto Maple Leafs for this season.

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09-25-2003, 07:46 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p.l.f.
i'll panic if mccabe gets hurt again


Get's hurt again?..........He's hurt already.

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09-25-2003, 07:48 PM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1
We have really good forward lines but that defence is horrible.We'll be among the highest scoring teams in the league but we'll also be up there for goals against.

You can't compare this years defence to the one of two years ago.McCabe had a real good year & Pilar's play helped ease the loss of Yuskievich that year.If McCabe bombs again we are screwed,BIG TIME.Any injuries to the defence(everyone here knows our track record with injuries.This team has gotten hit hard with the injury bug,players have dropped like flies for this team these past 3 years) will hurt the Leafs alot.Especially if Kaberle or MCCabe goes down.
I really don't know what the hell is taking the Leafs so long to do something about their defence?..........It's been staring them right in the face for the longest time too.

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Old
09-26-2003, 09:07 AM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey_00
Get's hurt again?..........He's hurt already.
He means if McCabe gets hurt after this time.

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Old
09-26-2003, 09:43 AM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p.l.f.
two years ago they were allowed to clutch and grab dont forget, now the lack of speed gets tested on that rickety blueline.
mccabe's infamous can opener wasnt working, and the speedy teams gave us nightmares.

ottawa- yikes!
I respectfully disagree on this one.

The Leafs were never a clutch and grab team. Secondly I don't agree that speedy teams gave us nightmares.

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09-26-2003, 09:53 AM
  #25
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Why are people so sure that guys like Kondratiev, Hedin and Jackman can't step up to be legit top 4 d-men?

It's funny. The same people who constantly say that the window of opportunity is closing are the same people who don't want to break in any young players.

If we're ever going to have good young players on the team, guys like Kondratiev have to be broken in some time. Why will next year be any better than this year? Kondratiev already has experience playing against men in Russia so a stint in the AHL isn't all that necessary.

These young guys can play. And they can play well. In fact I bet they'll be better this year than a guy like Klee would be. You watch.

And if I'm wrong, we have until the middle of March to aquire somebody for the playoffs.

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