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Messages - Significantly Insignificant

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1
General Rumours & Speculation / Re: Armchair GM 2021-2022: Catharsis
« on: June 12, 2021, 09:45:55 PM »
I think it’s pretty simple for the Leafs. Replace the sucking with not sucking and I think they get this done.

Blowing?

No, they've done plenty of that as well.

2
Just caught the 3rd. Man the Leafs are in no way better than these two teams. They just play at a completely different tempo.

I felt like the Avs got really unlucky on the double deflection and looked like the better team but they just couldn't get it done.

I'm not so sure.  The Leafs are very good when you allow them to play with pace.  I think if the Leafs get in to a series with Tampa or Colorado their chances of winning are quite high.

The problem becomes when they play a team that is capable of taking the pace out of the game.  That's when the Leafs either have to assert themselves more or have the pieces in place that can play that game as well.

3
Phone hearing for Scheifele today so 4 max it seems.

Looks like the Habs are kings of the north.  Think Scheifele had just had enough?  I mean the NHL has to realize that when you let a team get away with stuff over and over again, tempers are going to flare.

4
That MacKinnon contract is a mirage.  He signed it coming off a rookie contract production of:
218 GP - 59G 94A 153P

Rantanen...no question that's a great deal.  He's paid well and produces.

Landeskog - The first three years of his deal he put up 145 points in 229GP.   The last four he has made that a great deal.

So Colorado is headed for a reckoning probably and they need to win a cup with this core while they are on these deals.

Also, after the big 4 contracts expire, is there a chance they come back with deals that are less in the next round of negotiations, or maybe at the current rate.  If they haven't had success would they look at it and understand that in a cap system, if they want to win, they may need to leave something on the table, and with the amount of money they have made now, would it be easier to do that.

5
They're not getting rid of any of the 4 unless it's a trade they can't refuse like Seth Jones for Marner kind of thing.

I can easily refuse a trade for 1 year of a good but overrated defenceman.

Coming off probably the worst season of his career is not the best time to trade him (or judge him), but, yeah, unless there's another significant pieces coming in that deal (which, outside of Columbus' own 1st round pick, I'm not sure what would be valuable enough to make that deal palatable), it's going to be a deal for Marner. Something involving Rielly, maybe, though I suspect CLB will be looking for help up front.

The more I think about it, the more I think moving Rielly makes the most sense.  You can probably get a lot for him, and you free up 5 million.  Dermott and Sandin look to be ready to log more minutes and are way cheaper than Rielly.

6
I had forgotten about Kucherov being out most of the season  ::) and your other point about the tax situation is certainly important and the league should probably figure out a way to account for that when setting the cap.

I always think it's weird that people give so much credit to the tax difference, which is probably overstated, and don't care at all about the practical realities of playing in Tampa, to a largely disinterested public, vs. playing in Toronto with a rabid and critical media following.

Like Mitch Marner right now is probably waking up to thousands of tweets telling him he's a bad person for not scoring enough in the playoffs and people don't think that plays any role in negotiations.

I'm going to build an app for hockey players called "Poke Check Twitter".  It will massage the content of the tweet for the hockey player to make it more manageable.  So something like:

"I hope you die in a tire fire"

becomes:

"I hope you die in a tire fire.  I really like your hair though.  Are you conditioning it daily, or do you follow a different regimen?"

I think that softens the blow a lot, and it should really help the mental disposition of hockey players in Canada who have to put up with some pretty over-the-top tweets simply because they didn't play that hockey good.

I mean, I'm fairly sure none of these guys read their twitter accounts beyond some of the choicer DMs but sure.

Ah, but now they could.

7
I had forgotten about Kucherov being out most of the season  ::) and your other point about the tax situation is certainly important and the league should probably figure out a way to account for that when setting the cap.

I always think it's weird that people give so much credit to the tax difference, which is probably overstated, and don't care at all about the practical realities of playing in Tampa, to a largely disinterested public, vs. playing in Toronto with a rabid and critical media following.

Like Mitch Marner right now is probably waking up to thousands of tweets telling him he's a bad person for not scoring enough in the playoffs and people don't think that plays any role in negotiations.

I'm going to build an app for hockey players called "Poke Check Twitter".  It will massage the content of the tweet for the hockey player to make it more manageable.  So something like:

"I hope you die in a tire fire"

becomes:

"I hope you die in a tire fire.  I really like your hair though.  Are you conditioning it daily, or do you follow a different regimen?"

I think that softens the blow a lot, and it should really help the mental disposition of hockey players in Canada who have to put up with some pretty over-the-top tweets simply because they didn't play that hockey good. 

8

I wasn't sure where to put this but for all the justified handwringing about the loss to Montreal I have to say I'm way more concerned than the preponderance of people being like "This was our shot! Next year we're back with Tampa, Boston and Florida! Window closed"

Like, if you don't think the Leafs can compete with those teams, they weren't winning this year regardless of Montreal and a poop-ton more team-building needs to be done.

I tried saying this in the thread about the Foligno trade but people who thought this year was do or die because of the "easier" path were basically admitting the Leafs were a longshot this year and they needed that pick more than anyone was saying.

Yeah, I agree.

I understood the argument about this year being the easiest path.  Because it was true.  We just want to see the team back in the semis.  But it was quite evident early on in the playoffs that even if the team made it past Montreal and Winnipeg, there was no way they would also beat (likely) Tampa and Colorado for the Cup.

As for Foligno.  We wasted a 1st for Nick freakin' Foligno.  I can *somewhat* buy the argument of going "all in" this season which was an "easier" path to the semis, as well as it being a weak draft year in which the scouts can barely watch these players live.  But still...it's Nick freakin' Foligno!

So what if the Leafs took a step back and retooled?  Maybe sell off guys like Muzzin, Kerfoot, and Rielly, try to recoup young assets, and miss the playoffs, but hopefully build a better base for two years down the road.  I think they are hitched to Matthews, Marner, Tavares, and Nylander at this point, and it's really a question of what path you take to build around them.  You can trade one of them, sure, but I really feel that just moves the problem.  Let's say you hypothetically trade Marner for Seth Jones.  You now might have a bit better defense, but you have taken away something from the offense so it feels like progress hasn't really been made. 

9

In retrospect I think the thing that kind of frustrates me is that despite everything we saw not working, there wasn't much of an effort to shake things up in response.

This seems to be an ongoing issue. In the infamous loss to the Zamboni driver I said the same thing. No matter how many times the Leafs power play got stood up with the same tactic trying to skate into the zone, they never tried anything else.

I don't want to be reductive but I can't help think some of this is on Dubas. I feel like a lot of the Analytic community arrives at what they think is best practices for a given situation and then won't be moved off it, even when it's obvious that the opponent knows it's coming and has game planned for it.
Don't agree with the Dubas part of it. The PP falls on Keefe ultimately for not changing the personal up. It was in the dumps for 30+ games. At some point you need to change up the persoanl. If the Leafs PP was anything like it was early on, they win the series, easily and would be a threat.

I think in the Leafs organization though, they talk about these things as a group.  They look at the numbers, and the numbers say that they *should* be scoring, so they don't want to change it up.  The problem is the disconnect between *should* and *is*.  This was my point before the series started, and as things started to go bad for them.  The numbers all say the Leafs should have won.  That's great, but in the end, they didn't, so I am not going to say that the numbers lied because that is not what numbers do, but at some point, if you keep pointing to the numbers and saying "We should have won", but you didn't, then maybe you are looking at the wrong thing.

10
Just going by what's being intimated by people who have the access to know, coaching staff was working within the constraint of certain roles/responsibilities promised to certain players, and those players for whatever reason, didn't live up to their end of the bargain. Like an extreme pendulum swing away from the previous coach (balanced minutes vs stacked, rush vs possession).

Perfectly normal to collaborate with your players (stars, especially) to build something together that they feel invested in, but it needs to come with accountability, and those players have to be willing to let other options onto the table when the situation calls for it. Otherwise you lose the room with the other players that are a) working hard(er) within those confines, and b) putting up the results.

Success is going to come with finding that balance and adapting appropriately to what's happening in front of you. It's very easy to defend against a single strategy, and even easier to throw a wet blanket on one line of super stars with sheer gruntwork. Mix up the short and long plays, trying to solve problems the same way every time with no difference in result is insanity.

If that's the case, hopefully, those players can be approached, and the stance of "We tried it your way and it didn't work" can be taken.

11
Too many plays died on Hyman's stick. It was a big issue. He also wasn't getting the puck. He had 1 takeaway  the whole series. He wasn't good. It's the same thing with the PP..Marner, Rielly aren't a threat to score..Hyman/Joe in front isn't either so let's cheat towards Matthews and we're gold..this isn't rocket science...yes you need a quarterback but everyone has to be a threat to shoot.

But the corollary to that is that, other than the powerplay issues, things worked during the regular season.  During the regular season, Hyman was quite effective on the Matthews line for large chunks of it.  In fact, Hyman was the guy they were moving around to get a line going.  So it's not like he can't do the job 5 on 5 on that type of line.  It's that he couldn't get it done in the playoffs, and other than Nylander, there were a lot of guys who couldn't get it done offensively in the playoffs.
Anybody and everybody worked with M&M during the regular season. It even worked with Thornton. Don't get me wrong here. Hyman works extremely hard but he's not talented enough to be on the top line. He just isn't and this is the second playoffs in a row he's been subpar when up against the tougher defence. Leafs will have to tread lightly when it comes to his salary for next year. I think he's a good player but not at the dollars some were suggesting.

I guess my point is that if the line works during the regular season, then it should work in the playoffs as well.  The playoffs don't require you to suddenly have to have more talent.  I think the big thing that the playoffs require you to have as an athlete is the ability to check your emotions so that the stage doesn't get the better of you.

12
Too many plays died on Hyman's stick. It was a big issue. He also wasn't getting the puck. He had 1 takeaway  the whole series. He wasn't good. It's the same thing with the PP..Marner, Rielly aren't a threat to score..Hyman/Joe in front isn't either so let's cheat towards Matthews and we're gold..this isn't rocket science...yes you need a quarterback but everyone has to be a threat to shoot.

But the corollary to that is that, other than the powerplay issues, things worked during the regular season.  During the regular season, Hyman was quite effective on the Matthews line for large chunks of it.  In fact, Hyman was the guy they were moving around to get a line going.  So it's not like he can't do the job 5 on 5 on that type of line.  It's that he couldn't get it done in the playoffs, and other than Nylander, there were a lot of guys who couldn't get it done offensively in the playoffs.

13
Haven't posted much at all since the losses to the covid-Canucks team.  I pretty much gave up on this team then.  I'll be around in the future, but not as often as normal and I won't bother with the chunk thread anymore.  Don't need to waste anymore of my time on this team than necessary.  Changes will come as usual, and the dance starts again all over next season.  I won't be nearly as invested as I've been all my life.  Have a great summer guys.

Cheers, and I understand the disappointment.

To me, this is one of the reasons the Leafs need to have some success in the playoffs.  I think the organization is starting to test the bounds of its fandom.  Anger is good.  Jubilation is good.  Apathy though is a problem, because that means your fans have started to stop caring.

They're going to lose a generation of fans. My teenage daughters have never seen the Leafs win a playoff round.  I actually told my oldest not to bother with the Leafs, latch onto another team if she wanted cause it's nothing but disappointment being a Leafs fan.  Fairly pathetic.  They did everything right, sucked for years, got high picks with Rielly, Nylander, Kadri, Marner and Matthews, and still can't even win a playoff round when they're the heavy favorite.

Yeah, I need to do some active parenting today.  I told my son that he was the reason that the Leafs aren't winning because they haven't won since he was born.  That he was the jinx.  Might have come off not in the jokey way that I meant it last night because of my frame of mind.  I'll need to fix that I think.

14
Haven't posted much at all since the losses to the covid-Canucks team.  I pretty much gave up on this team then.  I'll be around in the future, but not as often as normal and I won't bother with the chunk thread anymore.  Don't need to waste anymore of my time on this team than necessary.  Changes will come as usual, and the dance starts again all over next season.  I won't be nearly as invested as I've been all my life.  Have a great summer guys.

Cheers, and I understand the disappointment.

To me, this is one of the reasons the Leafs need to have some success in the playoffs.  I think the organization is starting to test the bounds of its fandom.  Anger is good.  Jubilation is good.  Apathy though is a problem, because that means your fans have started to stop caring.

What emotion gets us the important wins though? I’ll wear that one anytime needed if it will help.

Well, I tried "Chicken Little Sky Is Falling" this time around and it did not work, so not that one.  On a good news front, I now control the money in our savings account based on my bet with my wife....so there's that. 

15
We've all said it for years.  "I wish this team had talent."  Now they do.  So the next step is to give that talent what they need to compete in the playoffs.  Is it big power wingers for the first two lines?  Is it a checking line?  Is it a bigger defence?  Not sure, that's up to the team to figure out.  We do know for certain though that they have not found it yet, and what they have tried so far, ahs not worked.   

I don't think it's a talent issue, nor do I think adding any specific types of players to the roster is what's needed. Right now, it feels like more of a psychological issue. The team probably needs to get away from the "adding experience around the edges" approach and focus more on complimenting the existing talent. Other than that, maybe invest heavily in the sports psychology side of things?

Yeah, and that would tie into the "believe that you are going to win" narrative as well.  There was an article when Foligno came in about how he was being anointed the savior coming into Toronto because he didn't have the stench of past playoff losses on him.  It was interesting because the article pointed out that the Leafs can't let themselves fall into this mindset because the saviors of this team are Matthews, Marner, Nylander, and Tavares.  This team is only going to go as far as those guys take it, so if you can't get them over the hump, then the team isn't going anywhere, regardless of who you bring in.   

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