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Messages - Nik

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Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Coronavirus
« on: June 09, 2021, 10:18:39 PM »
I have to say, while I've got nothing but good things to say about the people out there running clinics and administering shots the actual experience of booking things has been frustrating.

On Monday I tried to book my Mother's second shot of Pfizer through the Province. After a few hours of trying to get through on the phone I finally got someone who said the soonest I could get one is the 26th and the nearest one(she lives in downtown Toronto) was in Etobicoke.

Then today while just goofing off on twitter the Vaccine Hunters account posted something for a clinic in Toronto, with dozens of appointments available on Saturday. A few clicks and I booked it.

I genuinely don't understand how this could be so badly managed. How could there be this much of a disconnect?


With the possible exception of Winnipeg/Edmonton, I genuinely don't think it's a stretch to say that in both the North and East divisions the worse team won every single playoff series.

There really is nothing like trying to educate someone on a sport that he has played for 37 years(as a goalie and then a player when knees became too bad), coached for 25(as a goalie coach for a good chunk of it), ran a hockey school for 5(continue to do so).

I'm really not sure what you're looking for here. It feels like in light of that when I said "a game" you would have known what that was. Again, I really didn't think that needed clarification. I'm not being facetious when I say that.


3 of the last 4 Cup winning teams didn't have what we would traditionally have considered a clear #1. They mostly had the 3/5 split I was suggesting, with a guy who was the 1A who carried the load once the playoffs got going, but less so during the regular season.

The only exception in the group was Tampa last season, but they also have one of the top 3 goalies in the league, which makes them somewhat of an outlier. If you get a guy of the calibre of Vasilevskiy, you can run him out almost every game.

That said, it may prove noteworthy that Tampa won things in a shortened season. The last team to win a cup on the back of a goalie who started 60+ games in the regular season was the Kings in 2011-2012.

So Nik, busta, et al.: are you comfortable with running with Campbell next year?  Or he just the best we are likely to get?  And are you done with Freddie?

Well, the beautiful thing of Campbell's contract situation is he's providing such good value that having him around is a plus no matter what the situation ends up being. If there's one thing I'd hope this year taught us it's that the team really needs to be strong at the position up and down the organization because injuries happen, people play poorly at stretches, etc.

I don't think anyone would say "Campbell is the #1 next year and he'll play 70 games" right now and I think obviously you want to add another goalie who is capable of being in charge if Campbell is hurt or ineffective. More plainly you want to sign the best goalie available given the limited cap dollars the team will have provided you can still get good value.

But right now I'm absolutely comfortable giving Campbell the opportunity to come into camp and win a starting job.

Goal 1 G7 may have been just an unfortunate goal to many teams in many circumstances, but to a team that was teetering on the edge of blowing a series lead again?  It may not be provable, but it is plausible that that particular goal had an outsized impact on a mentally fragile group.

It was well into the second period of the third straight game where the team had come out flat. If that's what shook up a "mentally fragile" group then, again, there are much much bigger problems than a goalie who occasionally let in a theoretically stoppable goal.

Agreed. Quite frankly, Campbell is the only reason game 5 wasn't completely out of hand before the end of the 1st period. Same can be said of the most of games 6 and 7. Did he let in some goals he'd like back? Sure, every goalie does - win or lose - but, at the same time, because of his play, the Leafs had a chance to win every single game of this series, and that's all you can reasonably expect of any goalie. If they showed up before the 3rd period in any of the final 3 games, the Leafs knock off the Habs with relative ease.

So one of the ways I think you have to look at it is like if you were going to give Campbell a letter grade for how he did, I think that fairly the worst you could say about him is that he was a B. Now, you can say that the Leafs need better than that to win if you like(but as pointed out, I don't think it's true) but even if that's true it raises a couple of questions:

Q: Has Campbell established he's incapable of providing that?

A: Obviously not. It was his first time in the playoffs. People comparing his numbers to Andersen forget that Andersen had other playoffs before Columbus and the frustration with him was cumulative.

Q2: If the Leafs need "A" calibre goaltending to advance, is there anyone out there in the NHL who has shown that they bring that every year?

A: Not really. Goaltending is volatile these days and especially so in the playoffs. Price, who I think is still on the short list of best goalies in the world, has pretty good playoff numbers and is paid accordingly. Beyond that...Rask? Fleury? Vasilevsky?

Q3: If you need that sort of goaltending to advance, and need someone who's a safe bet to deliver that consistently, aren't those guys going to be incredibly hard to find?

A: Well, yes. Which is why of the handful of guys on the planet at that level none will be on the market.

None of this, obviously, is to suggest the Leafs don't need to have another good option in net along with Campbell. Like I said, the position lends itself to volatility. But after what we just saw from Campbell in the regular season and the playoffs, I really don't think a clear cut better option is going to present itself that will be both affordable and available. Moreover, I think he's earned another shot.

It's still mostly the shooting just like it was last year, it just is. I get the need for a timely save but this is a 5 or 7 game series and if you're forced to make every timely save and your team gives you no run support and therefore no margin of error (and you ignore goals that should've gone in but were saved) then I'm not really sure what more there is to do. Put the puck in the net just one more time than they did in Game 5 & 6 and this conversation doesn't even happen.

Yeah, also it defines "can't make the big save" as "can't make every single big save". I'm pretty sure Campbell did, in fact, make some big saves. The standard here isn't a particularly fair one and doesn't legitimately contrast Campbell to lots and lots of goalies who have won playoff series being less good than he was. The difference between goalies who win series and goalies who don't is not whether or not they ever let in goalies that theoretically could have been stopped.

LOL and this is why people have a hard time with Nik. I'm always up for someone explaining the game of hockey to me though.

I really thought "the Leafs didn't play a game where they dominated the Habs but lost" was fairly straightforward. "Oh yeah, well here's a small stretch of game 6 where they badly outshot the Habs but lost because of a deflected goal" was not a particularly solid rebuttal but if that's why people have a hard time with me I suppose that's my cross to bear.


I...didnt think I'd have to explain to people what a hockey game is but there are always new challenges in life I suppose.


Yeah, I think if you went back and looked at any close series you'd find goalies occasionally letting in goals at inopportune moments that they theoretically could have stopped. It's not a reasonable standard to hold for a "good enough to win".

Really at no point in the series did the Leafs play a game where they dominated the Habs in any meaningful way but were let down by their goalie and lost. Beyond that, you can't ask a ton more out of someone.

General Rumours & Speculation / Re: Armchair GM 2021-2022: Catharsis
« on: June 07, 2021, 02:05:48 PM »

Yes, if there's one thing you need, it's the guy with a career .908 playoff SV% who has made it out of the first round once.


I mean, the Leafs unquestionably had an opportunity to win.

I mean, that can be said for just about every sporting match ever played between 2 teams.

It was your language, not mine.

Regardless, a team that had two overtime games while a goal away from ending the series was not done in by their goaltending. Campbell was perfectly good enough for them to win, they just didn't. Sure, he didn't steal any of the games when they'd won three games but that's a far sight different from saying his goaltending was a major obstacle to them winning.


I mean, the Leafs unquestionably had an opportunity to win.

I can only speak for myself here, but his actions on and off the ice are really reinforcing my opinion. Confirmation bias perhaps is playing a role, but I have no other hypothesis that matches. I think he cares a tremendous amount about doing what it takes to win and really looks like he's trying to singlehandedly carry the Cup home and he's crushing himself with expectations and disappointment.

I think having an opinion about Marner is fine, I just don't think we can state with any certainty what he might think about anything. I think some reluctance on his part to change is understandable as a young guy who's succeeded at every level to believe that whatever obstacle might be in his way that he can eventually overcome it. That's why, if the coaching/managing staff thinks that they need quicker results then that, it's imperative that they bring the foot down and just make that change and tell Marner to like it or lump it.

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