Author Topic: #TheLeafsAreActuallyGood...?  (Read 5741 times)

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Online Zee

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Re: #TheLeafsAreActuallyGood...?
« Reply #30 on: February 08, 2017, 08:34:10 AM »
There are 30 games left, and I'm actually starting to believe this is a playoff team.  Will I be disappointed?

Offline mr grieves

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Re: #TheLeafsAreActuallyGood...?
« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2017, 12:41:51 PM »
There are 30 games left, and I'm actually starting to believe this is a playoff team.  Will I be disappointed?

Unless Andersen heats up, I think so.

They've got the talent needed to win, but, as has become the theme on the boards this season, they don't have the defense (whether play or personnel) to close games out. Much less discussed but I think the bigger problem is their slow starts, since they're incapable of battling back and winning. They've given away way too many points before the first intermission.

I don't know whether that's a result of them being deflated by a bad goal (or two), playing tentatively after some terrible defensive breakdowns, or some of strange decisions made by the coach (Smith on ice when chasing game), or a combination of those and other reasons... but they don't seem able to win if they (Matthews?) don't surprise their opponent and get a few on the board.

So, I've gone from 60-40 they make it to 60-40 they don't. 

Blown second-period leads
Games with 2P leads: 29 (51% GP; 3rd in league; peers: WSH, MIN, SJS)
Record: 21-1-7 (.724 W%; 26th in league; peers: DAL, PHI, DET)
Points "lost"* by blowing 2P leads: 9 (27th; peers: MIN, DET, CAR)
(*points lost = 2P leads x 2 - 2P W x 2 - 2P OTL)

Blown first periods
Games trailing after 1P: 18 (32% GP; 13th in league; peers: STL, EDM, PIT)
Record: 1-14-3 (.056 W%; 30th in league; peer: ANA, COL, MTL)
Points "lost"* after falling behind in 1P: 31 (26th; peers: WPG, VAN, DET)
(*points lost = 1P trailing x 2 - 1P W x 2 - 1P OTL)

Offline Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate

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Re: #TheLeafsAreActuallyGood...?
« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2017, 12:54:39 PM »
Some of this blown-ness is on Babcock.  Or, more specifically, on management.  They are not managing the team in such a way as to maximize their chances of getting in this year.  Which is just as it should be.

As I noted in last night's GDT I hope they start selling off assets, at least 1 or 2 at the deadline, to send an unmistakable signal that just getting into the playoffs this year is not really the point.

Offline mr grieves

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Re: #TheLeafsAreActuallyGood...?
« Reply #33 on: February 19, 2017, 01:19:24 PM »
I'm perfectly happy to tolerate that contribution to blown-ness. But there are plenty of line-up decisions that are contributing to it and probably not helping in the cause of inflating assets either. I don't think the two things are always mutually exclusive.

For example, giving Hunwick and Polak time off on the back-to-backs would probably increase the team's chances of winning those games and keep those two fresh (I think some of their best performances have come after being scratched or injured). Along the same lines, they'd look better as penalty killers if one of the regular forwards on the PK wasn't worst in the league at suppressing shots; the team would also be more likely to win games.

Offline RedLeaf

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Re: #TheLeafsAreActuallyGood...?
« Reply #34 on: February 19, 2017, 02:33:40 PM »
Here were my thoughts after last nights game. I think its appropriate to repost in this thread...

If they do continue on this current tail spin leading up to the trade deadline, I wonder if it changes the whole approach for the remainder of this season? Maybe the tank toggle gets switched back on and they wind up with another decent pick from it. Next season they could possibly start out a year wiser and hopefully a gear faster. And likely with more defensive punch. That would be my takeaway from what could be another losing season, should they slip down any further in the standings and miss out on the post season again. Its really not all doom and gloom, no matter how it shakes out this year.
"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 disco

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Re: #TheLeafsAreActuallyGood...?
« Reply #35 on: February 24, 2017, 02:51:32 AM »
The fight to not get obliterated by Washington in the first round :P
"I'm here for (6) more years. Then I'm gonna stay for two more because we'll be really good." - Coach Mike Babcock

Online Zee

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Re: #TheLeafsAreActuallyGood...?
« Reply #36 on: February 24, 2017, 08:53:43 AM »
The fight to not get obliterated by Washington in the first round :P

Eh, Washington is a huge favorite over whomever they face, but in hockey we all know a hot goalie can steal a series no matter the odds.  I'll never forget an average Habs team beating heavy favorites Washington and Pittsburgh because Halak played out of his mind.  You still have to play the games.  Washington also has that stigma of being a fantastic regular season team and then choking in the playoffs.  Sure it's a different team, but sometimes stuff like that gets into the players heads that have been around awhile.  Ovechkin/Backstrom the two most likely.

Offline disco

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Re: #TheLeafsAreActuallyGood...?
« Reply #37 on: March 19, 2017, 08:57:55 PM »
"I'm here for (6) more years. Then I'm gonna stay for two more because we'll be really good." - Coach Mike Babcock

Offline disco

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Re: #TheLeafsAreActuallyGood...?
« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2017, 12:24:12 AM »
Fun fact: the Leafs are tied 6th in the League for regulation losses with 23. Trailing only Washington, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Chicago and Minnesota. This team is competitive and takes it deep almost every game. And O/T in the playoffs is unlimited 5-on-5...
"I'm here for (6) more years. Then I'm gonna stay for two more because we'll be really good." - Coach Mike Babcock

Online Zee

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Re: #TheLeafsAreActuallyGood...?
« Reply #39 on: March 21, 2017, 08:41:34 AM »
Fun fact: the Leafs are tied 6th in the League for regulation losses with 23. Trailing only Washington, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Chicago and Minnesota. This team is competitive and takes it deep almost every game. And O/T in the playoffs is unlimited 5-on-5...

15 losses in OT/SO though, man if they had only managed just to win half of those, say 7, the Leafs would be sitting with 88 points, just 2 off the division lead.

Edit: that's actually the difference between Habs and Leafs.  Habs only have 8 OT/SO losses.  They would have an identical record if Leafs had won 7 of those 15.

Online bustaheims

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Re: #TheLeafsAreActuallyGood...?
« Reply #40 on: March 21, 2017, 09:41:49 AM »
Fun fact: the Leafs are tied 6th in the League for regulation losses with 23. Trailing only Washington, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Chicago and Minnesota. This team is competitive and takes it deep almost every game. And O/T in the playoffs is unlimited 5-on-5...

Not having to deal with the shootout is definitely a bonus. Not sure about the 5-on-5 OT - the Leafs are 6-7 in OT in this year, and haven't been great late in games (the 3rd period has been their worst in terms of both goals for and against). They have a better chance in the playoff format, but - and this feels like stating the obvious, as well as something that applies to all teams - they're much better off avoiding OT altogether.
"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Offline mr grieves

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Re: #TheLeafsAreActuallyGood...?
« Reply #41 on: April 18, 2017, 12:20:37 PM »
There'll be time to step back from the thrill of the playoffs later, but I wanted to leave this here, before I forget where I found it.

Quote
"I think Toronto right now is the third-most talented team in the East," the coach said Sunday over the phone. "Now, they're young, but who cares? That was a tough draw for Washington. Outside of Pittsburgh and Washington, to me the Leafs are the third-most talented group in the East. Their D aren't great, but they're all good skaters and they can gap well the way [coach Mike Babcock] likes to gap. As a forward group, boy, I would put them up with anybody. They can go depth for depth up front with Washington. They're one of the few teams that can go line for line with Washington.

"I know when we played them, I thought Toronto was a matchup nightmare because you couldn't match them line for line," added the Eastern coach. "So, to me, what's happened so far in that series of how representative of how close they are. I expect the Leafs to be an Eastern Conference final team a year from now."

Online herman

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Re: #TheLeafsAreActuallyGood...?
« Reply #42 on: April 18, 2017, 12:24:28 PM »
There'll be time to step back from the thrill of the playoffs later, but I wanted to leave this here, before I forget where I found it.

Quote
"I think Toronto right now is the third-most talented team in the East," the coach said Sunday over the phone. "Now, they're young, but who cares? That was a tough draw for Washington. Outside of Pittsburgh and Washington, to me the Leafs are the third-most talented group in the East. Their D aren't great, but they're all good skaters and they can gap well the way [coach Mike Babcock] likes to gap. As a forward group, boy, I would put them up with anybody. They can go depth for depth up front with Washington. They're one of the few teams that can go line for line with Washington.

"I know when we played them, I thought Toronto was a matchup nightmare because you couldn't match them line for line," added the Eastern coach. "So, to me, what's happened so far in that series of how representative of how close they are. I expect the Leafs to be an Eastern Conference final team a year from now."

From here: http://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/19172226/2017-stanley-cup-playoffs-secret-toronto-maple-leafs-success

Offline Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate

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Re: #TheLeafsAreActuallyGood...?
« Reply #43 on: April 18, 2017, 12:35:01 PM »
That clanging sound you hear is the sound of sophomore slump alarm bells going off....

Offline mr grieves

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Re: #TheLeafsAreActuallyGood...?
« Reply #44 on: April 18, 2017, 01:53:35 PM »
That clanging sound you hear is the sound of sophomore slump alarm bells going off....

I'd guess most are the result of playing against tougher competition in the second year or a season of shooting luck regressing to the mean. Brown probably doesn't score 20 next season, but a lot of the rest looks pretty solid.

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Re: #TheLeafsAreActuallyGood...?
« Reply #44 on: April 18, 2017, 01:53:35 PM »