Author Topic: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.  (Read 2670 times)

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Offline Significantly Insignificant

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Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
« Reply #15 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. 
"Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be. - Khalil Gibran

Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
« Reply #16 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.
Give a man the reputation of an early riser and he can sleep 'til noon
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Online CarltonTheBear

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Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
« Reply #17 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?

Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
« Reply #18 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.
Give a man the reputation of an early riser and he can sleep 'til noon
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Offline herman

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Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
« Reply #19 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.



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. 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.

Offline RedLeaf

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Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
« Reply #20 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.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 09:54:37 AM by RedLeaf »
"The Maple Leafs are like a ship with a hole in the bottom, leaking water, and my job is to get the ship pointed in the right direction." --Steve Jobs for Brendan Shanahan.

Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
« Reply #21 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.
Give a man the reputation of an early riser and he can sleep 'til noon
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Online CarltonTheBear

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Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
« Reply #22 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).

Offline herman

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Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
« Reply #23 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.

Online CarltonTheBear

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Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2017, 10:21:44 AM »
Sorry Herman, you gotta stop trying to make Griffith happen.


Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
« Reply #25 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.

Give a man the reputation of an early riser and he can sleep 'til noon
-Mark Twain

Offline herman

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Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2017, 10:33:53 AM »
If you're okay with making Brendan Leipsic happen, why does everyone seem to hate Seth Griffith?

Different side/styles, better production in equivalent stages of development. I didn't even know this existed until now.

Online CarltonTheBear

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Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
« Reply #27 on: February 24, 2017, 10:44:01 AM »
If you're okay with making Brendan Leipsic happen, why does everyone seem to hate Seth Griffith?

Different side/styles, better production in equivalent stages of development. I didn't even know this 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.

Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
« Reply #28 on: February 24, 2017, 10:54:03 AM »
If you're okay with making Brendan Leipsic happen, why does everyone seem to hate Seth Griffith?

Different side/styles, better production in equivalent stages of development. I didn't even know this 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.
Give a man the reputation of an early riser and he can sleep 'til noon
-Mark Twain

Online Bullfrog

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Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
« Reply #29 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.

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Re: Leafs could have 5 or 6 forward lines next year.
« Reply #29 on: February 24, 2017, 10:59:56 AM »