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GDT--PRE-SEASON--Toronto Maple Leafs Vs. Pittsburgh Penguins--7:30 pm EST, Sep. 24/08

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Old
09-25-2008, 06:29 AM
  #501
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Originally Posted by EazyB97 View Post
So far anyone who has said he isn't "Excellent" is a hater.
Not really.

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09-25-2008, 06:33 AM
  #502
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Johnny Mitch is earning a spot on this team. Never took a shift off, and created chances all night. I like his all around game.

Frog seemed to gain confidence with each period.

Kulemin seemed more comfortable tonight, you can see flashes.

Grabs was inconsistent at best, he's got to stop trying to create something out of nothing.

Pogge, you'd never know he was a rookie. He seems to be gaining confidence by the minute.

Stapleton has the jets, not sure if his brain can keep up with his feet.

Mayers was solid, all around.

The team effort as a whole wasn't there, but there were some solid individual performances. They'll continue to improve throughout the pre-season, with a little more familiarity with eachother.

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09-25-2008, 07:05 AM
  #503
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Ice wasn't good.

Pucks that wouldn't slide along the ice, Stralman blow-out, a Penguin blew-out.

Some of the passes back to the point that normally would land on sticks were hopping away down the ice.

...

Kulemin has to play with someone(s) he can communicate with. Right now he's waiting to see where his linemates are going, so there are two issues, communications and familiarity.

Almost seemed later in the game with Grabovski on the ice at the same time that he relaxed and they both became more effective. On his tip and then his coming off the boards for a good opportunity (Kulemin) they were both on the ice. Grabovski scored while Kulemin was on the ice, causing the turnover.

Whether that means, Antropov-Grab-Kulemin become the tope line or not, I'd like to see Grab-Kulemin together based on both their language and their speed.

options:

Tlusty-Grabovski-Kulemin
Antropov-Grabovski-Kulemin
Ponikarovsky-Grabovski-Kulemin
Kulemin-Grabovski-Hagman

Poni-Antropov-Steen
Tlusty-Grabovski-Kulemin
Hagman-Stajan-Blake
Bell-Moore-Mayers


RW on Waymoresports:

Quote:
"Kulemin has a skill set and we weren't seeing what he can do. It was like he was lost. I saw some life (in Grabovski after Kulemin joined him in the third) so it might be something to think about going ahead."

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09-25-2008, 08:12 AM
  #504
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I agree with you about Grabovski and Kulemin. Half the problem with Kulemin as has been mentioned many times is that he hasn't not clicked with either of the lines he was tried with yet. I'm talking zero chemistry. And I am sure the language barrier, plus he is a rookie, plus he knows nobody has something to do with it. Put Poni on the left to do the dirty work on the boards. All 3 Russian speaking to boot, it's a small thing but it matters.

Steen - Antropov - Blake
Poni - Grabovski - Kulemin

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09-25-2008, 08:26 AM
  #505
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I've been saying I wanted Grab and Kulemin on the same line the whole time. I thought they'd have good chemistry.

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09-25-2008, 08:36 AM
  #506
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HellasLEAF View Post
Steen - Antropov - Blake
Poni - Grabovski - Kulemin
I really like those lines. What about Tlusty, though? He seems to be playing very well

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09-25-2008, 08:47 AM
  #507
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ahh nuts I knew I was forgetting someone. and Tlusty looks better than half those players so far.

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09-25-2008, 08:55 AM
  #508
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I didn't catch the game but I've been seeing bit's a pieces on the net. I was at the Red Wing game and I could see the score of the Leaf game from time to time.. when I saw it was 3-0 the first thing I thought was that Pogge was ******** the bed. But it was such an unlucky game for him, on all goals. None of them were really his fault IMO.

Tlusty has some good strong skating now in comparison to last year. That break he made with Mayers showed some really nice jets.

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09-25-2008, 09:02 AM
  #509
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Originally Posted by HellasLEAF View Post
ahh nuts I knew I was forgetting someone. and Tlusty looks better than half those players so far.
Still good lines, though. Tlusty will be one of our top guys this year, I could almost guarentee it.

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09-25-2008, 09:08 AM
  #510
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I would go with this:

Antropov - Grabovski - Kulemin
Tlustly - Steen - Blake
Mitchell - Stajan - Hagman
Mayers - Moore - Hollweg

I really see a HUGE desire to move Poni. There is no room for him if we want to see our young kids get top 6 minutes.

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09-25-2008, 09:27 AM
  #511
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaner89 View Post
I would go with this:

Antropov - Grabovski - Kulemin
Tlustly - Steen - Blake
Mitchell - Stajan - Hagman
Mayers - Moore - Hollweg

I really see a HUGE desire to move Poni. There is no room for him if we want to see our young kids get top 6 minutes.
You're bang on, Poni has become redundant, and he's a very attractive bargaining chip considering the size and moveability of his contract, his production, size and age. Mind you the return won't be anything that knocks your socks off, but he'd certainly fetch a 2nd or more.

I like that lineup, especially with Mitchell pencilled in. In my opinion he's been our most consistant forward through 2 games, and really looks like he belongs.

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09-25-2008, 09:49 AM
  #512
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I've been saying I wanted Grab and Kulemin on the same line the whole time. I thought they'd have good chemistry.
If I am the Leafs coach then Tlusty -- Grabovski -- Kulemin is my 3rd a next generation kid line.

My top 6 forwards (Antropov, Steen, Blake, Poni, Hagman, Stajan) comprise the top 2 lines and carry the pressure on their shoulders of the rebuild process. The kids are secondary role players in a less pressure filled situation, as they evolve early on and get acclimatized to everything new.

Later in the year as they become better, and gain confidence I sub them in or move them up as they prove capable. RW is no dummy so he is very likely going to come up with a similar plan and the exhibition season now where Wins really mean nothing is the best time to test the kids abilities.

To this point in the exhibition season none of the three have shown to be TOP 6 ready players today.

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09-25-2008, 10:09 AM
  #513
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Originally Posted by Mess View Post
If I am the Leafs coach then Tlusty -- Grabovski -- Kulemin is my 3rd a next generation kid line.
we have a winner!

personally i dont see a reason yet to split up the "twin towers", we know they have chemistry, i think they just need the right center (or if nik is center, then LW)

i think the TGK line would be impressive, especially in terms of speed and skill

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09-25-2008, 10:21 AM
  #514
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mapes View Post
I really like those lines. What about Tlusty, though? He seems to be playing very well
maybe keep Poni with Grabo and Kule to teach them, but later i would like to see

Tlusty - Grabovski - Kulemin

if Grabovski can hold his own.

keep hagman with Stagan and Blake, as they play similar styles. They will work hard, plays smart.

Put Steen between the two towers.

Poni - Steen - Antropov
Hagman - Stajan - Blake
Tlusty - Grabovski - Kulemin

There is no 1st, 2nd or 3rd line this year. Ice time will go to those that earn it.

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09-25-2008, 10:34 AM
  #515
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Without reading any of this thread yet.....this was the first game I've watched yet......

The game was a bit weird - the 1st period was fairly even, not many scoring chances on either side. The 2nd period was all Pittsburgh PPs, and the 3rd period was all Toronto PPs, so there wasn't much to go on.

I thought the Leafs played well defensively the whole game, not allowing many quality scoring chances, and only really having trouble with the Malkin-Staal line out there (both who looked great out there).

The Leafs couldn't get anything together offensively in the run of play, though.

Going from the top line down...

Antropov - Nik was Nik. Very good. I liked to see him commanding the PP more than usual withou Mats there.

Poni - Poni was Poni. Solid, some nice rushes, solid work on the boards and defensively, went to the net strong.

Grabovski - showed some nice flashes, but was invisible the rest of the time. He has to be much better than that if he wants to keep an NHL centre position.

Kulemn - same as Grabovski, showed some nice flashes, but was invisible the rest of the time.

Steen - thought he looked very good defensively, and was skating very well the whole game. Didn't do much offensively, but I think the centre spot fits him well.

Hagman - not sure if he's just rusty, or if he was trying to do too much, but he was way too over-fancy out there...and I'm not sure he has the skill to play like that. Still, fast skater and aggressive player....if it's just rusty hands, he's going to be good for us.

Tlusty - man, what a difference from last year. So much more confidence, so much more poise. He's aggressive and decisive and creative with the puck. Probably our best forward on the night.

Blake - a little buzzsaw out there. went all out the whole game, and played very physical as well. Still not enough offense created, but if he plays like that all year, he'll be good.

Mitchell - I don't care if everyone calls me a homer - this kid is an NHL player. He's just plain good in every aspect of the game. His skating doesn't look like a concern either. Very patient with the puck, and very good at protecting the puck, and very creative offensively as well.....and always solid defensively. This guy is an NHLer all the way.

Mayers - not too impressive. didn't see much of his speed or toughness this game. I expect a little more from him.

Newbury - playing much different than last year's camp. not nearly as physical, but is actually trying to display his puck skills. Much more patient and creative with the puck. If he can mix that with his physical game, he's a player.

Stapleton - um yeah, thanks for coming out, kid. see ya later.


Kaberle - Kabby was Kabby. Very nice game all around, great skating, very good defensively, and nice work on the PP.

Schenn - WOW, what a surprise. The kid looked GREAT out there. If he can play like that, then he can play in the NHL this year no problem. Excellent positionally, solid physically, and very smooth with the puck - both gettig it around his zone, and making sharp accurate breakout passes, even when under pressure. I am duly impressed.

Stralman - VERY dissappointing. Played very poorly. Messy defensively, and virtually invisible offensively. Didn't even do anything on the PP, despite plenty of opportuniy. He has to be MUCH better.

Frogren - the Swedish Bryan Marchment? the Next Ulf Samuelsson? This dude is one mean vicious sunuva*****. Extremely physical....and flat out dangerous at times. Opposition better be watching their knees against this guy. He's going to piss off plenty of opponents this year. His complete lack of speed and puckskills is going to hurt him (like it did Marchment), but there's no doubting he brings a physical edge to the blueline.

Van Ryn - softer than I expected for a big guy. clearly has the puck skills, though. Made some nice interceptions in his own zone, and looked very good passing from the point on the PP.

Boumedienne - I never want to see you in a leaf uniform again, thanks.


POGGE - YES, this kid looked GREAT. Forget the 3 goals which were in no way his fault whatsoeve. The kid was making saves all over the place - glove saves, kick saves, and positional saves. I didn't see him out of position even once all game. Very quick on his feet as well, and didn't give up any rebounds all game. And the added bonus of some very good play with the puck. Very nice to see. This kid is pretty good......don't be surprised if he usurps the backup job at some point this year.


Last edited by zeke: 09-25-2008 at 10:46 AM.
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09-25-2008, 10:37 AM
  #516
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Originally Posted by Mess View Post
If I am the Leafs coach then Tlusty -- Grabovski -- Kulemin is my 3rd a next generation kid line.
Yep, I posted this line a few posts earlier, with other options, but that line makes sense from the language, age, speed, and skills level.

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09-25-2008, 10:37 AM
  #517
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeke View Post
Without reading any of this thread yet.....this was the first game I've watched yet......

The game was a bit weird - the 1st period was fairly even, not many scoring chances on either side. The 2nd period was all Pittsburgh PPs, and the 3rd period was all Toronto PPs, so there wasn't much to go on.

I thought the Leafs played well defensively the whole game, not allowing many quality scoring chances, and only really having trouble with the Malkin-Staal line out there (both who looked great out there).

The Leafs couldn't get anything together offensively in the run of play, though.

Going from the top line down...

Antropov - Nik was Nik. Very good. I liked to see him commanding the PP more than usual withou Mats there.

Poni - Poni was Poni. Solid, some nice rushes, solid work on the boards and defensively, went to the net strong.

Grabovski - showed some nice flashes, but was invisible the rest of the time.

Kulemn - same as Grabovski, showed some nice flashes, but was invisible the rest of the time.

Steen - thought he looked very good defensively, and was skating very well the whole game. Didn't do much offensively, but I think the centre spot fits him well.

Hagman - not sure if he's just rusty, or if he was trying to do too much, but he was way too over-fancy out there...and I'm not sure he has the skill to play like that. Still, fast skater and aggressive player....if it's just rusty hands, he's going to be good for us.

Tlusty - man, what a difference from last year. So much more confidence, so much more poise. He's aggressive and decisive and creative with the puck. Probably our best forward on the night.

Blake - a little buzzsaw out there. went all out the whole game, and played very physical as well. Still not enough offense created, but if he plays like that all year, he'll be good.

Mitchell - I don't care if everyone calls me a homer - this kid is an NHL player. He's just plain good in every aspect of the game. His skating doesn't look like a concern either. Very patient with the puck, and very good at protecting the puck, and very creative offensively as well.....and always solid defensively. This guy is an NHLer all the way.

Mayers - not too impressive. didn't see much of his speed or toughness this game. I expect a little more from him.

Newbury - playing much different than last year's camp. not nearly as physical, but is actually trying to display his puck skills. Much more patient and creative with the puck. If he can mix that with his physical game, he's a player.

Stapleton - um yeah, thanks for coming out, kid. see ya later.


Kaberle - Kabby was Kabby. Very nice game all around, great skating, very good defensively, and nice work on the PP.

Schenn - WOW, what a surprise. The kid looked GREAT out there. If he can play like that, then he can play in the NHL this year no problem. Excellent positionally, solid physically, and very smooth with the puck - both gettig it around his zone, and making sharp accurate breakout passes, even when under pressure. I am duly impressed.

Stralman - VERY dissappointing. Played very poorly. Messy defensively, and virtually invisible offensively. Didn't even do anything on the PP, despite plenty of opportuniy. He has to be MUCH better.

Frogren - the Swedish Bryan Marchment? the Next Ulf Samuelsson? This dude is one mean vicious sunuva*****. Extremely physical....and flat out dangerous at times. Opposition better be watching their knees against this guy. He's going to piss off plenty of opponents this year. His complete lack of speed and puckskills is going to hurt him (like it did Marchment), but there's no doubting he brings a physical edge to the blueline.

Van Ryn - softer than I expected for a big guy. clearly has the puck skills, though. Made some nice interceptions in his own zone, and looked very good passing from the point on the PP.

Boumedienne - I never want to see you in a leaf uniform again, thanks.


POGGE - YES, this kid looked GREAT. Forget the 3 goals which were in no way his fault whatsoeve. The kid was making saves all over the place - glove saves, kick saves, and positional saves. I didn't see him out of position even once all game. Very quick on his feet as well, and didn't give up any rebounds all game. And the added bonus of some very good play with the puck. Very nice to see. This kid is pretty good......don't be surprised if he usurps the backup job at some point this year.
Good job Zeke. The only thing i'll add is that Mayers was very impressive in the faceoff circles.

I certainly echo your comments on Mitchell. This kid could play on my team anyday.

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09-25-2008, 10:45 AM
  #518
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That's the funny thing. Grabovski in no way out played Mitchell but gets people all in a tizzy while John gets ignored. "Who's going to play with Grabovski?" but no "Who's going to play with Mitchell?".

I did like it when a Penguins player hit Frogren from behind and he didn't even budge.


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09-25-2008, 10:46 AM
  #519
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The Frogren/Marchment comparisons is a pretty good one lol That's actually who I thought he kind of looked liked out there.

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09-25-2008, 10:46 AM
  #520
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because the bar is set much lower for Mitchell

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09-25-2008, 10:57 AM
  #521
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Originally Posted by Rattlehead View Post
because the bar is set much lower for Mitchell
I wonder why though? They've both accomplished nothing in terms of their NHL careers. Grabs is a little older. Their games certainly contrast. Mitchell can actually play without the puck. He certainly doesn't posess Grab's offensive imagination, but he's much sounder in all other aspects of his game.

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09-25-2008, 11:10 AM
  #522
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Mitchell played great in the first game too. I think he should be on this team. I thought he could have made the team last season after the camp he had (I thought he did good in last years camp).

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09-25-2008, 11:22 AM
  #523
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Good job Zeke. The only thing i'll add is that Mayers was very impressive in the faceoff circles.

I certainly echo your comments on Mitchell. This kid could play on my team anyday.
That's the one thing I wasn't able to keep track of this game......Mayers is known for his faceoffs.......how did Steen and Grabo do on faceoffs?

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09-25-2008, 11:44 AM
  #524
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That's the one thing I wasn't able to keep track of this game......Mayers is known for his faceoffs.......how did Steen and Grabo do on faceoffs?
Subpar at best. Steen was 8 of 16, Grabs was 4 of 14, Newb's was 5 for 9 and Mitchell 6 for 12 I believe.

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09-25-2008, 11:45 AM
  #525
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That's the funny thing. Grabovski in no way out played Mitchell but gets people all in a tizzy while John gets ignored. "Who's going to play with Grabovski?" but no "Who's going to play with Mitchell?"..
Has Kulemin outplayed Grabovkski or Mitchell ?

If this was simply all about the play in two exhibition games then Kulemin would be starting the season in the AHL. If he was a late round pick rather then a high one with large expectations then he would be earmarked for the Marlies at this stage. That is not an attack on Kulemin but a fact based on play, but also understandable that patience and adjustment is going to be a big factor in that performance when evaluating his play early on. .

The skill and talent level of players comes into play as well as contracts and bunch of other things when it comes to roster decisions.

Gravbovski had 8 goals and 20 points in 12 AHL games last year.. John Mitchell had 20 goals and 51 points in 79. (ignoring the NHL games Grabovski played). That suggest a very different level of skills here. In fact Mitchell is not really even competing with Grabovski and Kulemin for a roster spot. He is trying to take Moore or Devo or Bell's spot on the active roster.

One exhibition game is not enough time to pass judgment, although I agree Mitchell is playing well enough to keep getting more chances to earn a spot with the big team but he is not auditioning for the #1 center spot.

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