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So so so here we go: Are We Playoff Bound Now?

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Old
07-04-2011, 10:58 AM
  #51
tranquility15
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Originally Posted by LeafsTFC View Post
Yeah you also have to think with the Rangers, that Richards signing only really pays dividends if Gaborik remains healthy. If Gaborik gets another season-ending injury, who will Richards have to pass to?
Or worse yet what if Gaborik is injured and Richards gets another concussion. NYR ultra-fail

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Old
07-04-2011, 11:06 AM
  #52
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Theoretically (which has not worked for us in recent years) I believe we are.
We've added offense (if Connolly stays healthy) and we've added points to the blueline. Our defense looks great.

Kulemin, Grabo, Kessel and Mac improved last year and I think we could definitely see better seasons from Kulemin and Kessel.

To me, the question mark is Reimer. If he plays like last year, we're a playoff team. The offensive group is good enough and the defence will be a strength.

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Old
07-04-2011, 11:07 AM
  #53
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Tim Connolly is not a legit first line center. Lombadri may or may not play. John-Michael Liles is no better than our old puck-mover. Franson is a good pick-up, but he's only a slight upgrade on the guy he will replace.

Only minor improvement have been made to a team that missed the play-offs by 10 points.
Franson is not near the level of bad that Lebda was. i have watched both players play alot this past year and Franson right now is a good top 5 player and will be lightyears better then Lebda

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07-04-2011, 11:17 AM
  #54
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If we get good goaltending then yes, I think we have a pretty good chance. The thing is you can say that about 90% of the teams in the East. What teams can you say honestly have no shot at the playoffs, Ottawa? Even if they stay healthy and get good goaltending they could challenge for a spot.

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07-04-2011, 11:22 AM
  #55
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I think Toronto is a fringe team but I think NYR are also in thhat fringe 6-8. They may have gotten richards but he didn't play that well coming back from his concussion and who knows if he will gel in that org.

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07-04-2011, 11:24 AM
  #56
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I don't think so. Really depends on Reimer if he is the #1 guy in net for Toronto.

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07-04-2011, 11:25 AM
  #57
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Every single team in the East is a couple flukey injuries away from missing the playoffs. If things stay the same and no one gets injured this year, we're probably an 8th-10th place team. Move spots up or down depending on who gets injured.

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07-04-2011, 11:28 AM
  #58
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Lots of "ifs", IMO. We'll have to make sure there aren't periods like last year where we can't win games for weeks...

I think it'll shape up like this:

In no particular order:

1. WSH
2. PIT
3. NJ
4. BOS
5. TB
6. PHI
7.
8.

Then, essentially you have: TOR, MTL, NYR, NYI, CAR, BUF, WPG, even FLA battling it out for two spots...

Personally from my list, I see two forsure and maybe three teams that are better than us in that category. It all comes down to execution and how our defense/goaltending/new acquisitions play.

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07-04-2011, 11:33 AM
  #59
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Originally Posted by Dreakmur View Post
we didn't make any major changes, so I don't see us making the play-offs

even if we do, we're just a first round victim anyway
This ^^ No big impact players to make that big a difference. Even with Richards (Brad)...as the #1C..I'm not convinced this team is playoff bound. Also what people should note are the teams around the Leafs who will be fighting them for a playoff spot. I think Buffalo has improved as well as the Rangers....Its going to be tough as I believe Wash,Pitts,Phil,Boston,TB are all locks for a spot which really only leaves 3 spots open for a whack of teams. A lot of it will also depend on Reimer/Gustavsson (assuming he is the 2nd goalie out of camp)...Without some really really good play from these guys...playoffs are but a pipe dream IMO.

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07-04-2011, 11:37 AM
  #60
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Reimer would have to be absolutely amazing. We will be close.

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07-04-2011, 11:41 AM
  #61
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people need to stop locking the Flyers into a playoff spot. they're probably going to make it, but they just sent out their top 2 centres to make cap room to sign a slightly above average goalie. the team is not 'stacked' the way they have been the last 2 years.

Tampa is also not a lock. they were 'lucky' last year in that their record severely outperformed their Goals Scored-Goals Against. now, some teams can do this on a regular basis because of the way they play (win close games consistently, lose occasional blowouts if goalie has a bad night) but it's generally a good predicting tool (for example, Vancouver and Boston were the top two in the NHL in this category last season.)

Washington, Boston, and Pittsburgh (if Crosby/Malkin are healthy) are the only locks. and yes, i do think we're going to make the playoffs if Reimer performs well and stays healthy.

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07-04-2011, 11:42 AM
  #62
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We just got to worry about our games ... If we win almost every game then there is no need to worry about the standings.

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Old
07-04-2011, 11:43 AM
  #63
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Originally Posted by sakicisgod View Post
1. WAS
2. PHI
3. BOS
4. TBL
5. PIT
6. NYR
7. BUF
8. ___


8th looks like the only spot we'll be in contention for...

TOR, MON, NJD, CAR

FLA, WPG, OTT

The east is getting TIGHT, we need significant improvements to make the playoffs IMO. We need a consistent game changer up front...
I think people are underrating the Habs. I personally think they've gotten better. That said, I think the Habs will finish more comfortably in playoffs and the Leafs may squeak in if they're lucky.


Last edited by JSBach: 07-04-2011 at 11:49 AM.
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Old
07-04-2011, 11:45 AM
  #64
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Originally Posted by SeenSchenn2 View Post
Lots of "ifs", IMO. We'll have to make sure there aren't periods like last year where we can't win games for weeks...

I think it'll shape up like this:

In no particular order:

1. WSH
2. PIT
3. NJ
4. BOS
5. TB
6. PHI
7.
8.

Then, essentially you have: TOR, MTL, NYR, NYI, CAR, BUF, WPG, even FLA battling it out for two spots...

Personally from my list, I see two forsure and maybe three teams that are better than us in that category. It all comes down to execution and how our defense/goaltending/new acquisitions play.
I don't necessarily agree with you here... This is the way I see it:

1. Washington
2. Boston
3. Pittsburgh
4. Tampa Bay
5. Philadelphia
6. Buffalo
7.
8.

I see the 7th and 8th spots up for grabs.

Listed in order....

Contenders:
New Jersey, Montreal, New York Rangers, Carolina, Toronto

Pretenders:
Winnipeg, Florida, New York Islanders, Ottawa

I still see us talent wise at 10/11 in the conference. It's going to be a very tough battle. It really depends on the development of our core, and the ability for us to stay healthy and get consistent contribution from our breakout guys last year in Kulie, Grabo, and Mac.

The big one is Reims. If he plays like a top 5 goalie in the league (which his numbers dictated he was) then I think we make the playoffs for sure. If he comes a little bit down to earth but still plays above average I think we have a good shot at the playoffs. If he goes into a sophmore slump I think we drop down into the top of that "pretenders" list.

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Old
07-04-2011, 11:45 AM
  #65
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Doubt it..we didn't make any significant changes..we picked up two injury prone players and a solid D man - its almost impossible to predict what we are going to get out of lombardi and connolly ..if they stay healthy then they will definately help though

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Old
07-04-2011, 11:54 AM
  #66
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Originally Posted by Predaleafs View Post
Franson is not near the level of bad that Lebda was. i have watched both players play alot this past year and Franson right now is a good top 5 player and will be lightyears better then Lebda
He's not replacing Lebda.

We had Phaneuf, Schenn, Aulie, Liles, Gunnarsson, and Komisarek in the top 6. Assuming Franson breaks the top 6, he's replacing one of those 6. That is not a major uprgrade.

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07-04-2011, 12:00 PM
  #67
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I don't necessarily agree with you here... This is the way I see it:

1. Washington
2. Boston
3. Pittsburgh
4. Tampa Bay
5. Philadelphia
6. Buffalo
7.
8.

I see the 7th and 8th spots up for grabs.

Listed in order....

Contenders:
New Jersey, Montreal, New York Rangers, Carolina, Toronto

Pretenders:
Winnipeg, Florida, New York Islanders, Ottawa

I still see us talent wise at 10/11 in the conference. It's going to be a very tough battle. It really depends on the development of our core, and the ability for us to stay healthy and get consistent contribution from our breakout guys last year in Kulie, Grabo, and Mac.

The big one is Reims. If he plays like a top 5 goalie in the league (which his numbers dictated he was) then I think we make the playoffs for sure. If he comes a little bit down to earth but still plays above average I think we have a good shot at the playoffs. If he goes into a sophmore slump I think we drop down into the top of that "pretenders" list.
This is probably the best assessment I've seen. Only change I would make would be to slot the Devils in at 6th or 7th and Buffalo in the other spot. Not sure if Buffalo's Free Agent signings will pan out like everyone seems to expect, and let's remember the Devils will have a full year of Parise, a re-ignited Kovalchuk and now Larsson (thought to be the most NHL-ready prospect of the draft) to help solidy their D with Volchenkov and Tallinder. I see the Devils somewhat continuing last season's tear and getting either 6th or 7th seed.

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Old
07-04-2011, 12:00 PM
  #68
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I say yes. We were almost good enough before, and now Burke addressed every major issue the team had last season. Like:

Center depth. Bozak-Grabo-Hanson-Boyce-Brent is pathetic, but now we have Connolly-Grabo-Bozak all in an appropriate spot, with the potential to add Lombardi.

Goaltending issues. Everyone said we maight have had a real playoff shot if Reimer came up just a few weeks earlier than he did. Thats exactly what were going with from the start now. Reimer/Monster is an improvement, no one can deny that.

Kessels linemates have improved. When Versteeg didn't click with Phil, he was left with Bozak and Joey Crabb as linemates for way too many games. And he still potted 30 goals. We already know he clicks with Lupul, and a passer like Connolly will be the best hes had to play with in Toronto.

Third D pair was unreliable. When our top D men had trouble (Dion hurt, Beauch playing too many minutes, Kaberle against oppositions best players) there was no one to pick up the slack. Komi couldn't be trusted with a decent amount of ice time, and Lebda truned the puck over like it was his job. But now we have 6 defencmen who can play 20 minutes safely. So we can adjust ice time according to who is playing well, instead of adjusting around how bad Komi/Lebda are.

Our special teams were a joke. The Leafs PP and PK was poorly planned and boring, and the execution was no better. But we have new coaching staff who should show us something new, and almost every player we added in the off season will help with special teams. Liles and Franson will help the powerplay, and Connolly is a great penaltykiller.

There has been a positive move to help fix every major hole we had last season. No reason to think we won't be significantly better. And significantly better means playoffs!

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07-04-2011, 12:02 PM
  #69
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He's not replacing Lebda.

We had Phaneuf, Schenn, Aulie, Liles, Gunnarsson, and Komisarek in the top 6. Assuming Franson breaks the top 6, he's replacing one of those 6. That is not a major uprgrade.
I don't think we need a "major upgrade" to make the playoffs. If we can get even a minor upgrade on D and forwards and maintain Reimer's goaltending we could make 7th or 8th

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07-04-2011, 12:06 PM
  #70
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Ummm... people are putting too much emphasis on connelly staying healthy and gelling with lupul and kessel. I think the biggest issue will be Reimer and his ability to stop the puck as a sophmore #1. Will be an interesting year to say the least.

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07-04-2011, 12:07 PM
  #71
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no way burkie completely blew he was too busy on vacation instead of picking up good players. we missed richards a superstar instead to a playoff rival now he is playing with gaborik one of the best lines in the conference. instead we get a guy who couldnt make the playoffs with the sabres. we didnt get stamkos. we couldve gotten vokoun for 1.5 million instead we got this rookie goalie instead. may as well tank now, and get a top 2 pick maybe this time burkie wont trade it for a magic bean

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07-04-2011, 12:07 PM
  #72
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If Connolly finally stays healthy and plays up to his believed potential then we are close otherwise I don't think we significantly improved ourselves enough.
Any season dependent on Connolly could be in trouble. He needs a fast start like McArthur. The dude thought the Buffalo media (one paper, one sports radio station) was cruel to him. If he plays the same way in Toronto, someone better lock up the knives in his house. They jump on your bandwagon quickly but when you stink, you are in deep trouble.

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07-04-2011, 12:08 PM
  #73
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If Reimer played as good as he did last season for a full regular season, we will make the playoffs. Goaltending is so important for a winning team.

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07-04-2011, 12:11 PM
  #74
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If Reimer played as good as he did last season for a full regular season, we will make the playoffs. Goaltending is so important for a winning team.
so true. a reliable backup coming in for 20-25 games is huge too. i dont have any faith in gustavsson, i know the talent is there but i expect scrivens to be backing up reimer come 2012.

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07-04-2011, 12:11 PM
  #75
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I don't think we need a "major upgrade" to make the playoffs. If we can get even a minor upgrade on D and forwards and maintain Reimer's goaltending we could make 7th or 8th
We were 10 points out of the play-offs last year, and most of the teams around us made at least minor improvements.

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