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Loose-Leafs #13: League Says We Need 2 More Years. Can You Hold On?

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12-29-2013, 10:21 AM
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Daisy Jane
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Loose-Leafs #13: League Says We Need 2 More Years. Can You Hold On?

Loose-Leafs


Leafs Stats @ A Glance

Goals per Game: 2.6 (16th)
Goals Against: 2.8 (19th)
Powerplay: 22.7% (4th)
Penalty Kill: 77.9% (27th)*

*I honestly think the damage has been done - I don't know how it's going to leap back from 27th to 2nd unless we play lights out on the PK, but I'm liking what I'm seeing on 5 on 4 play. It's the 5 on 3's (6 on 4s) that hurt us


If the Playoffs Were Today

We're still in a playoff spot
Basically, unless/until we overtake Detroit or there is a massive development in the Metro division, we're going to be entertaining the idea of playing Pittsburgh round one. which makes me kind of excited because that will be the biggest gong-show series ever

On the Shelf

Dave Bolland - still broken. Heard that he's now walking without crutches - still no word if he's had skates on or taken the ice yet.

Trevor Smith - broken hand, 4-6 weeks.


Nonis Watch


nothing to see here, just hanging around


But apparently there is a deal in place for Dion Phaneuf that should be signed pretty much when his agent (Don Meehan) comes back from the WJHC, so basically Jan 5th (or whenever Canada gets eliminated, whatever comes first). Watching HBC 24/7 though the sticking point is may be the fact that Dion wants a FULL NTC/NMC, instead of the limited 15 teams... Friedman touched on this as well however there is a sticking point .


Auld Lang Syne

Should auld performances be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld performance be forgot,
And days o lang syne!

For playoffs, my dear
are soon near,
We can make a push
For playoffs my dear
are soon near
And days o lang syne

Blown leads and pk
let's forget
we'll try to do better
Should auld performance be forgot,
And days o lang syne!

We smoked the Hawks,
we cooked the Ducks
we served the 'Guins on ice
but play has been watery at best
And days o lang syne!

I love this team
warts and all
they just need more time...
Should auld performance be forgot,
And days o lang syne!



Two more Years!


On Hockey Tonight all teams not playing (so Vancouver, Jets, Flames & the Leafs) were discussed., Friedman had our boys and he said that the general consensus of the league is if the Leafs are patient for two more years they'll be ready to be considered a threat in the League.

[just in time for our big 100th Birthday Party!, horray!]

But - Friedman also said - with the pressure to win now that's the test. There are many a people who are screaming "strip it down!" vs those... who aren't necessarily saying "spend spend spend." but want to trade our Leaf-lings to get UFAs like Girardi etc.

But what Friedman (and unmentioned general consensus people) are saying that we need to let Kadri develop more, Rielly learn the game more, let Bernier get used to playing a full season (as it 'looks' like he's the guy). and - surround them with leadership.

Then Ron pointed out the fact we only have 1 regulation win in 19 games and then said so is the leadership then Phaneuf, Kessel, Bernier and everyone cut him off and said, "Lupul." to which Weekes exclamation-pointed "he's the captain." Friedmann says re: Kessel that he competes hard, he changes games, and he's surrounded by people who make him happy (hi Bozie!), and Stock ends the segment by saying, "they need better/more leadership in that dressing room, so they can be successful" [most are not convinced we are a playoff team this year]. It's yesterday's Hockey Night Tonight Segment fastforward to the end if you want to hear it verbatim.


This made me think what Bruce Boudreau always said about the Leafs when he was coaching Washington - the Leafs are better than a lot of people give them credit for.

And I think - to quote Glenn Healey - I honestly feel that a part of the problem is that our Boys are just a very fragile hockey club right now. Are they as lazy as all get out - yes, sometimes, I will call that spade every day when I see it. But I've also said time and again - when the Leafs decide (key word there) to play whatever system they are implementing - they are scary good. And you can't fake or luck into the kind of dominance that we've seen the team be capable of.

I don't want to talk about the leadership (I've addressed that before) or the fact that we need to get older - (i've addressed that before as well).

What I want to talk about is - can we be patient? And I mean - the big collective we: Leafs Nation we, MLSE we, Toronto Media we. Because - and we've seen it: Nonis can be as patient as all out gets. And I don't think he's going to be pressured to do anything stupid (regardless of how you feel re: Phaneuf's contract, Clarkson's contract, and whatever contracts he signs/deals this summer), to trade Gardiner out unless it's another age appropriate/positional needed guy coming back our way.


I - will say that at times, I get impatient with the team (generally when play as horridly as they do in the first period against teams like or ). I do waver in what is organizationally best for the team (not just this year). as in - will falling super close to the bottom of the standings benefit our core AND getting a high pick help later down the road, or will being in the playoffs (even if it's a 1st round sweep) be more of benefit, because the core is getting playoff experience, negative or not. Chicago missed the playoffs for nine years, barely made it, barely made it/Conference lost, Won cup. LA struggled for a while, barely made it/lost in a middle round, Won Cup.


So we're hitting stage "struggle to make the playoffs."

And with Phaneuf "this close" to signing his deal, this means, full throttle on for a lot of and and and and because it's going to be full on Oogly, until it all clicks in. My personal belief was that we'd see something more closer to deadline day - dependent on where we were in the standings. if we were totally out of it - we trade him, if we were close we sign. To have it this close in January, we have to take it and deal with how things shake out. And quite frankly - I can handle that. Can you handle that?

I do feel that there will be significant changes made though:

Depending if we make the playoffs or not - I do think Carlyle is on a shorter leash than Nonis is letting on - I think how the rest of the season plays out will determine if he's fired during the summer or not [because I think should it be an epic crash and burn - ala Wilson, you can not start training camp with Carlyle]. if we just eeeek into the playoffs - I think he's safe for another year (because this gives Nonis the summer to get the older (and by older, I mean 30++) players & more leadership this team needs to insulate Rielly/Gardiner and everyone else.

I am preparing myself that Reimer will be traded draft day [or deadline day, depending on where we are in the standings]. I was flirting with the idea that Reimer would take a lot of money to be backup - but I don't think that's fair to him or proper use of asset management. there will be others.. Kulemin keeps flitting through my mind, and I think Franson is on the block too but i think it's going to depend on how everything shakes out. [if someone offersheets him, Nonis will be like "done."]

We're going to be spending (dumb) UFA money again to get some key leadership pieces, (I feel we should wait until all the dingdongs spend their money and then we pick through quality pieces). This summer is interesting because even with the cap going up - there are still a lot of teams that have buyouts + there are the people who couldn't get a job last year simply because the cap was too low + there are people who probably won't get qualified...

Basically - this summer could be very interesting regarding whose available. It might be just whose UFA eligible.

Two more years
can you handle that?


"Player of the Week"



I believe I can fly!


Bernier stole them a point in New York, and then fought for the point against Buffalo - because he was kinda not so good in the first period, but neither was the entire team. But it was the performance in New York that totally clinched his "Player of the Week" status. 22 saves in the 2nd period. I don't know who is starting the Carolina game (if it's Bernier, you have got to imagine, Bernier is getting the Classic). At any rate - we're seeing him rise/and fight to the occassion and this is why he's player of the week!

Honourable Mention: David Clarkson. Takes the Subway, Defends Waterbottles (and playing rather impressively as of late. the goals/points will come).



"Leafs at a Glance"
in case you missed it and you want to see how our January Schedule + predictions for wins/losses are going you can read it here. Basically, January, I feel is where we lose the playoffs, or start gaining some traction, because we've got a very favourable schedule for us.


Wednesday, January 1st
Winter Classic @ - 1:00pm, HNIC - Game Day by me! (and you will love it).


Saturday January 4th
@ - 7:00 - HNIC - GDT - AVAILABLE


see you next week!

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12-29-2013, 10:24 AM
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Always love these DJ. Thanks!!

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12-29-2013, 10:30 AM
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We need two more years to what -to be at the Habs level. This team is not going to compete with the Bruins, Hawks, Blues or Kings anytime soon. I think MLSE will be happy with a mediocre playoff team. A playoff round or two will drive jersey sales, cable subscriptions, increase ticket prices and concessions revenue. For MLSE that is the sweet spot as it increases and supports their cable services but this team is still far from being "competitive" cup contending playoff team.

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12-29-2013, 10:30 AM
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I agree with that panel's assessment of the leafs. All I see on this board is people talking about shipping out Kadri and Gardiner but in my mind those guys are some of the most untouchables on the team. JVR, Kadri, Gardiner, Rielly are the guys you need to let develop and surround them with great leadership and support from players like Kessel and Dion.

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12-29-2013, 11:17 AM
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I think the team is too soft and one dimensional.I think a few judicious trades that help both teams are in order. You have to give up something to get something.The team needs a better skill/grit balance up front and on the back end.In my opinion the following players will net us a good return in that regard and some of these players I like a lot...They are ...Lupul...Reimer ( I prefer him over Bernier but it's obvious which one they are keeping)...Franson...Kulemin......Lupul has had bad luck on the injury front but his talent is unmistakeable. If a contender feels they are one good player short and feel the risk is worth it we can get a good (but different kind of) player back. Similarly if a contender needs PP help and will be able to hide Franson's slowness in their lineup there could be a good deal to be made there.Kulemin is solid but possibly unaffordable for us going forward but it would seem Pittsburgh would be interested (given his history with Malkin) for their playoff run. Reimer , I like a lot but I believe Winnipeg, Calgary Edmonton, Florida and possibly others would be interested.There are other possible players that could be traded or the aforementioned group could be packaged into a larger trade.These trades would not be with this year in mind necessarily more to make an adjustment to the make up of the team.

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12-29-2013, 11:45 AM
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The comments from the talking heads make for a good glow during this slide into .500 hockey. The old axiom still rules though: you are what your record says you are.

You don't build a championship squad around a one-dimensional winger and a defenceman who isn't even seriously considered for the Team Canada roster. Every team that contends has a couple of beasts down the middle. You simply have to draft center forward studs. We aren't bad enough to lottery draft. And every single one that exists in the NHL has been locked in to huge contracts by their smart GM's, so the ridiculous free agency fantasy can die right now.

Unlike the panel, I simply cannot imagine where the required awesomeness will come from. Again, we are stuck in the Friends Zone for the foreseeable future.

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12-29-2013, 11:51 AM
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Get rid of Carlyle now and we could make the playoffs this year, why wait 2 years

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12-29-2013, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diatomic View Post
Get rid of Carlyle now and we could make the playoffs this year, why wait 2 years
fans like you make this fan base laughable around the league.. please stop posting stupid crap.

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12-29-2013, 01:23 PM
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fans like you make this fan base laughable around the league.. please stop posting stupid crap.
You're ok with 3 regulation wins in 27 games? Nice to see we have sheepish fans that love mediocrity.

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12-29-2013, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diatomic View Post
You're ok with 3 regulation wins in 27 games? Nice to see we have sheepish fans that love mediocrity.
Carlyle is not the main problem. I see the issue being overpaying for solid support talent and then filling in depth roles with AHL tweeners and inexperienced players. Look at our 4th line and Fraser/Ranger and the kids on defence. This is the quality that Carlyle needs to work with when we overpay for one good defender and overpay for good wingers but don't address the bigger holes at centre.

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12-29-2013, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theTTC View Post
The comments from the talking heads make for a good glow during this slide into .500 hockey. The old axiom still rules though: you are what your record says you are.

You don't build a championship squad around a one-dimensional winger and a defenceman who isn't even seriously considered for the Team Canada roster. Every team that contends has a couple of beasts down the middle. You simply have to draft center forward studs. We aren't bad enough to lottery draft. And every single one that exists in the NHL has been locked in to huge contracts by their smart GM's, so the ridiculous free agency fantasy can die right now.

Unlike the panel, I simply cannot imagine where the required awesomeness will come from. Again, we are stuck in the Friends Zone for the foreseeable future.
Look at the Ducks, you don't have to draft in the top 5 to draft top players. Lots of top line players are drafted all throughout the first round. Ryan Getzlaf, for example

Quote:
Originally Posted by number72 View Post
We need two more years to what -to be at the Habs level. This team is not going to compete with the Bruins, Hawks, Blues or Kings anytime soon. I think MLSE will be happy with a mediocre playoff team. A playoff round or two will drive jersey sales, cable subscriptions, increase ticket prices and concessions revenue. For MLSE that is the sweet spot as it increases and supports their cable services but this team is still far from being "competitive" cup contending playoff team.
Making the playoffs will only add playoff ticket revenue, jersey sales and cable subscriptions aren't going to increase from a playoff round. Our team isn't like most around the league, the fan base is massive and will shell out money no matter the results. We are equal to Montreal, both teams are low seed playoff teams who this year would be happy to make it to the second round. Who says we won't be a cup contender in two years? You can't predict what moves will be made, but looking at the team now the core is locked in place and in two years players like Kadri and Bernier will be bonafide NHL'ers while Rielly will start to come into his own as well

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12-29-2013, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diatomic View Post
You're ok with 3 regulation wins in 27 games? Nice to see we have sheepish fans that love mediocrity.
Why is everyone so obsessed with regulation wins? Wins are wins and while we went through a tough stretch we now have 6 points in 4 games. You can go 2-0-2 or 3-1 but at the end up the day you have the same amount of points. If we can get a win tonight I think were out of the slump and we have a very manageable January schedule

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12-29-2013, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diatomic View Post
You're ok with 3 regulation wins in 27 games? Nice to see we have sheepish fans that love mediocrity.


Leafs suck = Great players, just crappy coach obviously

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12-29-2013, 03:03 PM
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Diatomic
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Leafs suck = Great players, just crappy coach obviously
Crappy coach obviously is correct, his system is severly flawed.

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12-29-2013, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baarle View Post
Why is everyone so obsessed with regulation wins? Wins are wins and while we went through a tough stretch we now have 6 points in 4 games. You can go 2-0-2 or 3-1 but at the end up the day you have the same amount of points. If we can get a win tonight I think were out of the slump and we have a very manageable January schedule
regulation wins are great, if you don't get them fine whatever points are awesome too.. But 3 regulations wins in 27 games? How can people ignore a fact like that.

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12-29-2013, 03:05 PM
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Crappy coach obviously is correct, his system is severly flawed.
What system should he employ?

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12-29-2013, 05:04 PM
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Diatomic
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What system should he employ?
a system where we dont allow 40+ shots a game and where our defensemen can make a first pass without icing the puck everytime because the forwards are at the far blueline.

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12-29-2013, 05:13 PM
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a system where we dont allow 40+ shots a game and where our defensemen can make a first pass without icing the puck everytime because the forwards are at the far blueline.
Problem is, that's the makeup of our team

Kessel, Kadri, Lupul, JVR (to a much smaller extent), Raymond are all North South/transition players. Our defensemen are looking for a quick pass at the blueline because we have speed guys that could create chances

We don't have a Joe Thornton or an Anze Kopitar that can dominate puck possession. Overall, we don't have the personnel to play a Hawks or Bruins type of game

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12-29-2013, 05:54 PM
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how many times are they going to use this " just 2 more years " bs excuse to buy them time so they can somehow scramble to improve this team externally

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12-29-2013, 05:56 PM
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Love that image of Nonis.

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