Author Topic: 2021-22 Toronto Maple Leafs General Discussion  (Read 14746 times)

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Offline Deebo

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Re: 2021-22 Toronto Maple Leafs General Discussion
« Reply #315 on: July 29, 2021, 10:56:50 AM »
I don't think it nerfed Kessel's value

His play that year did that.

Imagine we kept him and he had another 60 point season here, like he did in the regular season in Pittsburgh. His value would have tanked even more.

Offline L K

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Re: 2021-22 Toronto Maple Leafs General Discussion
« Reply #316 on: July 29, 2021, 11:10:28 AM »
I don't think it nerfed Kessel's value

His play that year did that.

Imagine we kept him and he had another 60 point season here, like he did in the regular season in Pittsburgh. His value would have tanked even more.

Pre Horachek - 39GP 18G 23A 41P
Horachek - 43GP 7G 13A 20P

Imagine if we didn't hire an incompetent coach to finish that season.

Offline herman

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Re: 2021-22 Toronto Maple Leafs General Discussion
« Reply #317 on: July 29, 2021, 11:17:19 AM »
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. 
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Offline Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate

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Re: 2021-22 Toronto Maple Leafs General Discussion
« Reply #318 on: July 29, 2021, 11:18:44 AM »
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.

Offline herman

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Re: 2021-22 Toronto Maple Leafs General Discussion
« Reply #319 on: July 29, 2021, 11:19:48 AM »
The only thing that can dispel that is to win a freaking round in the playoffs.

But what does that actually prove?
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Offline Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate

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Re: 2021-22 Toronto Maple Leafs General Discussion
« Reply #320 on: July 29, 2021, 11:20:13 AM »
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.

Offline Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate

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Re: 2021-22 Toronto Maple Leafs General Discussion
« Reply #321 on: July 29, 2021, 11:20:44 AM »
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.

Offline CarltonTheBear

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Re: 2021-22 Toronto Maple Leafs General Discussion
« Reply #322 on: July 29, 2021, 11:21:46 AM »
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?

To have lost all faith in this team after what we saw this spring you essentially have to believe that a top-5 hockey player on the entire planet in Matthews and one of the highest scoring forwards over the past 3 years in Marner are just going to inexplicably crap the bed again in the playoffs. That's the short and long version of why we got knocked out. I was pissed and frustrated too after that playoff run and I don't expect anyone who still feels like that to switch back to optimism on a dime but I just can't believe two forwards that good are going to perform that bad again.

That's also why I'm not calling for as many changes as others might be. The biggest changes this team needs is for Matthews and Marner to get over that playoff hump and dominate like we know they can (both of whom have shown some shades of that with Mitch in 2018 and Auston in 2020).

Offline herman

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Re: 2021-22 Toronto Maple Leafs General Discussion
« Reply #323 on: July 29, 2021, 11:23:41 AM »
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?

To have lost all faith in this team after what we saw this spring you essentially have to believe that a top-5 hockey player on the entire planet in Matthews and one of the highest scoring forwards over the past 3 years in Marner are just going to inexplicably crap the bed again in the playoffs. That's the short and long version of why we got knocked out. I was pissed and frustrated too after that playoff run and I don't expect anyone who still feels like that to switch back to optimism on a dime but I just can't believe two forwards that good are going to perform that bad again.

That's also why I'm not calling for as many changes as others might be. The biggest changes this team needs is for Matthews and Marner to get over that playoff hump and dominate like we know they can (both of whom have shown some shades of that with Mitch in 2018 and Auston in 2020).

Play them less in the regular season, problem solve those trailing games with other players to get them some growth too, and so Matthews-Marner have some gas for when the games get real. That really all there is that needs to be done. Everything else is window dressing.
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Offline Frank E

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Re: 2021-22 Toronto Maple Leafs General Discussion
« Reply #324 on: July 29, 2021, 11:24:35 AM »
The only thing that can dispel that is to win a freaking round in the playoffs.

But what does that actually prove?

I think it would disprove that they can't thrive under the pressure conditions of the playoffs.

Offline Bill_Berg_is_sad

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Re: 2021-22 Toronto Maple Leafs General Discussion
« Reply #325 on: July 29, 2021, 11:34:42 AM »
The only thing that can dispel that is to win a freaking round in the playoffs.

But what does that actually prove?

It will prove that watching them can actually be enjoyable.

Offline Guilt Trip

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Re: 2021-22 Toronto Maple Leafs General Discussion
« Reply #326 on: July 29, 2021, 11:44:04 AM »
The only thing that can dispel that is to win a freaking round in the playoffs.

But what does that actually prove?

It will prove that watching them can actually be enjoyable.
It was enjoyable tho. I enjoyed the season on a whole...didn't like the ending but it was a great year.

Offline OldTimeHockey

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Re: 2021-22 Toronto Maple Leafs General Discussion
« Reply #327 on: July 29, 2021, 11:47:39 AM »
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.

38

The thought has crossed my mind that either he or Topi Niemelä could turn into that guy.  It's not out of the realm of possibilities, but it also isn't a lock, so right now that is a hope and a prayer, rather than going out and getting someone who has proven that they can be in the conversation as one of the best defensemen in the league.

isn't that the definition of building your team through free agency?

Offline OldTimeHockey

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Re: 2021-22 Toronto Maple Leafs General Discussion
« Reply #328 on: July 29, 2021, 11:56:20 AM »
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?

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.

I don't get this thought process. I'm optimistic about every team I play on, coach, or cheer for going into a new season. Last year is erased. Fresh start. Fresh beginning. All that stuff. Will that optimism have peaks and valleys. It certainly will. But game one of a new season isn't when my optimism is in a valley. A playoff series win may heighten my optimism, but it won't create it.

Offline Chris

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Re: 2021-22 Toronto Maple Leafs General Discussion
« Reply #329 on: July 29, 2021, 12:16:51 PM »
Here's where I'm at with the Leafs. I'm disappointed that a rebuild that looked so promising seems to have stalled. Some of that is just bad luck (pandemic and resulting flat cap). However, some of it also has to be put on management for signing those contracts that have helped put us in this position. And also for letting so much talent walk away for nothing over the years. The early playoff runs were nice, but it led to the rebuild being sped up - bad trades for rentals, holding onto assets that should have been traded. And there don't seem to have been any lessons learned by the core from those first couple of playoff rounds, otherwise they'd have advanced out of the first round by now.

I'm disappointed that we had to sacrifice some good young talent and replace it with lesser talent. Connor Brown - hard working, tough to play against, capable of 20 goals. Kapanen, had issues but boy was he fun to watch. At least he could bury some of those breakaway chances (ahem, Mikheyev). Johnsson I think was a flash in the pan and injury prone, but another guy who was tough to play against and has scored 20 goals in the league. And now to top it all off, Hyman gone for nothing.

On the plus side, the defense has definitely improved over the past couple of seasons. If the core players ever figure out what they need to do in the playoffs, this team could be a threat. But I've gotta say, after watching some of the playoffs this year, I don't think the Leafs are in the same league as some of those teams (Montreal aside). They also don't have much room for error, as we saw this year when Tavares went down. That's where the lack of some of those depth scorers is really felt.

And will they let Rielly walk? Will they be able to re-sign him? After seeing some of the contracts handed out yesterday, I'm not sure they'll be able to afford him. No one seems willing to take much of a home-town discount anymore. I thought Hyman might be the one but was obviously wrong about that. Will Rielly be the one? Maybe?

Based on where the team is at right now, I expect a regression this year in a tough division where even making the playoffs will be difficult. Maybe some regular season adversity will actually be good for this group. We'll see.