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Maple Leafs News and Views => Main Leafs Hockey Talk => Topic started by: igloo on January 26, 2017, 06:24:08 PM

Title: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: igloo on January 26, 2017, 06:24:08 PM
The Leafs line-up of forwards are doing well, and projected only to get better.  I am not sure what you could do to improve things immediately, or next year.  This group is impressive at both ends of the rink.

But wait, there's more!  Kapanen (sucks he got injured, anyone know when he is coming back?), Leipsic, and CHL starts Adam Brooks and Jeremy Bracco will all be fighting for full time jobs next year.  I think out of those 4, you will see Bracco sent packing to the AHL before anyone, but who knows, he is an excellent player and on many NHL teams, would have a very good shot at cracking the line up.

These guys are pretty well ready for next year, and I'm afraid we could be wasting their talents.  But who would they replace? 

This is why I believe Bozak is the #1 target along with Uncle Leo.  Either could command a good draft pick, good prospect Dman or even a prospect goalie.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: disco on January 26, 2017, 07:01:09 PM
Good points, could be an embarrassment of riches up front. Leafs have the ability to replace anyone moved at the deadline by just doing nothing and letting their prospects develop. My guess is they'll stand pat at the deadline and let this team play it out intact, accumulating valuable experience playing meaningful games right to the end and possible playoffs.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: herman on January 26, 2017, 07:22:04 PM
Welcome back, igloo.

Here's who I think will be gone, and who will be coming up next year:
Gone: Bozak, Komarov, JvR, Hunwick, Polak, Smith, Robidas, Marincin (LVGK)

Up: Kapanen, Leipsic, Griffith, Rychel (waiver eligible), Valiev, Loov (waiver eligible)

New Marlies: Bracco, Brooks, Korostelev, Dzierkals, Desrocher, Grundstrom, Walker, Piccinich, Bobylev
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Highlander on January 26, 2017, 07:24:31 PM
may be nostalgic but dont want to see either Bozo or JVR go unless we win the cup this year. LOL
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: mr grieves on February 23, 2017, 02:36:30 PM
Welcome back, igloo.

Here's who I think will be gone, and who will be coming up next year:
Gone: Bozak, Komarov, JvR, Hunwick, Polak, Smith, Robidas, Marincin (LVGK)

Up: Kapanen, Leipsic, Griffith, Rychel (waiver eligible), Valiev, Loov (waiver eligible)

New Marlies: Bracco, Brooks, Korostelev, Dzierkals, Desrocher, Grundstrom, Walker, Piccinich, Bobylev

So something like:

Hyman - Matthews - Brown
Leivo - Kadri - Marner
Leipsic - Nylander - Kapanen
Martin - Gauthier - Griffith
Rychel

?
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: herman on February 23, 2017, 02:51:23 PM
So something like:

Hyman - Matthews - Brown
Leivo - Kadri - Marner
Leipsic - Nylander - Kapanen
Martin - Gauthier - Griffith
Rychel

?

Would not bother me to see us ice such a lineup! Maybe swapping Brown and Griffith... Babcock would hate having Nylander as the only RH faceoff guy though, especially if Bozak is gone. Might see Froese or Colin Smith over Gauthier in that case.

Kind of hard to say who Vegas would snag from us (survivable either way) with the moves that can still be made.

There are better defense options from other teams in the pinch than off the Leafs, so I'm thinking they'd go for one of our forwards so long as Carrick is not exposed.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Frank E on February 23, 2017, 04:01:13 PM
Maybe swapping Brown and Griffith...

Your affinity for Griffith knows no bounds.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: herman on February 23, 2017, 04:56:29 PM
If I had my druthers, with no external additions. Every line has a banger, disher, and finisher. Y'all can probably do better.

Zach Hyman - Auston Matthews - Seth Griffith
Basically what they're rolling with now, but a slight dip in skill going from Nylander to Griffith. He plays with jam that belies his size, has the puck skills to extend plays like Nylander, and is a pass-first player for Matthews.

Josh Leivo - Nazem Kadri - Mitch Marner
Leivo added some huge jump to his game, and with a right shot on the left wing + chemistry with Kadri + Marner doing everything, this line switch between heavy cycle and east-west dangle.

Brendan Leipsic - William Nylander - Kasperi Kapanen
Sheltered scoring line with speed to burn. It's not that big, but they'll just skate past defenders. Leipsic and Kapanen have both shown a nose for the net, so Nylander can continue patrolling the high slot.

Kerby Rychel - Byron Froese - Connor Brown
Rychel adds some heavy size to a pretty fast fourth line that's all about defending aggressively. Froese might be a defense-first player, but he actually has hands in tight. Brown is awesome and will skate through a wall for the team.

Extras: Nikita Soshnikov, Frederik Gauthier, Colin Smith
Drop in replacements at pretty much every part of the lineup. This Smith can play all three positions and has an actual two-way game. Sosh will shoot from anywhere, and Gauthier can bring a slower paced game when needed.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Nik the Trik on February 23, 2017, 05:21:31 PM

Not regularly skating Matthews with legit 1st line talent will start to border on abuse of a minor.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: herman on February 23, 2017, 06:56:17 PM

Not regularly skating Matthews with legit 1st line talent will start to border on abuse of a minor.

Just being facetious, but:
a) age of majority is 18 and Matthews is 19
b) Hyman is already skating on the current first line
c) Griffith skated first line for Florida

I don't mind seeing how far the team can get with a balanced attack. Outside of JvR, the only first line talent on the wing are Marner and Nylander, and I think it scares teams more when they are spread out and recombined mid-game.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Nik the Trik on February 23, 2017, 07:05:46 PM
Just being facetious, but:
a) age of majority is 18 and Matthews is 19
b) Hyman is already skating on the current first line
c) Griffith skated first line for Florida

Well, if we're being that way, look up what "border" means.

Every team has a first line regardless of quality. I think you'd agree that even speaking colloquially we don't need to be so pedantic as to confuse what I was saying with "anyone who at ever time was used on a team's first line because of a lack of, or even in spite of, better options available".

Otherwise you're kind of contradicting yourself as there'd be no reason not to stack up a line with Marner and Matthews because Marner could just be replaced by Griffith on the Kadri line and, hey, he's a first line talent, right?

I don't mind seeing how far the team can get with a balanced attack. Outside of JvR, the only first line talent on the wing are Marner and Nylander, and I think it scares teams more when they are spread out and recombined mid-game.

As good as Matthews is, what I think you're doing with that line configuration is effectively putting him on the third line as I think the other two would likely be more dangerous than his line offensively.

Personally, I think not giving him linemates capable of really doing something with the chances he generates is basically wasting his talents. Either give him more talented linemates from within the current group or maybe look outside for a short term deal.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Coco-puffs on February 24, 2017, 12:35:44 AM
If I had my druthers, with no external additions. Every line has a banger, disher, and finisher. Y'all can probably do better.

Zach Hyman - Auston Matthews - Seth Griffith
Basically what they're rolling with now, but a slight dip in skill going from Nylander to Griffith. He plays with jam that belies his size, has the puck skills to extend plays like Nylander, and is a pass-first player for Matthews.

Josh Leivo - Nazem Kadri - Mitch Marner
Leivo added some huge jump to his game, and with a right shot on the left wing + chemistry with Kadri + Marner doing everything, this line switch between heavy cycle and east-west dangle.

Brendan Leipsic - William Nylander - Kasperi Kapanen
Sheltered scoring line with speed to burn. It's not that big, but they'll just skate past defenders. Leipsic and Kapanen have both shown a nose for the net, so Nylander can continue patrolling the high slot.

Kerby Rychel - Byron Froese - Connor Brown
Rychel adds some heavy size to a pretty fast fourth line that's all about defending aggressively. Froese might be a defense-first player, but he actually has hands in tight. Brown is awesome and will skate through a wall for the team.

Extras: Nikita Soshnikov, Frederik Gauthier, Colin Smith
Drop in replacements at pretty much every part of the lineup. This Smith can play all three positions and has an actual two-way game. Sosh will shoot from anywhere, and Gauthier can bring a slower paced game when needed.

Do you seriously think Seth Griffith would help Matthews more than Brown?  He basically did nothing on Florida's first line. 

Brown on the fourth line is a waste of a real hockey player.  I don't even want Seth Griffith on our fourth line next year.

Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Coco-puffs on February 24, 2017, 09:05:10 AM
Instead of only providing criticism, here are my lines, assuming ALL of Komarov, JvR, and Bozak aren't back (which I doubt) and only using internal options.  Martin has a permanent spot, so I'm not going to pretend he won't be on the 4th line.

Leivo - Matthews - Marner
Hyman - Kadri - Brown
Sosh/Rychel - Nylander - Kapanen
Martin - Gauthier - Rychel/Sosh
Extra:  Leipsic

I think if Leivo's skating continues to be as good as we've seen recently, he can provide the digging/effort on the forecheck that Hyman does with a better touch around the net. 
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Nik the Trik on February 24, 2017, 09:10:35 AM

My fervent hope:

Leipsic-Matthews-Marner
X-Nylander-Kapanen
Hyman-Kadri-Brown
Leivo-Gauthier-Sosh

Wherein X is whatever solid scoring left winger would be willing to take a one year UFA deal. Also, while I'm dreaming, Babcock and co. snap out of the Matt Martin stuff.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: CarltonTheBear on February 24, 2017, 09:22:36 AM

My fervent hope:

Leipsic-Matthews-Marner
X-Nylander-Kapanen
Hyman-Kadri-Brown
Leivo-Gauthier-Sosh

Wherein X is whatever solid scoring left winger would be willing to take a one year UFA deal. Also, while I'm dreaming, Babcock and co. snap out of the Matt Martin stuff.

Yeah I think that's roughly where I'm at too. I'm not fully convinced we move all 3 of JVR/Komarov/Bozak though. So assuming Komarov stays he plays with Nylander/Kapanen. If JVR stays he goes with Matthews-Marner and Leipsic drops down to the 2nd line.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Significantly Insignificant on February 24, 2017, 09:26:45 AM

My fervent hope:

Leipsic-Matthews-Marner
X-Nylander-Kapanen
Hyman-Kadri-Brown
Leivo-Gauthier-Sosh

Wherein X is whatever solid scoring left winger would be willing to take a one year UFA deal. Also, while I'm dreaming, Babcock and co. snap out of the Matt Martin stuff.

I was thinking about this last night.  Who do they sit when Marner comes back?  I mean all things being equal, I would say Martin or Komarov.  However, I think it's more likely one of Soshnikov or Leivo. 
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Nik the Trik on February 24, 2017, 09:28:57 AM
I was thinking about this last night.  Who do they sit when Marner comes back?  I mean all things being equal, I would say Martin or Komarov.  However, I think it's more likely one of Soshnikov or Leivo.

It seems unlikely that it would be someone on the left side so Sosh seems like the easy answer.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: CarltonTheBear on February 24, 2017, 09:32:22 AM
I was thinking about this last night.  Who do they sit when Marner comes back?  I mean all things being equal, I would say Martin or Komarov.  However, I think it's more likely one of Soshnikov or Leivo.

It seems unlikely that it would be someone on the left side so Sosh seems like the easy answer.

Yeah, it'll be Sosh for sure. The bigger question is which winger drops out of the top-9. Leivo or Brown?
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Nik the Trik on February 24, 2017, 09:37:26 AM
Yeah I think that's roughly where I'm at too. I'm not fully convinced we move all 3 of JVR/Komarov/Bozak though. So assuming Komarov stays he plays with Nylander/Kapanen. If JVR stays he goes with Matthews-Marner and Leipsic drops down to the 2nd line.

I agree that it seems unlikely that all three of them go but with the exception of JVR I just can't wrap my head around how either Komarov or Bozak could fit on the team next year. I guess Leivo could be seen as surplus but if you deal JVR and bring back a LW of Leivo, Leipsic, Hyman and Komarov...I don't know. That just strikes me as a lot of missed opportunities for offense from your middle 6(assuming Leipsic is on a top line).

It sounds crazy but absent the significant blue line improvements the team needs I'm really thinking that a major piece they need to be targeting is a winger(preferably left) who contributes both in the grit/puck retrieval way and is a decent offensive option. If Nylander moves to the middle, I'm not crazy about the wings on this team right now.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: herman on February 24, 2017, 09:48:19 AM
Do you seriously think Seth Griffith would help Matthews more than Brown?  He basically did nothing on Florida's first line. 

Brown on the fourth line is a waste of a real hockey player.  I don't even want Seth Griffith on our fourth line next year.

(http://i.imgur.com/TBKg0.gif)

I appreciate the critiques, guys, really.

I'm not disparaging Brown with slotting him 'down there' as I'm an advocate for rolling 4 lines, hence the smear of talent. I felt Brown had the best playstyle and talent mix to Make The 4th Line Great Again and boost them into better scoring effectiveness. Brown's best AHL season was mostly on Froese's wing.

Griffith is, in reality, not going to get a chance when he's behind Marner, Nylander, Brown, and Babcock 4th line. From what I've seen of him, he's best suited to playmaking winger for a shoot happy line, as he doesn't shoot enough himself (yet*). I wish he'd get a chance because that kid can really hold the puck (open ice, on the boards, down low in the paint) and isn't a gaping defensive liability. He extends plays the way Nylander, Marner, and Matthews do (puck skills) and for our type of relentless offense, that's the ticket.

* Froese was a defense-first centre but the development team in Cincinnati pushed him to shoot more (https://www.reddit.com/r/leafs/comments/3b4i10/prospect_update_byron_froese_ahl_edition/). He now leads the AHL in goals, with 4 games in hand. Statistically better than Gauthier in everything but size.

As good as Matthews is, what I think you're doing with that line configuration is effectively putting him on the third line as I think the other two would likely be more dangerous than his line offensively.

This was deliberate. Of the three centres we could stuff our lesser talent with and still get good results, Matthews is the one. Other teams are going to key in on him regardless, and that opens up space for the rest of the team; treat Matthews' line as a third and he'll burn them there too. It's fewer points for Matthews over the course of the season, but that's not the team goal.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: RedLeaf on February 24, 2017, 09:49:12 AM
Im a big fan of Komarov. No, he didn't start the season the way most expected, but he's coming around now. I don't think his skill set is easily replaceable by youthful exuberance. I'd keep him over Bozak. JVR would be a tough loss, but you could definitely get more value back for him in trade.

Komarov just has that tantalizing combination of will, determination, grit and skill. He's going to be a beast in the playoffs. book it.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Nik the Trik on February 24, 2017, 09:59:46 AM
This was deliberate. Of the three centres we could stuff our lesser talent with and still get good results, Matthews is the one. Other teams are going to key in on him regardless, and that opens up space for the rest of the team; treat Matthews' line as a third and he'll burn them there too. It's fewer points for Matthews over the course of the season, but that's not the team goal.

I think one of the reasons successful teams tend to put their better players with other good players is that situationally, when you might want or need a goal in a particular moment, you don't want to blow your chance because you've decided that spreading talent out provides a marginal benefit over the course of a season and as a result don't have a go-to option.

It also might be good long term to not frustrate your franchise player with linemates that maybe don't allow him to shine in a way in which I think it's reasonable to expect he'll want to shine.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: CarltonTheBear on February 24, 2017, 10:11:57 AM
Can I talk pipe-dream stuff for a second? 2017 offseason idea: Bring Joe Thornton home for a season on a 1-year deal.

Hyman-Matthews-Marner
x-Thornton-Nylander
Leipsic-Kadri-Brown
Soshnikov-Gauthier-Kapanen
Leivo-Martin

Keeps Nylander on the wing for another season to bolster that position. Although even in San Jose Thornton often switches with Pavelski at centre so we could see the same thing with him and Willie.

Hyman stays with Matthews. Yes, not ideal, but as long as Auston gets to play with our best winger I can accept it.

It's a pipe-dream so Martin isn't in the line-up anymore. That 4th line was actually the Marlies 4th line for large portions of last season, so there's familiarity there. You can swap Sosh out for Leivo too.

Komarov and Bozak are both gone. JVR can possibly fill that X spot if the team can't find a suitable return for him on the market and if there's enough cap space left over after Thornton and Shattenkirk (because again pipe dream).
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: herman on February 24, 2017, 10:18:11 AM
I think one of the reasons successful teams tend to put their better players with other good players is that situationally, when you might want or need a goal in a particular moment, you don't want to blow your chance because you've decided that spreading talent out provides a marginal benefit over the course of a season and as a result don't have a go-to option.

It also might be good long term to not frustrate your franchise player with linemates that maybe don't allow him to shine in a way in which I think it's reasonable to expect he'll want to shine.

Spreading the talent in the lineup card doesn't preclude them from adjusting situationally; they can always hot swap goal scoring onto their top two lines should the need arise (or more defense). Post-PK you can throw out Nylander - Matthews - Griffiths, followed by my Kadri line as Leipsic - Kapanen / Hyman - Froese take a breather.

If we're talking about the intangibles of how Matthews feels, I'd also like to bring up how hard his linemates will play to keep their spots on his wings.

In any case, I do agree with your assessment that a strong LW option would be a solid target, and I don't think keeping JvR is the best course. If a stronger centre option comes in instead, Nylander would be fun on LW.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: CarltonTheBear on February 24, 2017, 10:21:44 AM
Sorry Herman, you gotta stop trying to make Griffith happen.

(http://i1.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/015/731/00-look-2-regina-george-mean-girls-throwback-thursday-640x480.jpg)
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Nik the Trik on February 24, 2017, 10:23:08 AM
If we're talking about the intangibles of how Matthews feels, I'd also like to bring up how hard his linemates will play to keep their spots on his wings.

As opposed to the oh so common lackadaisical, job-risking effort level of guys not paired with wunderkinds.

Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: herman on February 24, 2017, 10:33:53 AM
If you're okay with making Brendan Leipsic (http://theahl.com/player?playerId=5651&season=54) happen, why does everyone seem to hate Seth Griffith (http://theahl.com/player?playerId=5080)?

Different side/styles, better production in equivalent stages of development. I didn't even know this (https://www.reddit.com/r/leafs/comments/5s8b57/seth_griffith_is_actually_good/) existed until now.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: CarltonTheBear on February 24, 2017, 10:44:01 AM
If you're okay with making Brendan Leipsic (http://theahl.com/player?playerId=5651&season=54) happen, why does everyone seem to hate Seth Griffith (http://theahl.com/player?playerId=5080)?

Different side/styles, better production in equivalent stages of development. I didn't even know this (https://www.reddit.com/r/leafs/comments/5s8b57/seth_griffith_is_actually_good/) existed until now.

Well, the fact that Griffith has had opportunities on 3 different teams now in the past year and was placed on waivers by all of them. Players generally don't get a 4th crack at this. Maybe that's not fair but that's often how it is.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Nik the Trik on February 24, 2017, 10:54:03 AM
If you're okay with making Brendan Leipsic (http://theahl.com/player?playerId=5651&season=54) happen, why does everyone seem to hate Seth Griffith (http://theahl.com/player?playerId=5080)?

Different side/styles, better production in equivalent stages of development. I didn't even know this (https://www.reddit.com/r/leafs/comments/5s8b57/seth_griffith_is_actually_good/) existed until now.

Leipsic's more than a year younger, went a few rounds higher in the same draft and hasn't been looked at and then given away for nothing by three fairly bright organizations?

Also, re: production at similar stages:

Draft -1: Leipsic(.49ppg), Griffiths(.18)
Draft Eligible: Griffith(.91), Leipsic(.89)
Draft +1: Leipsic(1.76), Griffith(1.25)
Draft +2: Leipsic(1.52), Griffith(1.50)
Draft +3: Griffith(.76), Leipsic(.73)
Draft +4: Leipsic(.83), Griffith(.79)

Griffith doesn't really seem to have significantly "better" production in any of those years. Leipsic has some though.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Bullfrog on February 24, 2017, 10:59:56 AM
Can I talk pipe-dream stuff for a second? 2017 offseason idea: Bring Joe Thornton home for a season on a 1-year deal.

Hyman-Matthews-Marner
x-Thornton-Nylander
Leipsic-Kadri-Brown
Soshnikov-Gauthier-Kapanen
Leivo-Martin

That'd make it more difficult to sign Tavares, no?  :P

edit: .......especially since he's apparently still under contract that season.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: CarltonTheBear on February 24, 2017, 11:50:02 AM
That'd make it more difficult to sign Tavares, no?  :P

edit: .......especially since he's apparently still under contract that season.

Duh. Thornton retires after that one season after winning the Cup and Tavares signs to replace him.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Frank E on February 24, 2017, 12:18:26 PM
That'd make it more difficult to sign Tavares, no?  :P

edit: .......especially since he's apparently still under contract that season.

Duh. Thornton retires after that one season after winning the Cup and Tavares signs to replace him.

This is excellent general managing right here.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: herman on February 24, 2017, 12:24:48 PM
Well, the fact that Griffith has had opportunities on 3 different teams now in the past year and was placed on waivers by all of them. Players generally don't get a 4th crack at this. Maybe that's not fair but that's often how it is.

Leipsic's more than a year younger, went a few rounds higher in the same draft and hasn't been looked at and then given away for nothing by three fairly bright organizations?

Yeah, I get that. Those are optics of not producing in a limited role (he did pretty well in Florida, points production aside). He's exactly the type of player I like management shaking the trees for, and he plays the type of game I like the Leafs to play.

I just think he should get more of a chance, as he is comparable to Leipsic and Brown (who are both serviceable middle to bottom NHL producers that can play higher). Here, he just didn't have the right slot available. In Florida, he was sent down to build him back up after sustaining a concussion.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: CarltonTheBear on February 24, 2017, 12:25:01 PM
Different side/styles, better production in equivalent stages of development. I didn't even know this (https://www.reddit.com/r/leafs/comments/5s8b57/seth_griffith_is_actually_good/) existed until now.

This was a table that was posted in that reddit link that was largely used as evidence for why Griffith is "actually good":

LINECF%        XGF%        GF%
Griffith-Barkov-Jagr63.20%66.80%77.00%
Jokinen-Barkov-Jagr59.40%63.90%74.40%
Huberdeau-Barkov-Jagr54.20%57.80%68.90%
Marchessault-Barkov-Jagr        54.50%49.30%42.80%
Pirri-Barkov-Jagr55.00%46.80%61.00%

The argument was essentially Griffith helped Jagr and Barkov post the best results they've ever had.

I'll start by saying: I don't understand where that person got those xGF% numbers. From what I understand Puckalytics is the only resource that allows you to see a full line for WOWYs, and they don't include xGF% in their numbers. I'm not accusing him of pulling the numbers from nowhere but I'd like to see them for myself before reading too much into them so if I can't it's difficult to read into them much.

Second, when I did try to pull up the numbers for myself, I didn't get the same results the OP did. For instance, Puckalytics gives the Jokinen trio a 83.3% GF and 57.2% CF when they're together. Since the article doesn't specify a time line, I'm assuming that they're using career numbers, and not just this season. The post specifically says that Griffith helps Barkov and Jagr put up "flat out Goal differentials that they’d ever put up together". But right there Jokinen's numbers are actually better. With that said, that Jokinen line has only played about 107 minutes together, so it's a pretty small sample size. Which leads me to another problem...

... Why didn't the OP include TOI there? Probably because most of them are incredibly small like Jokinen's. Pirri only has about 66 minutes with those two, and again Puckalytics' numbers are different than the table: 66.7 GF% and 55.8% CF. Looking at Griffith's numbers specifically, he has about 87 minutes of ice-time with those two. Griffith averaged about 12 minutes with Florida so means they roughly played 7-8 games together. That just doesn't seem like nearly enough date to make any conclusions.

Anyways, yeah, the article as a whole just doesn't really pass the smell test. And quite frankly the Florida Panthers are the most analytically-inclined organization in the entire NHL. If those numbers held as much weight as the OP suggests they do I'd have to imagine they wouldn't have given him away for nothing.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Nik the Trik on February 24, 2017, 12:31:06 PM
Yeah, I get that. Those are optics of not producing in a limited role (he did pretty well in Florida, points production aside). He's exactly the type of player I like management shaking the trees for, and he plays the type of game I like the Leafs to play.

I really don't think those teams, none of whom are dumb, taking a pass on him would do so strictly on the basis of the optics of his lack of production.

I just think he should get more of a chance, as he is comparable to Leipsic and Brown (who are both serviceable middle to bottom NHL producers that can play higher). Here, he just didn't have the right slot available. In Florida, he was sent down to build him back up after sustaining a concussion.

Realistically that chance isn't going to come here. Between Brown, Marner, Sosh, Kapanen, Nylander if you don't move him next year...there's just no real opportunity for someone who realistically has a very limited upside.

Just seems like a weird hill to fight on.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Coco-puffs on February 24, 2017, 12:40:54 PM
http://www.pensionplanpuppets.com/toronto-maple-leafs-prospects/2017/2/21/14663294/why-isnt-seth-griffith-in-the-nhl-toronto-marlies-toronto-maple-leafs

The article focuses mostly on the fact that Griffith doesn't really shoot the puck a whole lot, even at the AHL level.
Quote
I chose to look at iCorsi, or individual shot attempts, because there is a strong relationship between high shot rates in junior or minor leagues and future NHL success.

Quote
Here is the list of all Leafs players with lower iCorsi/60 than Griffith: Roman Polak, Leo Komarov, Frederik Gauthier. He is not shooting in the NHL like a regular NHLer.

What Griffith has shown he can do is at least participate effectively on a high CF% line, although his NHL stats this year are slightly puffed up by his exalted Florida linemates. He isn’t a negative. He doesn’t make huge mistakes, or turn the puck over. He isn’t a liability in the defensive zone.

What he hasn’t shown is that he is a positive in any way. If Nikita “you shot that from where?” Soshnikov is a better points producer with the two worst linemates on the Leafs, then maybe Griffith really is a tweener, and not ready for the big show at all.

He’s also not cast in bronze at his age. He may be able to develop a more aggressive offensive game, and as a place to do that, the Leafs organization is likely one of the best. But those AHL points of his, now or in the past, do not shout out obvious NHLer to me. Not once you dig beneath the surface.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: herman on February 24, 2017, 12:43:57 PM
Just seems like a weird hill to fight on.

Boredom has a lot to do with it, and you guys haven't gone the 'ignore the crazy person' route yet :)

I don't understand where that person got those xGF% numbers. From what I understand Puckalytics is the only resource that allows you to see a full line for WOWYs, and they don't include xGF% in their numbers. I'm not accusing him of pulling the numbers from nowhere but I'd like to see them for myself before reading too much into them so if I can't it's difficult to read into them much.

Corsica.Hockey has line combos (http://www.corsica.hockey/combos/) with xGF% and the unadjusted numbers looks approximately there. Not sure where Pirri-Barkov-Jagr comes from, as I can only see the other 4 combos (Pirri is with the Rangers this year). Reilly Smith is the fifth.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Frank E on February 24, 2017, 12:47:01 PM
Just seems like a weird hill to fight on.

Boredom has a lot to do with it, and you guys haven't gone the 'ignore the crazy person' route yet :)

I don't understand where that person got those xGF% numbers. From what I understand Puckalytics is the only resource that allows you to see a full line for WOWYs, and they don't include xGF% in their numbers. I'm not accusing him of pulling the numbers from nowhere but I'd like to see them for myself before reading too much into them so if I can't it's difficult to read into them much.

Corsica.Hockey has line combos (http://www.corsica.hockey/combos/) with xGF% and the unadjusted numbers looks approximately there. Not sure where Pirri-Barkov-Jagr comes from, as I can only see the other 4 combos. Reilly Smith is the fifth.

I remember a few years back when someone had a huge crush on DiDomenico...can't remember who it was though.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: CarltonTheBear on February 24, 2017, 12:58:30 PM
Corsica.Hockey has line combos (http://www.corsica.hockey/combos/) with xGF% and the unadjusted numbers looks approximately there. Not sure where Pirri-Barkov-Jagr comes from, as I can only see the other 4 combos (Pirri is with the Rangers this year). Reilly Smith is the fifth.

Ah cheers, didn't know CH added WOWYs and such. Although there's still some errors, like the fact that the Jokinen trio still shows up as having the best GF% together even though the article claims the Griffith line has that distinction.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: herman on February 24, 2017, 01:19:22 PM
Ah cheers, didn't know CH added WOWYs and such. Although there's still some errors, like the fact that the Jokinen trio still shows up as having the best GF% together even though the article claims the Griffith line has that distinction.

I just noticed that section a week or two ago myself. It's pretty fun to play with!

I do wish Babcock juggled the lines a bit more this year so that we could see where players fit together (check out Matthews - Kadri - Nylander).
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: mr grieves on February 24, 2017, 02:37:50 PM
Yeah I think that's roughly where I'm at too. I'm not fully convinced we move all 3 of JVR/Komarov/Bozak though. So assuming Komarov stays he plays with Nylander/Kapanen. If JVR stays he goes with Matthews-Marner and Leipsic drops down to the 2nd line.

I agree that it seems unlikely that all three of them go but with the exception of JVR I just can't wrap my head around how either Komarov or Bozak could fit on the team next year. I guess Leivo could be seen as surplus but if you deal JVR and bring back a LW of Leivo, Leipsic, Hyman and Komarov...I don't know. That just strikes me as a lot of missed opportunities for offense from your middle 6(assuming Leipsic is on a top line).

It sounds crazy but absent the significant blue line improvements the team needs I'm really thinking that a major piece they need to be targeting is a winger(preferably left) who contributes both in the grit/puck retrieval way and is a decent offensive option. If Nylander moves to the middle, I'm not crazy about the wings on this team right now.

Not right now perhaps, but isn't this where the team's prospect pool is particularly deep? It might take a couple years for the serviceable top-9 guys to separate from the pack and establish themselves, but quality wingers available for short term contracts also seem to be something you can find on the UFA market.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Nik the Trik on February 24, 2017, 02:44:52 PM
Not right now perhaps, but isn't this where the team's prospect pool is particularly deep? It might take a couple years for the serviceable top-9 guys to separate from the pack and establish themselves, but quality wingers available for short term contracts also seem to be something you can find on the UFA market.

Yes and no. I think there is some quality in the prospect pool but for the most part they tend to be undersized and mid round picks. So I have some serious questions about how much versatility they can add.

That said, you're right about the UFA market. You'd just have hoped not to have to spend money there after, like you point out, investing so much in that area in picks
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: mr grieves on February 24, 2017, 04:17:31 PM
Not right now perhaps, but isn't this where the team's prospect pool is particularly deep? It might take a couple years for the serviceable top-9 guys to separate from the pack and establish themselves, but quality wingers available for short term contracts also seem to be something you can find on the UFA market.

Yes and no. I think there is some quality in the prospect pool but for the most part they tend to be undersized and mid round picks. So I have some serious questions about how much versatility they can add.

That said, you're right about the UFA market. You'd just have hoped not to have to spend money there after, like you point out, investing so much in that area in picks

I guess they've invested "so much" in terms of an absolute number of picks, but that they're mid-rounders is sort of the deal, no? If you devote a bunch of picks to something, they're going to be less pedigreed, mid-round picks, and those will take time to develop.

They've got 4 open spots in their top-9 (assuming Marner and Hyman stick; Brown, Leivo, and Sosh might).

Hyman - Matthews - (A)
(B) - Kadri - Marner
(B) - Nylander - (A)

For skill and scoring (A), between Brown, Leivo, Kapanen, Leipsic, Brooks, Bracco, Timashov, and Johnson, they've got a good chance of some quality top-9 wingers. As for size and grit/puck retrieval (B), they've got Rychel, Korostelev, Grundstrom, or Korshkov in the system, and, if we drop 'size,' Soshnikov... and Leipsic probably counts here too.
 
But I expect that'll take a couple years to sort out. In the meantime, I guess I'm not too worried that the team's competitiveness is going to be all that diminished if the Leafs already have some serviceable top-9 options (Leivo, Brown) and are replacing JvR and Komarov by getting by on short term deals for the next Clarke MacArthurs, PAPs, Grabners, Radulovs, etc.

The UFA market does offer stuff you'd rather not have to spend money on when it comes to the precise thing you think they're missing -- size/grit with offense -- but I'd rather they get called soft or small next season than try to sign the likes of Clarkson, Lucic, or Backes.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Significantly Insignificant on February 24, 2017, 06:25:00 PM
I was thinking about this last night.  Who do they sit when Marner comes back?  I mean all things being equal, I would say Martin or Komarov.  However, I think it's more likely one of Soshnikov or Leivo.

It seems unlikely that it would be someone on the left side so Sosh seems like the easy answer.

Yeah, it'll be Sosh for sure. The bigger question is which winger drops out of the top-9. Leivo or Brown?

I don't think it's fair that it's Soshnikov.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Highlander on February 24, 2017, 07:22:44 PM
I suggest we have two Leaf teams. Team A and Team B. They alternate nights they play so we can see the Leafs play every night in season.   ;)
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Nik the Trik on February 24, 2017, 08:58:21 PM
I guess they've invested "so much" in terms of an absolute number of picks, but that they're mid-rounders is sort of the deal, no?

Well, yes and no. Over the years they've had opportunities to add high second/low first type prospects on the wing and instead have gone with the strategy of using mid round picks on the sort of imperfect prospects you're likely to find around there.

That's more what I meant by their investment. It's that, with some exceptions, their strategy on building up on the wing is the hope that 3rd-5th liners become pretty good players as opposed to adding higher ceiling guys when they've had the opportunities to do so.

They've got 4 open spots in their top-9 (assuming Marner and Hyman stick; Brown, Leivo, and Sosh might).

Hyman - Matthews - (A)
(B) - Kadri - Marner
(B) - Nylander - (A)

For skill and scoring (A), between Brown, Leivo, Kapanen, Leipsic, Brooks, Bracco, Timashov, and Johnson, they've got a good chance of some quality top-9 wingers. As for size and grit/puck retrieval (B), they've got Rychel, Korostelev, Grundstrom, or Korshkov in the system, and, if we drop 'size,' Soshnikov... and Leipsic probably counts here too.

I think among those guys there's a fair chance that some of them turn into the sorts of players who can be fairly productive being put in the right roles.

Where I think you sort of missed the point is that I think the team is sort of lacking in the sorts of Boone Jenner/Brandon Saad/Tyler Toffoli "hey, we don't have to choose between good size and skill and rather than accepting the idea of Zach Hyman as a lifetime 1st line player we can slide someone in there who both replaces his grit/size/retrieval and upgrades the scoring punch".
 
I have some hope for Leipsic in that sense, I guess Grundstrom although who knows with young swedes.

Anyways, the Leafs have some A's and some B's but what they don't have, and what I think they'll need sooner or later are some A/B's. Guys who can do both.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Gilmour the Great on February 25, 2017, 01:13:58 AM
Here are my future lines, given the following assumptions:

Hyman is overrated
Leivo is underrated

Leivo-Matthews-Brown
JVR-Nylander-Marner
Leipsic-Kadri-Kapanen
Martin-Gauthier-Hyman

What a change from invented lines in the mid aughts. That second line could be lethal.

Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Frank E on February 25, 2017, 09:53:17 AM
Maybe just chill on the Leivo hype a bit...he's only played a handful of games.

People were ready to put Sosh on the first line a couple of weeks ago, and that seems to have cooled off.

Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: mr grieves on February 26, 2017, 03:31:55 PM
Where I think you sort of missed the point is that I think the team is sort of lacking in the sorts of Boone Jenner/Brandon Saad/Tyler Toffoli "hey, we don't have to choose between good size and skill and rather than accepting the idea of Zach Hyman as a lifetime 1st line player we can slide someone in there who both replaces his grit/size/retrieval and upgrades the scoring punch".
 
I have some hope for Leipsic in that sense, I guess Grundstrom although who knows with young swedes.

Anyways, the Leafs have some A's and some B's but what they don't have, and what I think they'll need sooner or later are some A/B's. Guys who can do both.

Ah, I see. I was willing to tolerate some solid Bs -- the next Komarov's or Kulemin's, 15 g/yr sorts -- given the skill level elsewhere in the forward corps. Something more like a 20-25 goal grit/retrieval guy would be great... I suspect their starting to draft bigger, over-age prospects means they've come to a similar conclusion as you've, but they seem to be over in Europe presently, so who knows what they'll end up being.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: McGarnagle on February 26, 2017, 05:22:51 PM
Maybe just chill on the Leivo hype a bit...he's only played a handful of games.

People were ready to put Sosh on the first line a couple of weeks ago, and that seems to have cooled off.

Yeah, recency bias is a thing. I know Komorov isn't in anyone's plans post this season, and I think that he's played often a line up from where he ideally would slot in, but I think that it's a mistake for fans to assume he could be easily replaced by shoshnikov or other players in the org.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: CarltonTheBear on February 27, 2017, 08:36:36 AM
I remember a few years back when someone had a huge crush on DiDomenico...can't remember who it was though.


I TOLD YOU ALL HE'D BE A STAR!!! WHO'S LAUGHING NOW
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Frank E on February 27, 2017, 08:43:17 AM
I remember a few years back when someone had a huge crush on DiDomenico...can't remember who it was though.


I TOLD YOU ALL HE'D BE A STAR!!! WHO'S LAUGHING NOW

He who hasn't played an NHL game at 28 years of age just got a one-way deal...well, good luck to him.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Coco-puffs on February 27, 2017, 08:55:56 AM
I remember a few years back when someone had a huge crush on DiDomenico...can't remember who it was though.


I TOLD YOU ALL HE'D BE A STAR!!! WHO'S LAUGHING NOW

He who hasn't played an NHL game at 28 years of age just got a one-way deal...well, good luck to him.

Based on the prices on the trade market, an "overpayment" (in salary) to a very good European pro without giving up assets is probably a good choice.  I doubt he makes a difference though.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: CarltonTheBear on February 27, 2017, 09:11:54 AM
I remember a few years back when someone had a huge crush on DiDomenico...can't remember who it was though.


I TOLD YOU ALL HE'D BE A STAR!!! WHO'S LAUGHING NOW

He who hasn't played an NHL game at 28 years of age just got a one-way deal...well, good luck to him.

I just couldn't believe the timing of it. What are the odds haha.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: Frank E on February 27, 2017, 09:18:08 AM
I remember a few years back when someone had a huge crush on DiDomenico...can't remember who it was though.


I TOLD YOU ALL HE'D BE A STAR!!! WHO'S LAUGHING NOW

He who hasn't played an NHL game at 28 years of age just got a one-way deal...well, good luck to him.

I just couldn't believe the timing of it. What are the odds haha.

Yes, awesome timing indeed, and with my luck, he'll be super good and on the first line.
Title: Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
Post by: disco on September 19, 2017, 05:52:03 PM
This thread has aged well ;)

     LW              C              RW
  Marleau     Matthews    Nylander
    JVR           Bozak        Marner
 Komorov       Kadri         Brown
  Hyman        Moore       Kapanen
   Martin      Gauthier     Soshnikov
 Aaltonen        Fehr          Leivo