Author Topic: Specific things that need fixing  (Read 2135 times)

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Offline slapshot

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Specific things that need fixing
« on: October 21, 2011, 09:48:46 PM »
Apart from saying general things like the PP or the PK

Here are some of my thoughts, please add what you've observed. The top three on the list REALLY drive me nuts.

1. Failure to aggressively attack in the defensive zone during the PK. They literally invite blasts from the point, and even Chara last night from close in, because they aren't attacking the points or the set up guys. Colorado gave the Leafs power play fits because they were aggressive on the PP guys on the points or trying to set up. It's like a like blitzing the quarterback in football (in a controlled way). If you give him time to set up, they chuck it down field for a big catch. If you give them too much time, they find the open man or get the shot through. You've got to press them into making mistakes. Some Leafs defenders do try to block shots but if they miss it's a wicked screen on the goaltender. Also if you try to block the shot out further closer to the point man, you have a better chance of the puck bouncing back past the dman and potentially creating a breakaway chance. Also, if you miss the block there, the goalie has more time to see it coming in. For the life of me, I don't get their casual approach to this.

2. Failure to box out opposing players around the net. Man, as a kid in minor hockey all I ever heard direct towards dmen was "watch the guy in front of the net" or to the side. Franson for a big guy has been brutal on this. You just can't leave opposing players wide open like that. Another weak point IMO.

3. Moving the puck along the defensive boards. They are still getting bottlenecked there. Maybe, they need to get it up off the boards and out more. Not sure, any suggestions?

4. Too many offsides. Perhaps it's some of the line juggling or the dmen getting more involved in the offence this year and players not having fully adjusted. But it seems to me, they've killed a lot of chances by going offside a lot. Maybe, I'm dreaming but it sure seems that way to me.

5. Lack of good forecheck to start the game. They should really focus on dump-ins to start the game IMO, getting the puck deep and a man OR TWO in quickly. They have been pretty decent on the cycle and winning battles down low (I've been impressed with Frattin and surprisingly Bozak for a small guy is using his weight more effectively), but they are just not getting the puck deep and doing that to start games.

6. Getting extra help in on the face-offs. I'm not sure, if they simply expect Steckel and Bozak to win all the draws cleanly, but the wingers sure aren't jumping in much on tie-ups to help out.

Anyway, those are just a few of my pet peeves. Don't want to sound all negative though, they are obviously doing some things right. I think the fact that Lupul is also a scorer helps Kessel a lot. It means opposition can just key on him completely because Lupul also represents a threat, more so than say, Joey Crabb.

Offline Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate

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Re: Specific things that need fixing
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2011, 11:31:16 PM »
Good points.  I especially endorse #1.  It seems the most successful PKs are aggressive on the puck and take away time/space.  We should do this at least intermittently -- mix it up instead of the same thing every time.

To your list I would add my perennial PP complaint: we rarely create havoc at the net.  I would have somebody like Kessel drive the net and try to get a shot off at close range when an opportunity arises, instead of trying to make the perfect cross-crease or whatever.  And have the other 2 forwards head to the net too when that happens.  Just create chaos, a scramble, and maybe a garbage goal in close -- or a big rebound back out to one of the defensemen who then can blast a shot unmolested because the defenders have all collapsed to the net.  Or some variation of this.

It doesn't have to happen every time; I love watching beauty PP goals like his one-timer from Phaneuf the other night.  But you don't get those very often (although you'd probably get more chances at shots like that if you did vary the PP look more than we do).

Both the PP and the PK are way too predictable.  Have been ever since Wilson got here (yeah I know, broken record but it is the truth).
« Last Edit: October 21, 2011, 11:33:24 PM by Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate »

Offline Bleeding Blue & White

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Re: Specific things that need fixing
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2011, 12:32:25 AM »
New year, same problems.  When you replace the entire team in a few years you got to come to the conclusion the problem is in fact the coaching system. 
« Last Edit: October 22, 2011, 11:40:21 AM by McPwnage »
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Offline Hank Yarbo

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Re: Specific things that need fixing
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2011, 09:38:13 AM »
New year, same problems.  When you replace the entire team in a few years you got to come to the conclusing the problem is in fact the coaching system.

And two new assistant coaches that were brought in to specifically help with these issues hasn't changed much of anything either.

Offline Guru Tugginmypuddah

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Re: Specific things that need fixing
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2011, 09:52:18 AM »
New year, same problems.  When you replace the entire team in a few years you got to come to the conclusing the problem is in fact the coaching system.

And two new assistant coaches that were brought in to specifically help with these issues hasn't changed much of anything either.

Could we surmise from this that it may be the talent and not the coaching?

Offline Hank Yarbo

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Re: Specific things that need fixing
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2011, 10:11:02 AM »
New year, same problems.  When you replace the entire team in a few years you got to come to the conclusing the problem is in fact the coaching system.

And two new assistant coaches that were brought in to specifically help with these issues hasn't changed much of anything either.

Could we surmise from this that it may be the talent and not the coaching?

As mentioned above, we've replaced an entire team with the same results. If it is the talent on the team (or lack thereof), then it falls on the GM who is in charge of putting together the talent required.

Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: Specific things that need fixing
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2011, 10:31:32 AM »
As mentioned above, we've replaced an entire team with the same results. If it is the talent on the team (or lack thereof), then it falls on the GM who is in charge of putting together the talent required.

But that's a fairer criticism than putting it on the coaches. I really would challenge anyone to look at who the Leafs have put out there on a PP and say with any degree of seriousness that, purely on talent, they should be in the top half of the league when it comes to the PP.

Admittedly it's a tough criticism to make right now because our supposed #1 centre brushed up against a coffee table and is out for 4-6 months so there's no way to know how having a real #1 centre, which has really been the team's achilles heel during Burke's tenure, would affect things.
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Offline azzurri63

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Re: Specific things that need fixing
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2011, 10:39:17 AM »
Good points.  I especially endorse #1.  It seems the most successful PKs are aggressive on the puck and take away time/space.  We should do this at least intermittently -- mix it up instead of the same thing every time.

To your list I would add my perennial PP complaint: we rarely create havoc at the net.  I would have somebody like Kessel drive the net and try to get a shot off at close range when an opportunity arises, instead of trying to make the perfect cross-crease or whatever.  And have the other 2 forwards head to the net too when that happens.  Just create chaos, a scramble, and maybe a garbage goal in close -- or a big rebound back out to one of the defensemen who then can blast a shot unmolested because the defenders have all collapsed to the net.  Or some variation of this.

It doesn't have to happen every time; I love watching beauty PP goals like his one-timer from Phaneuf the other night.  But you don't get those very often (although you'd probably get more chances at shots like that if you did vary the PP look more than we do).

Both the PP and the PK are way too predictable.  Have been ever since Wilson got here (yeah I know, broken record but it is the truth).

McFate you and me are both on the same page unfortunately I know I have harped on this forever and been ragged on it by a few on here but it's true what's changed. I can understand s**t not working but if it aint try something different which seems too difficult under Wilson and his new crew. I've said this many times just like you said just get it to the net with some traffic and good things will happen. They have the talent on the PP it just needs to be simple but some people think it's difficult to get shots through from the point. Why do other teams have no problem with that and if the opposition takes that away from you it means their giving you something else. We have to be more aggresive also pursuing the puck whether it's keeping it on the PP or getting it on the PK. In today's game the speciality teams are huge moreso I think then in years past and I strongly believe it's why we missed the playoffs last year. An extra kill or  PP goal a game is huge let alone the momentum it gives you. These 2 areas are our biggest problem. I'm always one to jump on Wilson but is this the new coaches areas to deal with? Suprises me because nothing looks like it has changed.

Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: Specific things that need fixing
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2011, 11:05:03 AM »
I've said this many times just like you said just get it to the net with some traffic and good things will happen. They have the talent on the PP it just needs to be simple but some people think it's difficult to get shots through from the point. Why do other teams have no problem with that and if the opposition takes that away from you it means their giving you something else.

Yes. They give you room down low which can be taken advantage of provided you have good creators down low. Seriously, this isn't rocket science and it's not as simple as getting Steckel to stand in front of the net. If it were, it would get done.

The last time the Maple Leafs had a really effective PP it was 05-06. That team's top 5 on the PP were Tomas Kaberle(67 points), Bryan McCabe(68 points in 73 games), Darcy Tucker(61  in 74), Jason Allison(60 in 66) and Mats friggin' Sundin(78 in 70). That team, despite being kind of a bad team, was #2 in the league on the PP at 21.4%.

So was Paul Maurice some sort of hockey-mad genius tactician? Or did he have a collection of guys who were uniquely skilled on the PP? We're going to criticize Wilson for not getting good results out of Gunnarsson-Phaneuf-Kessel-Lupul-The Steckel/Bozak crapfest? The best creator of that group is probably Kessel and Kessel is about six games into his career as an above average creator. There's a massive talent deficit at the heart of the PP that can't be solved with standing a 4th liner in front of the goalie.
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Offline Potvin29

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Re: Specific things that need fixing
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2011, 11:09:13 AM »
It's strange that both Kessel and Grabovski were in the top 20 for PPG's last season (in Kessel's case 10th), with such a poor overall team percentage.  I guess if either of them did not score, nobody scored.

Offline BlueWhiteBlood

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Re: Specific things that need fixing
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2011, 11:14:41 AM »
It's strange that both Kessel and Grabovski were in the top 20 for PPG's last season (in Kessel's case 10th), with such a poor overall team percentage.  I guess if either of them did not score, nobody scored.

Between the two of them, they must have gotten the lion's share of the PPG's themselves. Without looking of course.
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Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: Specific things that need fixing
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2011, 11:24:28 AM »
It's strange that both Kessel and Grabovski were in the top 20 for PPG's last season (in Kessel's case 10th), with such a poor overall team percentage.  I guess if either of them did not score, nobody scored.

That was sort of true of the team as a whole though. Kessel, Kulemin and Grabo scored 43% of the team's goals last year.

edit: if anyone's wondering Grabo/Kessel scored 22 of the team's 52  or 42%. of the team's PP goals.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2011, 11:40:59 AM by Saint Nik »
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Offline Highlander

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Re: Specific things that need fixing
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2011, 12:59:58 PM »
While agreeing that the team can improve and especially on the PP we have to remember that we are currently sitting on 9 out of a possible 12 points. When it is 9 out of 18 lets press the panic button.
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Offline Mike1

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Re: Specific things that need fixing
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2011, 01:53:35 PM »
I've said this many times just like you said just get it to the net with some traffic and good things will happen. They have the talent on the PP it just needs to be simple but some people think it's difficult to get shots through from the point. Why do other teams have no problem with that and if the opposition takes that away from you it means their giving you something else.

Yes. They give you room down low which can be taken advantage of provided you have good creators down low. Seriously, this isn't rocket science and it's not as simple as getting Steckel to stand in front of the net. If it were, it would get done.

The last time the Maple Leafs had a really effective PP it was 05-06. That team's top 5 on the PP were Tomas Kaberle(67 points), Bryan McCabe(68 points in 73 games), Darcy Tucker(61  in 74), Jason Allison(60 in 66) and Mats friggin' Sundin(78 in 70). That team, despite being kind of a bad team, was #2 in the league on the PP at 21.4%.

So was Paul Maurice some sort of hockey-mad genius tactician? Or did he have a collection of guys who were uniquely skilled on the PP? We're going to criticize Wilson for not getting good results out of Gunnarsson-Phaneuf-Kessel-Lupul-The Steckel/Bozak crapfest? The best creator of that group is probably Kessel and Kessel is about six games into his career as an above average creator. There's a massive talent deficit at the heart of the PP that can't be solved with standing a 4th liner in front of the goalie.

We need guys who can create down low. Phaneuf & Liles arent the worst tandem on the points. Teams just overplay them & Kessel because they know they have nothing to fear from the other two guys.

The PK is more disappointing. You dont need superstars to be an effective penalty killing team. The Leafs just play scared & dont really do a good job disrupting the opposition.

Offline cw

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Re: Specific things that need fixing
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2011, 08:32:33 AM »
Lots of good points made above.

Aside from Colorado (6th in pts win%), the Leafs have faced the 25th-29th teams in pts win% this season: a soft/easy schedule.

On the upside, they've won the points that they should have against weaker clubs - which playoff clubs must do. On the downside, their place in the standings may be a bit of a mirage because the comments made above seem legitimate and arguably the weaker opponents mask their severity of potential impact on their playoff chances if they do not get them addressed.

Upcoming games against Philly, the Rangers & Pens are going to be a better test.

Having said that, it's still early and a number of teams are trying to find their way and pull their systems and roster together.

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Re: Specific things that need fixing
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2011, 08:32:33 AM »