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Messages - Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate

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Marlies & Prospect Talk / Re: Ranking Prospects 2021-2022
« on: Yesterday at 04:16:55 PM »
I am unreasonably angry he didn't get the hat trick of hat tricks.

I wouldn't go that far, but somebody else better pick up the slack for him if he can only be counted on to score 2 goals in game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.
No kidding.  Well we can write him off as a choker and move on.  Another #dubasfail

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Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: 2021 NHL Entry Draft
« on: Yesterday at 04:13:45 PM »
Thanks Deebo.

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Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: 2021 NHL Entry Draft
« on: Yesterday at 02:28:48 PM »
He asked not to be drafted; Montreal didn't respect that.  If his request was genuine, could he not now simply issue a statement saying he refuses Montreal's action and will not participate with them in any way?  Sure, this leaves a bunch of league-ish questions about whether Montreal holds on to his rights until such time as he wants to make himself available (or whether, in so doing, he forfeits the opportunity to be drafted into this league at all), but if he really meant what he said, he ought to try to do something to actually make it come about.

Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: Leafs sign Nick Ritchie - 2 years x 2.5M
« on: July 31, 2021, 10:27:45 PM »

Haha in that first clip Kase and Ritchie made Jake and Willie look like —


Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: Leafs sign Nick Ritchie - 2 years x 2.5M
« on: July 31, 2021, 12:21:12 PM »
How about this if you want to give herman's lad a chance to drive his own line?


or flip Marner & Robertson

The MLHS analysis, which I find tends toward being as absolutely charitable as possible, leads me to think they overpaid.  According to them, this guy has had 5 documented concussions at the age of 25 + other injuries.  Not very reassuring.

But also not surprising.  Dubas seems to overpay a bit on the low-end guys.  In this case, by +$400k, according to the article.  That stuff adds up.

Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: Michael Bunting is a Maple Leaf
« on: July 29, 2021, 10:48:14 PM »
Of Leaf jersey numbers we speak?  Of their coolness?

I have two words for you:

Robert Svehla.

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Hmm a big rangy guy who can roof a backhand at speed?

Oh I like it.  I like it a lot.

I love Hyman; the Leafs are already clearly trying to make more of him. Success will be varied, as will the flavour profiles, but it's a clear player-type this front office pursues. Hyman was Dubas' first acquisition and crown jewel of the development system he implemented under Lou's shadow, so it's not like he doesn't know how to find and nurture them.

I saw this noted in some comments somewhere (maybe r/leafs) but Hyman's playoff numbers are largely the result of injury. We love that he gives it his all every game, even in the doldrums of Febtober 2nd against a 3rd last place team in Podunksville. Come playoffs, when everyone else ramps up their games though, Hyman is already maxed and also running with a lot of wear and tear, and his impact is relatively less apparent. Conversely, Kadri ramps up so much that he shoots off the chart and into suspension.

Looking at this a little sideways, Hyman got replaced by Bunting/Kampf. Bunting is a better shooter, Kampf is better defensively and on the draw; they just don't occupy the same body.

So Heisenberg-hyman?  Or just Hei(sen)man?

Werner "I Love To Watch" Heisenberg

The only thing that can dispel that is to win a freaking round in the playoffs.

But what does that actually prove?

That they can win when the game starts getting called like it's 1999.

Right, but can you really blame people after 5 years of what is essentially failure? How do you believe in this team going forward? How does the regular season matter at all, especially after what we've seen this year?

Calling the first 2, maybe 3 years failures seems harsh to me. The last 2, especially this last one, sure.

Just making the playoffs in the first couple years was exceeding expectations.

The first 3, arguably we should not have really been there, and even then, we pushed some championship caliber teams to the brink with some questionable management/coaching.

The past two are big fat COVID weirdness seasons (oh yeah, a coaching change too). Yes, they were failures, but what type of failures were they? Management, Roster/Personnel, Tactical, Execution, or Divine Judgment?

Where I stand, is the personnel have some responsibility (execution), the coaching staff has some responsibility (tactical), and the management team that empowers them bears the final responsibility. I wouldn't say the issue has been roster-build, which is where people are looking for fixes for their disappointment.

Sorry, but this smacks of some serious Explaining Away.  The first year I'll give you.  After that?  Fai-luh-yer.

Most of the moves so far probably constitute sideways moves:

Mrazek for Andersen probably would be considered a slight "downgrade" but Mrazek and Campbell as a pair might be better than last year. So slight improvement.

Loss of Bogosian I don't think has been quite covered as yet unless there's a different makeup/style on the D

Obviously up front there's no real direct replacement for Hyman but I think the real difference there can be on the 3rd and 4th line. Bunting for Thornton is probably (sad and hard as it is to admit) an improvement. Moving Kerfoot out of 3rd line centre is also probably an improvement.

Sideways from the team that finished first in the division that came runner up in the Cup final -- that we were a goalpost or two away from being directly involved in? Surprisingly very disappointing for some people.

Not trying to pollyanna this (boo Marner-PP1, coaching deployment overreactions) and this is not directed at you, Arn, but it's like people forget this team still has Matthews, Tavares, Nylander, Muzzin, Brodie, Rielly. Teams that have made big changes this offseason so far have largely just tied substantial cap anchors around their necks with middling depth (Buchnevich, Point notwithstanding). There isn't really an outright terrible contract on our cap sheet a la Phaneuf, Marleau, Zaitsev.

Mrazek is probably a downgrade from peak Andersen, but peak Andersen was 3 seasons ago; incidentally we just got the assistant coach that managed the players in front of Mrazek the past couple of seasons.

If Kampf works out as a shutdown 3C (he did effectively it on a defensively inept and moribund CHI team), then that frees up our top 6 to actually do more OZ stuff. Thornton/Kerfoot/broken Riley Nash/Engvall weren't able to do that last season, and also opens up options for either using Kerfoot in the top-6, or trading him/Engvall/Mikheyev to fill the top-6 winger more effectively and shelter Bunting.

Right, but can you really blame people after 5 years of what is essentially failure? How do you believe in this team going forward? How does the regular season matter at all, especially after what we've seen this year?

Right where I am. 

There is no reason to be optimistic about this team.  The only thing that can dispel that is to win a freaking round in the playoffs.

Maybe I'm down on the team but I really think this isn't a good lineup.

What does "good lineup" mean? If you're queasy about using the "C" word like ZBBM said, then sure I get it. If you think this is a bottom-10 team or one that shouldn't make the playoffs then I think that's something else.

Like I said, there's still work to be done (and Dubas essentially admitted they're looking to add one more forward) but I think you can make the case this team is at least as good as the one that played at a 112 point pace last season.

Yeah. This is still a good team. Needs some help to become a great one, but that wasn’t going to happen via free agency.

No one really thought the Leafs were going to get “great” via free agency. Are they as good as they were last season? Better? Worse? How’s the degree and direction of change compare to others in their division?

Sure, you can make the case that “this team is at least as good as the one that played at a 112 point pace last season” but I think you can make a better case that this team looks a lot more like the Edmonton Oilers than we thought it would be this many years into the Shanaplan.

Well, the defense is what improved by leaps and bounds last season, and that is what all of us have been begging for since the days of Bill Barilko.

Seriously, this is FINALLY the season where Liljegren and Sandin should be on the blueline.  They'll make their share of mistakes (oh Rasmus my Rasmus I wish I could wave a magic wand over G5 and make your gaffes go poof) but I have reasonable faith that both will turn out to be good defensemen, and Sandin might even become very good. 

So that to me is some pretty clear separation from EDM.

That said, this team is not a lock to make the playoffs, either.

It often gets said that you shouldn't build your team through free agency, so it was nice to see the Leafs just have to add in depth pieces around the core.  I still think they need a Norris capable d-man, but I don't see how they get that, so they are going to have to roll forward with what they currently have.

When you think about it though, if Tavares, Nylander, Marner and Matthews get rolling in the playoffs, they should be able to go far.  As much as we fans may dislike their depth, those are still 4 players that are hard to match up against if they are firing on all cylinders, and at some point, because they are highly skilled, highly paid, and highly competitive, you would expect that to happen in the playoffs.


Sign Tatar at $2.5mil and you've got:




I mean, that's not bad. Compared to last season you once again have a 3rd/checking line that can probably do it's job but produce zero offence. You've replaced Thornton and Vesey in the top-6 at the start of the season with Tatar and Kerfoot which is a pretty big upgrade. Defence stays mostly the same. In the net Campbell probably won't be as good as he was last season but Mrazek should be much better than Andersen was last season so that evens out.

Add in a properly functioning powerplay and I think the talk about this team definitely 100% being worse than last year is a little overblown.

That's fair.  But by the same token I think all the talk about the Leafs being "contenders" is off the table. 

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