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Messages - hobarth

Quote from: Guilt Trip on Yesterday at 04:46:31 PM
Quote from: hobarth on Yesterday at 03:23:25 PMFlorida has been burning up the league lately, seemingly scoring at will, they play TO and TO only allows 2 goals, that was TO without Rielly, coincidence?
Rielly has played well lately but whatever makes you feel good.

Doesn't make me feel good especially because TO has committed $7.5 mil. per year to him for the next 7 years, what would make me feel good, guess.

He's played well lately, all the more reason to sit him after he already missed 16 games, he must need the rest.
Florida has been burning up the league lately, seemingly scoring at will, they play TO and TO only allows 2 goals, that was TO without Rielly, coincidence?
I think what we need is a dominant 1st line, a no more excuses 1st line that can and will be dominant in the playoffs. I think Matthews hasn't looked better this year and the idea that he does exceptional work only to have to pass to Jarkrok and Kerfoot is preposterous. Passing to and working with say Mitch and Willie makes way more sense to me. Keefe has never truly tried to establish a dominant line, he unites them late in games when needed rather than leaving them together and allowing them develop some kind of chemistry.
Imagine, Kerfoot and Jarnkrok on the same line as Matthews, who would get the puck to Matthews, what genius thought this up.
With TO's draft results, trading Engvall for a 3rd rounder is the same as giving him away or letting him walk.

Chandler Stephenson with Vegas might be a similar type of story, he was a Capital for about 4 1/2 years and in his best year he got to play 12 minutes per game, a 3rd/4th line tweener then he gets traded to Vegas and immediately starts producing 22 pts in 41 games with about 16 minutes of icetime, his next year with Vegas 51 g 35 pts, last year 79 g 64 pts, this year 70 g 54 pts. These stats came from a player that in his best year with Washington managed 18 pts. I can't say for sure but I suspect Washington coaches didn't like Stephenson, another example might be Bunting who spent 6 years in the Arizona system but was never really given a proper NHL chance except his last Arizona year where he got to play 21 games and scored 10 g and 3 a. 10 goals in 21 games and Arizona still wouldn't risk less than 1 mil. on Bunting.

I would say that Bunting as a 3rd liner probably isn't much of an impact player or very productive but his skillset tied in with better players has made him into an asset. TO's latest Bunting/Stephenson, Mason Marchment.

Players fall between cracks in every organization, sometimes it pays to have someone different evaluating your team's assets. Being willing to experiment with players probably would mean that, that players' potential has the greatest chance of being recognized/utilized. I've noticed that Keefe is willing to experiment with known assets like having Jarnkrok on TO's top 2 lines but he was never willing to move Engvall up, ever.

In all of Engvall's years with TO he was never allowed to play in TO's top 6, same with Anderson and many others, players have been moved up from the Marlies where they played on the top 2 lines and were productive but once they actually play for TO they become 4th liners and it's really hard to soar with eagles when paired with turkeys. I can remember when Babs was determined to discipline Marner and Nylander, he had them play on TO's 4th lines, neither looked good there. 
Gustafsson, I saw a move from him on Friday, he side stepped a player who was attempting to block his shot and then got his shot off, that wasn't earth shattering but it was something I never see from Rielly, Rielly would/does shot directly into/at the blocking player, consistently.

Rielly is maddening, he accumulates points because of who he plays with and his overall game has a facade of cred because of his offensive numbers. He plays protected minutes, plays with the superior players but because of his limitations TO's ability to progress is severely limited, Rielly is not a #1 d-man, Gustafsson has more #1 offensive d-man's brains and I doubt Rielly is better defensively.

It's understandable that Keefe is experimenting with the d, Rielly shouldn't be TO's first option on the #1 PP, Gustafsson might not be as well but I sure hope that's something Keefe will try.
TO is 11-7 since Feb. 1, this surprised me, I don't feel TO's play justifies this record, seems to me TO is being outplayed and outshot pretty much every game.

This is the same type of TO going into the playoffs for the last 6 years, I'm always expecting that changes like Plakanec, Lubushkin, etc. will somehow magically transform the Leafs into end of the season gladiators and playoff winners but I feel it's the same old, same old.

I guess even a single round victory should be considered worthwhile but it won't feel that way.
Babs used to complain that the Leafs didn't show up on time for games, lately they show up on time but seem to fall asleep after the 1st, get out shot, get out played consistently in the 2nd, lately? 

It's an odd team, hard to understand.
I find it interesting that the media insist that teams load up at the TDL as a reward for a team, their players, due to the great season they're having. I would think that a great team, having a great season wouldn't want to upset the chemistry of that team by adding new players and displacing players that had been there all year, essentially displacing the players that helped to get them where they were.

You look at TO and see a team that's been top 4/5 the entire year yet TO went out and brought in two players that were never simply a depth augment but were accumulated to improve the team, Boston the best team in the NHL also made moves, displacing the players that got them were they are.

So what's up with that, I look at TO and see a team that should be top 4/5 for the last 4 years if not longer but that hasn't been enough to enable TO to progress beyond the 1st playoff round, ?. The prevailing logic has been the quality of the opposition TO faces in the playoffs in those 1st rounds, I think that Mtl and Clb dispelled that argument, TO hasn't been a finisher, that's a personnel issue.

We are rapidly reaching the point where TO's core needs to be reupped, the question is are these core players worth keeping, if they're not finishers, if they're not progressing then I think TO should move on because what they are, isn't enough, I include Rielly in the core along with AM, MM WN and JT. Both Willie and AM need to be resigned before July 1 or they can then become UFAs after next season, AM will be able to expect, what, about $16 mil. and Willie around $10 mil., there's no wiggle room, that'll mean that TO will have 5 high paid players with the rest of the roster making around the NHL minimum, that's 18 more Kampfs, ugh.

I know magical thinking is what we all can delve into at this time of year, O'Rielly and McCabe may make TO better but really is there any foundation in that optimism, I'm seeing the team that's underproduced late into seasons and in the playoffs be the same again this year at this time. TO faces during the regular season teams that are bad and struggles to win those games yet at the same time can play with the better teams, that inconsistency, that lack of killer instinct, is what's concerning and what has been and will continue to be TO's undoing. A more physical 4th line populated by 4th line quality players isn't an answer, Schenn definitely isn't an answer, all of these players may add to the entertainment value but it's TO's core that needed to be fortified and that because TO's current core doesn't have the necessary ingredient to be ultimately successful.

Since the current core is inadequate, it's time to move on, trade Matthews and Nylander, trade Mitch next year and wait out JT's contract, Keefe is proving to be too Babcockian, remove him, anyone who can't see that Kerfoot needs to be on the 4th line to be adequate needs to go, Dubie is alright, he deserves a chance to assemble his own team. Shanny needs to go, anyone dum enough to bring in Lou and waste the extremely valuable ELC years of TO's core has to go and the wasted Hunter years.

I think this summer is a crucial transition period, holding on to Willie and Austin beyond July 1st without new realistic contracts will be a huge mistake, TO can't offer them realistic contracts that will mean anything beyond the regular season as we have seen from the past.

I remember when TO signed Phanny and Kessel, many thought that TO offered them those contracts because there wasn't any other quality players and TO was overpaying, I fell the same about Rielly and I will feel the same if Austin and Willie get the contracts I've guessed on. I didn't feel that Kessel and Phanny were overpaid, I felt they were under supported, poorly coached with far too much expectations placed on them alone. Ottawa improved immensely when Phanny was traded to them and Pitts. won 2 Cups with the addition of Kessel. Rielly doesn't have the Phanny/Kessel disadvantages but he's being paid far above his talent/contribution level.

On the right team Willie and Austin are worth the contracts I've mentioned, just not on TO due to other commitments.       
It's hard to understand how/why Rielly is so well regarded by so many Leaf fans, his d has always been questioned and his offensive numbers have usually been good, he has never been the author of his success, he more benefitted from TO's improved team rather than having been a catalyst of TO's improvement. TO lost against Vanc., Rielly did little to influence the game and he makes more than Nylander who I think is TO's 2nd best player. However Rielly did do something that surprised me, he grabbed the puck stopped behind the opposition's net and attempted a pass. The normal Rielly would have skated around the net and blind passed the puck into traffic, basically hoping a Leaf would get it. I think that Timmins could very rapidly replace Rielly offensively and his d probably wouldn't be significantly less than what Rielly can do, now.

Lilly seems to be following in the Rielly exhalation by the press/announcers. He doesn't even have Rielly offensive ability and his d might be marginally better than Rielly. Rielly is -5, Lilly +24, these results might actually suggest that one is better positioned in the pecking order than the other, maybe both should be 2nd pairing and that might be great if they can actually be superior as 2nd pairing d-men but I think the level of forward support decreases from the 3rd line to the 2nd and from the 2nd line to the 1st. Rielly's level of d isn't 1st pairing quality but on TO he's being paid like he's a low level 1st pairing d-man, he isn't, he's a need for shelter offensive d-man or maybe a borderline 2nd pairing d-man with offensive capabilities. Even offensively Rielly leaves us wanting more, if he's deployed against the opposition's 2nd or 3rd lines, his ability to dominate doesn't resonate, he normally continues to be the same defensively challenged d-man, his offense becomes pretty well nonexistent.

I think that if TO doesn't do well in the playoffs again this year Rielly needs to go, he's a part of the core, the same core that has come up short year after year. Rielly has all the tools to be a far better d-man but at 28 I doubt he will ever be able to put them together into making him at least be as valuable as he's being paid.

I find it odd that the same fans that loved to hate Engvall were at the same time willing to die on a hill to support Rielly even tho Rielly was much the same type of player, actually I think Engvall was more valuable as he wasn't overpaid. 
I saw Morgan Rielly be physical, two games in a row, no, no it's true, maybe the addition of 3 physical players has awakened Rielly to the idea that hockey players can use things other than their sticks to defend, wow.

I don't think most are aware that he's 6'1", 222 lbs, not small but not Engvall big, but with Engvall physicality as a d-man.
Wow, 2 games in a row Rielly used physicality, used his body to influence a game, once in each game, wonders may never cease, I like it.

Last year those shots would've gone in for Matthews, he seems far more dangerous with Marner, which makes sense.

In the 1st and parts of the 2nd TO looked the same, not a lot of quality chances against but there were some hum dingers, not the words that were in my head. Later in the 2nd and the 3rd, TO was locking it down, it looked like a quality lock down, not totally reliant on Woll, who had an excellent game.

There was a lot to like about this game, a quality LW might be all that's really needed, Toffoli like.
I agree the Engvall trade was probably a mistake but Engvall was probably the only bottom 6er TO had that would be of interest to any other NHL team.

Outside of O'Rielly and McCabe(maybe)I don't know if this incredible volume of moving parts will make much difference in the end.

TO's PP goes stagnant around this time every year, I hope Gustafsson might be the needed change that's required to bring it back to life, if needed.
I didn't like how TO played after the 1st period against Seattle, it was pathetic. The idea of having Matthews and JT was TO having 2 #1 lines and therefore very difficult to defend against, Boston is very difficult to defend against and they have their top 3 forwards on one line, most of the time. Maybe it's time TO tries this, TO has the forward depth to assemble a credible 2nd line with the addition of O'Rielly.





I was surprised to see Keefe insert O'Rielly with JT and Mitch at center, initial results were good so we'll see.
This is a definite wait and see trade, O'Rielly has less points than Engvall so I wouldn't include O'Rielly in any list of superior players TO needs to be more successful in the playoffs. I do expect O'Rielly would be a fine addition to TO's bottom 6, I'd love to see him and Engvall on the same line with maybe Acciari/Jarnkrok even Kerfoot. TO might now have the foundation of a decent bottom 6, some decent offense and d but O'Rielly's -26 in 42 games is scary and paired with his puny offensive numbers, I wonder if his true value was 2019, not 2023.

TO still needs another forward, a starish type that can play and contribute in the top 6, O'Rielly and Acciari probably help but TO still needs a massive addition to the top 6 forwards, someone that can/will contribute when things are on the line, these additions don't move that needle.

I didn't like how Keefe configured the lines with the new additions but I doubt these lines are what we'll see come playoff time.

What I'd like to see:





If Dubie can come up with someone decent for the JT line then he will have accomplished something. How he might be able to do this after using so much to acquire O'Rielly and Acciari will be very interesting.

I just went thru the rosters of teams that won't make the playoffs and I don't see a match for TO's needs, for a variety of reasons, so let's hope Knies is a ready made star or at least a decent top 6 player.