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Messages - mr grieves

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1726
Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: Bozak's Future
« on: May 29, 2013, 12:45:39 PM »
Maple Leafs Hot Stove has their Bozak review up:

http://mapleleafshotstove.com/2013/05/29/2012-13-player-review-tyler-bozak/

1727
Whether Bozak can be had for it or not, a player who can manage around 45 points with Phil Kessel on his wing surely can be had for $2-2.5m. Heck, we had someone doing it at a $1.5m cap hit for the last two seasons.

But that's just not real. That's like saying that you can find a guy who can score 80+ points for 3.75 million because Philadelphia had Claude Giroux do it for the last few years. RFA salaries are artificially low.

Now, if what you're saying is that the Leafs can replace Bozak internally then, you know, fair enough although I think that's not accurate.

It's not real if the only place you can go to replace that production is the UFA market. That's the market I find "artificial" -- I don't know any other word for a world in which Tyler Bozak is the second/third best center available.  If all options for replacing a center are on the table -- sign a UFA, trade for an RFA or someone under contract, or promote someone internally -- then a center who can score 1.55 P/60 (81st in the league among centers) can be had without devoting another $4m+ to the center position.

But you're right. The difference of opinion has to do with whether Bozak can be replaced internally. Promoting Grabovski or Kadri to Bozak's spot will at least replace his 1.55 P/60 production -- in fact, it'll probably improve on the production from the 1C spot. To me, the hole that'd be left by the subtraction of Bozak is not at the top of the depth chart but farther down. And it points to  need the team's had all season: a #3C for a shutdown line that's suited to the role and not paid $5.5m/year. Re-signing Bozak to the money he wants, and playing where Carlyle plays him, would continue that misallocation of cap space.

1728
Except that his chemistry with other top line players is a myth and his inability to take or make a pass while on PP results in as many icings as his faceoff wins prevent.

But, yes, if you need a reliable and accurate stat that has something to do with possession, faceoffs might be the best of a sorry lot.

[...]

I think you're exaggerating Bozak's deficiencies. Even if you want to call it a familiarity with Kessel/Lupul as opposed to chemistry, Bozak still produced at a rate that would work out to 21 goals and 50 points over an 82 game season. Considering his play on the PK and his ability to win face-offs I don't think you're anywhere close in thinking a player like that is only worth 2-2.5 million on the open market.

First, the difference between familiarity and chemistry is something my ex-girlfriends could tell you about. Mistaking one for the other is to be avoided, as it can lead to all sorts of terrible investments. You know, like Tyler Bozak.

Second, on pace for 50 points this season isn't nothing. But in previous seasons where 82 games were actually played, and with the same elite scorer on the wing, Bozak managed 32 and 47 points. If we assume the 50 points this season, that's an average of 43 points. And that production makes him about as appealing a center as Matt Stajan in the contract year the Leafs traded him (cap hit on his next contract: $3.5m).

Whether Bozak can be had for it or not, a player who can manage around 45 points with Phil Kessel on his wing surely can be had for $2-2.5m. Heck, we had someone doing it at a $1.5m cap hit for the last two seasons.

I don't doubt that Tyler Bozak will likely command more than $3.5m on the open market, which is why the Leafs will sign him by early July or won't sign him at all.

1729
Fair enough. And I didn't mean to suggest that Corsi was the greatest measure of possession either. And, yes, FO stats do very well in measuring how many faceoffs you win. But it does seems FO Win% is often taken to measure something other than it does -- on the strength of his numbers there, Bozak's thought to be a good fit for third-line defensive center; on the strength of those numbers, Carlyle evidently thought he was the ideal center on the top PP unit -- and that's what I find objectionable.

I don't know if those two judgments are just about face-off numbers. I think most people who think that about Bozak believe he plays a pretty sound defensive game regardless and I think his presence on the PP was more about Grabo having a terrible year and Bozak's chemistry with the other guys on the top PP unit(that said I think that FO% is pretty important on the PP considering the other team can just ice the puck if the win the draw).

So ideal? No. But the best of a bad group of options maybe.

Except that his chemistry with other top line players is a myth and his inability to take or make a pass while on PP results in as many icings as his faceoff wins prevent.

But, yes, if you need a reliable and accurate stat that has something to do with possession, faceoffs might be the best of a sorry lot.   

1730
Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: Bozak's Future
« on: May 27, 2013, 06:51:03 PM »
Not sure how well Bozak's side is sourced, but apparently it's 5-5.5m he's looking for.

http://www.thefourthperiod.com/news/tor130525.html

A Stajan cap hit ($3.5m) would be tolerable, except that signing him at all means RC would probably keep him on the top line.

1731
Except faceoffs aren't really adequate either.

No and I didn't mean to imply that it was a good measurement of possession as a whole but rather that it's a very good statistic and it's  an element of puck possession. So the reason it gets a lot of play is that while it may not be comprehensive it's at the very least accurate and accepted about what it purports to measure.

Fair enough. And I didn't mean to suggest that Corsi was the greatest measure of possession either. And, yes, FO stats do very well in measuring how many faceoffs you win. But it does seems FO Win% is often taken to measure something other than it does -- on the strength of his numbers there, Bozak's thought to be a good fit for third-line defensive center; on the strength of those numbers, Carlyle evidently thought he was the ideal center on the top PP unit -- and that's what I find objectionable.

As far as I can see, he doesn't make it very hard to move through the neutral zone, he doesn't enter or get you into the offensive zone very well, and he doesn't take or make passes in the zone very well. All those deficiencies in his game are elements of possession that count against a center winning a few more than 50 in any 100 faceoffs.

1732
But what then to make of Bozak's terrible Corsi numbers?

Are they terrible though? His CORSI relative is a positive and has been in the past. He's got better numbers than guys like Lupul or Phaneuf. He's certainly not terrible in a team context.

I think that sort of highlights the problem that absent something like face-offs we don't really have good quantitative measurements for "possession".

Except faceoffs aren't really adequate either.

1733
Not that I wouldn't love more center depth but I think people are overestimating the value of face offs -- perhaps in part because they are just so easy to measure.  They make a difference but the difference is minor compared in the context of a player's overall skill set.  Again, I'd rather optimize first for other factors, like overall puck possession, which seems to have a bigger impact than just face offs.  Having said that, I'll take face offs as a bonus.

Well, the thing is, faceoffs have a pretty significant impact on puck possession. The more faceoffs you win, the more you start out the play with the puck. I'm not saying they're the end all and be all, but, they are important. One key win late in game 7, and the Leafs would have been playing in the 2nd round. With Bozak out, the team only had one guy they felt confident in on the draw, and that's a problem. I agree that puck possession is an area of concern, but being more proficient at the draw is one way to help address that issue.

Winning faceoffs would be great, but I don't see why, except that it's an easily quantifiable stat and a moment in the game where the outcome is clear (did it or didn't), faceoffs are worth a premium over other measures of possession. In Bozak's case, many seem comfortable with a $4m/yr contract which is about $1.5-2m more than any other measure suggests he's worth.

But what then to make of Bozak's terrible Corsi numbers? I look at those next to, say, MacArthur's and wonder whether it really means much to win a faceoff only to to follow that with defensively irresponsible and offensively lacksidasical play. 

1734
Little to no chance that he makes it to July 5th, but Scuderi is who I would love to have if LA doesn't resign him.

Not sure why, but he reminds me of a more defensive Beauchemin, I'd be fine with picking him up if it's a relatively short deal, I think he'll have plenty of suitors though.

I don't know much about his game. The stats suggest he's steady, but I don't really have any memory of noticing him out there with the Penguins.

A not-flashy, Cup-winning veteran is something I think the team will benefit from if it's to spend the next few years trying to advance in the playoffs. Scuderi or Ference would fit that bill. 

1735
@mr grieves, hap_leaf:

You are paying Komisarek an unnecessary 3+ million.  It took me a while to figure out how to get rid of him for 0 cost off the lineup:  Notice the "other" collection of players on cap geek calculator, which includes buyouts to Tucker and Armstrong.  Scroll down in the other column so that you can see Komisarek there (I used the mac scrolling gesture when hovering over "other" items to scroll).  A square for Komi should appear.  You can click on one of his buttons to bring him back up instead of burying him.  After doing that, trade him and we will be zeroed out in your final cost ....

yes, it did take me a while to figure out how to do that .... might as well share ...

Thanks. I guess that means buyout Komisarek instead and try to unload Liles for low picks. Or keep him around for depth. Buyout Liles in the next off-season if he can't be moved. Or save it for Grabovski if he looks like a persistent problem. 

Either way, as long as the cap goes back up, the cap situation looks pretty good. A $2m raise for Kessel would be doable, and it wouldn't hamstring the rest of the roster.

1736
My stab. For the 6/7 Dmen, rotate Fraser and one of the Marlies (Kosta's a place holder).

FORWARDS
JVR ($4.250m) / Grabovski ($5.500m) / Kessel ($5.400m)
Lupul ($5.250m) / Kadri ($2.875m) / MacArthur ($3.250m)
Kulemin ($2.800m) / Colborne ($1.000m) / Frattin ($0.925m)
McClement ($1.500m) / Boyd Gordon ($1.500m) / Komarov ($0.900m)
Frazer McLaren ($0.696m) / Viktor Stalberg ($0.875m)
 
DEFENSEMEN
Dion Phaneuf ($6.500m) / Carl Gunnarsson ($2.250m)
Andrew Ference ($3.250m) / Cody Franson ($2.750m)
Jake Gardiner ($1.117m) / Mark Fraser ($0.660m)
Mike Kostka ($0.600m)
 
GOALTENDERS
James Reimer ($1.800m)
Ben Scrivens ($0.613m)

OTHER
Buyout: Darcy Tucker ($1.000m)
Buyout: Colby Armstrong ($1.000m)
Buried: Mike Komisarek ($3.575m)
Buyout: John-Michael Liles ($0.000m)
------
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(these totals are compiled with the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $61,834,917; BONUSES: $300,000
CAP SPACE (23-man roster): $2,765,083

1737
The goaltending was better, and combined with their ridiculously high shooting percentage, they were able to win games. I wouldn't call being hemmed in your own end for huge portions of the game "looking good", but as you said, we don't share opinions on this matter.

Great goaltending and alot of scoring depth; those are the reasons the Leafs had any success this year. Everything else was absolutely awful. And the notion that Carlyle's 'system' played a part in the team's good fortune is mindboggling. Countless giveaways, weak clearing attempts and long stretches of being completely stuck in the defensive zone is the product of Carlyle's 'system.'

I'm not quite as down on the team as you seem to be, but I definitely agree with your post.

+1

I've no idea how anyone can say the team was "consistent" over the 55 games played this season, when 5 and 2/3rds of the Boston series showed a style of play so different from what we saw during the regular season.

Also: without the playoffs reset, I wonder whether they would've righted the ship. The team was trending down over the last 10-12 games of the season.

1738
Well, they do need another top 6 winger if MacArthur leaves. I wouldn't trust Frattin to reliably pot 20 per year quite yet.

They wouldn't need one. That might be ideal but if you have a reliable 30+ scorer in Kessel, another guy who seems near that in Lupul and a guy in JvR who's fully capable of scoring 25 or so then you can have your top 4 wingers be those guys and someone like, say, Kulemin and have it be a very effective top 6. Especially considering they're likely to have their offense spread out the way they did this year you don't need everyone in your top 6 to be a reliable 20 goal scorer

True enough. Spread him down to the third line then -- and rest easy that, if Lupul's out another 20 games with an unlucky injury, you've someone who can slot in on the second line. I guess what I'm not certain of is whether there's an upgrade on MacArthur worth the cap space.

1739
It's the vacant #3 slot that I think most likely to be filled with something useful. I'd like to see Boyd Gordon there.

I might be wrong on this, but I thought Boyd Gordon was an RW?

Maybe listed as/naturally, but he takes a lot of faceoffs for a winger

http://stats.tabita.org/faceoffs/player/boyd_gordon

1740
Good points about MacArthur. I think Clarkson would make the Leafs a tougher team to play against and that is something Carlyle wants. The old blueprint for a top line used to be a skilled center, a sniper on one wing and a tough guy who can score on the other side.

Sure, but the Leafs have the latter two. Kessel is the sniper and JvR, while he doesn't fight, is a big, strong winger who can score and bring a physical element to that line. Clarkson plays the same wing as Kessel, so, he's not a fit for the top line any way. The Leafs don't really need to add on the wing. They need help down the middle.

Well, they do need another top 6 winger if MacArthur leaves. I wouldn't trust Frattin to reliably pot 20 per year quite yet.

But agreed -- it's the middle that needs the most help. Kadri and Grabbo seem to be a 2A/2B combo... I don't see how we'd get a legit top-line center. Trade for Stastny? And trade what?

I'm ambivalent about filling that slot anyway. Over the last several years the team's had a reasonably productive top line with the likes of Bozak and Stajan centering it. Both Grabbo and Kadri are vast upgrades over that.

It's the vacant #3 slot that I think most likely to be filled with something useful. I'd like to see Boyd Gordon there. Or see if Colborne's ready to step into the promotion-from-AHL 3rd line (with Frattin and Kuli on wings?), and put Gordon on a line with McClement and Komarov to create a proper shutdown line that can be played 10-15m a night rather than 5 (unless they get trapped in their own zone for some long shifts, in which case you get 8...). In either case, adding Gordon -- even if playing him or McClement on a wing -- would give the team 5 centers.

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