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Messages - Chris

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586
Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: Top Line dismantle
« on: February 21, 2015, 03:10:22 PM »
I wouldn't want to change anything as it might upset the beautiful tank in progress. But, if you are looking to see if you can "energize" Phil, putting him with either Kadri/Holland and Booth might be worth a try. Booth seems pretty decent in the corners, plays with energy, makes thing happen (although he has stone hands). Bozak should be gone by the trade deadline so someone else will have to play with Kessel.

I'm not sure what to make of Holland at this point, he has good skills and seems to usually work hard...but his skating seems to be a bit of a hindrance.

The best way I can describe Holland is he is a "safe" player. He has tools that could make him a decent scorer but he always seems to make the safe play or take the easy route. He seems to lack the ability to elevate his play, take some risks, be creative etc.

I don't think he'll ever be more than a 3rd or 4th liner.
Interesting observation and I would agree. The question is, is he being coached to make the safe play and if so, does he have that ability to elevate his play if he is put into more of a scoring role? Some of the goals he's scored show really soft hands and patience with the puck, and he's also made some really nice, creative passes. Can he do that kind of thing more consistently? What would happen if he had a linemate that other teams had to respect (like Kessel)?

587
So what's the difference compared to last year?

I don't completely agree about +/-. I know everyone is gung-ho about the new advanced stats, but there is a reason why JVR/Bozak/Kessel are floating around -20 and Santorelli was at +7 before the trade. All you have to do is watch a few games. Even when the Leafs were in the midst of their big surge, the top line was constantly hemmed in their own end and giving up more scoring chances than they generated. I remember a friend of mine (Ranger fan) telling me how great the Leafs looked and I just laughed, told him their play was unsustainable and they most likely wouldn't make the playoffs (this was when they were about 3 points out of first). You could just see it despite the results they were getting. So the question is, what is different compared to last year, when Bozak scored at a 69 point pace?

588
Is it really so far-fetched? Regardless of how hard Bozak has worked, look at the results this year. Bozak playing top line minutes almost exclusively with Kessel and on the first power play unit: 57 games, 16-21-37 and -18. Santorelli playing less minutes and with who? And no power play time: 57 games, 11-18-29 and +7.
Only 8 points difference (and Santorelli +25 better than Bozak).

I'm not saying that playing someone like Santorelli (and that's the key, like Santorelli...not necessarily Santorelli) would turn the Leafs into champions, but it might result in better overall performance from Kessel (and thus the team, probably)

Maybe JVR-Santorelli-Kessel would be far superior to JVR-Bozak-Kessel. Maybe not. I don't think it was ever tried.

589
I think he expected that player to be Kessel...and if the Leafs had managed to surround him with the right kind of players - players capable of winning puck battles/maintaining possession and compensating for Phil's defensive "inefficiencies", it may have worked. Instead, he has spent the vast majority of his time with players who have the same faults he does (Bozak in particular, JVR too) which magnifies his weakness. Add to that the lack of a good team defense/defensive system and it just didn't work out.

I think, though, that the problem with that is that Burke never really seemed to have a concrete plan for realistically adding "the right kind of players". He traded away the best asset the team would have to do that to get Kessel in the first place and from then on sort of seemed to cross his fingers that a great free agent would be available(and willing to sign with the Leafs) or that a team would be willing to trade the Leafs a top centre/defenseman in an incredibly lopsided trade.
Yeah, pretty much! I didn't like the trade at the time and was hoping that they'd instead go with the tear-it-down method. But, even with that - with a player as skilled as Kessel, it may not have been necessary to surround him with players like Crosby or Stamkos...it may have worked if his linemates had less skill but more grit. Maybe if he'd been with someone like Santorelli, who has a decent (but not exceptional) skill set but works incredibly hard.

590
Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: Top Line dismantle
« on: February 21, 2015, 11:43:42 AM »
I wouldn't want to change anything as it might upset the beautiful tank in progress. But, if you are looking to see if you can "energize" Phil, putting him with either Kadri/Holland and Booth might be worth a try. Booth seems pretty decent in the corners, plays with energy, makes thing happen (although he has stone hands). Bozak should be gone by the trade deadline so someone else will have to play with Kessel.

I'm not sure what to make of Holland at this point, he has good skills and seems to usually work hard...but his skating seems to be a bit of a hindrance.

591
I think he expected that player to be Kessel...and if the Leafs had managed to surround him with the right kind of players - players capable of winning puck battles/maintaining possession and compensating for Phil's defensive "inefficiencies", it may have worked. Instead, he has spent the vast majority of his time with players who have the same faults he does (Bozak in particular, JVR too) which magnifies his weakness. Add to that the lack of a good team defense/defensive system and it just didn't work out.

I don't think Phaneuf himself has been the problem. He's played a lot of minutes against the opponents best players, and generally done OK. Not well enough to justify the contract but that is on management. Also, I don't think he should have been pushed into the captaincy as he doesn't appear to have the right qualities. Leafs would have been better off if they'd acquired an established "character" type player (Winnik/Santorelli type perhaps?) to be captain.

592
Just went back and looked at that draft (referring to the Lindros year). Leafs had also traded their second round pick (of course). There were a lot of impact players in those two rounds...Forsberg, Rolston, Kovalev, Naslund, Whitney. Ozolinsh, Palffy, Zhitnik, and William Nylanders father would all have been available at the Leafs second round spot.

593
I think that was the Scott Niedermayer year, wasn't it? Leafs traded their first round pick which turned out to be #3 (Niedermayer) for Tom Kurvers.

594
I haven't been watching all the games, but man, Kessel and JVR really don't look like themselves.
Kessel at least looks like he's trying some of the time. JVR has been completely invisible (which I guess is a good thing).

595
mirtle: Leafs fall to 4-22-2 in their last 28 games. Unbelievable.
It's both unbelievable and beautiful at the same time.

596
Is your boss Dave Nonis?

597
This game needs a David Clarkson fight (and some more Canes goals of course).

Clarkson v Semin. I'd love to see Semin fight again



Again?  I'm not even sure that constituted actual fighting the first time.

If anything, it should have been an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for making a mockery of actual fighting.

598
Power play is awesome tonight.

599
I consider this a must-lose game. Whatever it takes.

600
Classic recent-era Kessel play there. Lose the puck, then swing his stick at the opponent. Bonus penalty to boot.

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