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Playoffs Round 1: Toronto Maple Leafs (A2) vs Tampa Bay Lightning (A3)

Started by CarltonTheBear, April 16, 2023, 10:55:37 AM

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L K

Yeah I think that's fair.  I also still wouldn't be surprised to see him dress tomorrow night.  Gamesmanship is going to be prominent at this point.  If he plays, it will be a game-time decision for the media.

I don't think its unfair to say the Leafs dominated Game 2 without him so seeing how Game 5 goes with home ice is fair but after the last two games the team needs to be better.  I just hope that Keefe lets the Leafs try and dictate the style of play and doesn't use home ice to try and line match Tampa too much.  With Nylander and Marner swapped I'm content with both lines going up against the Lightning's top 6.

Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate

Quote from: IJustLurkHere on April 26, 2023, 01:33:10 AM
Quote from: Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate on April 25, 2023, 10:53:13 AMOn another topic, the position the Leafs find themselves in has made the Keep/Fire Dubas question rather simple.  If they blow this series, there's no way they can keep him.  If they don't, there's almost no way they can fire him.  I hedge that last remark a bit ... I guess if they got absolutely blown out in R2 they might can him.

Can you expand on this for me please? I am struggling to understand what action Dubas can take which would impact the series. Inputs vs. outputs, Dubas has - for better or worse - finished his work. He's now little more than a high profile fan.


None, now.  My point is that another first-round failure would leave him in an untenable position. 

He's done everything he can to get this group over the hump.  If they were to blow this series — especially up 3-1 with two cracks at 4 on home ice — then what's the way forward?  Either you: (1) re-hire the GM, let him keep the core, and try again next year and hope the 7th or 8th time or whatever it is is the charm; (2) keep the GM but let him make major changes to his hand-picked group, and try again; (3) fire the GM and let someone else who is not invested in current personnel make the decisions going ahead.  I say (1) is unthinkable, and (2) is highly improbable.  That leaves (3).

Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate

Whether Bunting plays or not is much ado about relatively little.  If he had cemented a spot in the lineup, or if Knies has been a flop, then there'd be no need for the conversation.

If the Leafs lose G5, then it does become an interesting debate on whether you want to put him in the lineup down in Tampa.  Might be a distraction in a good way -- or a bad way.

Bill33

It may matter, it may not, but Bunting is a better player than some of the guys they're dressing. I think it's a mistake not to have him in the lineup somewhere.

cw

Quote from: Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate on April 26, 2023, 02:42:56 PM
Quote from: IJustLurkHere on April 26, 2023, 01:33:10 AM
Quote from: Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate on April 25, 2023, 10:53:13 AMOn another topic, the position the Leafs find themselves in has made the Keep/Fire Dubas question rather simple.  If they blow this series, there's no way they can keep him.  If they don't, there's almost no way they can fire him.  I hedge that last remark a bit ... I guess if they got absolutely blown out in R2 they might can him.

Can you expand on this for me please? I am struggling to understand what action Dubas can take which would impact the series. Inputs vs. outputs, Dubas has - for better or worse - finished his work. He's now little more than a high profile fan.

None, now.  My point is that another first-round failure would leave him in an untenable position. 

He's done everything he can to get this group over the hump.  If they were to blow this series — especially up 3-1 with two cracks at 4 on home ice — then what's the way forward?  Either you: (1) re-hire the GM, let him keep the core, and try again next year and hope the 7th or 8th time or whatever it is is the charm; (2) keep the GM but let him make major changes to his hand-picked group, and try again; (3) fire the GM and let someone else who is not invested in current personnel make the decisions going ahead.  I say (1) is unthinkable, and (2) is highly improbable.  That leaves (3).

I think the pendulum has started to swing back the other way for Dubas.

All managers make mistakes. The better managers fix their mistakes quicker.
At this juncture, I can't say "Dubas obviously screwed up - fire him!!"
The inevitable debate will begin when their season ends.

Matthews & Nylander (who held out with Dubas) are UFAs after next season.
The prospect pipeline is compromised from trading away so many picks - which will make it harder to remain competitive in the years to come.
That could factor into whether they want to hang around.

Losing Matthews and/or Nylander, an aging Tavares plus Marner - UFAs the following year and the compromised prospect pipeline may factor into whether Dubas wants to hang around. There was significant rumbling in the media that other teams would be interested in Dubas. MLSE made the decision to let him be a UFA. Other scenarios may offer more autonomy (no Shanahan over his head) and longer job security because if he doesn't win a Cup in Toronto soon, he will be fired.

The next couple of months are probably not going to be boring.

Dappleganger

Quote from: cw on April 26, 2023, 04:53:35 PMI think the pendulum has started to swing back the other way for Dubas.

All managers make mistakes. The better managers fix their mistakes quicker.
At this juncture, I can't say "Dubas obviously screwed up - fire him!!"
The inevitable debate will begin when their season ends.

Matthews & Nylander (who held out with Dubas) are UFAs after next season.
The prospect pipeline is compromised from trading away so many picks - which will make it harder to remain competitive in the years to come.
That could factor into whether they want to hang around.

Losing Matthews and/or Nylander, an aging Tavares plus Marner - UFAs the following year and the compromised prospect pipeline may factor into whether Dubas wants to hang around. There was significant rumbling in the media that other teams would be interested in Dubas. MLSE made the decision to let him be a UFA. Other scenarios may offer more autonomy (no Shanahan over his head) and longer job security because if he doesn't win a Cup in Toronto soon, he will be fired.

The next couple of months are probably not going to be boring.

Matthews held out? I remember his contract getting done relatively easily (He signed in February). Are you thinking Marner?

Bender

Quote from: Bill33 on April 26, 2023, 04:33:53 PMIt may matter, it may not, but Bunting is a better player than some of the guys they're dressing. I think it's a mistake not to have him in the lineup somewhere.

Whether he's "better" or not isn't the question, it's whether he will do something stupid that will ultimately cost them and does it outweigh his usefulness as a hockey player?
"They say you can judge a man by the company he keeps. So here is the professor's oldest friend, a grotesque, stinking lobster." - Bender

Joe

Quote from: Dappleganger on April 26, 2023, 05:07:44 PMMatthews held out? I remember his contract getting done relatively easily (He signed in February). Are you thinking Marner?


No. He's saying Nylander held out. Which he did.

Dappleganger

Quote from: Joe on April 26, 2023, 05:21:25 PM
Quote from: Dappleganger on April 26, 2023, 05:07:44 PMMatthews held out? I remember his contract getting done relatively easily (He signed in February). Are you thinking Marner?


No. He's saying Nylander held out. Which he did.

Ahh.. got it.

cw

Quote from: Bender on April 26, 2023, 05:20:34 PM
Quote from: Bill33 on April 26, 2023, 04:33:53 PMIt may matter, it may not, but Bunting is a better player than some of the guys they're dressing. I think it's a mistake not to have him in the lineup somewhere.

Whether he's "better" or not isn't the question, it's whether he will do something stupid that will ultimately cost them and does it outweigh his usefulness as a hockey player?

It is a little beyond that for me. It seems like the refs are really down on him. Late in the season, there was something going on with the refs and Bunting. It is not supposed to be that way but there was and maybe still is some kind of a problem:

TSN.ca Keefe says Dubas will talk to league about Bunting calls

Those Tampa players are not going to welcome Bunting back in any way that is nice after injuring one of their top 4 dmen and taking him out of the series. There is going to be some kind of effort to hold Bunting to account. Can we rely on the refs to be fair about it after the refs were not being fair towards Bunting earlier this month? I don't think so.

Even if the refs were 'fair', Bunting playing in the game could fire Tampa up after they try to fight him.

The Leafs do not need that kind of a problem when trying close out Tampa who is scoring on close to 30% of their PP opportunities.

Rob

Quote from: cw on April 26, 2023, 06:07:36 PM
Quote from: Bender on April 26, 2023, 05:20:34 PM
Quote from: Bill33 on April 26, 2023, 04:33:53 PMIt may matter, it may not, but Bunting is a better player than some of the guys they're dressing. I think it's a mistake not to have him in the lineup somewhere.

Whether he's "better" or not isn't the question, it's whether he will do something stupid that will ultimately cost them and does it outweigh his usefulness as a hockey player?

It is a little beyond that for me. It seems like the refs are really down on him. Late in the season, there was something going on with the refs and Bunting. It is not supposed to be that way but there was and maybe still is some kind of a problem:

TSN.ca Keefe says Dubas will talk to league about Bunting calls

Those Tampa players are not going to welcome Bunting back in any way that is nice after injuring one of their top 4 dmen and taking him out of the series. There is going to be some kind of effort to hold Bunting to account. Can we rely on the refs to be fair about it after the refs were not being fair towards Bunting earlier this month? I don't think so.

Even if the refs were 'fair', Bunting playing in the game could fire Tampa up after they try to fight him.

The Leafs do not need that kind of a problem when trying close out Tampa who is scoring on close to 30% of their PP opportunities.

I think keeping Bunting out of the remainder of this series is the right call.

yuzisee

QuoteHas anyone reached out to you to lift your spirits during the last little while?

Bunting: All of the boys have. I have been talking to a lot of the guys.

Jake Muzzin is a big part of this team still. He has been with me through this whole thing. He has been the voice in my head with the way he has been talking me through it. I can't thank him enough.
https://mapleleafshotstove.com/2023/04/26/michael-bunting-on-remaining-out-of-the-lineup-after-his-suspension/

Muzzin is the new Greg Harden

azzurri63

I'm not sure with Keefe's decision. Bunting's antics have probably had a big influence in Keefe's decision. Too much crap with him the last month or so even before the suspension. Having said that even after 3 wins he doesn't want to make any changes but even though we have won 3 in a row I think game 2 is the only game where the Leafs have played a solid game. So to me you go with the best lineup and that includes Bunting. Where you slot him that's anyones guess but you slot him in and basically tell him no bulls**t. He offers more scoring than others but I'm thinking maybe he'll get the Lightning players to take a bad penalty which could benefit us. Tough call for Keefe but I hope they wrap it up tomorrow. Come out hard right from the get go and end the series. Get some rest and then figure where and when Bunting draws in later.