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Topics - Nik the Trik

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Vasilevsky extends in Tampa. 8 years, 9.5 AAV.

NHL Transactions / Lucic to CGY for James Neal
« on: July 19, 2019, 03:43:31 PM »
Per Friedman


General NHL News & Views / Commissioner for a Day
« on: July 18, 2019, 11:31:12 AM »

So in yet another of our slow summer, there's nothing to talk about exercises, I'll put this classic to the board. If you're given ultimate power over the league to make the changes you want to make to it, how are you changing the NHL as it currently is? What rule tweaks, big or small, do you think would make for a better game?

Here are mine:


1. No cap
2. No draft
3. No restricted free agency
4. Streamline the rule book to more accurately reflect the game on the ice. If you want referees to not call every penalty they see for the sake of a game's flow or to call even-up penalties...say so.


1. No more offside reviews. If a ref misses a call leading to a goal, they miss the call.
2. Penalties are a full 2 minutes, regardless of scoring. Also the team on the PP can decide if they want 5 on 4 or 4 on 3.
3. No shootouts. 3 points for a win, 1 for a tie.
4. No more "distinct kicking motion" stuff. Anything short of a full soccer wind-up kick is a good goal
5. Fighting majors come with automatic game misconducts

Any other ideas for ways to make the game better?

General NHL News & Views / The Salary Cap
« on: June 27, 2019, 09:15:20 AM »

So now that the Leafs are caught up in the hard/ugly side of the cap instead of the "Yeah, we'll take bad contracts for picks" side they'd been in for years I'm wondering if the general view of the cap has changed around here. I don't think I was quite alone in thinking the cap was a bad idea during the lockouts but it definitely didn't feel like a popular opinion. Either way, the absurdity of the Leafs not being able to "afford" a player like Jake Gardiner feels like it should be winning some converts my way.

So what say you, TMLfans? Still backing the necessity of a hard cap to keep the Phoenixes and Carolinas afloat? Wanting to see some increased flexibility? Or are you, like me, as firmly as ever in the "Caps are bad" school?

NHL Transactions / JT Miller to Canucks
« on: June 22, 2019, 03:17:51 PM »

All Sports But Hockey / NBA Off-Season Discussion
« on: June 15, 2019, 06:58:37 PM »

Well, it's probably going to be one of the most eventful NBA off-seasons ever with a once in a generation looking top draft pick, some huge free agents and our World Champion Toronto Raptors faced with the task of either re-signing Kawhi or figuring something else out. Thought it'd be good to have a place to talk about it.

Because the first big shoe dropped. Anthony Davis, after asking for a trade and making it clear he would only re-sign with the Lakers, gets his wish. Going to New Orleans are Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, some other guy and 3 firsts including the #4 in the draft.

Ok Blue Jays Talk / 2019 Blue Jays General Discussion Thread
« on: February 17, 2019, 12:26:03 PM »

Well, that time of year and everything. Pitchers and Catchers reporting. Stroman upset about something.

Here's their Spring Training Schedule:

And to start things off with a medium hot take that allows me to criticize the current management instead of defending it: while I understand the strategic argument for doing it, I think the team is wrong with their plans for Vladdy Jr., the extra year of cheap baseball is not worth bumming out what already figures to be a depressed fan base.

NHL Transactions / Cam Talbot to Flyers
« on: February 16, 2019, 12:05:40 AM »
For Anthony Stolarz

Per Sportsnet

Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Mid-Season Grades
« on: January 07, 2019, 09:14:41 AM »

Well, at the 41 game mark I'm going to give my impression of the season. Obviously with the team playing as well as they are there isn't much to complain about(GDTs notwithstanding) but i think it's still useful to breakdown where the team needs to improve and who is really flying. My grades are both going to reflect how a player is doing in relation to expectations for them while not grading entirely on a curve of those expectations(Zach Hyman being the best Zach Hyman he can be does not get an Auston Matthews grade for doing the same)

So, here we go:


Mitch Marner: Not much needed here. The team's leading scorer is on pace for a 30 goal, 110 point season and to my mind has cemented his place on a future Team Canada selection. His emergence as a PK option has really raised the question of whether he might end up being the Leafs' best overall player.

Auston Matthews: Shame about the injury because he's scoring at a 61 goal, 118 point pace which would have him in the thick of Hart talk if he'd been around. Winning face-offs at a good clip(53%) which is a nice development. Wish the possession numbers were a little better.


John Tavares: Johnny Toronto! Captain Bedsheets! Good Possession numbers! Very good on the draw! Leadership! Exclamation Marks! Would be an A+ if not for the fact that I think that the 2nd highest cap hit in the league should be in the "Best Player in the League?" conversation rather than "Best Centre on his team?" conversation but it's a fairly minor ding. Feels more and more like he'll be named Captain. 

Morgan Rielly: Is on pace for 26 goals and...90 points? Can that be right? Call the boys in the lab and get them to check on it. Loses the + because I don't think he's really taken a step towards being one of the elite defensemen in the league. The numbers are nice but I still think they're a little hollow. The possession numbers aren't mind blowing and defensively he still seems a bit hit or miss.

Frederik Andersen: I was tempted to go a little bit lower here. He's had a solid season but I don't know that I saw a ton of growth over what he'd done before. Then I looked around the league and saw he had a SV% almost 20 points higher than the league average so...enjoy your A and let that groin heal, buddy.




Travis Dermott: Definitely cementing his place as a NHL defenseman who can be relied on for steady play and competence in all three zones. Very good possession numbers offset a bit of a lack of offense and a lack of spectacularness(which may or not be a word).

Kaspari Kapanen: I'm sure some people would be tempted to put him higher but this feels about right for a guy on pace for a 50 point season. Solid in all three zones, the speed is nice and looks to be pretty valuable as a guy who can be valuable on any line but we're going to forget the "Better than Nylander" stuff pretty quickly.


Jake Gardiner: He is what he is at this point. Scoring is down, which is surprising of anyone this year, but that's probably because the #2 PP hasn't really clicked. Still much better than some give him credit for. Will hurt to lose him more than people realize.

Nazem Kadri: Good ol' Naz. Still a nice luxury to have as a #3 C, still capable of chipping in when needed, doesn't seem to really be well used on the PP and another 30 goal season seems like a long shot.

Zach Hyman: Good all-around presence. Good defensive work, decent enough at popping them in that he's not dragging down Tavares-Marner too much, not a valuable enough player that you can overlook suspensions so hopefully it's his last one.


Andreas Johnsson: Fine enough for what he is. I get the sense that over the next 5 or 10 years we'll have a lot of guys like him who get hot for a bit playing with Matthews or Marner or Nylander and we'll lose a bit of perspective but still.

Garret Sparks: Kind of an adventure and still not the calm and steady performance you want from a back up but still better than league average sv% from a backup merits a decent grade.

Old Man Marleau: Still a solid enough player on the third line. Can still score when needed. Definitely having fewer moments that make me think "Oh yeah, Patrick Marleau is a really good player".

Par Lindholm: Versatile, speedy, winning his face-offs. Unexciting. Par is still a goofy name.


Connor Brown: Doing a decent enough job being shuffled around the line-up and working the PK. I remember when "Brown may never score 20 again" was a controversial opinion of mine.

Oz: Pretty good for a #6/7 defenseman which feels like a C+. Don't see that he'll ever be much more than that and resultingly I'm not overly inclined to learn how to spell the guy's name.


Goaty McGoatface: Certainly is on the team.


Nikita Zaitsev: Wait, is he still on the team?


Ron Hainsey: This feels a little unfair. I don't think that when he signed a 2 year, 6 million dollar deal he thought he was going to be getting top 4 minutes on a contender and be expected to perform as such. But, still, not doing great.




Trevor Moore: Wears #42, which is comforting. Seems to know his business.

Our Boy Willy: Still crazy fun to watch on the puck, doing the little things, not scoring, solid beard.

Holl, Marincin, Hutch: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Main Leafs Hockey Talk / 2019 Draft Discussion
« on: December 26, 2018, 02:53:04 PM »

Well, with the World Juniors here it's about time when we start seriously thinking about draft eligibles so I thought I'd start the thread. Here's Craig Button's latest rankings:

And another set of early rankings:

A couple of early thoughts. For starters, I think this is maybe the year the Leafs can start looking beyond the blueline. While it's never a bad idea to look for defense, I think the Leafs last few drafts have turned the defense prospect base from the weak link for the Leafs into probably their strongest point.

Where they're weak right now is up the middle and in net, WJC aside. Personally, I'd like for them to take a serious look at finally drafting the sort of late round high scoring CHL centre that bounces around there or the sort of G who could legitimately push Andersen in a few years time.

2011 to 2019 GDTs (OLD) / Leafs @ Panthers - Dec. 15 7:00pm EST - CBC
« on: December 15, 2018, 02:07:54 PM »
21-10-1, 43 points | 11-13-6, 28 points

Projected Lines




Huberdeau-Barkov-Cyber Crime




Justin Holl
Martin Marincin
Curried Goat w/Rice and Peas

Braden Chichk
Tyler Appsley
Joakim Dannisbrouck

Game Notes

•Hyman's back from his suspension, hopefully with a lesson learned
•Andersen's probably in, his numbers settling closer to his historical norms(2.50, .925%)
•9 more shopping days until Christmas. If you're wondering what to get me, how about this inexplicably goofy Mitch Marner blanket?

•I copied the format for this GDT from 2013 which explains why it still has Roberto Luongo listed as Florida's starting goalie so I'll try to fix that later and...oh...really?
•Hoffman is off to a good start with 15 goals and 29 points in 30 games. That should add some spice to the episode of Law and Order he'll eventually inspire
•The Panthers have lost 4 straight, dropping them to the bottom of the division. Also, their name is stupid, their logo is stupid and they don't even play in Miami.
• I just made up some names for their scratches. That should be it for me on GDT's, CtB returns next week. Be nice to dogs.


•Nick Bjugstad – Upper Body - IR
•Vincent Trocheck – Broken Ankle - IR

Stream Opt-Eh, hockey's great and all but why not read a book?

Washington Black by Victoria-based Author Esi Edugyan is the genre bending tale of the titular character, a slave on a plantation in Barbados who gets caught up in an adventure of scientific exploration but takes time to dwell on more personal matters of growth and identity that still have relevance today. Winner of the Giller Prize, a Short list selection for the Man Booker Prize and one of the New York Times 10 best of the year. Nik Recommends!


21-9-1, 43 Points | 24-7-1, 49 Points

Projected Lines








Justin Holl
Martin Marincin


Game Notes

•Seems pretty likely that Andersen will be starting
•The second game of Hyman's suspension, they did ok without him in Carolina so the vast, evil tentacles of Jeremy Jacobs may have backfired
•Christmas Fun Fact: The eruption of Indonesia's Mount Tambora in 1815 led to what some historians call “The Year without Summer” in 1816. This unusally large volcanic eruption led to a disruption of the global climate, resulting in unusually cold temperatures in North America and parts of Europe. What does this have to do with Christmas? Charles Dickens was 4 years old in 1816 and so it may be the first Christmas he remembered. That, some historians think, is why when he wrote about Christmas he depicted London as being very snowy at this time of year when in reality White Christmases in London are fairly rare. Because Dickens' work was foundational for so much of modern Christmas myth, the idealized “White Christmas” may all be the result of a single volcanic eruption in the Pacific.

•The Lightning recently activated Andrei Vasilevskiy from the IR after four weeks out with a broken foot(I feel ya, Andrei). Louis Domingue has had a good record in his absence(14-4) but with weak peripheral stats(2.95, 905%). I'm guessing we see Vasilevskiy make his return.
•Brayden Point is off to a big start. With 21 goals and 41 points he ranks 2nd and 5th in the league in those respective categories
•After 9 straight seasons with a sub-50 CF%, Dan Girardi is currently at 52.6. Still not good relative to the rest of his first place team but he's hasn't been the drag on the first pairing you might have thought


•GDT Thread Author - Lower Body - IR
•Anton Stralman - Lower Body - Injured Reserve

Stream Options

20-9-1, 41 points | 13-11-4, 30 points

Projected Lines




Foegele-Rask-Di Giuseppe

de Haan-Faulk
Van Riemsdyk-Pesce



Martin Marincin
Justin Holl

Haydn Fleury

Game Notes

•Andersen (16-8-0, 2.50 GAA, .926 Sv%) will likely start for the Leafs
•These were apparently the lines at practice. Pretty solid 3rd line there

•It's the first game for the Hurricanes since Friday Night's 4-1 win over the Ducks. Mrazek was in net for that one so, what the heck, I'll say he's the prohibitive favourite to start here too
•Our old buddy Curtis McElhinney was put on IR on Sunday with a lower body injury.
•Sebastian Aho is their #1 Centre, with 27 points in 28 games. Sebastian Ahi would be a sort of Tuna-Man.
•Carolina is the only team without the name of a specific geographic location. Is that why they're currently playing to the emptiest building in the league? I'll go out on a limb and say yes.
•The Hurricanes' team plane had to make an emergency landing because of a “noxious smell” in Oklahoma yesterday. Relevant to the game tonight? Only time will tell.


•Zach Hyman – Sinister NHL Conspiracy – Two Games
•McBackup - Lower Body - Injured Reserve
•Whichever Staal Brother They Have – Concussion – Day to Day
•Michael Ferland – Concussion – Injured Reserve

Bream Options

Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Zach Hyman Suspended 2 Games
« on: December 09, 2018, 02:03:54 PM »
It looks like everyone's favourite children's book author will be getting suspended:

Ah well. As a fellow tribesman I hope this doesn't ruin the 8th night for him.

2011 to 2019 GDTs (OLD) / Leafs @ Bruins - Dec. 8th, 7:00pm EST - CBC
« on: December 07, 2018, 04:29:18 PM »
20-8-1, 41 points | 14-10-4, 32 points 

Projected Lines




Donato-Forsboythisisa Longnamerlsson-Nordstrom




Martin Marincin
Justin Holl
Goaty McGoatface


Game Notes

•I'm assuming Andersen is starting for the Leafs but who knows? Maybe time is a flat circle and it'll be Ed Chadwick
•I'm likewise assuming there are no line shake-ups. I'm sure Carlton had a way of checking these things beforehand but I'm not willing to put that kind of effort in. Just think of me as the GDT Step-Dad. Now, who wants ice cream for dinner?

•Rask will start for Boston, I figure. I know Rask brings painful memories for some people but think of it this way, wouldn't the tanking to get Matthews have required the Leafs to trade him anyway? Maybe we should stop thinking about bad trades as painful but, now that we're happy with the club, just as road bumps along the way to where we were always meant to go? See? Does Carlton make you re-examine your notions of memory and regret?
•Still no Chara or Bergeron for the Bruins.
•Boston is floundering a bit, a point behind Montreal for the last playoff spot and losers of 3 in a row
•This will be the 3rd Toronto/Boston matchup of the season with each team winning one of the previous matchups.


     •CarltonTheBear - Vacation - 7 Days
•Zdeno Chara – Missing Neck Bolts – Whenever the Villagers stop chasing him
•Urho Vaakanainen - Concussion - Injured Reserve
• Patrice Bergeron – Shoulder – Injured Reserve
•Kevan Miller – Can't Spell Kevin - Injured Reserve

Scream Options

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