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Messages - Chris

First off, I have to admit - I LOVE seeing another Domi on this team. Gives me chills every time I see that name on his sweater.

The Leafs are currently playing with almost a third of their expected forward lineup either out (Nylander, McMann) or not yet back to 100% (Marner, Jarnkrok). Add in whatever is going on with Knies - did he just hit "the wall", with all those hits having caught up to him? He looks slow and indecisive. Anyway, despite that they are 1-1 in the series and have outplayed the Bruins most of the time. Overall, the Bruins don't look great to me. They are a couple of goaltenders and a couple of good defenders, but the rest of the team (Pastrnak aside) looks rather ordinary for the most part. This series is for the taking...just need to be smarter about the physical stuff (including pinching), better on special teams (last game was a big step in the right direction), and we NEED Samsonov to play like he did last night.

I won't comment much more on Marner, as I don't think he's back to 100%. He's got two playoff runs available to prove that he is worth that next contract. If it goes well, I think they'll sign him and use the JT money to shore up other areas. If not, all options should be on the table. If things flame out in these playoffs I do think the first bullet will be a coaching change.
Huge huge win. I think this version of the Leafs has proven that they're tough enough. Just need to be a little smarter to go along with it.
Not much separating these teams, even minus Nylander and McMann. That is encouraging.
Quote from: 4EVRLEAFAN on Yesterday at 08:39:16 PMUndisciplined again. 

Yep...was just thinking "don't take any stupid penalties" and right on cue.
I don't see how they can prove that was in.
This would sure be a nice time for the PP to wake up.
Great way to ruin an otherwise pretty decent period.
Quote from: Arn on April 21, 2024, 03:00:52 PMIt's a kind of addition by subtraction. Yes you don't get assets in the form of players back, but you do get cap space so...

Right...is it better to spend $11 or $12 million on a single guy who underperforms in the playoffs (especially in those critical game 7's), or spread the wealth and get two $5-6 million guys. Say you could snap your fingers and replace Marner with Verhaeghe and Jared McCann (or Zach Hyman, or an equivalent defender, or dependable goalie). Team would have less "top end" offensive talent but would be deeper and probably a tougher opponent. Not easy to do, especially if you have to do it through free agency, but there are certainly paths where it could make sense.

The other option is to re-sign Marner and then use the Tavares money to do the same thing. Then you basically sink or swim with the core-3 and hope they figure it out before it's too late.

Probably premature to be talking about this stuff after 1 playoff game so I'll put it on the back burner for now.
Obviously you try to trade him (Marner) but if you can't make it work for whatever reason, then yes it is OK to walk away.

If things go really badly this round (Leafs lose in 4 or 5) then probably the first thing is get rid of Keefe and see if someone else can push this group a little further. In that case you don't rush to re-sign Marner, let him play out next season and see where things are.

I'm not writing them off, it was only one game and I think the score made it look worse than it was. But there are _huge_ problems especially on the backend and the Leaf forwards need to start earning those big salaries by putting the puck in the net.
Quote from: Zee on April 21, 2024, 11:26:21 AMIf Leafs don't get it done again, this core is pretty much screwed. They all have NMCs, Marner won't want to waive it so they risk re-signing him to another ridiculous contract or lose him for nothing. Back in 2016 this was supposed to be the beginning of dominance for the Leafs as the young stars grew and matured and instead they still look like shell shocked rookies when the games get tough.

Again they can still turn this around but if they don't, it's game over for this core.  The time for excuses is over.

If Marner doesn't pick up his game a lot, I'd be OK with letting him walk. He and JT coming off the books would open up a TON of money that could be used to improve the team where it is really needed. If you figure that young players like Knies, Robertson, eventually Cowan and Minten (maybe include McMann though he isn't so young really) continue to get better that's a decent set of fowards to go along with Matthews and Nylander. What is really needed is defense and goaltending.

Of course, this could all be premature as there are at least 3 games left to play. But last night certainly didn't do much to suggest this group is really evolving in a positive direction.
6 straight playoff games with 2 goals or less. Not going to do much winning that way.
Jarnkrok on the PP...not sure I get that one.
Quote from: TheMightyOdin on April 20, 2024, 09:05:36 PMWatching the intermission panel talking.  I'm sorry, Nylander is great but wouldn't be a magical difference for what we are watching.

A healthy Nylander would improve the PP (just what are they trying to do tonight) and would create a big matchup problem if he's on the 3rd line. Leafs only real advantage in this series was supposed to be their top end scorers and overall offensive depth. His absence is a huge loss. Now, whether it would be enough to overcome the deficiencies elsewhere (especially on defense and in goal), who knows. But if he's out multiple games the Leafs chances take a huge hit.
Quote from: Gerald The Duck on April 20, 2024, 08:58:18 PMNo real surprises. Goaltending and the effectiveness of forecheck and zone exits are the difference. It will be a short series unless the Leafs can clean that up.

Looks like same old same old. Leaf defense and goaltending not good enough, Leaf superstars shut down by opposing defense and goaltender. They are really missing Nylander and McMann, but even with them in the lineup...not sure it's enough to overcome the huge differences on the back end.