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Messages - Andy

you know, for all the scrutiny and flat out mockery that the Leafs endure for their playoff futility, I'd love to see how the media darling Oilers would have fared over that same period...3 straight years against the Kings.. Jeez...
Quote from: princedpw on March 22, 2024, 12:20:05 PM
Quote from: Dappleganger on March 21, 2024, 11:49:07 AMIt's ok guys, I've got the lines for the playoffs. Keefe can relax.

Domi - Matthews - Bertuzzi
Nylander - Tavares - Marner
Knies - Holmberg - McMann
Dewar - Kämpf - Järnkrok

Extras: Reaves/Robertson/Gregor

Rielly - Lyubushkin
Benoit - McCabe
Edmundson - Liljegren

Extras: Brodie/Giordano/Timmins

Any Forchecker - Tavares - Marner

has to be a strong enough line.  If you aren't putting Nylander or Marner with Matthews then the Leafs need to get 3 good lines out of the deal, such as:

Domi - Matthews - Bertuzzi
X - Tavares - Marner
X - Holmberg - Nylander

X = Knies/Jarnkrok/McMann. (I'm wondering if Knies is actually the least of them at the moment)

I think you want a 2nd shooter target for Marner to feed passes to on that line so McMann could work there. Knies could fit nicely with Nylander and Holmberg. And a Kampf, Jankrok, Dewal and Robertson mixture on the 4th line really balances up the lineup. Id love to see that look.
I guess the thinking with trying Domi, Tavares, Nylander (again) is to isolate each of the team's worst defensive forwards on one line? Interesting tactic.

I'm not sure I love having Rielly continue to QB PP1 (Liljegren appeared better suited to the role imo) nor do I understand Robertson being scratched. These younger guys need to be given the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and grow rather than being afraid to miss an assignment. I was hoping we would see some more creativity and some minutes for depth players to alleviate the elevated top 3-4 player minutes.
Quote from: Highlander on February 08, 2024, 10:06:37 AMThe main thing is we don't sell off any of our top prospects and graduate some of them sooner than later. Surely Steves would be an upgrade on Reeves at this point. Perhaps Kokkenen and Neimala are going to be ready for next year. Perhaps give Tveburg a spin.

I'm not sure what the point of letting Steeves toil away in the AHL is; he's still waiver-exempt this year anyway. Why wait until next year, when he can't clear waivers, to see if he can stick? He's looked good in both of the preceding development camps too. Not that he's a major prospect or anything but I can't fathom how players of the like of Simmonds, Clifford and Reaves get multiple chances in the lineup when they're clearly past their prime over seeing what some of these younger players can do.
Thinking about trade possibilities (and what appears to be a lucrative seller's trade market) only makes me wonder/lament about how this team would look with a different coach and new philosophies. I mean, I am intrigued even simply by balancing the existing group of forwards (to maybe something like this):

McMann  Matthews Nylander
Bertuzzi Domi    Marner
Knies   Tavares  Robertson
Holmberg Kampf Jankrok

All four lines could have a regular shift (that 4th line was essentially our 3rd line for the start of last year) and you could really maximize each player's minutes, instead of the top-heavy, exhausting the stars-type scenario we keep seeing this season. Tavares can take the odd shift with the top line to get his minutes up (and keep McMann's down) and would benefit from seeing less-competitive minutes/opponents as the 3rd line centre. Marner offsets Domi's negative defensive value, just as Matthews offsets Nylander's. Robertson's left handed snipe could be nasty on the off-wing and Knies gets to see less dangerous opponents as well.

As for the defence, while it is quite average, again I'd love to see a balanced approach that somewhat stabilizes each pairing:

Rielly   Benoit
McCabe  Liljegren
Brodie  Timmins

Albeit some of the sample size is limited, Rielly does seem to excel with more defensive, physical d-men (Hainsey, Lybushkin, Schenn) and Brodie could then move to his natural side, providing some stability for Timmins. You could even go with a 11-7 formation and sub Giordano in for McMann (moving Holmberg to that vacant spot) and have the ability to keep everyone fresh, spot Brodie in here and there for Benoit, especially if he struggles on the right side. There is a bit of flexibility.

And as for the trade market, Matt Dumba probably wouldn't cost much and might fit in nicely to the right of Rielly. Benoit-Brodie 3rd pairing with Gio and Timmins as extras isn't anything to sneeze at.

Anyway that's just my little armchair GM spiel, thanks for listening ;)
Quote from: Bender on January 15, 2024, 07:58:32 AM
Quote from: cw on January 14, 2024, 10:35:26 PM
Quote from: Peter D. on January 14, 2024, 10:21:00 PMPersonal hunch, but it would not surprise me if Keefe is fired tomorrow.

Wouldn't be surprised if they start to review a list of candidates ...

I do not see him finishing the season like this.

I'm not against a coach trying line changes. That's their job and often a good thing over time.
But tonight, with no great practice after the game last night, to change that much was over the top and it showed in the first period. They were very disjointed.
They're halfway through the season. He ought to have a better handle on who works well with who by now.
I get that he wanted to send a message but that start may have cost them the game tonight - as an opportunity cost.
It's a bit like "I'm so frustrated that I don't know what else to do to get you guys to play better"
When a coach does crap like that, they can start to lose their players.

Ultimately though the players are the ones who get things done and they aren't. This team isn't good as is assembled.

Well alot of the same talk was being said about the Oilers and their horrific start...then they can the coach and seemingly cannot lose anymore. Not to say that the players shouldn't shoulder some (or most) of the blame, but a coaching change really can make a difference and, recently, teams that have played better with more playoff success than Toronto have already been down this path. It's definitely time for Toronto to follow suit and see what effect a different voice (or at least someone who actually can respond creatively to opposing tactics and strategies) has
Quote from: azzurri63 on December 22, 2023, 12:59:52 PM
Quote from: Chris on December 22, 2023, 12:51:39 PM
Quote from: Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate on December 22, 2023, 12:17:54 PM
Quote from: azzurri63 on December 22, 2023, 11:58:00 AMI watched Keefe and Sammy in post game interviews. Scratching my head after listening to both of them. Keefe says it's something he needs to work out with Sanford. Sammy says it's all in his head. Really? Your positioning is the issue he begs to differ. Everyone watching, analysts, commentators and us can see he's all over the place. I said it last year. Nothing has changed it's just now the pucks are going in. Players haven't helped the defensive part of the game is non existent with some. That falls on Keefe and his system. If the players don't want to commit to both ends of the ice then get rid of them. Keefe's decisions are mind boggling too. Why was Lagesson out yesterday. I'm not crazy for him but better than Timmins and then he moves I believe Brodie and McCabe to their wrong sides. Why?

Keefe is a real puzzler as a coach.  I long to see what somebody else can do with this bunch.

I've felt for a while now that this group could use a real shock to the system. Something like a coaching change, or the trade of a "core" player, or maybe missing the playoffs. There just seems to be no growth, it's pretty much the same thing year after year. They get their points, make their money, and there's always next game or next year.

This _has_ to be Keefe's last shot with this group, doesn't it? Assuming he gets through the season, and unless they go on a real deep playoff run, it needs to change...right? Then again, maybe the big change will be when Nylander walks away as a UFA.

100% agree and I've said it multiple times the core needs to change and Keefe should have seen the door along with Dubas. We need a coach that can implement a more defensive system and 2 hold these guys accountable when they deserve it. He's had loads of time to get this team to the next level and hasn't. I don't see them letting Nylander walk but nothing surprises me with this team.

One of the main issues I have had with Keefe during his coaching tenure is that he really does not seem to have the capacity to adapt. There is no counter-balancing of or reaction to different opponents' coaching style or tactics. And I think that is also why the Leafs seem to fare well against the better/hotter teams and worse against the struggling/bottom tier teams: the former teams tend to try to match the skill and play more open hockey whereas the latter teams have to compensate for their lack of skill and play tight-checking, neutral zone trapping, playoffs-style hockey. Keefe has absolutely no answer for or idea of how to combat that style of play.
dear god that 4th line! Just go 11-7, man this is just getting silly. I really don't put much stock into plus-minus stats but Reaves is a minus 11 already...For someone with so few minutes per night, that is kinda telling...
Domi shouldn't be near that top 6. Winger on the 3rd line (or at C, where he really excelled last year) makes the most sense to me for him. I think Robertson, Domi, Jankrok and Gregor, Kampf, Steeves could be a very nicely balanced bottom of the lineup

Also...isn't Klingberg, like, fast?
Toronto Blue Jays / Re: 2023 Blue Jays thread
October 05, 2023, 10:20:27 AM
Quote from: Frank E on October 05, 2023, 10:17:34 AMThe rotation of pitchers wasn't the problem.  The Blue Jays didn't hit the baseball enough times, so they lost.

This is also fact
Toronto Blue Jays / Re: 2023 Blue Jays thread
October 05, 2023, 10:19:40 AM
Quote from: OldTimeHockey on October 05, 2023, 10:15:38 AMIf one of your starters is only reliable the first time through the line up, then you actually don't have a "starter".

Exactly, I'm not sure how this plan makes any sense. And why was this never once utilized in the regular season or during another "must win game"? Why were the starters sometimes pulled early and sometimes left in much longer? And how could a team possibly make it to the World Series if you were to use your bullpen every time this situation arose? The arms would all be dead! And you'd also have a much worse potential matchup later in the games with an overused reliever. I'm so confused.
Quote from: Frank E on October 05, 2023, 09:31:57 AMIt's preseason...I know...but how does Domi-Tavares-Nylander make any sense?

I'd think switch Jarnkrok and Nylander?

Yea, it's a defensively horrific line.

And is it me or is the preseason 16x longer this year?
Toronto Blue Jays / Re: 2023 Blue Jays thread
October 05, 2023, 10:12:49 AM
Quote from: Arn on October 05, 2023, 08:17:39 AM
Quote from: OldTimeHockey on October 05, 2023, 05:30:56 AMNote: John Schneider's decision to pull Berrios in the bottom of the 4th is an absolute headscratcher.

Everything I'm reading seems to suggest this was a pre-planned move agreed with the wider management group based on data.

Now, I'm all for using data to help. But you know, I was watching the game and could see how Berios looked as well...

Yea, I mean I always cringe when I hear the term "Analytics" negatively thrown around and mocked by people who don't understand that it's basically just the idea of looking at more, in-depth information. You should always want to have more than less information. It's the interpretation and utilization of that information that's the problem. If the data says that the more a pitcher goes through a lineup the more susceptible he becomes, that is good information to have and you can act on it accordingly. It absolutely never means take out a pitcher who is dialed in and mowing through batters after 47 pitchers because its the 2nd time facing a lefthanded batter.
Toronto Blue Jays / Re: 2023 Blue Jays thread
October 04, 2023, 10:27:18 AM
It's such a weird team to watch. The pitching staff is great and the lineup is actually quite good; it's just so frustrating to watch them look lost at the plate and seemingly have no offensive plan. Vladdy and Kirk have been playing WAY below their capabilities offensively and everyone has lost their power. It's very odd. I can't remember being this frustrated at a team and I've watched some pretty awful Jays teams..
Quote from: azzurri63 on June 30, 2023, 11:31:45 AMSounds like Nylander's negotiations aren't going well. Ship his as* to Arizona and scoop Keller who wants out and you have some extra cash to spend. Change the complexion of this team it's definitely needed.

Yea, that should change that darn complex issue of Nylander scoring big goals and producing in the playoffs..(FTR Keller would be great, but he isn't any bigger than Nylander and doesn't hit either).

On a related note, I keep hearing about the need to trade Nylander before his NTC kicks in and limits potential landing spots: wouldn't trading him now to a non-preferred destination only result in him not signing an extension and thus drastically affecting his trade value? It seems to me they can wait for a bit, regardless of his NTC, because if he isn't re-signing here at least he can go somewhere he wants to go, sign an extension and still recoup a significant amount in return, no?