Connolly likely to be moved – He will be a healthy scratch for the Marlies today


525 Responses to Connolly likely to be moved – He will be a healthy scratch for the Marlies today

  1. mojo19 says:

    Right now, 1st round picks are very valuable, because if you are able to draft well enough to produce high end NHL talent, you’ll get a window of opportunity with young players exceeding expectations and playing above their contracts.

    This is the reality of the salary cap world. You need these cap busters, they’re gold.

    Having said that, there is a time to move picks. Timing is everything, ask Burke.

    • LN91 says:

      I agree.

      Salary cap world has really changed the dynamics of management in the NHL.

    • leafy says:

      My thoughts too Mojo. A balanced approach is definitely needed. You need the cap busters, and yet you can go for it when the time comes.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      Given that shouldn’t you push when you have cap busters? Like Lupul in the last year of his contract, Kadri ending his rookie deal, Reimer on a good deal. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a draft pick anyone exceeding their contract becomes a cap buster.

      • mojo19 says:

        Lupul’s raise is a measly mil. But I hear you, we’re going to have to pay more for Kessel, and Kadri, etc.

        Still, is this team any closer to a Cup contender if we had traded say Biggs, Blacker, a 1st and 2nd for Pominville? We’d be better for sure, but more or less in the same boat.

        And our first rounder from this year will become a prospect which is still an asset, one that we could either keep or trade next year, or the year after, or the year after etc. So what’s with all the urgency? We’re in good shape overall, we’re playing well, and I don’t think we needed to be big time buyers this particular year.

        The push for Kiprusoff was the right idea, but it came up short. No shame in Nonis’ efforts on trade deadline day. I’m proud of him, he’s doing well.

        • leafs_wallace93 says:

          I’m not really miffed by the deadline, I’m cool with having all our picks + additional picks brought in (I mean in my 20 years of following the Leafs has this ever happen?). I’m just saying we were finally in a position to buy which is ironic and this team given peoples’ pending raises could actually be peeking.

          • mojo19 says:

            If this team is peaking that is terrible mis-management from Nonis. To avoid that he’s going to have to make some decisions this summer. Tough one’s on guys like Bozak and MacArthur. Hopefully he can negotiate contracts better than Burke and JFJ did.

  2. leafy says:

    How about Reimer baby coming through in the clutch.

    Franson looks like a rock out there. I’m also quite happy with Phaneuf’s play the past several weeks. I like how Carlyle paired the two at the end there.

    Kessel looks a tad slower than usual. He needs his speed to create. That’s his bread and butter game.

    Gardiner doesn’t quite look like himself. Not sure if it’s confidence, lack of form following injury, or whatever. But I think Carlyle needs to keep playing him so he can get his game back.

  3. lafleur10 says:

    THE PLAYOFFS are going to be fun this year can’t wait for them to start! i have a question for leafs fans who do you guys think and want to play in the first rd?

    • leafy says:

      Lafleur, it’s interesting you ask because I’ve been pondering this all evening.

      I’m beginning the question current dogma that it’s better to face the Habs than the Bruins. Like most people, I’ve been waiting for Montreal to go into a prolonged losing streak all year. Not only has that NOT happened, but they seem to be getting better and more confident. Very hard to get a gauge. At this point, you can officially put me down as not having a preference.

    • mojo19 says:

      I want to face montreal in the first round because the Toronto Maple Leafs are going to beat up on the wimpy montreal canadiens all night long.

      We’re bigger, we’re stronger, we’re tougher. Carlyle hockey is playoff hockey, the habs are a pre-season special. Good night.

      • leafy says:

        I’m not nearly afraid of Boston anymore. They can’t seem to score this year. But the playoffs are a different story, so it’s hard to say.

        • mojo19 says:

          If Bergeron is hurt, Boston is a whole different team. He’s one player who they can’t just replace.

        • lafleur10 says:

          boston hasn’t looked good or played good all year leafy that team is missing something and i think they could be upset in the 1st rd ,especially if bergeron is out they are a different team with him in the line up ,they pp is is non existant and that’ll catch up to them too they didn’t address that at the deadline by adding a pp quarterback and they’re tempting fate by not having that in their game ,they won a cup with the worst pp 2 years ago but it’ll catch up to them .

      • lafleur10 says:

        mojo the bas are faster,more skilled,better goaltending,more playoff experience can role 4 lines very well coached very balanced highest scoring defence in the league we are gritty you might be bigger,tougher and stronger but that means little just ask the bruins, therrien has this team playing a system and everybody is buying into and when we play like we are very very difficult to beat and we’d beat you guys no doubt about it…. it’lll come down to special teams and goaltending and i’ll take price and pk, and markov everyday over riemer and your special teams.

        • LN91 says:

          We have one of the better PK’s and PP’s in the league? lol

          • lafleur10 says:

            our pp is operating at 26.7 percent it’s in the top 10 could be closer to the top 5 and our 5 on 5 play is much improved we are the 2nd best team at scoring 5 on 5 this year our penalty killing could be better but it’s still up there

            • mojo19 says:

              Guys throw your PP %’s out the window. No team in the history of hockey has ever had an identical % on the PP in the playoffs and regular season.

              It’s a totally different game when you face the same team for an entire series. Adjustments are made, and certain players go hot, or cold. So crunch all the numbers you want, the habs are soft.

        • mojo19 says:

          In the playoffs, lafleur, when the whistles get put away, you can be as slippery and fast as you want. You’re gonna get rolled over in a 7 game series. The habs are soft. I wouldn’t consider them a top 5 contender in the East. Pitty, Boston, Washington, New York Rangers, and Toronto are way more legit.

          • LN91 says:

            Meh, I really don’t want to see Kessel in a 7-game series ahaha.

            Pitty is the favorite by a mile.

            New York could be scary.

          • lafleur10 says:

            there is only 3 contenders in the east pittburgh,montreal boston the rest are pretenders toronto is the least legit they haven’t made the playoffs in 8 years teams that don’t make it for years or haven’t made it all NEVER win it takes them time ,because before they’re going to win in the playoffs they have llearn to loes first they’ll be just happy to make it

          • lafleur10 says:

            mojo we are the fastest team in the league and our speed and skill will over come slow and big teams and special team play a huge factor and with our pp i welcome you guys to take penalites against us with our pp

          • lafleur10 says:

            mojo i gaive you 2 chances against slim and almost none we are a better team in every aspect and we’ll prove it

            • mojo19 says:

              We’ll see. We’ll see what happens to Carey “choker” Price. You guys are the biggest pretenders in the league. Sorry lafleur, just telling you like it is, bro. Nothing personal.

              • lafleur10 says:

                well he’s better than red light reimer and and you can’r deny that! plus they are contenders wether you want to admit it or not and all of the anylysts on the tsn panel said they are to they said there’s 3 teams in the east habs,pittsburgh,boston and the rest are pretenders just telling you like it is too bro nothing personal either bro!

    • Gambo says:

      I want to play the Sens in the 1st round because if history tells us anything, we’re coming out on top. I also really want the leafs and habs to play at sometime during the post season. Hopefully the habs can eliminate the Bruins so we don’t have to go up against them.

  4. lafleur10 says:

    leafy i’ve been waiting since 1979 for us to meet in the playoffs again i remember that series as you probably do to lol we haven’t went on a prolonged losing streak like you mentioned all year and i think it’s only been twice or 3 times this year that we’ve lost 2 in a row ..and we haven’t had a 3 game losing streak… after a loss we always seem to bounce back and in back to back we have only suffered 1 loss we are getting better and more confident leafy and i think we have a good chance to go far in the playoffs this year especially if we get home ice ,we still have a chance at finishing 1st in our conference too. i think you guys play washington or boston in the 1st rd you’ll beat the capitals quite easily …the bruins well you have a chance i’ll say that

    • leafy says:

      Lafleur, I remember the 1979 series well. The Leafs battled hard in games 3 and 4, taking the Stanley cup champs to OT in both games.

      The most memorable moment was moments after the Leafs were eliminated on Larry Robinson’s OT goal in game 4 at the Gardens. As I was telling Mojo last week, Tiger Williams went berserk and was in the process of attacking the referee when Robinson intervened and held him back. If not for Robinson, Tiger could have been in big trouble. I always respected Big Bird after that.

      Several future coaches on that ’79 Leafs team: Joel Quenneville, Bruce Boudreau, Ron Wilson, and Dan Maloney. Randy Carlyle was on the ’78 Leafs team but he was traded to Pittsurgh in the summer.

      After the Leafs-Habs ’79 series, the Habs went on to face Don Cherry’s Bruins in that classic Semi-Final series that went 7 games.

  5. LN91 says:

    Washington is the dark horse in the East.

    Los Angeles (hard to believe they are considered this) is the dark horse in the West.

    Ovie had 4 points last night, 7th in NHL and his 23 goals are close to being the leader in the NHL. This entire team is flying under the radar, watch out!!!

    • lafleur10 says:

      and we can handle our selves in the tough department by no means are we heavyweights or have a guy like laraque that will make teams think twice or not even do anything but we are ok in that department prust can hold his own moen can drop the gloves with anyone and we don’t get imtimidated like that anymore plus there is no fighting in the playoffs and if you play like that and start taking useless penalties with our pp it’ll be lights quickly

    • lafleur10 says:

      i don’t think washington is the drak horse in the east they are playing really well but they are very beatable, i would more worried about the rangers.

    • leafy says:

      L.A. is one of the favorites, not darkhorse, as far as I’m concerned.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      Washington isn’t even a real contender when they win the East, Montreal expose the Caps with one of the biggest upsets in pro sports history (on paper). Washington is a joke, I mean Laich (glorified checking center)? Green (career playoff no show)? This team is all bleeding holes.

    • lafleur10 says:

      ln91 i like minnesota as more of the dark horse than than the kings in the west.

  6. mojo19 says:

    Joe Colborne is 23. If he doesn’t make the team out of camp next year he’ll likely never be more than a callup/grinder in the NHL.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      He’s a center prospect, why ignore that? I’m half tempted to see Nonis draft 10 centers just in the hope of developing one or two. No rush to push out Colbourne, how many people have all their shit together by 23?

      I don’t think anyone can get real opinion on Colbourne until we see him get at least a cup of coffee in the pros.

    • LN91 says:

      I don’t think giving him 4th-line minutes is great management by the Leafs if they are basing his play off that.

      I did not even understand Carlyle’s lines yesterday.

      He benched Frattin, who has struggled, but put him back with Kadri again.

  7. leafs_wallace93 says:

    Year of the underdog, Leafs making a deep push and CM Punk ending the streak.

  8. lafleur10 says:

    no i hate cena as well but i’d still cheer for him over cm stunk lol STONE COLD IS WHERE’ IT’S AT! THE TOUGHEST S.O.B.!i hope cena loses to the rock actually …..but i don’t see it happening unfortunately i think cena wins the belt.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      Hoping for a Cena heel turn, I know it won’t happen. How do you hate Punk and like Stone Cold? Austin has been putting over Punk for years, Punk is the throw back to Bret, Austin and Candido… and a break of this corporate inbred HHH, Cena, Orton, Micheals….

      • lafleur10 says:

        a cena heel would be cool i thinkit could happen wallace,i mean more and more fans a booing him and when he sees it and hears it,you can clearly see cena doesn’t like it and he gets upset so i think he could turn heel.i just don’t like punk however he’s the best in the business ,but i just don’t like how he has disrepected the undretaker and paul bearer and when he was champion he was saying disresparaging marks about stone cold! i wish austin would’ve came and open a can of whoop as and gave him the stunner lol

  9. LN91 says:

    In other related news, HTR will be holding members tryouts for R.A. Dickey’s job as the ACE of the Toronto Blue Jays.

    How well trading top prospects can go sometimes 😉

  10. LN91 says:

    Guess whose tied with Stamkos for the NHL lead in goals…Alex Ovechkin.

    Like I said, back from the DEAD.

  11. nordiques100 says:

    A big home and home coming up against the new look Rangers.

    I bet everyone but Torts wanted to keep Gaborik, but the team needed depth in a big way.

    With Staal out, their D was a bit thin.

    And without a few guys they leaned on last year like Prust, Dubinsky, Anisimov, their forward ranks were thin too. I guess too Kreider crapping the bed wasn’t great either. He needs time to develop.

    Clowe, Brassard, Dorsett gives them some depth. Gives them 3 lines they can throw out there.

    They are a big team so they’ll be a handful for the Leafs.

    I wonder if O’Byrne will get his first shot this week. He has the size to handle the Clowes, Nash’s and Boyle’s.

    Being 6 points up now on Jersey with 1 game in hand is big as well as being 6 points with 2 games up on the Jets. Real big.

    They looked way more organized defensively on Saturday though they had a few hiccups. Everyone though, from Reimer out was solid. All they needed was a big play from their top line and they got it.

    Should be an intriguing 2 game set. The Leafs need to manage a split at worst.

  12. leafy says:

    Now it’s good for the Leafs to keep winning, but I welcome some other team passing the Leafs in the standings and finishing in the no. 5 spot.

    • leafmeister says:

      1) Pitt
      2) Bos
      3) Was
      4) Mtl
      5) Tor
      6) NYR
      7) Ott
      8) NYI

      I’d love to see that match up. I think the Leafs and Habs would be the most entertaining matchup, and could go either way. I think both teams are playing a little over their heads, so it really depends on which one gets hot at the right time. Looks like playing Ottawa is not gonna be likely, as they are falling off, so it looks like we are likely to finish somewhere between 7-5. Boston just has to jump Montreal. They are 3 points back with a game in hand, so its more than possible.

      • lafleur10 says:

        i doubt it though boston isn’t the same team they were and is missing something if they lose tonight to carolina there will be a meltdown in beantown lol i’d love to a habs -leafs first round match up i agree it would be the most exciting 1st rd series of them all,however i don’t think both teams are playing over there heads right now i think your seeing to very good teams one better than the other .. but both playing there systems well. ottawa is in a slide right now hopefull they don’t slide that much…… however i think with andeerson back they will pick it up.

        • leafmeister says:

          I believe before the season you were essentially guaranteeing a bottom 5 finish for the Habs.

          They obviously have played very well, but you have to remember, they have only played half a seasons worth of games. I don’t expect Toronto or Montreal would finish as high in a regular season.

          • LN91 says:

            I don’t either.

            You have to take this season…And even some performances by players with a grain of salt.

            I doubt Kadri is a PPG. He’s really good, but PPG is great.

            • leafmeister says:

              If Kadri put up 80 points next year I would beyond euphoric. Not that he can’t do it in the prime of his career, but next year would be really soon.

              Some people seem to say that his ceiling is a 2nd line guy, and that may or may not be the case, but to me, he has shown first line center potential. I mean, just compare him to Claude Giroux. Similar styles, both took some years in the minors, both a little under sized but still dont shy away from the physical game. Why can Kadri not reach Giroux’s level?

      • leafy says:

        Yeah deep down inside, I badly want a Leafs-Habs match-up. A dream matchup and great for hockey.

    • nordiques100 says:

      I can strongly assume that NBC is wishing these current matchups are re-jigged. Or at the very least these matchups below don’t happen…..ever.


      Pittsburgh 1 vs Winnipeg 8
      Montreal 2 vs NY Rangers 7
      Washington 3 vs Ottawa 6
      Boston 4 vs Toronto 5

      4 matches in the East with Canadian teams? What you’re hearing is Bettman screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

      And lets for fun throw in

      Chicago 1 vs Edmonton 8
      Vancouver 3 vs Detroit 6

      The only 2 All American series would be
      Anaheim vs SJ
      Minnesota vs LA

      Bettman would go postal.

      To be “fair” I bet Bettman puts in a crazy on the spot rule like they did with teh Avery rule and says Edmonton and Winnipeg have to do a play in game….on the road, shorthanded 3 vs 5 with no goalie.

      • LN91 says:

        Winnipeg only has 8 games…I think the 8 teams in the East might be near set in stone.

        1 question mark is the Islanders…But In truly think they will get in. They’re a very tough squad.

        • lafleur10 says:

          i agree ln91 ithe 8 teams you see in now will stya in i think the islanders will squeeze in to i think they’ll finsh 7th and the rangers 8th ….just the way i see it

        • leafy says:

          I also agree with LN91. The Isles are dangerous. If the stars line up properly, they can break Pittsburgh’s heart like in 1993 (David Volek).

          • LN91 says:

            They are very tough. They will get tougher as the years go by.

            Garth Snow has got a lot of criticism over the years…But after failed development of Okposo and Bailey, allowing some of his prospects to stay in junior and minor leagues has really paid its dividends for the Isles.

            Once they move to Brooklyn, it could be a very special debut season.

            P.S. I hope they keep the New York Islanders

            • leafy says:

              They may very well be the next Chicago.

              I grew up at a time when the Islanders dominated the NHL. As a traditionalist, I’d also like them to keep NY Isles.

      • leafy says:

        If it’s bad for Bettman, I want those matchups Nords.

    • lafleur10 says:

      leafy i think the leafs sitting sitting in the 6th spot would upset the 3rd seed wether it’s washington or somebody else in 5th if you guys play the bruins you’ll have your hands full with them.

  13. leafs_wallace93 says:

    Gardiner scratched tonight in favor of O’Bryne?

    • nordiques100 says:

      sure looks that way.

      O’Byrne will wear no. 23. The last to wear it if one believes in omens was Brett Lebda.

      23 is most well known for Ponikarovsky, Todd Gill and for the older crowd, Eddie Shack.

      ironically, Randy Carlyle and Dave Farrish both wore 23.

  14. leafy says:

    Does anybody remember when was the last time the Leafs and Bruins met in the playoffs?

    If I’m not mistaken, I think it was in 1969. That’s the infamous series where Pat Quinn hit Bobby Orr and then Boston crowd wanted to lynch Quinn.

    Then Forbes Kennedy took on the entire Bruins roster (and the officials!) in one of the biggest brawls in NHL history.

  15. lafleur10 says:

    i was going to ask who you guys think are going to win these awards this year?
    jack adams
    art ross
    lady bynge
    rocket richard
    and the presidents trophy

    • nordiques100 says:

      The Norris is between Subban and Suter. I’d give it to Subban. he’s played a controlled game.

      But…The Wild have an absolute shit D after Suter. how he’s doing what he’s doing is pretty incredible. He is no longer thought of as the other guy in Nashville.

      Therrien and Boudreau have been great so the Adams is between them. But, if the Sens have a decent last stretch, I’d give it to MacLean after what that team’s been through.

      Conacher would be a unique win for the Calder. I don’t think a ROY has been traded mid season b4. I personally think the best and most consistent guy has been Saad. Not as many points but still 3rd, but he did all the little things the Hawks wanted.

      Sid’s injury puts the Hart race wide open. Pat Kane though or Toews could beat him. Toews needs to get into the top 10 in scoring.

      I think Toews will win the selke if not the hart. he’ll get something. Datsyuk could win the selke too and the byng could go to toews. or vice versa. Datsyuk has been incredible.

      And who knows….maybe OV? he could win the art and the rocket. again.

      I know a goalie too could win the Hart, but i am one of those who thinks they don’t deserve that. they have their own trophy.

      3 Euros, Lundqvist, Bobrovsky or Niemi could win the Vezina. Could be Rask too. or heck Fasth? tough call here. I think Lundqvist again or Rask.

      Rask will in the Jennings.

    • 93killer93 says:

      Norris- Letang
      Calder- Huberdeau/Saad
      Hart- Crosby
      Art Ross- Crosby/Stamkos
      Rocket Richard- Tavares (I doubt he actually wins it. But i’d like to see it happen.)

    • Gambo says:

      Jack Adams: Maclean if the Sens get their shit back together, if not Therrien. Other candidate is Quennville.

      Norris: As much as I hate to say it… Subban. Runner ups are Suter and Letang. Phaneuf could potentially find himself in the nominations if he keeps this up(bring on the hate.

      Calder: Huberdeau. Runner ups are Conacher and Saad.

      Hart: Crosby. Runner ups are Bobrovsky and Ovechkin.

      Art Ross: Stamkos. Runner ups are Kane and St Louis.

      Lady Byng: St Louis. Runner ups are Datsyuk and Moulson.

      Selke: Toews. Runner ups are Datsyuk and Kunitz.

      Vezina: Bobrovsky if they make the playoffs, Niemmi if not him. Other candidate is Backstrom.

      Rocket Richard: Ovechkin. Runner ups are Stamkos and Tavares.

      Jennings: Crawford/Emery

      Presidents trophy: Chicago Blackhawks

      • lafleur10 says:

        therrein for the jack adams quenville and maclean are finalists.
        norris: subban,runner up suter,letang,yandle
        gallagher runner up conacher saad
        hart: ovechkin runner crosby stamkos
        art ross: crosby runner up kane,stamkos
        lady byng: datsyuk
        selke: bergeron runner up datsyuk
        vezina:backstrom runner up rask
        rocket richard: tavare runner up ovechkin,stamkos, neal
        jennings : crawford/niemi
        presidents trophy:chicago

        some are the same as yours

  16. lafleur10 says:

    he’ll be back for the playoffs he’ll miss the rest of the regular season games,i think it’s pretty safe to say that i think no one will pass him.

  17. LN91 says:

    Going to assume that if Grabo does not get his shit together next year…Compliance buyout. Benched the entire night…

    Also, I thought O’Byrne was very good tonight. I hate slow skating D-Men like Franson, but he was more mobile then I remembered with Montreal.

    Oh, and I also hate how Carlye comes up with line combinations. Orr with Kadri and MacArthur all night? Got to be kidding me.

    • blaze says:

      The Orr thing is getting a little old but I guess Carlyle is trying to protect him.

      O’Byrne looks solid, nice pickup, however hard to see how Gardiner wiggles his way back in the line up consistently.

      • LN91 says:

        I think they should send him back to the Marlies.

        Percy scored in his first AHL game, Rielly is doing well…Let him play with them and learn together.

        Re-call Holzer.

        And yeah, that Orr things really does suck. I think McLaren is better offensively if that is the concern.

        • blaze says:

          Ya I gotta think McLaren gets the nod over Orr come playoff time. I like the scrappers in the lineup and I don’t think they get benched come playoffs time like most but I do think ya gotta either pick one or rotate them.

      • nordiques100 says:

        Its tough seeing Gardiner sit.

        The thing is, Liles has been better since he was benched. O’Byrne was brought in likely to play, not just sit and watch.

        Kostka surprisingly is 3rd on the team in blocks. He does have a team worst -8 but hey, for a career minor leaguer, I thought he’s done ok. Just probably over exposed.

        So where does that leave Gardiner? Probably to the minors. They won’t bother calling up another body if they send him down. He may go when Lupul comes back. Though Colborne may be demoted first.

        • blaze says:

          Kostka is a good two way depth guy. Most of his minuses are from earlier in the season when over-exposed paired with Phaneuf ( whose plus minus has gone up since playing with Gunnar suprise surprise).

          Since then in a much reduced role he’s looked much more comfortable.

    • nordiques100 says:

      it wasn’t all night. just the 3rd period when Grabo got benched after the Nash 1st goal.

      Grabo was with Komarov and McClement most of the first 2 periods.

      Then Kulemin took his spot. Kuly was with MacArthur and Kadri for most of the game.

      Then Carlyle went down to 3 lines.

      I am betting Hamilton gets in for Colborne on Wednesday.

      I have no complaints at all about Carlyle. The way Kadri has developed. The changes he made to how the leadership structure was. The emergence of Kessel as a hockey player, not just a goal scorer have been impressive.

  18. blaze says:

    Grabovski is a definite concern. The salary doesn’t help the perception of him either.

    Tough to give up a talented center with some grit but he’s playing his way down the depth chart. Being forced into the defensive role didn’t do him any favors but his play is slipping.

    Gotta say tonight it became obvious what the Leafs best shutdown combo is for the playoffs, Kulemin-McClement-Komarov. They looked great in the last 10 minutes tonight.

    Painful demoting Grabo to the 4th line but I gotta say ideal lines in my mind for the playoffs are as follows.

    JVR – Bozak – Kessel
    Lupul – Kadri – MacArthur
    Kulemin – McClement – Komarov
    Frattin – Grabovski – McLaren

    Phaneuf – Gunnarson
    Franson – Fraser
    O’Byrne – Liles


    On the flipside having a 4th line that can actually play will be a plus. Props to Bozak tonight as well for some big face-off wins defending the lead.

  19. blaze says:

    Its kinda funny we more or less all couldn’t wait to get Bozak off the team but more and more he’s looking too valuable to lose.

    There is really no replacement out there. Ribeiro is the only guy that could take his place but I just can’t get behind that. The guy is going to cost you more and land a big pay day. He’ll be 34 and on the decline and I just plain don’t like him.

    Derek Roy is meh. He has produced big in the past but again will get good money and is a poor face off man.

    Im starting to think we gotta pay Bozak. If it was short term I’d be happy 2-3 years 4mil I could live with.

    The big question is what the hell do we do with Grabo?? When was the last multi year buy out? I’ve by no means giving up on him as his is talented and has grit.

    I want Boyd Gordon he would be another McClement but even better on the draw and a PK machine.

    Aside from the experience gained from playoffs and maturing of players hard to see how the Leafs progress next season through FA.

    Clarkson seems likely and Id be happy with his addition if it isn’t too costly.

    Kadri will likely be due for a regression next season, especially painful if he gets the big bucks. Still slump or not a great long term piece. Makes moving or losing Grabo more risky.

    Gardiner will battle with Rielly next season for a spot cant see them both on the team. Heres for hoping Rielly goes back to junior for one more year.

    Seems like the Leafs have too many mid-range capable guys a big off-season trade would really be nice.

    Lots of random thoughts here, long story short PUMPED for PLAYOFFS lets finish this season off strong.

    • LN91 says:

      Phaneuf is playing better, still not 100% fond of Kessel…But I still think Toronto needs to fix down the middle…But hard to do.

      I think they can move Bozak to the third-line, but he would need to take a pay-cut. I doubt he will and anything over $4 million and he should not be re-signed. It would be like Calgary re-signing Matt Stajan.

      I think they need a large, physical top-six center to compliment Kadri. Good luck finding one of those.

      Like I said, Toronto can trade for Loui Eriksson or another solid winger…But how much does Toronto improve? Although many would argue, and this is my opinion, but I don’t think the Leafs are any better. Maybe a bit, but not substantially.

      • blaze says:

        Phaneuf is playing great IMO and Kessel has been creating offense all year.

        Not sure where ya can get that big center but no matter how ya slice it letting Bozak walk, the team gets worse.

        • LN91 says:

          You can’t get that center, that is the issue lol.

          And yes, no Bozak, this team is worse. However, Nonis has to manage this team for the future (in other words, $10 million in cap space tied to Bozak/Grabovski) and maybe it’s time for the Leafs to move on. Forces them to do something about the problem…Either find a replacement or look from within.

          • blaze says:

            Looking from within means Colborne and that’s all. At this point I see no benefit to taking steps backwards.

            Colborne just because he’s big doesn’t mean he’ll be more effective than Bozak.

            Nothing in FA coming up so if you want to improve the 1C slot is going to have to be a trade.

            • LN91 says:

              I think mojo brought up a good point comparing Stoll and Bozak in term’s of monetary value to a club. It’s dumb to overpay for a guy, long-term, just because theirs no other options.

              The Leafs cannot keep using Bozak as a band-aid and need to be more proactive in finding a solution to the problem.

              • blaze says:

                I don’t disagree completely but Bozak is harder to replace for Toronto then Stoll is to LA. Not to mention LA retained Stoll anyways.

                Anything from FA has mistake written all over it. Would it be wiser to lock Ribiero up at bigger term and hit?

                You could go Kadri – Grabovski – McClement – Gordon down the middle and that might be alright but that’s a big question mark.

                Puts Kadri is a position where he can’t slump with massive expectations and no protection, a recipe for failure. You rely on a bounce back season from Grabo. Or you hope Colborne makes an impact.

                Not a gamble I like making short or long term. The only other answer is a big trade.

                • LN91 says:

                  Stoll is replaceable, but he might even be a better player then Bozak.

                  How about a short-term, veteran option like Matt Cullen? Another very good player at the dot.

                  • blaze says:

                    I’m very partial to Gordon but Cullen is not a bad option himself.

                    Still doesn’t change anything though. Youre still relying on Kadri – Grabovski as your 1-2 punch. A recipe for failure.

                  • mojo19 says:

                    Matt Cullen does so many things well. He still has a ton of speed at his age as well as some scoring touch around the net.

  20. leafy says:

    Giguere is not too happy with the Avs.

    • reinjosh says:

      No kidding eh.

    • blaze says:

      Can’t say I blame him. Shows the need for quality vets on young teams. Not a fan of public toppings but still looks like a pretty apathetic dressing room there.

      Is this a team ready for a management shakeup? Burke and Wilson back again?!

      • blaze says:

        Oh and literally a kid as your captain? What a stupid decision, what is going to say in the room?

      • nordiques100 says:

        Landeskog as the Captain was a terrible decision.

        that was all PR move.

        Greg Sherman, having never played the game and him being GM is not ideal.

        They need wholesale changes….or either Pierre Lacroix gets back to it, or completely steps aside.

        I think he is a part of the problem. He wont leave his hands out of it.

        • mojo19 says:

          Ya they were following the trends of making your young star the captain. Personally I think captains were way better 10-12 years ago. They had character. Now you have guys like Ovechkin, Landeskog, Ladd, Phaneuf, Backes, Giroux, and Callahan. Not bad choices, but wouldn’t have been my choices.

          • mojo19 says:

            By the way, that’s not a knock on Ovechkin. I just see him as being that star player who wears the “A” while a veteran guy would wear the “C”.

            Another thing I don’t like about the current NHL is that the average player age has dropped a lot since the 2005 lockout. So there aren’t as many character veterans kicking around. Guys like Kelly Buchberger, Tom Fitzgerald, and Tim Taylor used to be legitimate captains, but now those types would never be.

      • leafy says:

        It can get very frustrating for veteran goalies on bad teams. Ryan Miller is another guy.

  21. mojo19 says:

    Washington Capitals train keeps on rolling. They handled montreal tonight 3-1.

    The Caps won just 3 of their first 11 games. It should have been a death sentence in a short season, but now 8-1-1 in their last ten, they’ve taken over the weak division lead.

    Of course most of these wins have been coming against your Carolina’s, Florida’s, Tampa’s, a couple wins in there vs Buffalo etc. But a win tonight against montreal is pretty big. And right before their tear they lost a heart breaker 2-1 against the Penguins in the midst of Pittsburgh’s surge to the top. So all in all you have to figure they’re playing well.

    I think Backstrom-Ribeiro is a stellar 1-2 punch down the middle as well.

    • leafy says:

      I’m really surprised by Washington’s resurgence. I saw them play several times during the year against different opponents and they sucked. Clearly they’ve gelled now.

      I hindsight, it was expected they’d get off to a slow start given how many coaches they’ve sacked lately.

      • LN91 says:

        Adam Oates provides a perfect balance between Bruce Boudreau and Dale Hunter.

        Important to know that the Capitals defeated the unstoppable looking Bruins last season in the playoffs and went to Game 7 against the NYR. They’re more experienced and prepared for the postseason then before.

        Also, I think they are a better squad this year. Mike Riberio has provided that Caps with the one element this team has been lacking since Tomas Fleischmann…A high scoring, second-line center.

        • nordiques100 says:

          Everything really coincided with the return of Brooks Laich and Mike Green.

          Laich came back March 19th. Though he has been out the last few games, I think he makes a big difference in the room. I think he really is their captain.

          Green too being back is huge. They are 9-2 since he has returned. His 25 minutes have been very difficult to replace. They need him.

          • realistic_leafs_fan says:

            When Washington was in second last overall, I predicted they would make the playoffs(followed by some laughs of course.LOL) I also said they would be all in and be willing to trade their first round pick.(again They didn’t move their first, but I would say moving forsberg for Erat is pretty close. Not saying, “I told you so”, just a little props would be nice.LOL
            Washington has too much talent to be bottom feeders and McPhee is fighting for his job, so the re-surgence and big trade, although seems surprising, really shouldn’t surprise us THAT much.

            • nordiques100 says:

              if the Caps were in the Atlantic, they’d still be in last. That Southeast Division is a farce.

              Good on you for sticking with them but just saying, its an easier road to make a comeback there than anywhere else.

              I think more than anything being in that division saved them. Way easier to have 3 or 4 games a year vs Carolina and Florida than it is against the Rangers or Penguins.

              Thats why props to the Northeast. 4 teams in a playoff spot right now. That’s a division of death.

              • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                Nords…you don’t think the playoff prediction had to do with what division they were in;)

                • nordiques100 says:

                  well they do have OV. he is a great player.

                  great players can elevate their teams at times.

                  But like i said above, Green, Laich, thats helps. depth helps.

                  but, their division sucks balls. like how the Jays could get squeezed out of a wild card b/c Oakland, Texas and Anaheim play the Astros 18 times a year.

  22. nordiques100 says:

    I was thinking, all this talk of drafts, what if the Leafs kept all the guys they picked (or signed as undrafted free agents). What would their team look like then? (keep in mind this does not include the picks they’ve traded away and were used by others).

    Their goaltending would probably be the team’s strength. Rask would be their no. 1, Reimer their no. 2. That’s pretty good if you ask me. They’d need to be good considering the potential team in front of them.

    Scrivens would be pushed to no. 3. and the Monster would probably still be playing in Europe.

    Their defence is um suspect. The top pairing will likely be Schenn with Kaberle. They did not bad together when Schenn was a rookie, but it’s a far cry from having Dion playing on the top pair.

    A couple of Swedes will probably be the 2nd pair with Gunnarsson and Stralman. That’s a soft pairing but reliable. The 3rd pairing I see is Jay Harrison and Ian White. Or possibly Colaiacovo getting in there provided he isnt on IR.

    They do have good prospects on D though led by Reilly. Percy and Finn are there too, Holzer and Blacker.

    Up front is very interesting because it lacks the explosiveness of an offensive star save for Kadri.

    Kadri would likely centre a line with the defensively responsible Alex Steen and Nik Kulemin. Both guys can provide some offence, but their defensive play and Steen’s ability in the faceoffs will be important for this line. The wingers are also not small, that helps.

    Bozak would maybe get Brad Boyes and Jiri Tlusty as his wingers. That’s a far cry from what he has now. Tlusty though is finally showing some signs why he was a 1st rounder.

    Matt Stajan would centre a line between Nik Antropov and Victor Stalberg. And the “4th” line would probably be John Mitchell with Leo Komarov and Shawn Thornton.

    The two spare forwards will be Kyle Wellwood and Alexei Ponikarovsky. Oddly enough, there would be 12 Canadians and 11 Europeans with no Americans on the roster.

    Forward prospects are thin though. Biggs is the best of the lot with Frattin, Ross, Leivo and Hayes rounding out the top 5.

    Of the roster players, there are quite a few 1st rounders, Schenn, Colaiacovo, Rask, Kadri, Steen, Antropov, Tlusty, Boyes but only Schenn is a top 5 pick. Of course since 1990, 3 picks, Luongo, Niedermayer and Seguin were Leaf top 5 picks that were used by other teams. A top 10 pick, Dougie Hamilton, was also traded away.

    They also had the 13th pick in 2007 which eventually the Blues used to grab Lars Eller. That pick though was originally the Sharks property which they used along with other picks to move up and select Logan Couture.

    In 2004 their 1st rounder was 24th overall which eventually Calgary used to select Kris Chucko. The Rags had this pick and used it to move up in the draft to pick Lauri Korpikoski. At the time of the 24th selection, Cory Schnieder and Mike Green were still on the board.

    In 2003, their 1st rounder was eventually used by the Bruins to select Mark Stuart. This is the biggest draft in probably the last 15 years and I think is one reason the Leafs struggled post lockout. At the time the 21st selection came around, which the Bruins used on Stuart, there was Kesler, Mike Richards and Corey Perry sill on the board. The Sharks had this pick and used it to move up to 16th to pick Steve Bernier. At that pick, 16th, still on the board were Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf and Brett Burns. To miss out on this, even for a late round pick, was a big blow especially considering how old the roster was at the time.

    Going back even further, Luca Cereda was the Leafs 1st rounder in 1999, The ’97 pick was Luongo, their 1996 1st was the one they traded to Philly to get Yushkievich. The Flyers selected Dainus Zubrus. And of course the 1995 pick was the infamous selection of Jeff Ware.

    Its really interesting looking back at all this. You can understand the one faction that were pretty hopeful the Leafs tanked and gathered a string of top 5 picks. They haven’t done that really before since the 80s when they stunk. But, the scouting and drafting abilities of the leafs are better now than ever. Plus, they actually develop guys a lot better. I think those reasons appeal to the Leafs getting these coveted high picks.

    There is the other faction which is draft schmaft. Based on history, lets trade the picks, go for broke. With some of the selections they’ve made, I understand that, but, again, we actually have scouts now, and take time developing guys, not throw them into the wolves. So, for me, its got to be the right situation to move the picks.

    I personally would love to see them string 5 straight 1st rounders together. I am confident the team will find a diamond in the rough in the other rounds. So, if they averaged 2 NHLers per draft the next 5 drafts, that would be real impressive. You up your chances of getting NHL players with 1st rounders. Keep hoarding and when the time is right, strike then. But I’d say for this season, the short season and what’s gone on, the timing wasn’t right.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      I take an inverted approach and it’s why I liked the Kessel deal. If you can add a great young superstar that isn’t fully formed then you can eat the draft picks. Once you have your core together (those 4-6 players that should eat the bulk of your cap) then you can hoard because you have the stability of a good core.

      That is the Detroit model. I get that Detroit drafted those players but would their team really look all that different if they traded a couple of 1st round draft picks for Zetterberg instead of drafting in a late round?

      The Wings (who don’t typically trade picks) haven’t drafted a regular in their lineup since 2005 (Franson) the next best is a 5th round pick that landed Helm. So would the Wings have been better off trading those picks? Probably, we’ll see on their recent picks however Detroit was in a position to keep those picks because they already had an established core. You build a core first no matter by trade, UFA or draft (or as a savvy GM might all three).

      That’s what got Burke in trouble, he built depth before a core and then shoot himself in the foot when he had to pay a stiff like Garbovski because Garbo was basically a rock bass in rain puddle.

      If you can land that young center via trade, forget draft picks. History has shown that you can get a lot for two 1st round picks.

      • nordiques100 says:

        The difference though was the Wings were in a position to be contending for the cup when they decided that moving their 1sts was a non-issue.

        I think the position with the Leafs is that having missed the playoffs since 2004, and really not having the greatest of teams, 1st round picks then should have been hoarded.

        I think after such a short sample set, 39 games (36 at the deadline) there still isn’t solid proof this team is there, on the cusp of contending.

        If Toronto was in the same position as the Pens, who moved their 1st, moved Joe Morrow, then yes, definitely. But they’re not.

        And to be honest, there isn’t much out there. I guess their closest shot would have been trading a 1st, maybe 2 for O’Reilly. That is in terms of a young centre.

        There just isn’t anything out there. Unless you want to go old, like maybe Lecavalier. So, my argument has been, with nothing out there to gain, keeping the picks for now is the best option. It may change in 2015, maybe 2016 or as early as 2014, but heading into the July off-season and the draft, I see nothing.

        Its not a never trade the pick mentality. Its more about waiting for the time where the opportunity presents itself.

        • LN91 says:

          Thank you.

          You might get a Lecavalier or possibly a Joe Thornton…But how much do they have left?

        • leafs_wallace93 says:

          Picks are of more value in the off season than the deadline sure (the allure, of ‘they could be anything’).

          Picks should always be on the table if there is a deal to help the team. Let’s say during the Jamie Benn hold Dallas offered us his rights for two picks, would you do it (baring working out a deal with his agent)? Situations will arise and trading for good young talent that has already been developed (i.e. Kessel), pull the trigger.

          Detroit gets a lot of praise for their drafting but them simply got lucky with a couple of late picks. They’re drafting record since kinda of sucks, then again most draft records suck.

          • LN91 says:

            But that’s a completely different scenario, which Nords is pointing out.

            If Benn became available, yeah, you probably make the deal as he’s a #1 line center.

            Detroit has drafted alot of star talent through drafting ‘boom’ or ‘bust’ risky picks. But, they also had the luxury of Yzerman, Datsyuk, Federov, Zetterberg, etc, so high end talent was never a concern throughout the years and they were able to take those risks.

            Toronto is kind of in that situation now, but they need a #1 line center and cannot hope for one in the 7th round if one is not available through trade.

            • leafs_wallace93 says:

              The Leafs don’t approach the draft that way otherwise they’d traded down to take a center in last years draft. You take the best player available (i.e Rielly didn’t answer a real positional need for the Leafs) because you don’t know what need the team will have by the time that pick is developed.

              A Benn type talent will at some point present itself. O’Rielly just wasn’t good enough to warrant that package.

              What do you really expect the Leafs to get with their 23rd overall pick?

              • nordiques100 says:

                Benn types available at some point….but not right now. that’s the thing.

                If one does come available, that’s great, go for it.

                but right now I don’t see it unfortunately.

                They may just have to hope that the Ducks owners think we can’t pay everyone and make the team get rid of Bobby Ryan and the Leafs acquire him and convert him to centre.

                That’s a possibility, albeit far fetched.

                Sadly the RFA rules are a sham and is outright collusion so offersheets are an utter joke in the NHL. If that wasn’t so fixed, I’d sign a Patrick Berglund. Spend at most the 1st, 2nd, 3rd rounder to get him. NOt sure he’s worth all that but that’s the price point anyways.

                But does that really, significantly upgrade the team? That’s the question. That goes for some of the others out there like a Gagner or Hodgson.

                That’s the dilemma. Unfortunately. I wish that were different, i wish movement were more fluid and lots more activity but teams now hold on to all they have now like grim death.

                And sadly too, the worst GM in the field, Feaster, has zero assets to move.

              • LN91 says:

                Since Toronto has made the playoffs with this squad, I think they can change the way they draft a bit. If they didn’t I think Nonis would have blown it up.

                A Benn type talent might present itself in the future…And yes, Toronto will have a first and prospects to make that deal, but it probably will not happen this offseason as I doubt (IMO, but realistically) any significant center is available.

                With the 23rd overall pick, in this deep draft, they’re many attractive options for Toronto:

                1) Bo Horvat, decent-sized, skilled center who comes from the same London Knights program as Nazem Kadri.

                2) Kerby Rychel, an elite offensive center in the O with a very bad Windsor Spitfires team.

                3) Frederik Gauthier, 6’5 center. Powerful skater, physical and excellent offensive vision. Rimouski where Mr. Crosby came from.

                Many interesting options for Toronto, depends on who they draft. Worst comes to worse, it’s another asset the Leafs have to trade when the time is right.

    • LN91 says:

      You’re telling me Kadri, Seguin, Steen, Hamilton, Reilly, and Rask is not appealing?

      You’re set down the middle, potentially have a top-pairing D, and an elite goalie.

      You just have to fill in the wings and the rest 🙂

  23. nordiques100 says:

    So the Bruins signed Carl Soderberg. I think they’re hoping they’ve found another Johan Franzen type. A older guy with lots of experience who can step in and provide some depth scoring.

    He is a pretty big guy, not saying he is as tough as the Mule, but he could be effective. The Bruins are a pretty good team and could use the depth.

    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

      Let’s face it, Leaf fans have obsessed about a “true” number 1 centre for a couple of years now. It’s not the be all end all.IMO There are so few out there to start with. There is Crosby, Malkin, Staal,Getzlaf etc, but there are teams that have found success without a star offensive centre.
      Montreal-Plakanec, Boston-Bergeron, Toronto-Bozak, Ottawa-No Spezza, Minneasota-Koivu, NYR and Richards 23 pts (playing like shit), St.louis-Berglund (young and developing)
      Then they are teams that may miss the playoffs with a number 1 centre…Philly-Giroux, Tampa-Lecavalier, Carolina-Staal, Calgary-Cammallleri and some on the fringe like NYI-Tavares and Detroit-Zetterberg. Number 1 centre do not gaurantee success. Having one (and paying for one) usually means you now have holes in other areas.

      Grabovski is a better offensive centreman than he has showed, but he is forced to play a roll he is not suited for, out of necessity. Is he worth $5.5 mil? No. If Bozak wants too much money and we let him walk…Assuming Kadri continues his strong play and work ethic, he will likely centre Kessel-JVR next season and Grabo would be the number 2 centre which is what he is, a number 2 centre.
      I think we forget that before this season, Grabovski averaged 52 pts per season over the past 4 seasons, which is solid second line centre numbers. He is still on pace for a 30+ pt total this season playing a checking role.(predicted over regular season length).
      We stil have centres like McClement or Colborne who could fill the number 3 spot, OR players like Gordon, Lapierre, etc may be available for the 3 position via UFA.
      I expect Nonis will try and move Grabo and re-sign Bozak, but it isn’t necessarily doom and gloom if Bozak goes and Grabo stays. Kadri, Grabo as the 1-2 is not horrible if Kadri continues to progress. Surround them with good wingers and solid 3-4 centremen, continue to improve our D, get good goaltending from Reimer we should still be good.

      • LN91 says:

        Good, not great.

        Only 1 team has not won without a #1 center, that was Boston…But they have Bergeron, I don’t think many realize how great this player is two-way.

        • realistic_leafs_fan says:

          I agree, good not great. We are not great with Bozak either though. Point is, don’t overpay for Bozak because he is not the answer to everything. The team is young so I feel the same as Nords philosophy on the overall. I may disagree with the players that are considerd worth first rounders, but not the idea of ONLY trading a first for a proven younger player. I could argue the ONLY one team to win the cup thing,when I think of some of New Jerseys teams and the Habs with Damphousse as their number 1 in 93. We also have to remember though that many teams who have won post-lockout were with young star centres under entry level contracts. The Leafs do not have that luxury…and probably never will in the near future.

      • leafs_wallace93 says:

        Great post, I’ve been watching Carolina all season as their the perfect recipe for internet hipster fans. They have great draft picks like Skinner + Tlusty (picking the idiot Maple Leafs) and that 1,2 punch of the Stalls and proven goaltender (despite injury) but they suck sooooooooo hard, really they’re an embarrassment in a division of embarrassments.

        Hell, even the Leafs team with years of Mr.1A center Mats Sundin that couldn’t put together a winning season let alone a playoff run without Cujo. Didn’t even miss a beat when Mats broke his wrist in the playoffs.

        It’s an inferiority complex to say a team can’t win or as the case this season, isn’t really winning (?) because they don’t do it without a specific kind of player. Unless the Leafs are trying to build a dynasty there is no point in making the playoffs.

        As for Garbo, one telling advance stat (not that I’m big on stats but…) is how many defensive zone starts he gets. He’s putting up ok numbers despite spending most of the game in the defensive zone. That’s talent.

        I don’t think Nonis has the stones to address the loss of Bozak, he’ll just resign Bozak because that’s what by the book GMs always do. Nonis’ creative mind is only exercised when he’s choosing between the dozen flavors in his daily breakfast of Timmy’s donuts (bitch is fat). I’m hoping it’s a Connolly type contract, 2 years pay him whatever, try to sell him on the idea he can prove himself as he’ll be given 1A opportunity.

        • nordiques100 says:

          I don’t know how creative he could be with what is out there.

          I don’t believe there is any young centre out there who are available. That’s the catch.

          He right now has the option to:

          re-sign Bozak

          Sign one of Roy, Weiss, Ribiero, Filppula in place of Bozak

          Go with Colborne to replace Bozak and hope for the best.

          Move JVR to centre and hope for the best

          Draft their own centre and wait 2 years at least for development

          Replace Bozak’s roster spot with a depth guy, like a McClement type and move everyone up one spot.

          Trade for an under-achiever and hope he turns into a Kyle Turris like, new lease on life centre for the Leafs. Candidates include Mikael Backlund from Calgary, Josh Bailey from Long Island, Marcus Johansson in Washington, Alex Birmistrov in Winnipeg.

          Overpay for an overpaid veteran like a Paul Stastny.

          Throw out an offersheet to Gagner, Little, Berglund or Hodgson.

          Try and wade through all the roadblocks from high salaries/cap hits, long terms, NMC and NTCs, team situations, and of course the trade costs itself and try and pry a guy like Lecavalier or Thornton out of their respective teams. To me that is pretty far fetched but i never say never.

          Out of the creative bag, the only one I can see would be trading for Evgeny Kuznetsov. All this guy wants to do is to play in the Olympics and once that is done, he’s NHL bound. He may be one of the top 5 players outside the NHL.

          They have options, but many i have listed are not too appealing.

          When that happens, most GMs usually fall back on the devil they know than the ones they don’t

          • leafs_wallace93 says:

            That’s why I like Bozak on a 2 year deal where he’s overpaid, buy some time and be patient for something to hit the trade market. No one thought Richards and Carter would be available from Philly, patience but keep Bozak in the meantime and hold on to a compliance buyout in case you need it at the time of a potential deal.

            • nordiques100 says:

              BTW Wallace, I do agree with you though. I never minded the Kessel trade. Its what BB did before and after it.

              If he only traded Kabby then, signed Cammellari before, something like that, well then that’d be something. I know, Cammy, he’s not great, but you know, at the time, that’s someone who’s a lot better than Matt Stajan who was Kessel’s first centre. Its an example.

              If there is a Kessel talent….who plays centre….out there, then def going for that would be ideal.

              We may have to wait on that. In the meantime, why not use the pick. 2013, there are a lot of centres. They have value. You never know. the kid plays well, develops like another Kadri. Or, he’s like a Brayden Schenn, a centrepiece in a trade for a Mike Richards 30 goal caliber centre down the road when there is actually one available.

              Either way, patience benefits the Leafs. The time will be there where they have to think about parting with picks/prospects. I’d prefer to see them make the playoffs, see what happens and see them ink Kessel/Dion before deciding to make the future is now proclamation.

              Let things play itself out. After ripping BB, i’ll give him credit. He wanted Dion, he was rebuffed, but waited til things there turned sour and jumped on it. That’s kinda what we have to do here. If that means continuing to add to the core with youth, from draftees, that’s how it’s gotta be.

              Lets not throw the assets away, for the likes of Pominville, for Stastny, Bouwmeester, decent players, but not really impactful players or players all that suited to this team IMO.

              If the Leafs again will trade a top pick or two and/or a top prospect, it darn well better be an impact guy. Kessel had an impact for sure. But its guys like the Stastny’s that are out there. Ho Hum. Ordinary. Or it’s the Owen Nolan I’m going downhill fast types out there. Thats not what i want. I think that’s what most people seem to agree on. I think many would rather see a Max Domi a Leaf.

      • mojo19 says:

        I take exception to you lumping Miiko Koivu in with the “others”. There has to be more than 2 classes there. Koivu is closer to Eric Staal than he is Tyler Bozak.

        • realistic_leafs_fan says:

          It’s a comparisson of teams who do not have the so-called “star” centre, not a comparisson of Bozak to those players. Koivu is better than Bozak but not a “star” centre. All I said was that there are teams that do it without the high profile star centre. I know you hate Bozak Mojo, but you are making it a comparisson between players and not teams. My comparisson is between the success of teams and who their number 1 is, not the player vs player.

  24. leafy says:

    Tortorini will be screaming at his players before tonight’s game. But the Leafs will win again if they bring their A game.

    • Lundqvist didn’t get much help on Monday and they still nearly won the game. A tad lucky when Kessel fanned on the shot which allowed the rebound to slide back on his second goal.

      I’m not hoping for another high scoring game. I’d rather see NYR’s defense clear the front better.

      I still think they will make the playoffs now that the Devils are dropping games. Although, we do play them twice at the end of the season.

  25. leafy says:

    Here’s Tortorella in the dressing room before tonight’s Leafs-Rangers game. On YouTube, search:
    “John Tortorella angry at his team”.

  26. blaze says:

    Ah the damn shootout strikes again. Screw no biggie great game entertaining home and home. Thank god no shootout in the playoffs.

    Can we agree Phaneuf looked awesome tonight? He’s been playing like a top 10 defender down the stretch. It seems like he’s more comfortable than ever with the leadership role.

    Gunnarson also looked great tonight. I think he’s finally starting to come around from his injury. Forget a D partner for Dion, Carlyle has finally realized he’s been there all along.

    Franson also looked great. Nice to see Franson really flourish this year and show so much more physicality then we’ve ever seen from him. Add a bit of nasty with Fraser and I like it a lot.

    All in all Im pretty comfortable with the D going into the playoffs. Having Gardiner and Kostka ready to sub in is great insurance. O’Byrne gets the nod going forward from his size and chemistry with Liles.

    Can’t wait add Lupul to this roster.

    Boston pulls ahead of the Habs? We play em Saturday night?! The stars are aligning for something special. This is the most excited I’ve been as a Leafs fan since 04.

    GLG bring on the PLAYOFFS.

    • leafy says:

      Even when the Leafs are winning, I absolutely hate the shootouts. So when they’re losing, I despise the shootouts with a special ultra passion.

      Agreed on Phaneuf. He looks really good. I call a spade a spade. The dude is playing good hockey.

      Gunnarson has been better lately. Franson consistently solid. Given Gardiner’s clear struggles in regaining his form after his concussion, O’Byrne looks like the man.

      The Leafs need Lupul badly in the playoffs to balance out the offense and make Kadri better. Can’t expect Kessel to do everything.

      Since the Leafs don’t really need Lupul for the regular season now, I’d rather have him rest and get back 100% for the playoffs.

      Yeah Toronto-Montreal. I called it about 3 weeks ago!!

      • blaze says:

        We don’t always agree leafy but you call it how you see it. I respect that.

        Absolutely make sure Lupul is 100% he brings so much to the forward group. Adds balance and will help Kadri.

        So nice to be watching meaningful games again.

  27. toronto77 says:

    On TSN before the game they said when Carlyle was asked about Gardiner not getting a spot on the team he said “everyone has to fight hard for their spot but young players have to fight harder” are you kidding me?????

    Gardiner has played excellent every time he’s been in the line up. and has looked better than most of the defenders. I understand not playing Holzer because he is expendable and there are players currently on the team that play his style, but Gardiner is one of a kind in this entire organization aside from maybe Rielly(who is a little further away) and maybe Liles but he can’t quite skate like Gardiner and isn’t as calm.

    Gardiner is one of the most mature and calmest young players in the league and for a defender at that. No matter what pressure you throw him under he is so calm with the puck.

    I don’t get it.

    • blaze says:

      Gardiner looks fantastic with the puck yes. Without it not so much. Combination of it being his sophomore season, a new defensive coach, a deeper D and a concussion.

      He’s made some soft plays in the D zone and been burned a few times. You have to earn your ice time with Carlyle. Not everyone agrees with it and he’s not always bang on with his judgement but for the most part it’s working and the guys are buying in.

      I wouldn’t worry about Gardiner too much he will get his chance and will earn his keep. Carlyle own words were the development stage of the season is over. Winning is all that matters now.

      • mojo19 says:

        Ya and I think when Carlyle says he wants Gardiner to be more physical and finish his checks, I like it. I think Gardiner’s potential could be close to a Kris Letang, but guys like that play with an edge, it’s what gives them that extra gear. It’s one thing Gardiner is lacking.

        He’ll be okay. As a young defenseman, the skill he’s shown so far is unreal. His ceiling is top end.

    • leafy says:

      I’m a huge Gardiner fan as well, but I agree with blaze.

      Don’t worry about Gardiner, he’s an important part of the Leafs future. But this being a playoff year, they can’t afford to be making elementary errors, and clearly Gardiner is not 100% in form. If he was, I’d be all over Carlyle like flies on turd.

      I’m content with the D at present. It’s not the 2000 New Jersey Devils, but it’s big, strong and fairly steady.

      • nordiques100 says:

        Ya Gardiner has not at all been excellent.

        He’s 22 though. Don’t panic seeing the Leafs doing this.

        I believe they did this to Franson last year. Almost wrote him off. He came back pretty well saying to himself this is it.

        This isn’t it for Gardiner, but, I am hopeful there is pressure on himself to get better, be better. Carlyle is giving him a push. Some personalities you have to.

        Its Gardiner’s agent who is giving Gardiner a bum rap.

        • realistic_leafs_fan says:

          Gardiner has struggled. he needs to find an edge like we have seen carlysle get out of Kessel(wasn’t sure if I would ever be able to say that, but glad i can.LOL) I think he is playing a little scared. An off-season away from hockey for a bit may be just what he needs to get his head straight.

  28. Gambo says:

    Team Canada 2014:




    -Forwards: 1st line is LETHAL. All lines can score, top 6 is primarily offensive while the bottom 6 can all play checking roles if necessary. Toews, Crosby and Giroux are arguably the 3 best faceoff men in the league.

    -Defense: All D men are strong offensively, Letang and Subban leading the way. Phaneuf and Weber would be the shutdown pairing, just like in the world juniors. Maybe sub some offense on the back end for a more defensive minded player.

    Goalies: I think the only goalie that is a sure thing is Price. Other than that it could go any way. Goalies can be incredible one year and then average or terrible the next(Quick, Luongo, Elliot). Luongo, Fleury, Dubnyk, Reimer, Crawford, Holtby, Smith, Ward are all capable of getting spots on the roster.

    No trades to talk about, Leafs are almost guaranteed a playoff spot, lets talk Olympics!

    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

      Should be a solid team. I’m a leaf fan through and through, but I really doubt Phaneuf makes the team. Beyond the D you show, there’s Marc Staal, Green, Seabrook, Bieksa. outside chance of Bouwmeester, Schultz, Beauchemin, Boyle. Phaneuf is good, not Team Canada good.IMO

      • leafmeister says:

        I would have agreed with you a month ago, and I still havent seen enough to totally disagree with you, but I think Phaneuf is adjusting to his shutdown role, is much calmer, and is working his offensive game back into the equation.

        If the Leafs are a good team again next year, Phaneuf will be a big part, playing big minutes, so I could see him cracking the roster.

        He is not there yet, but he is undoubtably improving in his role as the go-to guy. If another defensemen can be added to take some minutes away from Dion, I think his stats and play could look quite good to an olympic selection group. Although if he is actually disliked by the other players in the league, then I am sure he has no shot.

        • realistic_leafs_fan says:

          I agree LM. But at this point, I doubt he is pencilled in. IF Phaneuf becomes more consistent with his good play, he has a shot at making it. This year alone, Phaneuf has started to be more consistent, but has had times where he has struggled. He will have to put a strong run of good play together to make it. Dion has the talent…it’s just, can he get it all together for a long enough period to make a big enough impression. Also, Bigger ice for the olympics, does Dion’s game suit that?

          • leafmeister says:

            Yeah thats fair. He certainly isn’t pencilled in now.

          • Gambo says:

            It’s still amazing to me how UNDERrated Phaneuf is. Yes, underrated. Not overrated. He’s shown this year, especially recently that he is one of the top dmen in the league. In my honest opinion, if Phaneuf was paired with an actual dman the whole year, not Kostka or Holzer, he would be in the contention for the Norris. He’s 3rd out of all Canadian Dmen even though he’s playing a shutdown role. I respect everyone’s opinion, but he’s a lot better than most think. Besides, he wouldn’t be wearing the C for Canada and that’s half the reason he’s disliked in Toronto.

            • realistic_leafs_fan says:

              Underrated or overrated is all subjective to an opinion. Phaneuf has been playing well, but playing well for most of a shortened season will not get him on the Olympic team.IMO He is not even being mentioned as a possible D-men for team canada, so to say he has more to prove, I think is fair.
              What I would like to know is where did people get- Phaneuf is playing a “shutdown” role come from?
              Yes, Dion normally plays against the other teams top lines, but he also plays 1st line powerplay, as often as possible with our top lines and is free to join or start a rush . A true Shut-down defencemen is a defensive d-man who is not playing PP minutes, not playing with it’s own teams top lines, not encouraged to join the rush and offensive numbers suffer due to the “stay at home” mentallity.
              Phaneuf is our top defenceman, playing top minutes in all situations. He is counted on heavily in all situations, he is not playing a “shut down” role which is why his numbers are still good.

              • Gambo says:

                Well you said it yourself, he plays against the other teams best line every game. He rarely gets an offensive zone start. Typically, that’s a shutdown role.

                Do you think the guys you mentioned above are better than Phaneuf? (Marc Staal, Green, Seabrook, Bieksa, Bouwmeester, Schultz, Beauchemin, Boyle)

                • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                  Every power play is an offensive zone start, plus he gets other offensive zone starts. There is a difference between a shutdown role and a defenceman that can shut the other team down. Phaneuf is the latter. As for D-men above. I would take Staal, Seabrook and Bieksa over Phaneuf. Maybe Boyle depending on what other defencemen are there making up the other 5 or 6. Like it or not, Phaneuf is not even in one discussion I have heard for Team Canada. I would think Letang, Keith, Weber and Seabrook are pencilled in. Subban, Doughty,Pietrangelo, Staal are the next 4. Phaneuf is on the ouside looking in and will have to work his way up the depth chart.

                  • Gambo says:

                    Phaneuf is playing a shutdown role, it’s not even debatable. Again, when a player is put against the 1st line every night that means he’s playing a shutdown role. Phaneuf is on the first penalty kill too, so that cancels out your argument that he’s on the powerplay. He rarely starts in the offensive zone when it’s not on a powerplay.

                    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                      Typical. “your just wrong cause I say so”lol
                      Your offensive zone stat means crap.
                      LA’s Scuderi is a typical shutdown defencemen but gets 50.1% offensive starts to Dions 41.3%. Why? Because Toronto has way more defensive zone faceoffs then most teams. The most offensive starts on Toronto is Liles at 50%. Except Franson at 49.7% All Leaf regular defencemen are 46.5% or lower. A maximum of 5% more offensive zone starts than Phaneuf. All that stat really shows is where a team faces-off the most. Toronto is regularily outshot…usually meaning more defensive zone facoffs then offensive. No Leaf defencman has more offensive zone faceoffs then defensive…I guess they are all playing a shut down

                    • LN91 says:

                      ^I agree. He was never known or billed as a shutdown D.

                    • leafmeister says:

                      He isn’t a shutdown defensemen, but he undeniably plays shutdown minutes.

                    • Gambo says:

                      I’m not saying he’s a shutdown player like Scuderi, i’m saying he’s playing a shutdown role. Big difference. Anyone that watches a leafs game knows that he’s always up against the opponents top line, in other words he’s been given a role where he’s supposed to shutdown the opponents best. I don’t even know why you’re trying to argue that..

                    • LN91 says:


                      Is there a top-pairing defencemen that does not play against the league’s best?

                      What are you trying to get at?

                    • Gambo says:

                      LN91, RLF said “What I would like to know is where did people get- Phaneuf is playing a “shutdown” role come from?”

                      I’m just trying to prove that he is, in fact playing a shutdown role.

                    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                      As I said, there is a difference between a shut down defenceman and a shut down “role”. If Phaneuf was playing a shutdown “role” he would not be playing hardly any PP time, he would not be rushing the puck or joining the rush hardly at all and he would not play as much with our top lines. Chara is considered a shut-down defenceman, but is not forced to play a shutdown “role”. Your argument is that Phaneuf is being forced to play a shutdown “role” and producing points despite that. Well Phaneuf averages the most PP minutes per game of any Leaf. The forwards Phaneuf has spent the most time of ice with this year are Kulimen, Kessel,Grabo, JVR and Bozak. Since McClement plays a shut down forward role and leads the Leafs in PK time while Phaneuf is second in PK time you would think 5 on 5 they would play alot together as well. As LN91 said, most top defenceman play hard minutes. Scuderi and Douglas Murray play shut down “roles”. Scuderi averages 12 seconds of PP time and 3.23 minutes of PK time per game. He plays a shutdown “role”.Just because you don’t seem to know the difference between playing hard defensive minutes and a shut down role doesn’t make you right.

                    • Gambo says:

                      RLF, we’re never going to agree on this. I think you have no idea what a shutdown role is and you think i don’t know what a shutdown role is. Nothing you or i say will change our opinion on this. So lets just drop it because i’m right;)

    • nordiques100 says:

      I don’t know if both oiler stars make it.

      I think they are going to try and bring the strongest 2 way guys.

      Eberle and Hall leave a lot to be desired defensively. Maybe one gets in. Depends on who is the hottest.

      I don’t think Lupul is the right fit for the 13th forward. I think Bergeron gets in for sure. Just because you know, he is awesome on draws, and just a damn good player and he will be key on the PK.

      I really think too Logan Couture makes the team. He is such a strong player all 200 feet.

      I wonder too if there will still be a spot for Mike Richards. He yes hasn’t been the greatest, but he is a big game guy, a returnee from the last team and a winner. He can fill a lot of roles. And don’t discount a similar player, Jordan Staal

      There’s his teammate too Jeff Carter, what about him? Its sick how ridiculous the choices are.

      On D, I like it. But there may too be a strong chance Seabrook returns. Ya, he ended up being the 7th D in Vancouver, but this guy is steady.

      Then there is Del Zotto, Staal if he is healthy, Girardi who is very steady too. Same goes with Hamhuis. Dougie Hamilton may get the special invite to travel with the team.

      The goalies are interesting. Price for sure. I like Fleury and probably Luongo.

      But I really like Ward too. I know he is hurt now, but may be great by the time 2014 rolls around.

      Gosh, Canada could field 2 teams lol

      So my team



      Price, Fleury, Ward

      • leafmeister says:

        I agree about the Oiler’s guys. I am as big a believer that they are the next big thing. They rush their 18 year olds into the NHL too fast and eat up their precious entry level deals when they are garbage. Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Yakupov could have all used another year, and it would have made no difference to the Oilers who were destined to suck anyways.

        For Team Canada, I would go:

        Stamkos – Crosby – Staal
        Nash – Tavares – St. Louis
        Richards – Toews – Bergeron
        Benn – Getzlaf – Perry

        Weber – Pietrangelo
        Letang – Keith
        Phaneuf – Seabrook
        Subban (PP specialist)


        • leafmeister says:

          *not as big a believer

        • Gambo says:

          I hear what you guys are saying about the Oilers guys, but I think offensively they’ll just be too good to pass on. Jordan Eberle has a history of scoring big goals for team Canada, that has to be in the minds of whoever is picking the team.

          • leafmeister says:

            Yeah, I guess I just don’t care for the Oilers first overalls.

            To me, Seguin, Landeskog, Yakupov would have been the way to go. Much more well balanced.

            I am not a huge fan of Taylor Hall. I live in Kingston half the year, and apparently he is a major douchebag here in the off-season. I like the fire he plays with, and he can make mind-boggling plays at top speed, but he is too injury prone too early in his career. Looking back, I would take Seguin first overall every time.

            I like the Nuge, but honestly think Landeskog is in for the better career, and Seguin would have the top line spot nailed down for the future.

            Yakupov would be the one to add the offensive firepower, along with Eberle.

            They are just too much one dimensional offense.

            • realistic_leafs_fan says:

              I don’t think the Oilers young guns will make it either. I expcet Nash will also play with Getzlaf and Perry. Huge line with size and skill that would be difficult to stop.

            • Gambo says:

              Haha in one of my classes there’s a guy from Kingston who played with Hall and he said every summer Hall basically runs the city. So douchebag probably nails it on the head, but I’d love to party with him. Same with Kane.

              Yeah, Landeskog was may favorite player of that draft by far and he’s one of my favorite players in the league. RNH was the right pick for them though, but that’s because they picked Hall over Seguin. They needed a centre.

    • LN91 says:

      Due to the big ice,

      Phaneuf won’t make it.

    • 93killer93 says:




  29. leafmeister says:

    No Lupul to carry the team? Not a problem for Kessel. He and Reimer can be thanked for those 3 points. I was flabbergasted seeing the coldest player on the team in the shootout. Where was Kessel? Not too concerned though. I don’t mind seeing New York securing a playoff berth. In fact, I want them to either wear down or beat Boston/Pittsburgh.

    If Kessel is getting hot, and Reimer continues his solid play, the Leafs will not be fun to play against. Especially for the Habs. The Leafs can match their speed game, and can bully them with physical play. That is a huge factor in a series. The Habs have a goaltending advantage, but goaltending has not been a weakness for the Leafs, so hopefully it won’t be too much of a factor. The biggest factor could be Kessel though. He was a good playoff performer with Boston, and we all know that when he his hot he can score with the best in the league. Montreal does not have a scorer of his caliber. If Lupul is back the Leafs will have two solid scoring lines, good goaltending, decent power play, excellent penalty kill (offsetting the penalties Toronto’s physical play will get them), and a solid commitment to team defence. I am pretty goddamn excited for these playoffs.

    • leafy says:

      My friend Lafleur will get mad at me, but do the Habs really have an advantage in goal?

      Price has playoff experience, I’ll give him that. But if you look at this year’s numbers, Price is slightly ahead in GAA, but Reimer is ahead in save pct.

      Also consider that the Leaf goalies face an average of 5 shots per game more than Habs goalies. That’s substantially more rubber during the course of a season.

      I’ve got them even in goaltending. Edge to Habs on the blueline, edge to Leafs in forwards. Even behind the bench.
      Habs on PP, Leafs on PK.

  30. lafleur10 says:

    you can’t match the habs speed and skilled game the habs are one of the fastest teams in the league,and the fastest team in the eastern conference we have a big advantage when it comes down to goaltendingit has been a weakness for the leafs not a major weakness but a weakness i mean your 27th for goals against that’s a weakness kessel wasn’t that good of a playoff performer he had his moments but diappeared more than he produced hence hwy they got rid of himhe have a score of his calibre his nmae is micheal ryder he’s a clutch consisitant 30= goal man and has led the bruins in scoring the year they won the cup,he alos has a cup something kessel doesn’t so he knows how to get it done playoff timeyou’ll have a sligh physical edge but not much our defence is better price and our defence and our balanced,scoring with our speed makes us the huge favorite we aren’t a team like toronto that depends on 3-4 guys for scoring if you shut kessel down you shut the leafs down ,as where with the habs who are you going to shuut down the have 4 lines that can score and a very acctive defenceman that has the most offence in th league plau a very potent pp with subban and markov

    • leafmeister says:

      Shutdown Kessel you shutdown the Leafs? Sure about that? Cause Kessel had been going through a 10 game slump before the NYR series, and the Leafs were winning. Kessel has been quiet this year, and you know he is due for a hot streak. Yet he is still a PPG guy. The Michael Ryder comparison was enjoyable. Kessel at his weakest is roughly equal to Ryder having a career year. Still probably give the edge to Kessel. What is your qualification for a consistent 30 goal man? Is it failing to do so 4 years in a row (3 of which he didn’t crack 20). He has one good season last year, and plays a stretch of strong games this year, and suddenly he is a consistent 30 goal man? Do you know what consistent means?

      Also, the year that the Bruins won the cup, Ryder finished 10th in Bruins scoring with 18 goals and 41 points. He did pretty well in the playoffs, but again, not leading in points. He has more experience than Kessel in the playoffs, but he only has 43 points in 70 games.

      Kessel has 15 career playoff games and 15 career playoff points. Boston got rid of him primarily because of money, but he actually performs quite well in the playoffs.

      Team speed is a big strength for the Leafs, they can match the Habs. Your PP is excellent, but so is our PK.

      Again, I maintain that both teams are playing well above their heads so it really comes down to who is hot at the right time. BTW, everyone here remembers you saying the Habs were a lock to finish bottom 5. Does 39 games of real strong play in a weird season really convince you that this is the norm to be expected?

      • Gambo says:

        “The Michael Ryder comparison was enjoyable. ”

        Laughed so hard.

      • lafleur10 says:

        AND HE’S WON THE STANLET CUP something kessel hasn’t and won’t do ryder led the bruins in scoring in the playoffs the year they won the cup!
        our speed is a big factor and it gives his an advantage our pk is good but our pp is lethal(like i said),we are the fastest team in the league nd teams have trouble containing our speed like i said you guys have to score 3-4 goals a game because you give a ton that’s why your 27th in goals for and we are in the top 5 for goals scored and goals against, yes i know what consistant means it’s like your team consistantly shitty every year except this year which they played well and played good enough to get in ,i am sure you shut kessel down and you beat the leafs he’s like your making a case for your top player if he disappears so do the leafs it’s a lot to ask kadri to carry you in the playoffs alot for a young guy

    • leafmeister says:

      If Ryder is equal to Kessel, then Franson is equal to Subban.

      • leafs_wallace93 says:

        But the TV said that Kessel is overrated…. That’s because Kessel is compared to the best players in the game. Kessel finished 6th in league scoring last season and has a good shot at being top ten this season.

        Remind me when Ryder has done that? Remind me the top 50 players list Ryder is on?

        The only thing Ryder is compared to from year to year is whether he can live up to his contract or not like all overpaid veterans are.

    • Gambo says:

      Everyone on Toronto’s top 9 can fly. I wouldn’t be so sure that speed will be an advantage for you. You’re gonna have to shutdown more than Kessel.

    • mapleleafsfan says:

      Longest sentence in history.

  31. leafy says:

    The 450th comment goes out to Rocky Saganiuk, John Anderson, and Dan Daoust.

  32. LN91 says:

    Wow, never heard so much biased dud in my life from either Leaf or Habs fans then the above thread.

    Now, so one who takes a more realistic approach.

    The Leafs and Habs are essentially the same team. They are both quick, with some grit, and both run three-lines deep. The Habs can burn you with any line on a game night…But as proven this year, so can the Leafs. It’s not simply ‘Stop Ryder’ or ‘Stop Kessel’…You have to play well against every teams opposing lines to win a series between the two.

    They are both strong on PP and PK. Montreal’s PP is good, but not lethal. Toronto has stopped it before. Toronto has struggled in the PP and that won’t win you a series against the Habs. They are matched pretty evenly here as well.

    Where does the advantages lie?

    Montreal has more experience as a unit in the playoffs. Price, Subban, Markov, Gionta, etc. have played together before in the postseason so they are comfortable with each other in this situation. As much as Leaf fans want to argue against it, experience is huge in the playoffs, especially for Price vs. Reimer (who lafleur, don’t look at GA, he’s been maybe the best player on the Leafs).

    Toronto is byfar the more physical team of the two teams. The playoffs are a war of attrition and usually the more physical teams win the series. Physicality wears down opposing players, causes key turnovers, as proven by the previous Stanley Cup Champions. As much as Habs fans want to argue against it, tougher teams can win series…And when you’re fighting an entity similar to yourself, the tougher team can win.

    3 Stars for Montreal to win: Price, Markov, Pacioretty

    3 Stars for Toronto to win: Reimer, JVR, Kadri

    There, unbiased approach. Going to get heat from both sides…But atleast I looked at it from both sides of the picture.

    • leafmeister says:

      1) Neither a one line team
      2) Both speedy
      3) No distinct advantage in special teams
      4) Montreal more experienced
      5) Toronto more physical

      5 basic points which were all covered in the above discussion that you labeled as ‘biased dud’ are coincidentally the 5 points you make, in different words. Only difference is I don’t pretend to be the first guy to ever come up with it.

      I believe I wrote them too. I mean, I can understand if you felt the need to translate lafleur’s contribution to something a little more pleasing on the eyes, but I was satisfied with both the content (and apparently you were too) and the form of what I wrote.

      • LN91 says:

        Well, I got sick of all the dumb ‘Kessel sucks’ and ‘Subban is overrated’ maturity…So, decided to write a POV from both sides to avoid all the theatrics from above.

    • reinjosh says:

      Great writeup. Nice and unbiased. Don’t usually agree with you on stuff but I like what you’ve written. Nice job.

  33. LN91 says:

    Washington and St. Louis have both won 6 games in a row.

  34. leafy says:

    The fact that Lupul took part in his first full practice today is very positive news.

    But the Leafs need Lupul for the playoffs, not regular season. Better to take it slow and make sure he returns 100%.

  35. mapleleafsfan says:

    How about that game? Michael Ryder made Kessel look like a peewee player that’s for sure.

    • leafmeister says:

      Sometimes lafleur just makes it too easy. Same could be said about Price. I was looking forward to having a competitive game. Too bad it was over before it even started.

  36. The 500 comment goes out to welcoming Detroit to the Eastern conference. New rivalries awaits us all.

  37. LN91 says:

    Since no one wants to bring it up, I dedicate comment 503 to the victims of the Boston Marathon.

    • leafy says:

      Me too with comment 504. I have relatives and friends there, but they’re safe. Many people hurt real bad.

      Infamous events from this week in history:
      Assault at Waco, Texas – April 19, 1993
      Oklahoma City bombing – April 19, 1995
      Columbine massacre – April 20, 1999

      Coincidence? My gut feeling is home grown terrorism is behind this.

  38. leafy says:

    Patrick Roy
    Dominik Hasek
    Martin Brodeur

    Seriously, not since Curtis Joseph and Eddie Belfour have we seen goaltending like that at the ACC.

  39. leafy says:

    Some Leaf fans might be worried about the low shot total tonight. Here’s something to consider.

    There are 30 teams in the league, right? Guess which one gives up the fewest shots? Yup, New Jersey at 23.9.

    Now it’s somewhat alarming that the Leafs almost always get outshot. Normally this statistic strongly tracks with missing the playoffs. But the Leafs are a very peculiar and atypical team. Clearly the reason they get away with it is outstanding goaltending in the form of Reimer.

    But except for Patrick Roy in 1993, I haven’t seen a goalie virtually single handedly carry his team through 4 playoff series wins. Meaning I hope and believe the Leafs will step up and create more scoring chances in the playoffs.

    • LN91 says:

      He has been tremendous, maybe best in the league. No goalie in the league faces the amount of work as Reimer and handles it.

      Good question, how many times has Reimer allowed more than 5-goals in a game, let alone 4?

      He has had some shaky starts, but he always manages to out-duel the opposing goalie.

  40. leafs_wallace93 says:

    What happen to all the James, Dion, Tyler and Phil hate lately?

  41. nordiques100 says:

    It’s interesting to see how the Leafs were built.

    The Leafs have 9 1st round picks in their organization in the last 7 drafts.

    2006 – Kessel (They originally selected Tlusty)
    2007 – JVR (Pick was used to select Eller, was traded to get Toskala)
    2008 – Gardiner, Colborne (Originally picked Schenn, their pick was traded to move up to get Luke and ended up in Nashville who picked Colin Wilson)
    2009 – Kadri, Ashton
    2010 – none (Pick was traded to get Kessel)
    2011 – Biggs, Percy (Original pick traded for Kessel used to get Hamilton)
    2012 – Reilly

    The team also has from the 2002 draft, Lupul, and the 2003 draft, Phaneuf. Both former top 10 picks.

    Biggs was the final piece in the Kaberle trade which included Colborne and John Liles. Kaberle was originally an 8th round pick. The original deal was the 30th pick and a 2nd for Kaberle. the 30th pick was Richard Rankell. The 2nd was moved for Liles.

    Percy was part of the Kris Versteeg trade. They acquired Versteeg in a package that included a good JFJ mid rounder, Victor Stalberg and the prospect they acquired for Tlusty, Philip Paradis.

    Gardiner was part of the trade that included Lupul which sent Beauchemin to the Ducks. Beauchemin was a UFA.

    JVR came over for Schenn.

    Ashton was acquired for Aulie. Aulie was part of the trade that included Phaneuf which sent 2 more JFJ picks, Matt Stajan and Ian White to the Flames.

    The team’s organizational depth was given a boost from JFJ’s draft picks: Komarov, Kulemin, Reimer, Gunnarsson, Frattin, Holzer.

    There is hope the next wave of these types will include, Finn, Ross, Leivo, Nilsson, McKegg, D’Amigo, Blacker.

    Bozak, McClement, MacArthur, Kostka, Scrivens, Orr, McLaren were all acquired for money.

    O’Byrne, Grabovski, Fraser, Hamilton became Leafs for a 4th rounder, a 2nd rounder and two non-prospects.

    Where’s Waldo? I ask because there are just 2 players on this entire list acquired by Dave Nonis. O’Byrne and McLaren.

    Even the coach, the coaching staff and all of Nonis’ Lt’s are all Burke hires.

    This is Burke’s team yes. BUT, I strongly believe this all actually worked out because Burke is not here.

    Nonis/Carlyle changed the culture of the team. No longer, win or lose, was the team about the GM and the coach. That was the biggest change.

    The team too have now a coach/GM on the same path.

    And Nonis, is completely out of sight and mind. The team needed that. More calmness, less calamity.

    The team, I think on purpose became decidedly Canadian. Lupul, McClement and Mac got the A’s replacing Grabovski, Komisarek and Kessel.

    While McClement was a lock for the team already, the likes of Orr, McLaren, O’Byrne, Hamilton, Kadri, Fraser, Franson, Kostka, all became regulars/semi-regulars replacing from the previous regime, Brown, Crabb, Komisarek, Steckel, Connolly, Liles and Gardiner.

    I don’t think thats a coincidence.

    This organization became about all the players and the name on the front. Not about the coach and GM and just a couple players who were put on pedestals by said coach and GM.

    There isn’t a GM who would be sure to say “I told you so about Reimer” after a game last night. Or a coach saying “He is the best defenceman by a country mile” or “Merry Xmas to me!”

    This is a team now that really makes everyone accountable. Its not rules for one group, rules for another. Sure, stars, as they usually are, have a set of rules, but here, they finally aren’t on pedestals.

    Having a coach who is allowed to put out the 20 best players going in the organization is refreshing.

    The demotion of 8+ million dollars, with 4 million already dumped before the season even began set the tone for organization that I don’t believe would have even remotely come close to happening had the previous GM been still in place. Perhaps that may be the single biggest move by the organization this season and set the scene for a good season so far. The doors opened for I’d say almost a dozen players who’d likely would have been pigeon holed into one thing and one place only.

    Actually, that big move only happens if Rogers/Bell fires the GM on the eve of the season. So that may be the single biggest move the organization has made, and perhaps the boldest move they’ve done in years.

    It hasn’t been perfect of course. They sort of dicked around with Reimer with the Luongo/Kiprusoff thing. Things got messy with Gardiner and I don’t think they’ve handled Frattin that great, he should have been sent down to get confidence. But, it’s been a while where we’ve seen that if you work, you listen, you follow, you play. That’s been the difference.

    You’ve seen it in Montreal, in Columbus to an extent, how changing the message can change so much for a team and organization.

  42. leafy says:

    With a playoff spot in the bag, I’d play Scrivens tonight. He’s quite capable himself.

    Don’t wanna burn out Reimer before the playoffs. He’s getting overworked to say the least.

  43. leafy says:

    There’s a 60-40 chance Lupul will play tonight, but there’s a 20% chance for that 60-40 chance.

  44. leafy says:

    I feel sorry for Scrivens. The only guy who showed up tonight.

    That’s 3 games in a row the Leafs have looked dopey.

    • Gambo says:

      Yup horrible game. I thought Gardiner and Grabovski looked pretty good though. Hopefully they can turn this around and get ready for the playoffs before they get their asses kicked in the first round.

      • leafy says:

        Yeah they looked good so that’s one positive.

        The Leafs need to be much better on Thursday because the Islanders are another surging team.

        And Saturday’s game vs Ottawa is now looming large because we want to avoid the no. 6 spot and Caps in the first round.

      • nordiques100 says:

        fatigue setting in I think.

        Really don’t know if Carlyle can go with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the playoffs if they get there. Can’t really roll just 3 lines for an entire series.

        Maybe one guy. depends on who they play but not both. As you see with the Caps, their tough guy is either John Erskine or Matt Hendricks. They don’t really have a regular. So i a series against them, there isn’t a need. There is more a need to match their speed and skill.

        Its not every game you will blow out your opponent and thus be allowed to roll 4 lines.

        It will be interesting to see how Carlyle manages this.

  45. leafy says:

    Hats off to Washington though. They look like a friggin good team.

    A Washington-Pittsburgh playoff clash in later rounds, if it happens, would be a great series.

  46. LN91 says:

    Add Toronto to the Capital’s growing hitlist.

    Like I mentioned before, this is a darn good team.

    • nordiques100 says:

      Oates had Paul Maurice syndrome early on.

      He split up Ovechkin and Backstrom for some insane reason to start the year. They were playing together in the KHL already and have for the last 3 years.

      It reminded me of when Maurice came in and immediately split up Kaberle and McCabe, arguably the best defence pairing in the NHL the previous 2 or 3 seasons.

      Then he scrambled later on to get them back together but by that time McCabe’s game was in shambles. And it never lasted more than 2 games.

      Once Oates put those two together, and Laich finally returned, the team started to be a team that was happy to play hockey again. He is lucky he didnt wait til it was too late.

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