Author Topic: My honest opinion for 2021-22  (Read 872 times)

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Offline Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate

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Re: My honest opinion for 2021-22
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2021, 11:11:57 PM »
The Keefe criticism seems odd to me.  He's put the Leafs at 113 point pace in his two partial seasons.  He's 5-7 in the postseason with four games going to OT.  Obviously results are the deciding factor on what you do but he still hasn't had a full 82-game season with the team.

Fair or not, Keefe is tied to Dubas.  If they flop again, Shanahan and Dubas will likely get the boot, and thus so will Keefe.

Depending on how the offseason goes I'm not even sure that will be the case.  If they trade Marner this offseason and they flop...yeah I think they rebuild the front office.  If they don't I think there is still room for the "break up the top of the roster" offseason.

6 first-round exits in a row would, I'm pretty sure, result in a house-cleaning in the management ranks.

I agree, and have said, that Dubas did everything he could this year to address team needs.  He's made some bad moves like all GMs but I really liked what he did to the team, especially defensively.  Nonetheless, he's out of excuses in terms of actually moving beyond just making the playoffs.

Offline Shamus2009

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Re: My honest opinion for 2021-22
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2021, 06:10:17 AM »
The Keefe criticism seems odd to me.  He's put the Leafs at 113 point pace in his two partial seasons.  He's 5-7 in the postseason with four games going to OT.  Obviously results are the deciding factor on what you do but he still hasn't had a full 82-game season with the team.

Fair or not, Keefe is tied to Dubas.  If they flop again, Shanahan and Dubas will likely get the boot, and thus so will Keefe.

Depending on how the offseason goes I'm not even sure that will be the case.  If they trade Marner this offseason and they flop...yeah I think they rebuild the front office.  If they don't I think there is still room for the "break up the top of the roster" offseason.

6 first-round exits in a row would, I'm pretty sure, result in a house-cleaning in the management ranks.

I agree, and have said, that Dubas did everything he could this year to address team needs.  He's made some bad moves like all GMs but I really liked what he did to the team, especially defensively.  Nonetheless, he's out of excuses in terms of actually moving beyond just making the playoffs.
I agree, like I said I’m not a big dubas fan from the get go, but that’s me I am of the belief that defence wins championships and dubas and keefe want to build an offensive power house that can our score it’s defensive deficiency. I don’t think that really works, that might be because growing up I was a goaltender so I value defence more than most. Looking at this team while the defence is better than last season it’s still not championship worthy Brodie really helped Riely and bogo (who is not under contract for next season) did all the little things right defensively. I find there’s a real lack of defensive defence men on the team that can eat minutes in tight games and you can really trust in your own zone, muzzin and bogo are good at that but they’re older, I starting to trust holl a bit, dermott we’ll they turn over says it all and same goes for sandin, not saying there bad but those bad turn overs at times that you just can’t do that.

This was definitely the best leafs teams we’ve seen but I still didn’t see a Stanley cup contender when I watched them, I seen the best team in Canada. Even then though when they went trough that little slump this season both my cousin who is as big if not bigger leafs fan as I am and myself said this team isn’t going to beat Montreal, of course after they beat Montreal those last two games we kind of changed our mind and thought we were just overreacting. This team is flawed all teams are but I don’t think they are minor tweaks away from winning a cup, minor tweaks from a first round win maybe but that’s not the end goal it’s to win a cup, but here in leafs nation we’d probably celebrate that first round win like it was a cup, and that might just prolong our misery and we win a round that year but we still aren’t close to winning a cup.


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Offline Bender

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Re: My honest opinion for 2021-22
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2021, 09:41:50 AM »

I just feel like a lot of the criticisms of Dubas are really based in a lot of unfair hindsight. Like, I was just about the only person here during the Foligno trade saying "Eh, I don't like this. Too high a price. I'd rather have spent less on Hall*" and virtually everyone else was "No, the team needs more grit and leadership. It's why they got beat by Columbus".

Likewise, they "needed" a more physical defense. In comes Brodie. They "needed" more grit and veteran leadership. Here comes Thornton/Simmonds. Everything people said the Leafs should do, they did. It's why they were so favoured over Montreal. Nobody was saying "Man, the Leafs are at a real disadvantage because of all the money they gave to their top 4 forwards against the Habs" until they lost.

The Leafs were a good team. They had depth. They had balance. They got good goaltending. Odds are, absent injuries to Foligno and Tavares, they win the series.

I'm all for a post-mortem but there's a difference between finding a cause of death and saying that it was forseeable. There is no way of building a team where an injury to one of your best players and your key deadline acquisition doesn't hurt. There is no way of building a team that renders you immune from running into a hot goalie. 

Until someone actually presents a positive way forward, advocating for changes just because "Things didn't work" might feel cathartic but I don't think we can confuse it for actual strategy.
In that sense though isn't there a lot of risk tying that much cap space to a single player? If salary was spread out more you'd have more flexibility and the house of cards is less likely to fall apart with a singular injury. I mean, I get that most teams would be in tough if they lost one of their star centres but maybe you can mitigate that risk better. The team shouldn't be an injury to Tavares, Nylander, Matthews, Marner or even Muzzin away from winning and losing in the first round, it just seems very risky.
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Offline Shamus2009

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Re: My honest opinion for 2021-22
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2021, 12:29:45 PM »

I just feel like a lot of the criticisms of Dubas are really based in a lot of unfair hindsight. Like, I was just about the only person here during the Foligno trade saying "Eh, I don't like this. Too high a price. I'd rather have spent less on Hall*" and virtually everyone else was "No, the team needs more grit and leadership. It's why they got beat by Columbus".

Likewise, they "needed" a more physical defense. In comes Brodie. They "needed" more grit and veteran leadership. Here comes Thornton/Simmonds. Everything people said the Leafs should do, they did. It's why they were so favoured over Montreal. Nobody was saying "Man, the Leafs are at a real disadvantage because of all the money they gave to their top 4 forwards against the Habs" until they lost.

The Leafs were a good team. They had depth. They had balance. They got good goaltending. Odds are, absent injuries to Foligno and Tavares, they win the series.

I'm all for a post-mortem but there's a difference between finding a cause of death and saying that it was forseeable. There is no way of building a team where an injury to one of your best players and your key deadline acquisition doesn't hurt. There is no way of building a team that renders you immune from running into a hot goalie. 

Until someone actually presents a positive way forward, advocating for changes just because "Things didn't work" might feel cathartic but I don't think we can confuse it for actual strategy.
In that sense though isn't there a lot of risk tying that much cap space to a single player? If salary was spread out more you'd have more flexibility and the house of cards is less likely to fall apart with a singular injury. I mean, I get that most teams would be in tough if they lost one of their star centres but maybe you can mitigate that risk better. The team shouldn't be an injury to Tavares, Nylander, Matthews, Marner or even Muzzin away from winning and losing in the first round, it just seems very risky.
I agree they are too too heavy the money has to be spread out more, we had two injuries and two players who had a rough playoff and they lost. A lot of people are saying if Tavares doesn’t get hurt the leafs win the series, we’ll he did and the leafs took a poop. There’s always injuries in the playoffs stamkos last year played two periods and still Tampa won the cup.


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Offline bustaheims

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Re: My honest opinion for 2021-22
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2021, 01:40:47 PM »
In that sense though isn't there a lot of risk tying that much cap space to a single player? If salary was spread out more you'd have more flexibility and the house of cards is less likely to fall apart with a singular injury. I mean, I get that most teams would be in tough if they lost one of their star centres but maybe you can mitigate that risk better. The team shouldn't be an injury to Tavares, Nylander, Matthews, Marner or even Muzzin away from winning and losing in the first round, it just seems very risky.

Maybe, but I think the issue this year was less Tavares getting hurt (though, obviously, that didn't help) but the team's best players mostly not playing their best. If Marner or Matthews put another puck or two past Price, and we're having a very different discussion. The lack of production from the depth forwards was obviously not great, but when your top players aren't among your top performers, you're not going to get very far.
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Offline Nik

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Re: My honest opinion for 2021-22
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2021, 01:50:51 PM »
In that sense though isn't there a lot of risk tying that much cap space to a single player? If salary was spread out more you'd have more flexibility and the house of cards is less likely to fall apart with a singular injury. I mean, I get that most teams would be in tough if they lost one of their star centres but maybe you can mitigate that risk better. The team shouldn't be an injury to Tavares, Nylander, Matthews, Marner or even Muzzin away from winning and losing in the first round, it just seems very risky.

I appreciate the point you're making but the reality is that the team didn't "fall apart" with a single injury. They didn't get waxed in 4 like the Oilers after Tavares got hurt despite facing a team that was perfectly capable of beating a "better team" in 4 games like we saw in round 2 vs. the Jets. They sustained an injury to one of their top 4 players(and Foligno) and still very nearly won the series in 5 games.

If by "fall apart" you just mean lose a series then you might be right(although, and I can't stress this enough, any team is capable of losing in the first round for just about any reason) that a team without Tavares but with that cap space is more likely to win a first round series if one guy gets hurt but I don't think it makes the team better necessarily if the overall goal is to win the cup. And at that point you have to ask if the goal is to build a team capable of getting to the 2nd round if things go wrong or a team capable of winning the cup if things go right.
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Offline Nik

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Re: My honest opinion for 2021-22
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2021, 02:06:57 PM »
Maybe, but I think the issue this year was less Tavares getting hurt (though, obviously, that didn't help) but the team's best players mostly not playing their best. If Marner or Matthews put another puck or two past Price, and we're having a very different discussion. The lack of production from the depth forwards was obviously not great, but when your top players aren't among your top performers, you're not going to get very far.

Yeah, I think the point about Tavares' injury is being lost somewhat. It's not "the entire series hinged on Tavares getting hurt" but rather "the Leafs ran into a hot goalie and a team that shut down Matthews and Marner and got very unlucky with multiple injuries and they almost very nearly won the series convincingly, so let's not pretend retroactively that the talent difference was falsely stated".

And again, this is something that's come up in multiple threads now but there's a false dichotomy here being presented as some people think the team should be "top-heavy" and others who want to build good depth. Everyone wants the Leafs to have good depth, just that simply subtracting one of the team's better players and having a bunch of cap space in and of itself isn't a good way to build depth.
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Offline Shamus2009

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Re: My honest opinion for 2021-22
« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2021, 06:46:42 PM »
In that sense though isn't there a lot of risk tying that much cap space to a single player? If salary was spread out more you'd have more flexibility and the house of cards is less likely to fall apart with a singular injury. I mean, I get that most teams would be in tough if they lost one of their star centres but maybe you can mitigate that risk better. The team shouldn't be an injury to Tavares, Nylander, Matthews, Marner or even Muzzin away from winning and losing in the first round, it just seems very risky.

Maybe, but I think the issue this year was less Tavares getting hurt (though, obviously, that didn't help) but the team's best players mostly not playing their best. If Marner or Matthews put another puck or two past Price, and we're having a very different discussion. The lack of production from the depth forwards was obviously not great, but when your top players aren't among your top performers, you're not going to get very far.
There really wasn’t a lack of scoring from the depth guys though, muzzin, kerfoot, spezza, Brodie, Riely all put up points just the Mitch and auston couldn’t get anything going after game four. Depth scoring wasn’t a problem this playoff run which is the worst part of all because the guys actually paid to score couldn’t, except nylander.


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Offline Shamus2009

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Re: My honest opinion for 2021-22
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2021, 06:52:32 PM »
Maybe, but I think the issue this year was less Tavares getting hurt (though, obviously, that didn't help) but the team's best players mostly not playing their best. If Marner or Matthews put another puck or two past Price, and we're having a very different discussion. The lack of production from the depth forwards was obviously not great, but when your top players aren't among your top performers, you're not going to get very far.

Yeah, I think the point about Tavares' injury is being lost somewhat. It's not "the entire series hinged on Tavares getting hurt" but rather "the Leafs ran into a hot goalie and a team that shut down Matthews and Marner and got very unlucky with multiple injuries and they almost very nearly won the series convincingly, so let's not pretend retroactively that the talent difference was falsely stated".

And again, this is something that's come up in multiple threads now but there's a false dichotomy here being presented as some people think the team should be "top-heavy" and others who want to build good depth. Everyone wants the Leafs to have good depth, just that simply subtracting one of the team's better players and having a bunch of cap space in and of itself isn't a good way to build depth.
Price was good and made some big saves but for the most part he had it pretty easy very few second chance opportunities he was able to make the first save and cover it up. That game that that the leafs out shot Montreal 13–2 in overtime I counted 5 shots that were shot right to his glove with no traffic infront, just an open look for price. Price has a great glove hand and you shot the puck to his glove with no traffic it’s a dead puck. I was screaming at the tv the whole over time shoot for a rebound but shot after shot on his glove.


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Offline bustaheims

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Re: My honest opinion for 2021-22
« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2021, 09:38:44 PM »
There really wasn’t a lack of scoring from the depth guys though, muzzin, kerfoot, spezza, Brodie, Riely all put up points just the Mitch and auston couldn’t get anything going after game four. Depth scoring wasn’t a problem this playoff run which is the worst part of all because the guys actually paid to score couldn’t, except nylander.


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5 goals in 7 games from forwards not named Nylander or Spezza - and only 2 from guys not playing in the top 6 - is absolutely a lack of production from the depth forwards. The fact that the defence scored the same amount is nice, but is not at all a recipe for success. The top guys need to carry the majority of the load, but the Cup gets win by teams that have productive bottom 6 guys.
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Offline Shamus2009

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Re: My honest opinion for 2021-22
« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2021, 07:09:39 AM »
There really wasn’t a lack of scoring from the depth guys though, muzzin, kerfoot, spezza, Brodie, Riely all put up points just the Mitch and auston couldn’t get anything going after game four. Depth scoring wasn’t a problem this playoff run which is the worst part of all because the guys actually paid to score couldn’t, except nylander.


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5 goals in 7 games from forwards not named Nylander or Spezza - and only 2 from guys not playing in the top 6 - is absolutely a lack of production from the depth forwards. The fact that the defence scored the same amount is nice, but is not at all a recipe for success. The top guys need to carry the majority of the load, but the Cup gets win by teams that have productive bottom 6 guys.
Spezza 3 goals is definitely depth scoring he’s a four liner. Muzzin is depth scoring, Thornton scored, kerfoot scored. That’s depth scoring no doubt about it.


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Offline bustaheims

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Re: My honest opinion for 2021-22
« Reply #26 on: June 22, 2021, 09:50:20 AM »
Spezza 3 goals is definitely depth scoring he’s a four liner. Muzzin is depth scoring, Thornton scored, kerfoot scored. That’s depth scoring no doubt about it.

Hey, if you consider a total of 5 goals in the series from forwards not named Nylander and Spezza to be enough depth, that's on you. I don't, and I doubt too many others around here do, either.

The defencemen contributed, sure, but you can't rely on them to drive the team's offence. Production has to come mainly from your forwards, and, outside of two guys, the Leafs didn't get enough of that.
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Offline KW Sluggo

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Re: My honest opinion for 2021-22
« Reply #27 on: July 25, 2021, 03:29:18 PM »
I never did understand the Zaitsev departure in the sense that he was being asked by Babcock to play a different role, one he was ill suited for and didn't like. It seemed to me that the expedient step would have been to revert Zaitsev to his previous role where he played reasonable well (well enough to get a raise and a contract extension anyway) and wait to see how he performed.

Then there is the fact that Babcock was already on thin ice at the time -- although it was not publicly known at the time -- so why dump a player to satisfy a coach in that position?

The policy of giving away players and first rounders is stupid. Connor Brown springs to mind but there are others. The Marleau first round price was insane as was the same price paid to bring in Foligno -- a player that leaf management does not seem overly interested in retaining.

Shortly put, the debate as to wether Lou or Dubas is or was the better choice as GM avoids the alternative that perhaps neither one was better than the other ... or the best choice.

If it came down to a choice however, I would have chosen Lou, based purely on his body of work and his understanding of the type of player needed to win in the playoffs.

Insanity is repeating the same behaviour expecting a different result and the Dubas insistence that he will bet it all on this group makes me think 2021/22 will be his last as Leaf GM. Last year's roster was not good enough and I see nothing so far to indicate next years' will be better or even as good.


Offline Bender

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Re: My honest opinion for 2021-22
« Reply #28 on: July 25, 2021, 04:14:54 PM »
I never did understand the Zaitsev departure in the sense that he was being asked by Babcock to play a different role, one he was ill suited for and didn't like. It seemed to me that the expedient step would have been to revert Zaitsev to his previous role where he played reasonable well (well enough to get a raise and a contract extension anyway) and wait to see how he performed.

Then there is the fact that Babcock was already on thin ice at the time -- although it was not publicly known at the time -- so why dump a player to satisfy a coach in that position?

The policy of giving away players and first rounders is stupid. Connor Brown springs to mind but there are others. The Marleau first round price was insane as was the same price paid to bring in Foligno -- a player that leaf management does not seem overly interested in retaining.

Shortly put, the debate as to wether Lou or Dubas is or was the better choice as GM avoids the alternative that perhaps neither one was better than the other ... or the best choice.

If it came down to a choice however, I would have chosen Lou, based purely on his body of work and his understanding of the type of player needed to win in the playoffs.

Insanity is repeating the same behaviour expecting a different result and the Dubas insistence that he will bet it all on this group makes me think 2021/22 will be his last as Leaf GM. Last year's roster was not good enough and I see nothing so far to indicate next years' will be better or even as good.
I do agree with you near the end of the post but I do find it funny that Dubas had to clean up Lou's messes and then you say you'd keep Lou for his body of work.
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Offline A Weekend at Bernier's

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Re: My honest opinion for 2021-22
« Reply #29 on: July 26, 2021, 01:00:51 PM »
I never did understand the Zaitsev departure in the sense that he was being asked by Babcock to play a different role, one he was ill suited for and didn't like. It seemed to me that the expedient step would have been to revert Zaitsev to his previous role where he played reasonable well (well enough to get a raise and a contract extension anyway) and wait to see how he performed.

Then there is the fact that Babcock was already on thin ice at the time -- although it was not publicly known at the time -- so why dump a player to satisfy a coach in that position?

The policy of giving away players and first rounders is stupid. Connor Brown springs to mind but there are others. The Marleau first round price was insane as was the same price paid to bring in Foligno -- a player that leaf management does not seem overly interested in retaining.

Shortly put, the debate as to wether Lou or Dubas is or was the better choice as GM avoids the alternative that perhaps neither one was better than the other ... or the best choice.

If it came down to a choice however, I would have chosen Lou, based purely on his body of work and his understanding of the type of player needed to win in the playoffs.

Insanity is repeating the same behaviour expecting a different result and the Dubas insistence that he will bet it all on this group makes me think 2021/22 will be his last as Leaf GM. Last year's roster was not good enough and I see nothing so far to indicate next years' will be better or even as good.

Very unfair for you to call it a 'policy' of 'giving away players and first rounders'.  What, exactly, should Dubas have done with the Marleau contract?  Cap space is valuable, extremely valuable.  Did you see the recent Shane Gostisbehere trade to Arizona?  Competing GMs will demand a premium to help with cap issues, hence Dubas' stance with Edmonton on the Hyman deal.

I just don't understand the bias against Dubas.  I mean, have at it, he hasn't delivered the success we all hoped for.  But man alive at least use real examples rather than these straw-man arguments that are clearly disingenuous.