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Messages - Bender

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General Rumours & Speculation / Re: My honest opinion for 2021-22
« on: Yesterday at 09:41:50 AM »

I just feel like a lot of the criticisms of Dubas are really based in a lot of unfair hindsight. Like, I was just about the only person here during the Foligno trade saying "Eh, I don't like this. Too high a price. I'd rather have spent less on Hall*" and virtually everyone else was "No, the team needs more grit and leadership. It's why they got beat by Columbus".

Likewise, they "needed" a more physical defense. In comes Brodie. They "needed" more grit and veteran leadership. Here comes Thornton/Simmonds. Everything people said the Leafs should do, they did. It's why they were so favoured over Montreal. Nobody was saying "Man, the Leafs are at a real disadvantage because of all the money they gave to their top 4 forwards against the Habs" until they lost.

The Leafs were a good team. They had depth. They had balance. They got good goaltending. Odds are, absent injuries to Foligno and Tavares, they win the series.

I'm all for a post-mortem but there's a difference between finding a cause of death and saying that it was forseeable. There is no way of building a team where an injury to one of your best players and your key deadline acquisition doesn't hurt. There is no way of building a team that renders you immune from running into a hot goalie. 

Until someone actually presents a positive way forward, advocating for changes just because "Things didn't work" might feel cathartic but I don't think we can confuse it for actual strategy.
In that sense though isn't there a lot of risk tying that much cap space to a single player? If salary was spread out more you'd have more flexibility and the house of cards is less likely to fall apart with a singular injury. I mean, I get that most teams would be in tough if they lost one of their star centres but maybe you can mitigate that risk better. The team shouldn't be an injury to Tavares, Nylander, Matthews, Marner or even Muzzin away from winning and losing in the first round, it just seems very risky.

2
General Rumours & Speculation / Re: My honest opinion for 2021-22
« on: June 17, 2021, 10:56:31 AM »
Hey Im a leafs fan from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and like many of you I’m still disappointed as hell and probably a little bitter.

My honest opinion on this team is this team is going into probably it’s most important season in recent memory. I’m not sure what Kyle dubas, Sheldon keefe, and Brendan shannahan are going to do or if they are the ones that should be holding those positions but this off-season is what will ultimately shape this teams future for the coming years. There’s rumblings out there that mlse is upset with the amount of money they’ve put into this team with out any success. I really think that mlse before the press conferences with keefe, dubas, and shannahan had a meeting with them and going into it they were not sure if they would be continuing for me with that group, ultimately they by the looks of it decided that they will be but I would say the tone of the meeting was if you do not get 4 playoff wins next season when the final buzzer goes of that deciding game pack up you stuff and don’t wait for the call to know weather your coming back or not.

I am going to say this I’ve never really been a dubas fan I wanted them to keep Lou, and as far as keefe I really thought that he was the right guy to come in last year at the time he did but he should never have been given the head coaching position right away he should have been the interm head coach and had been reevaluated at the end of the season. In that case I think dubas hired with his heart and not with what was best for the team in mind because last offseason there were some good head coaches available and maybe with keefe getting some experience as an nhl assistant under one of them then take over the team with some more experience.

This team is at a major cross roads right now, Matthew’s is only locked up till 2024 you’ve gotta think he’s not coming back if things don’t change. Teams are going to want him bad and let’s face it Toronto can be a pretty poopy place to play when your loosing.

This is just my take like it or lump it it’s how I feel, I’d love to hear how you guys feel about the future, what you think will happen and who do you think will be suiting up for the leafs next season.


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After bungling Zaitsev and completely screwing up with Marleau I think Lou's tenure is unforgivable. Both those contracts were albatrosses that we had to spend assets just to get out of.

As well, it's just been a questionable track record ever since they drafted Matthews. Nik has said repeatedly they should never have short circuited the rebuild and instead of hitting it out of the park with draft picks and turning the roster over theg let guys walk for nothing repeatedly and have not a lot to show for it. I'm so tired of walking guys to free agency.

To me Lou having success for the Islanders is less to do with Lou and a lot more to do with Trotz being an amazing coach. Washington has been pretty trash since he won them a Cup. It's no surprise that the Isles are playing well with high level coaching even without the most elite talent.

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I know it's only one game but I don't get it, how does a team so average in the regular season play so well in the playoffs, if they keep playing the way they did last night, you never know. It would suck large, but you never know.
Playoff Carey Price.

4
Jeff Petry looks like he's of the undead.

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Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Coronavirus
« on: June 16, 2021, 09:15:10 PM »
Got my second jab yesterday. Coming out of the post 2nd vaccine side effects at the moment. 10hrs of aches so I can see my parents again is very worth it.

6
The Habs looked good in the beginning but are taking some bad penalties. Also I thought the Leafs should've tried shot faking Price more. He bites pretty easily.

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Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Coronavirus
« on: June 14, 2021, 08:35:26 PM »
Murica

8

I'm nominally cheering for the Habs I guess but I'm pretty uninterested in actually watching any of this.
I'm curious just because the Habs steamrolled Winnipeg, but yeah I'm not the biggest fan, and I definitely won't be interested in the final, pretty much whatever combination it is.

9
Thats former Leaf goaltending coach Brian Daccord jumping the sinking ship
That wasn't very long...

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Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Coronavirus
« on: June 12, 2021, 06:55:00 PM »

You don't love the flattening of the 1st vaccine rate. Ideally we want 85-90% of the population vaccinated at least and I'm worried we have enough of these anti vaccine nutjobs to threaten us getting to a place where we can get to herd immunity.

Some of it is definitely competition for vaccine slots but I do think that the difficulty we are going to get going from mid 70s to try and get to 85-90% is being underrated.  There is a big chunk of that crowd that are in the "I just need to see more data" crowd.  That's just code word for I'm not going to get it.
How much more data do you need when you've got Israel? I mean seriously!

11
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.

I agree with this.
I don't think I agree when they've got the likes of Brayden Point, Kucherov, Stamkos, Hedman and a good supporting cast. Vegas is Montreal esque so I don't see it there and the Avs are the Leafs but with better and cheaper deprh.

And as an aside, I mean how many times so they have to lose in the first round to recognize this team isn't as good as we want them to be or think that they are? There's no use throwing away 1st round picks every year while never being better than a 6-10 team in the league.

12
Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Coronavirus
« on: June 12, 2021, 01:35:55 PM »

You don't love the flattening of the 1st vaccine rate. Ideally we want 85-90% of the population vaccinated at least and I'm worried we have enough of these anti vaccine nutjobs to threaten us getting to a place where we can get to herd immunity.
I think we'll get to 80-85% but it'll be a bit of a slog to get there. I believe we're almost at 75% of eligible adults so that's something.

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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.

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The main reason though wasn't because Andersen wasn't capable, but I believe you mentioned we completely short circuited the rebuild by tossing out another pick, which had knock on effects in a way and we kept JVR/Bozak as own rentals.

Sure, it wasn't my main point and I'm being a little tongue-in-cheek here but I did also say that the difference between Andersen and Bernier wasn't as great as people were making it out to be.
He did kind of get left out to die on a god awful team.

15

After the Leafs got bounced by Washington I posted a thread about how the Andersen trade was a bad one and they probably should have stuck with Bernier.

Nice of you all to catch up.
The main reason though wasn't because Andersen wasn't capable, but I believe you mentioned we completely short circuited the rebuild by tossing out another pick, which had knock on effects in a way and we kept JVR/Bozak as own rentals.

Man, I was miffed that they let Bozak/JVR go for nothing but the fact that this is happening repeatedly and we have little to show for it since 2016 besides inflated contracts, especially when you need cheap, cost controlled talent... Oof. This is ungood.

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