Author Topic: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.  (Read 4376 times)

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Offline moon111

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10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« on: September 03, 2012, 12:33:35 PM »
#1.  Randy Carlyle.  Can Carlyle get this team playing a system that will finally tighten up the goals-against?  Could he get more out of players like Kadri?   

#2.  James Reimer.  His success came when the team was playing it's heart out.  Some opponents were already in the playoffs.  Come to the grind of the regular season, with a weak defensive system, he failed.  Not one to make wild saves, he'll be much better off if the Leafs stop turning the puck over.

#3.  Mike Komisarek.  Komisarek is a tank.  An awesome weapon, but one that's not designed at all to run around.  If Carlyle can implement the X's and O's right, Komisarek won't be left alone to hold the defensive line on the battlefield.  A single tank cannot stop the enemy from outflanking.  Make the opposition have to go through instead.  With Luke Schenn gone, a new coach, and maybe a new game plan, now is Komisarek best chance to shine.

#4.  Nikolai Kulemin.  Kulemin looked like a guy with a broken heart.  He played in a fog.  Was it the Russian plane crash?  Perhaps it was Ron Wilson?  Whatever the reason, even a drop of Wendel Clark motivation might return him to 30+ goals.

#5.  Tyler Bozak.  What?  Bozak?  Thought we all wanted him gone or at least off the top line?  Well for one, he's constantly improved.  And for two, who is his competition?  Van Reimsdyk really hasn't shown anything throughout his career that he's any better.  Yes he's two inches taller, but they're about the same weight.  If size is really needed on the first line, a more serious threat would come from Joe Colborne.

#6.  James Van Riemsdyk.  Although his .27 assists per game (.10 in the playoffs) make me think he's not the right choice to make the #1 center position at all, he still comes in as an added boost on the forward lines. 

#7.  Jake Gardiner.  Is this guy for real?  Might be the stand-out for 2012-13, but one doesn't want to put too much optimism on a sophomore defenseman.  Compared to Phaneuf, his numbers don't compare.  But his impression of Bobby Orr joining the rush puts the opposition on their heels. 

#8.  Ben Scrivens.  The guy has posted some serious save percentage numbers throughout his career.  But coming to the NHL, he was a .974 one game, a .643 the next.  At 25, he's allot further along then Tim Thomas was playing for the Oulun Kärpät or something.  He might be able to become the #1 goalie, with the only difference being mentally tougher the Reimer.

#9.  John-Michael Liles.  Last season he was a -9 in games against Boston.  Maybe the Leafs shouldn't play him in games against the Bruins!  He's a good defenseman who sees success when he's contributing to the offense, but otherwise can end up hurting the club.  Hopefully a new system will have him able to make a positive impact in games he doesn't get on the score board.

#10 Brian Burke.  Without notice, Burke can pull a rabbit out of the hat.  Doesn't do anything just for the sakes of it, he'll stand pat rather then do something on a whim.  Still looking over the roster, it starts feeling a little crowded in some positions where no one player stands out above the others. 
« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 06:55:05 PM by moon111 »
R.I.P. Maureen.  You'll always be with us.

Offline caveman

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Re: 10 People to Drive the Leafs to Success.
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2012, 05:53:38 PM »
Can you get success hiring a smash-mouth coach to run a passive hockey team? It will be interesting to see the team develop under Carlyle. I'm sure they will play better defensively but will that cost them offense?

Liles was playing scared last year and big tough teams ate him up. I hope he can get over that.

I was at the last game at Ricoh last season when Scrivens took a 0 - 0 tie into overtime. He was unreal! Some of that should carry over into the NHL.

Offline drummond

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Re: 10 People to Drive the Leafs to Success.
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2012, 05:57:36 AM »
I would also add Kessel - Lupul combo. For the Leafs to make the play-offs these two must retain their magic.

Offline hockeyfan1

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Re: 10 People to Drive the Leafs to Success.
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2012, 08:01:07 AM »
I would also add Kessel - Lupul combo. For the Leafs to make the play-offs these two must retain their magic.


Afterall, they still remain their two top scorers.

Offline moon111

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2012, 06:58:32 PM »
Change the tread title.  Was going after those who could be making bigger impacts on the team.  Although I do think Kessel could improve his game with a few more dimensions.  Think teams are expecting him to do the same thing now.  A little versatility would keep them guessing.  I can't imagine Lupul getting any better.  He was terrific last season.  Was actually thinking about Colborne.  Got a feeling the Leafs are hunkering for this big body to make the roster.
R.I.P. Maureen.  You'll always be with us.

Offline Corn Flake

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2012, 08:51:18 AM »
Great post and topic, moon.

I agree with pretty much everything you said.  D-men like Liles and Komi could both contribute a heck of a lot more than they have and certainly some veteran savvy would go a long way to stabilizing the back end.   Liles had a good first half until the injury and never got back into the groove. He should be able to find it again.  Komi did look better under Carlyle - quite a bit, actually - and as long as they keep him the heck away from Lucic, he might turn out ok.

Can't really expect much more from Kessel/Lupul except that if Lupul had remained healthy, Kessel probably finishes 4th in scoring, easily.   A legit centre or Bozak finding that next gear would make them that much more dangerous.

Offline moon111

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2012, 09:48:35 AM »
I put Komi so high because players like him always end up looking so useless in a run`n gun system.  From what I read, he's been pretty motivated.  I have allot less desire to see him moved with Schenn gone.  He's a physical presence.  But he's not a fighter.  Has way more losses then wins, but will go in there anyways when needed.  He's either a very supportive teammate... or nuts.

I think the ingredients of Lupul/Bozak/Kessel was figured out by the opposition.  One intriguing theory of mine is to see Colborne take over Bozak's spot, even if he's not as good overall as Bozak, Kadri, or even Connolly.  Colborne has one dimension those guys don't have - size.  A 6'5" kid who could drive to the net would be awesome while Lupul and Kessel decide where score from.  Might help keep Lupul and Kessel healthy as well.  But who'd win the face-offs?
R.I.P. Maureen.  You'll always be with us.

Offline Darryl

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2012, 02:09:36 PM »
11. Lady Luck

Offline Damian

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2012, 02:36:57 PM »
11. Lady Luck

Dont forget her ugly sisters... Fate and Hope

Offline Bullfrog

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2012, 03:44:40 PM »
I put Komi so high because players like him always end up looking so useless in a run`n gun system.  From what I read, he's been pretty motivated.  I have allot less desire to see him moved with Schenn gone.  He's a physical presence.  But he's not a fighter.  Has way more losses then wins, but will go in there anyways when needed.  He's either a very supportive teammate... or nuts.

I think the ingredients of Lupul/Bozak/Kessel was figured out by the opposition.  One intriguing theory of mine is to see Colborne take over Bozak's spot, even if he's not as good overall as Bozak, Kadri, or even Connolly.  Colborne has one dimension those guys don't have - size.  A 6'5" kid who could drive to the net would be awesome while Lupul and Kessel decide where score from.  Might help keep Lupul and Kessel healthy as well.  But who'd win the face-offs?

The problem there is Colborne isn't a drive-the-net type of player. Think Joe Thornton, but much less talented.

Offline Rebel_1812

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2012, 04:11:43 PM »
I put Komi so high because players like him always end up looking so useless in a run`n gun system.  From what I read, he's been pretty motivated.  I have allot less desire to see him moved with Schenn gone.  He's a physical presence.  But he's not a fighter.  Has way more losses then wins, but will go in there anyways when needed.  He's either a very supportive teammate... or nuts.

I think the ingredients of Lupul/Bozak/Kessel was figured out by the opposition.  One intriguing theory of mine is to see Colborne take over Bozak's spot, even if he's not as good overall as Bozak, Kadri, or even Connolly.  Colborne has one dimension those guys don't have - size.  A 6'5" kid who could drive to the net would be awesome while Lupul and Kessel decide where score from.  Might help keep Lupul and Kessel healthy as well.  But who'd win the face-offs?

The problem there is Colborne isn't a drive-the-net type of player. Think Joe Thornton, but much less talented.

I'd like to see JVR take Bozaks spot.  He has played center before and its a role he can grow into.
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Offline Bullfrog

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2012, 07:22:05 PM »
If he can produce at center, I'm all for it. However, I'm particularly interested in seeing him continue his career as a winger. This team needs a bonafide centerman, someone how's done so as an NHLer.

Offline Corn Flake

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2012, 07:37:33 PM »
If he can produce at center, I'm all for it. However, I'm particularly interested in seeing him continue his career as a winger. This team needs a bonafide centerman, someone how's done so as an NHLer.

I think JVR on Grabbo's wing will be a great fit, with Kulemin on the other side.

Offline Omallley

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2012, 08:04:44 PM »
If he can produce at center, I'm all for it. However, I'm particularly interested in seeing him continue his career as a winger. This team needs a bonafide centerman, someone how's done so as an NHLer.

I think JVR on Grabbo's wing will be a great fit, with Kulemin on the other side.

Agreed with you, Bullfrog, on the bolded point. Also with CF on the line combo. MacArthur is going to be a stretch in the top 6 this year, I think...he and Connolly are two that I can see being moved - albeit closer to the deadline...

Offline Corn Flake

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2012, 08:08:45 PM »
If he can produce at center, I'm all for it. However, I'm particularly interested in seeing him continue his career as a winger. This team needs a bonafide centerman, someone how's done so as an NHLer.

I think JVR on Grabbo's wing will be a great fit, with Kulemin on the other side.

Agreed with you, Bullfrog, on the bolded point. Also with CF on the line combo. MacArthur is going to be a stretch in the top 6 this year, I think...he and Connolly are two that I can see being moved - albeit closer to the deadline...

Makes sense. I think Mac becomes a bit of a swingman who can play both wings, but will duke it out with Kadri for who gets to fill in on the top two lines when injuries arise. But eventually... well, hopefully, he is phased out when better talent overtakes him.

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2012, 08:08:45 PM »