Joe Sacco fired as coach of Colorado Avalanche after four NHL seasons

The Colorado Avalanche on Sunday fired coach Joe Sacco after four seasons at the helm, the team said.

The Avs have not hired a replacement.

The Avs made the change after a last-place showing in the NHL’s Western Conference, and for missing the playoffs for the third straight year under Sacco’s watch. Sacco had a final year left on his contract as coach.
After a rookie coaching year in which he helped guide the Avs to the playoffs in 2009-10 and was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award for coach of the year, Sacco’s teams finished out of the running the next three seasons.

299 Responses to Joe Sacco fired as coach of Colorado Avalanche after four NHL seasons

  1. nordiques100 says:

    They gotta fire the GM too there.

    Tough to see Niewy let go. If I am Flames, I am trashing the front office there, bring in someone new and have Niewy be a part of the Flames rebuild.

    So Leafs get Bruins. This could be tough.

    The Leafs will need to make up the lack of experience with a ton of enthusiasm. They’ll need to play in Boston’s end much more than they have.

    Lupul/Kadri line will need to be big. You and everyone knows Chara vs Kessel. They may have Seidenberg split up from Chara to check Kadri. Seids is good, but no Chara. Got to take advantage.

    Grabo has to step up. He’s the 3rd line guy. He must deliver.

    Personally, I’d put back the trio of Grabovski/Kulemin/MacArthur. In the past they’ve managed to be responsible on D and cycle well down low. They may have to go head to head with the Krecji line.

    If those 3 back together, they could rotate wingers on the Kadri/Lupul line. Komarov to start, bring an edge. McClement for when they drop to 3 lines and for defence/faceoffs. My guess is Orr/McLaren will start, but don’t be shocked if Frattin/Hamilton/Colborne see some action this series.

    I’d bet the B’s will want Bergeron vs Bozak. Leafs need Bozak back. JVR needs to step up here. But key is Kessel. That work ethic has to be 110% now.

    The Bs could also use the Thornton-Campbell-Paille unit vs the Bozak line, but my guess is power on power with Chara too on back end.

    5 keys for Leafs:

    1. Carlyle must use his experience to help young club be on even tactical field with Bruins. He matches lines like crazy. He must keep bench active and alert. He must bring speed back to game plan. Their sloppy play of late has made them lose that edge. Got to get it back.

    2. Reimer must outduel Rask. He’s capable of it, but of course he can’t do it alone. the D must be able to handle the Boston waves. O’Byrne i think returns to lineup and his size will be welcome. He’s better than Kostka. Reimer has carried the team the last while. He needs help though as Boston can hem the leafs all night long in their zone. They could be under seige all night so Reimer must deliver but it would be nice for his friends to put some pressure of their own.

    3. Lupul difference maker. The Leafs beat Boston once so psyche is not damaged as they know they can compete and beat them. Lupul didnt play against them all year. His presence will be big. With Chara on Kessel, it’ll be up to Lupul to create some havoc.

    4. Kadri returns to form. See Lupul above. Not likely to face Chara. If big Z is going to neutralize top line, Kadri must add something to balance attack.

    5. Kessel must overcome demons. The B’s own him. He has to over come it. His game has evolved and developed well this year.

    I don’t like Leafs chances. But if they control the puck, get some possession time in Boston zone and use their speed advantage, they will be competitive.

    • leafmeister says:

      Any offense from Kessel will be bonus. Chara just has him figured out. Although he is hot, and a decent playoff performer, so who knows.

      Grabovski has historically been a good performer against the Bruins, and lord knows he is due, so maybe he will take advantage of what will surely be a better matchup than the one enjoyed by Kessel.

      Kadri has also been pretty good against the Bruins this year. Hopefully he can keep that up.

      If Boston continues to struggle offensively, then Toronto has a good shot.

      I will be pretty pissed off if the Leafs roll over on this one. They have proven that they can play with these guys, and if they can’t keep it up in the playoffs it will be mental weakness that sinks them, due to Boston’s recent dominance.

      Who knows, maybe Carlyle just sends Komarov kamikazeing into Rask on the first shift and injures him. That would certainly boost our chances.

  2. leafy says:

    What happened to the McTavish article with everybody’s playoff predictions? I forgot my picks.

    • coyotes_bettman says:

      Here’s my picks too!

      Pens vs Islanders – I prayed to Al Arbour last night Isles in game 7 Overtime.

      Rags vs Capitals – Ovechkins hot now…Caps in six

      Habs vs Sens – So long as Anderson doesn’t steal 4 games for the Sens….Habs in six

      Bruins vs. Leafs – I’m going out on a limb on this one and I’m saying that Kessel figures out how to get over the Bruins hump and Reimer steals the show, Leafs in six


      Anaheim vs Detroit – Red Wings never have much luck with the Ducks Ducks in Five

      Chicago vs Minnesota – Blackhawks have come this far this year and the Wild squeaked in…Hawks in five

      St Louis vs L.A. – I think that the Blues turned it around at the right time however the Kings could just turn it on like last year again…I hope they don’t. Blues in Six

      Sharks vs. Canucks – We need someone to pull a first round sweep…Sharks in Four,

      • mojo19 says:

        Didn’t the Red Wings beat out the Ducks in the ’09 semi-final en route to the Cup?

      • mojo19 says:

        Loving the Sharks in 4 pick. I could see it happening too. Anti Niemi has played really well this year, and for all the haters who give him the Osgood treatment, like Osgood, Niemi came up huge and won some games for his team on his Stanley Cup run.

      • leafy says:

        And this spring is the 20th anniversary of David Volek scoring on a 3 on 1 rush in Game 7 OT against Mario, Jagr, Francis, etc.

  3. We broke another thread. The limit seems to get less and less.

    • mojo19 says:

      Ya who knows when this one will go. What we need to do is go back to the old system. 100 or so comments on one thread, then start up under a different article.

      The funny part is that we rarely talk about the article. It’s always just Leaf threads, with other NHL discussions sprinkled in.

  4. mojo19 says:

    Leafy, I got you buddy.

    Leafy’s Picks

    East –
    Pitty in 6
    habs in 7
    Caps in 6
    Bruins in 7

    West –
    Hawks in 5
    Wings in 6
    Canucks in 6
    Kings in 7

    Mojo’s Picks

    Pitty in 6
    Sens in 5
    Rangers in 7
    Leafs in 6

    Hawks in 7
    Wings in 6
    Sharks in 7
    Kings in 5

    • lafleur10 says:

      all the picks are very interesting ….every year they always are and this is so fun to do i think mojo orginally started doing this …so thanks mojo i always look forward to doing this every season. mojo do you keep track of them to see how accurate they are? and who picks the best?

      • mojo19 says:

        Sure thing. We used to be able to submit articles and I’d just start a prediction thread, then we’d just go back and check it after each round. But i don’t know if we still can.

        lafleur, when you’re being this nice its hard to get my full habs-hate on, dude.

        • lafleur10 says:

          hahaha mojo well like i said dude thanks for starting this thing it’s always fun and interesting …keep up the good work! will you let us know how the predictions are coming? or who came was very close to being dead on?

          well thanks for not having your full habs hate on dude hahahaha well at least for this round maybe if we both won our series we’d play eachother in round 2 and we’d both have our full hate on.

    • leafy says:

      Thanks a lot Mojo! Now I don’t have to try to remember what I guessed.

      My Habs and Caps predictions especially are wild guesses. I anguished over those.

      I think the Leafs have a fair shot. The Bruins have lost their Kavorka in the second half and the Leafs have Reimer baby.

      • mojo19 says:

        Love the kovarka reference. And ya I think the Caps/Rangers series will be interesting. Both teams started out real slow and finished really strong. That one is a coin flip for me as well.

  5. lafleur10 says:

    here are my picks

    PITTS IN 4
    HABS IN 5
    BLUES IN 6

  6. So,Yakupov finished with 21% shooting average. Pretty damn impressive there. You think his teammates are saying, “SHOOT THE PUCK!”?

  7. 93killer93 says:

    my predictions

    Pens in 5
    Habs in 7
    Washington in 6
    Leafs in 7

    Anaheim in 6
    Chicago in 5
    LA in 7
    Sharks in 5

  8. lafleur10 says:

    interesting picks killer

  9. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    Might as well throw out some “who knows” picks as

    Pens in 5
    Habs in 6
    Caps in 7
    Bruins in 6

    Wings in 7
    Hawks in 6
    LA in 5
    Van in 6

  10. LN91 says:

    Does any 1 remember my predictions f***

  11. nordiques100 says:

    The Hawks will roll in 5 over Minnesota.

    I like the Sharks over the Canucks. 6 games

    The Ducks should beat Detroit but it won’t be as easy as some make it out to be. 6 or 7 games

    I like LA over St Louis. 6 games

    The Bruins unfortunately will beat the Leafs. Hope Toronto can stretch it to the distance.

    I have Ottawa over the Habs.

    I have the Rangers over the Caps. I know, the Caps are hot but something about NY that just says they just needed to somehow get in and when they’re in, they can do damage

    And I have the pens over the Isles albeit not easily. Could go 6 games.

    That would leave a 2nd round of:

    Chi vs SJ
    Ana vs LA

    Pit vs Ott
    Bos vs NYR

    In those series I still like Chicago. SJ is a team thats good enough for an upset but nothing beyond that. They are like last year’s Caps.

    I like Anaheim taking down the champs. It will be a tough series though.

    I think Pitt will take out Ottawa and the Bruins will beat NY.

    That sets a

    Ana vs Chi
    Bos vs Pit final 4

    I have Chi and Pitt to the finals with the Pens taking it.

    • mojo19 says:

      Nice breakdown. Guys if you wouldn’t mind, write it out like this:
      LA in 6
      Sharks in 7

      If you wanna go more in depth do it seperately, so its easier to tally the totals after.

      Then I suggest once we get some predictions in let’s move onto a different thread, in case this one breaks

      • We need an excel spreadsheet, and we should probably print it out and put in in a fire proof safe…just to play it safe.

        Maybe If I’m bored I’ll gather up these and predictions and put them in a shared dropbox link so everyone can view them.

  12. mojo19 says:

    Hey guys, I submitted an official 1st round prediction thread. When trademan gets it up we can post in there.

    See if anyone can match leafy’s perfect 1st round of two years ago.

  13. nordiques100 says:

    Early Draft Predictions:

    1Col – Jones – they simply can’t pass on this kid who could anchor their D for the next decade. Could allow them to trade Erik Johnson who has not panned out. Still think they need to have a new GM to move the team forward.

    2Fla – Drouin – Drouin and Huberdeau could be a dynamic duo for years to come. But the Cats also have a huge void at centre. They could also go with McKinnon and he and Huberdeau can centre the top 2 lines, building a poor man’s Crosby/Malkin like duo.

    3TB – They settle for Drouin or McKinnon. They could get McKinnon and have Stamkos move to the wing or it could allow them to entertain some trades for Lecavalier should he be willing to move. Or, they get Drouin to be the next St. Louis. Win win situation for the Bolts.

    4Nsh – I think the Nichushkin kid is more intriguing but with the poor luck they’ve had with Russians, the Preds go with Barkov. Either way, this team needs offensive skill no matter where it’s coming from.

    5Car – They will go with Nichushkin giving them a big scoring winger to play with one of the Staals.

    6Cal – I think the Flames really lose out on missing one of those top 5 guys. But Lindholm should be a solid pick for them. They need everything so anything will help.

    7Edm – They need skill and high upside on the backend so my guess is they go with Ristolainen. Though Nurse and Zadorov are options, they’re more defensive minded guys.

    8Buf – I think the Sabres go with Monohan who is a good all around talent and a strong two way centre. They need D help but they won’t get any help right away so best to take the most talented guy on the board left.

    9NJ – I think they go with Zadorov or Nurse. They need a big strong presence on D to pair with the offensive minded Larsson and it could give them a dominant pairing for a decade. It will be interesting to see if they forfeit this pick too or wait til next year. They will have to give up one of these picks eventually.

    10Dal – The Stars continue to build their core up front adding Shinkaruk. They need to build a second wave of skilled talent at forward to support Benn and Eriksson.

    11Phi – Though obvious the Flyers need help on the backend, I think they go with Domi. He is a character guy with lots of skill. He just seems like a Flyers type of player.

    12Phx – The Yotes make a safe pick and select Wennberg. They need skill and offence added to their team. He’s your typical Swede, very well rounded.

    13Win – I think the Jets go with a bit of a surprise and choose Fredrick Gauthier. He is a big 6’5 centre with some skill. Not sure if he is real top line material but that kind of size is very intriguing.

    14CBJ – First of 3 picks for the Jackets, they go for scoring and choose Anthony Mantha. He’s a big winger who scored 50 in the Q. Offence is what the Jackets need.

    15NYI – The Isles go with Nurse who will add another big, mobile Dman to join Reinhart. I think the Isles would be fortunate to have Nurse slip to them.

    16Buf – After taking Monahan with their 1st pick, they go with Ryan Pulock with their 2nd 1st rounder. He is a well rounded Dman with decent size. He has a big booming point shot.

    17Det – The Wings love skill and so they have 2 options here. Valentin Zykov, a goal scorer in the Q or Josh Morrisey, a good puck moving Dman with some jam. I think they go with Morrisey here if they decide to pick based on needs.

    18Ott – Ottawa has fared well with the draft and will get another solid talent. This time its Curtis Lazar. He is a character forward with skill.

    19CBJ(from NYR) – WIth their 2nd 1st rounder, the Jackets choose Andre Burakowsky. He too brings a lot of offence to the table, just what the Jacket need.

    20SJ – The Sharks made lots of trades to replenish picks to help fill the barren cupboards. I think here, they take Zykov as coupled with last year’s pick, Tomas Hertl, they gain some valuable talent for their forward ranks. A necessity with Marleau, Thornton et al getting older.

    21Tor – I think the Leafs go local and select Bo Horvat here. He is a strong two way forward with some upside, but more likely to be a 2nd line forward.

    22Was – The Caps here select Morgan Klimchuk. He is a versatile forward who was one of the leading point guys in the Dub.

    23CBJ(from LA) – After taking 2 forwards, they turn their attention to D and pick up Robert Hagg, a solid puck moving Dman from Sweden.

    24Van – They took a big power forward last year in Brendan Gaunce. They do it again selecting Adam Erne. They are going to eventually need some skill down the road and Erne will provide that from the wing.

    25Cal (from STL) – The Flames with their 2nd 1st rounder pick a goalie, Zachary Fucale. They need help every where and a good way to get that is to pick up a centre (Lindholm) and try and solidify their goaltending with Fucale.

    26Bos – The Bruins like physical, character players with skill and nothing says that than Kerby Rychel. Him on one line with Marchand on another could be a headache for Boston opponents.

    27Mon – Les Habs have done a fine job replenishing their ranks and really can just go with the best player here. I think thats Arturri Lehkonen from Finland. Another skilled offensive forward joining a solid group they currently have that includes Galchenyuk and Gallagher.

    28Ana – The Ducks will go with I think defenceman Micro Meuller in this spot. He’s a project, but he has good size and can skate well.

    29Cal (from PIT) – I think the Flames need more skill and can address their problems on D later. I think Nicolas Petan would be a great pick here. He is small, but a very intelligent player who can put up points. 120 this past year in the Dub.

    30Chi – The Hawks here will pick up Ryan Hartman who is a solid two way forward. He may have a chance down the road to win a spot as the no. 2 centre behind Toews.

    • LN91 says:

      I like Horvat, I think the target here has to be Kerby Rychel.

      Big, skilled, physical and was great on a very bad Windsor team.

      Horvat, on the other end…Plays with a plethora of good players. I think Max Domi is the best player on London. Although, the Knights factor kicks in here…How many players do they have bust?

      • nordiques100 says:

        Not as many actually. Probably Rob Schremp is the only one. Kane, Gagner, Nash, Perry were real good. They’ve supplied lots of role guys like Prust, Girardi, Bolland, Methot.

        Probably more was expected out of Phil McRae and Danny Syvret but otherwise, the Knights have turned out solid NHL players.

        I don’t really include Del Zotto, Tavares and Kadri because they didn’t play a long time in London.

        Just looking at last decade or so. The Hunters are good.

        • Gambo says:

          Not a London bust, but Gilbert Brule is the bust that surprised me the most. He lit it up for the Giants, had a wicked shot, speed and could hit. Wasn’t a big guy, but he played big. I thought he was going to be an incredible player, maybe he was rushed into the league.

          And I agree with LN91, Rychel is the guy that the leafs should target. I can see him and Biggs being perfect 2nd/3rd wingers together down the road. I also like Horvat though.

    • lafleur10 says:

      the habs will draft imo a big center or a winger or a another big defnceman like they have with tinordi.

  14. Pens in 7
    Sens in 6
    Rangers in 6
    Bruins in 6

    Wings in 6
    Hawks in 5
    Blues in 5
    Sharks in 6

  15. leafy says:

    Who else wants a Pittsburgh-Chicago final?

    Rematch of the 1992 final. Mario’s performance was as good as it gets.

    And Eddie Belfour getting pulled in Game 4, replaced by some backup goalie named Hasek.

  16. kessel_leafs81 says:

    PITTS IN 6
    SENS IN 7


  17. leafy says:

    What happened exactly 20 years ago tonight?

    May 1, 1993.

    Leafs 4, Detroit 3 (OT)

  18. nordiques100 says:

    My guess is the Leafs opening night lineup will be:




    Hamilton, Colborne, Frattin, Kostka, Gardiner the healthy scratches.

    I am hoping O’Byrne does play as I think this size and brawn will be sorely needed against the bigger Bruins.

    I’d prefer to see Kulemin, MacArthur and Grabo play together and to see them dress one tough guy rather than 2. I think Colborne would be more useful considering Bozak may not be able to take faceoffs.

    Boston is a big tough team yes, but there isn’t a need for 2 policemen who could only probably play no more than 4-5 minutes a game. Any one of the other 3 spare forwards would be a better choice IMO.

    I am expecting the JVR-Bozak-Kessel line to see a lot of Seguin-Bergeron-Marchand with Chara on D. I don’t know who they will put as Chara’s partner. It’s been Hamilton, its been Boychuk, its been Seidenberg, it could even be Redden or Ference. I would expect the Bruins to split up Chara and Seidenberg to have a shutdown guy on 2 different pairs.

    I would assume since Lupul/Kadri won’t see Chara, they’d see Seidenberg a lot, and probably the Paille-Campbell-Thornton line who were effective for Boston all year.

    The Bruins roll 4 lines with regularity. Its another reason why the Leafs can’t and shouldn’t go with 2 guys who can barely play 3-4 shifts a game. Toronto will be worn down with ease. And they are a liability even if they are playing with McClement.

    I’d like to see the Grabo/Mac/Kuly line back together because i think they can give that line of Krejci, Lucic and either Horton or Jagr some difficulty. They cycle well and I think Grabo may feel the most comfort playing with both these 2 guys. Maybe it will get all 3 going.

    I’d imagine Carlyle would like to have Phaneuf on Seguin. and probably the Fraser/Franson pair on Lucic. It’s going to be a crazy chess match with the lines all series long.

    I think too that just dressing Orr or McLaren, not both would allow for Carlyle to possibly double shift Kessel, JVR, Lupul or Kulemin depending on the matchups.

    Hopefully the Leafs have rectified their issues with moving the puck. The stretch pass is not a good game plan vs Boston. The Leafs must attack in a 5 man wave and the forwards have to keep moving their feet. Too much standing around has led to the low shot, low chances total on their end, and the high shots, more time in the defensive zone for themselves.

    They have to avoid the under siege shift in their zone. It seems of late to happen 3 or 4 times a period. That’s no good. If the forwards give their D better passing options than standing past centre ice and waiting for a pass, then Toronto shouldn’t have as many issues with that. The Leafs D is slow, so the forwards simply cannot fly out of the zone altogether. And doing so every single time has made the Leafs predictable.

    Give the D options. And the winger simply must win the battles along the boards. They better get their bravery on as they’re going to get hit often by pinching Dmen. They better be willing to take it.

  19. leafy says:

    Now I’m totally depressed. Gonna surf the web for porn.

  20. lafleur10 says:

    What do you get when you combine the Leafs team playing tonight with a group of lesbians..
    A bunch of people who dont do dick

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      TSN turning point was just after the hitting the post when JVR didn’t play the puck in and went for a big hit, he should have just put the puck in the corner and kill the period. Leafs were off their game.

      I wish Caryle would have read mojo’s depth chart to see that Kostka is really our 8th defenseman. I’m sick of Kostka get every opportunity and do nothing with them. Gunnerson played without passion, the defense as a whole were awful at holding the blueline.

      Redden’s goal was flukey and Kostka being a push, I laid down to block shots with more sack in AA Peewee hockey, no excuse for a jobber like Kostka to be coward. I can remember Tim Brent block a shot with his face in a regular season overtime game in a tanking season. Kostka gets too much leash which has made him soft.

      Phaneuf? I liked that he was aggressive but Boston just ignores him. He need to go after someone like Seguin or Patrice and not tough guys if he’s going to play with an edge.

      Bruins third goal, yeah, just amateurish line change and even more hideous turn over. Sums up the Leafs night, they didn’t show up. Lots of room for improvement on Saturday. One win in Boston and all is good again.

      • Gambo says:

        I thought Fraser looked absolutely horrible today. Out of position, bad turnovers and not physical enough. I like him and I hope it was just nerves because he was horrible.

        Yeah I agree with Kostka, I almost wanted him to take a clapper to the back. Learn to block a shot.

        Phaneuf looked great in the first period, seemed really calm with the puck. But his play dropped a bit when the teams did. I like that he goes after Chara, but that’s not gonna solve anything. Like you said, he needs to make Bergeron or Seguin’s life hell.

        JVR looked really good and I loved the edge to Komarov. Hopefully they learn from this game and bounce back.

        • leafs_wallace93 says:

          What’s sick is that Fraser led all Leafs with 24 minutes, with Koskta behind at 22 and Kulemin had 18+ to Kessel’s 13+. I get that Caryle likes to match lines but why play safe when you’re behind? Looking at the minutes on the score sheet is tough.

          The way Kostka pseudo blocked that shot? Well, Burke got his wish for the first openly gay Maple Leaf after that play.

  21. LN91 says:

    I think its important to point out the positives as Toronto is like a kitten trying to be a tiger vs. the Bruins (lame Simon Cowell reference).

    Anyways…It was not all bad. I thought JVR, Kulemin, Grabo, and Komarov were very physical tonight an muscling some Bruins off the puck. The others, well, hopefully they will learn in time.

    I kinda wished Toronto dealt MacArthur at the deadline, I don’t think he should be re-signed as the Leafs should really look at some of their younger, more physical players next year.

    I will never fully understand Carlyle’s unhealthy attraction to Mike Kostka…It’s not addictive.

    Speaking of poor play from the D…All of them were pretty bad. Also, why is O’Byrne not playing?

    Should we call up Biggs and ‘Broll-Dozer’? (Joking, haha)

    Lineup for the next game (Leafs that I would like to see):



    • Gambo says:

      Yup, Frattin should definitely be dressed and McLaren will be scratched. Komarov-McClement-Orr will be much more competent than the 4th line tonight.

      I wonder if Gardiner gets a look, if they’re in need of a game breaker, he can be that.

      The lines you proposed have 3 lines that are scoring threats which is what they’re going to need to win.

  22. LN91 says:

    Congrats to the Toronto Marlies for sweeping the Rochester Americans (Buffalo Sabres) and to the next round.

    The stars of the series were three of my favorite Leafs prospects…Jerry D’Amigo, Greg Scott, and Greg McKegg.

    I like D’Amigo and McKegg…They always seem to win!!!

  23. Gambo says:

    If Ference doesn’t get suspended for his forearm/elbow to the head of Grabovski someone on the leafs should do the same thing right back to one of their players, hopefully Marchand. Also, Seguin is such a pussy. Dion barely touched him and he went down hard into the boards. That play probably happens to every player almost every shift, man up.

    Rask has a very short temper, i’d like to see our forwards take advantage of that and through him off his game.

  24. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    Let’s face it, all around it was a bad game, from coaching down. Many players and coaching decisions can be criticized and rightfully so, it still doesn’t change the biggest problem…we don’t have the puck enough!

    I have been saying all year that we are winning despite the fact we don’t have the puck enough which is a huge abnormality. Teams do not normally win without controlling the puck. About two weeks ago I posted puck possesion was our biggest problem and if it doesn’t change in the playoffs we will get worn down, especially our D (some agreed with me). Last night was a prime example of what I was saying.

    Here is what I said needs to drastically change. If it doesn’t, it will be a sweep for Boston.

    1) Stop just chipping it out of our end every time. It just gives the puck back and traps our D on the ice and they can’t make a change. We need to come out with possession of the puck. Notice how many times last night our D was caught for long shifts (2 min+). Also notice how Boston comes out with possession from passes…they are not chipping it out.

    2)Our D needs to pinch more when there is support to keep the puck in the opponents end. When we did this we sustained pressure and keep their D on the ice. Boston constantly pinched down on our wingers and kept the pressure on.

    3)Win more puck battles along the walls to create more cycles. We lost too many puck battles last night and had very few cycles. Hitting is one thing, but hitting and recovering the puck is another and we don’t recover the puck after the hit.

    4) Fewer turnovers. Make better decisons with the puck. Far too often last night we just dump it out or bank it of the boards or dump it in and not chase it. We need to play more as a unit and stop just giving the puck away!

    If we don’t improve these areas, it won’t matter how well Reimer plays…we don’t have a hope in hell of winning.

  25. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    As far as line-up goes. Definitely Kostka out and O’Byrne in. Mac A out and Frattin in.
    I would also dress 7 defencemen and 11 forwards. Bozak seems really hurt and I would move him to the third line (he could still take key faceoffs) or if he can’t play…go with Colborne I guess.

    JVR Grabo Kessel
    Lupul Kadri Kulimen
    Komarov Bozak Frattin
    McClement Orr

    Gunnarsson Phaneuf
    Gardiner (Liles) O’Byrne
    Fraser Franson
    Liles (Gardiner)

    7 D would allow us to play Gardiner in the right situations and a shortened forward unit would allow us to still have toughness but also double shift some talent on the fourth line when needed.

    • LN91 says:

      Ughh, I don’t think Colborne is ready as a player to handle this type of pressure…But the one thing he showed that the other Leafs centres (Bozak, Kadri, and Grabovski) cannot do is play a better North-South game.

      Another performance like that in game 2 and I would say Gardiner would have to get in…They need someone back there to protect the puck.

      • nordiques100 says:

        I would go as far as having O’Byrne and Gardiner play game 2.

        Gardiner, as bad as he has been, certainly cannot play as bad as Liles/Kostka did last night. I don’t think anyone can.

        O’Byrne can’t move the puck but he can get it out, and give them more muscle.

        If Franson is indeed hurt and potentially misses a game, Gardiner is probably needed to add some puck moving ability.

        Not sure if he is up for the pressure, just like Colborne, Frattin etc.

        But while lacking in experience, they bring skill.

        You are not going to beat Boston at their own game which is bang and crash. What you will be able to do though is hurt them with speed/skill.

        They should watch a tape of a game between Boston and Montreal. See how and why Montreal gives them fits every game. Its cause they use their speed. Toronto has speed, they don’t use it.

        Again, i pointed it out before, the forwards are flying the zone. they are offering no protection for the D and no outlets. They have to come out as a unit. I saw several times Leafs D at the faceoff dots and the 3 forwards already past the centre ice red line. And the 3 forwards are not moving. they are standing and waiting for the pass.

        The 1st 10 minutes the Leafs were fine and after Boston scored it was like they gave up. puck support is key, they had none of that for almost the whole game.

        its a pretty simple fix. its the players. its on them to want to fix it and be willing to fix it.

        My preferred game 2 lineup:


        If Not Colborne then




      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        I meant that Colborne would centre the third line in Bozak’s place should Bozak not be able to play. If Bozak isn’t healed a lot better by Saturday, they should give the role to a healthier player and Grabo was one of few Leafs with energy last night.

  26. nordiques100 says:

    Karlsson or Subban. Who’d you take?

    I’d take Karlsson. His ability to control the game is really unmatched by any other Dman in today’s game.

    • LN91 says:

      Karlsson is arguably the best player in the game…He’s dynamic. The fact that Morgan Reilly is compared to him makes me drool.

    • DannyLeafs says:

      Karlsson. Subban is good, but not even on the same planet as Karlsson. Subban is a great compliment to a good offense, Karlsson can drive the offense on the PP and 5 on 5. Also, Karlsson is worlds better in his own end. Very underrated defensively. He can make mistakes, as all puck handling D do, but he is relied on to play the other teams best 5 on 5. Subban is a little protected. Not necessarily because he can’t, but Therrien uses him to attack the other teams checking line (good strategy, can’t fault him for it) or 4th line whenever he can.

  27. Well, Kostka is out for game 2 with a broken finger.

    • leafmeister says:

      Sucks to see him get hurt, but no loss to the team. Defensive liability, useless offensively, and no legitimate future with the team. With any luck he will be back with the Marlies next year.

  28. leafs_wallace93 says:

    In the second half of this video Dangle nailed it.

  29. leafmeister says:

    Quite the goaltending advantage Montreal has eh Lafleur?

  30. leafmeister says:

    Also, that Gryba hit was unfortunate, but clean. Feet on the ground, shoulder made contact, and it certainly didn’t look like he was going for the head. Bonehead play by Diaz to suicide pass.

    • lafleur10 says:

      the gryba hit was dirty he targeted the head i really feel bad for eller he’ll be gone for the playoffs…..and the nhl of course won’t do anything about it they’ll deem it a legal hit which is unfortunate because rule 48 states that a head shot is suspendable

      • LN91 says:

        The issue with the hit is this as PJ Stock (Habs commentator pointed out):

        – Gryba did not leave his feet
        – Gryba used shoulder and not elbow

        And what makes it worse? This also happened because of a suicidal pass by Diaz…Stupid, stupid, and stupid.

        Especially against Ottawa, their D stands up players a lot or cut off opposing teams passes…They then use their trailing forwards to act as D-Men while the player (original D-Men) retreats back. They do this alot, especially tonight.

        It will be an interesting call. However, the dangerous thing about this is…If you suspend Gryba, then you might as well make it non-contact.

        • lafleur10 says:

          pj stock is not a habs commentator he’s a cbc commentator and a leaf homer like the rest of them on there..
          here’s rule 48 right out of the nhl rule book
          Rule 48 of the NHL rule book states that when the “principle point of contact with the head” occurs, supplemental discipline is sure to follow.

          so he should be suspended it was a direct shot to the head he deserves 5 games ….any shot to the head should be an automatic 5 games

  31. leafy says:

    I agree with the comments overall. The Leafs were simply over-matched in the first game and have got to change the line up for Game 2.

    Gardiner is the first guy that comes to mind. It’s true that he’s still struggling to regain his form from last year, but at least he’ll bring much needed speed and skill on the back end. And with several other D screwing up anyway, why not?

    It’s ironic Kostka fractured his finger considering he turned chicken shit on a couple of shots. Karma ia a bitch.

    Also as many mentioned, take out one of the enforcers and insert Frattin and/or Colborne. Get some new blood out there.

  32. leafy says:

    The Leafs cannot play a wide open game against Boston and expect to win. Need to batten down the hatches, don;t give those bastards any skating room within 20 feet of the net. And those point shots are killers. The forwards were absolutely brutal in positional play. The Leafs are fortunate to have a good goalie. Take advantage of it damn it!!

    • LN91 says:

      Toronto has the most turnovers and has one of the worst numbers for puck possession in the league…That is what the Bruins feast on.

      The Bruins have struggled this year, yes, but against the Leafs…They can still play and win.

      I’ve pretty much can describe the games like this:

      – Bruins dump in the puck, hit and try to set up the cycle, Toronto sloppily gets out the puck, pounded back in quickly, hit and try to set up the cycle, Toronto sloppily gets out the puck, etc.

      • leafy says:

        No doubt about it. It pains me to say, but right now, it looks like the Leafs cannot compete with the Bruins. Simple as that.

        • nordiques100 says:

          I am sure Carlyle will make adjustments.

          Its just a matter of the players being willing to make that adjustment themselves.

          Also, on the players to make some sacrifices.

          They made some phantom sacrifices but not any real ones. Got to get down and really block shots, really take hits to make plays, be willing to go to the net with abandon.

          Don’t bother too trying to match the Bruins physically. Just keep them honest. That’s what Montreal does against them to a strong degree of success. They don’t let the Bruins break them.

          There were some hard pinches by their D. The Leafs must move the puck much quicker. Gardiner should be in the lineup as he may be the best at it. But, please, not paired with Liles. The two together are a liability. THey need to ensure they have some muscle. O’Byrne and Gardiner would be fine on the 3rd pairing.

          The Leafs too have to close the gap between themselves and the D. If they do that, the puck will get out crisply more often than not. They’ll only get out by committee, not by hoping the D can beat the forecheckers.

          • leafy says:

            Agreed Nords. Yeah no more Gardiner with Liles. I like the O’Byrne idea. A stay at home guy paired with a free wheeler.

            The transition game is off for the reason you stated. The forwards are too often not in position to receive a pass.

            Even if we don’t win, I’m hoping at least we can compete and build on that for next year.

            • nordiques100 says:

              well i dont know if it was just me, but far too often, i saw the two D get the puck, and see the distance between the faceoff dots, and the centre ice line void of any Leaf forwards.

              And when the D has been pressured, they have no outlet and we saw a lot of the flip the puck out giving Boston back possession.

              Puck Support. pretty simple. There has been none of it for almost 3 weeks now.

              Its no coincidence thats about the time Kadri’s play has fallen off. Seems like he is trying to do things himself. He’s cheating out of the zone a lot. And when he has the puck, its an immediate collapse on him by the opponents surrounding him completely. The team needs more give and go type plays. they are trying that but trying to give and go board to board or faceoff dot to opposing blue line.

              Kadri is such a skilled guy. he gives it up, gets it back, gives it up again, he can make plays quick,but he’s been having to hold on to the puck a lot longer. That’s partly his fault too trying to beat 3 guys.

              Gardiner will be set up for failure having to be paired with Liles. It was the same thing when he was promoted immediately to play with Dion, not eased back into the lineup which he should be.

              A 3rd pairing and lots of PP time for him makes most sense. Not 22 minutes a game. And Liles and him would get eaten alive by the burly Bruin forwards.

              The foolish assumption would be well he’s not facing Seguin line or Lucic line so no worries, but Jagr line and Campbell line can hurt too. that 4th line hurts more when its 2 smurfs on D paired together.

  33. LN91 says:

    It looks like Jake Gardiner will be back…And most likely with Liles. Umph.

    It looks like Carlyle would rather have guys that can skate out with the puck then banging the Bruins around. A page from Montreal’s book as most of their D is mobile and good puck handlers.

    • nordiques100 says:

      ya but the little munchkins Montreal dresses are a liability defensively like Liles is.

      And pairing Gardiner with Liles is a recipe for disaster for poor Gardiner. He isn’t put in very good positions to succeed by Carlyle here.

      Its shades of when Wilson put Kadri on the wing instead of centre.

      Or how McCabe was an all star top 10 Dman playing with Kaberle and Maurice felt the need to never play those two together ever again.

  34. nordiques100 says:

    2 Games for Gryba, is 2 games too many.

    Its a suspension based on pool of blood. The hit was a clean one. Its an unfortunate result.

    The player at fault is Diaz. Anyone who has played hockey knows you don’t make that pass. Suicide.

    • Gambo says:

      It was definitely a clean hit. A good hockey hit. Ference’s hit on Grabovski was far more dirty than this one. These suspensions seem like they’re completely based off if the player is injured or not.

    • lafleur10 says:

      diaz wasn’t at fault gryba targeted his head ,yeah he made a bad pass but gryba hit him recklessly the pricipal point of contact was eller’s head that was gryba’s target it was an unfortunate injury but a head shot no less and he deserved that suspension….just like ference deserved his for the elbow to grabovski it was a shot to his head as well it’s abouttime the league cleaned up that crap!

  35. leafy says:

    Told you guys the Islanders were trouble. The Penguins will have their hands full in this series.

  36. lafleur10 says:

    he targeted the head and it was reckless it’s not off of the injury it was based off of the fact that gryba targeted eller’s head

    • 93killer93 says:

      He actually made contact with the body first. It was a clean hit.

      • lafleur10 says:

        well he may have but not according to shanahan ..he clearly states that gryba targeted eller’s head…..

        • toronto77 says:

          I’m sorry but I think Shanahan pulled that out of his ass. As soon as he saw the hit I think he already knew he was going to suspend Gryba regardless of whether or not the hit was dirty, because of the pool of blood, he felt pressure to suspend him.

          That night all commentators on CBC, SportsNet and TSN ALL said it was a clean hit. So Shanahan saw something they didn’t???

          Yes Shanahan has a alot of knowledge and experience for this position because he was a former player, but some of these commentators are former players as well or have covered hockey for a long time.

          The fact that all 3 stations all said it was not suspendable, but Shanahan suspended him anyway, shows that he was only looking at the result.

          Don’t go by what Shanahan says. You and millions saw the game. Did you see a head shot?

          Clearly not, shoulder to shoulder. it’s as clean as they come.

          • LN91 says:

            I will say this…

            If Karlsson, Crosby, Ovechkin, Subban, Kessel or whatever star made that hit…No suspension.

            It’s one thing I hate from Shanahan is his bias towards star players.

  37. LN91 says:

    From what I’ve heard, Leafs lineup:


    1) I like that he’s re-uniting Grabo with Kulemin and JVR. Not sure if you guys remember, but it was the strong play of that line that got JVR united with Kessel. They should be defensively sound and physical.

    2) Not sure how much offence you get out of the third-line…But it will be more physical and if Hamilton and Komarov play like apes tonight…It will benefit Kadri and some of those ugly goals will go in.

    3) Like the fourth-line…Mac is gone after this season but that line should be physical and better offensively against a great two-way Bruins 4th line.

    What’s the D-lineup?

  38. LN91 says:

    No one will probably agree…But the best player on the Leafs the first two playoff games has been Kulemin. This guy plays and understands playoff hockey!!!

    • leafy says:

      He was great, I agree. See that move and back hand off the post. Looked like Sundin for a second.

      Best sign for Leaf fans is that the core players are showing they can succeed in playoff hockey. Kessel, Van Reimsdyk, Lupul, Kadri, all were very effective and productive. That is great news.

    • leafmeister says:

      Kulemin has been predictably solid, but I curse every time Grabo comes on the ice. He made a pretty pass to JVR for that gorgeous goal, but other than that he never impressed me this year, and has been real bad in the playoffs.

      • LN91 says:

        Grabo? He’s been great. His lines have cycled pretty well and he’s been physical.

        I would say the worst forward thus far has been Kessel. He’s had a goal…But has been invisible otherwise.

        • leafmeister says:

          Grabo makes boneheaded plays, and lacks finish. I forgive a certain level of irresponsibility from Kessel if it results in a goal, as it did tonight.

          He is not good offensively enough to be a top 6 forward, and lord knows he isn’t a good enough defensive forward. I don’t see a place for him on a winning team.

          I am not a fan. Of course I always forget who lands where on what debate on this page. Is it you who generally likes Grabo? Or is it Wallace? Is it nobody?

          • LN91 says:

            I’ve been on Grabo all year…Compliance buyout, etc.

            But he has played his best hockey this season in the playoffs. I will point that out!!!

        • leafy says:

          The thing with Kessel though is he’s a game breaker. He could be invisible and then bingo, game winner like we saw tonight.

          Certainly he’s not Mark Messier to carry the team, but if he’s surrounded by a good cast, he can net crucial playoff goals.

        • toronto77 says:

          No way, Kessel was great last night, he was back checking again last night.

          • LN91 says:

            I disagree. Kessel had 1 breakaway and goal and that was all I heard from it all night…Well, that and Jim Hughson always pointing out how he needs to be better. Despise that guy.

            But then again, the term “playoff hockey” is not really his style so Toronto needs to build a roster more geared towards it.

      • leafy says:

        Yeah Grabo seems to have lost a step this year, for whatever reason. He seems to be good in spurts.

        He really took a beating tonight. But I like how he showed his feisty side and took a run at Lucic, as if to say, I’ve had enough of this crap.

      • toronto77 says:

        Problem is, Carylye doesn’t put him is situations to succeed. He is one of their best defensivly responsible forwards, and that’s how Carlyle uses him.

    • toronto77 says:

      Did you see when he hit the crossbar on his slapshot back hand!

  39. leafy says:

    Really proud of the leafs tonight. Every single player showed up and gave it a full effort.

    Reimer baby comes through again!! He is the key. He gives you a chance to win every single night.

    The D gave me some nervous fits, but generally gave the Bruins little space. Even Gunnarrson (whom I’ve knocked) looked like friggin Dmitri Yushkevich tonight. He had an excellent game.

    But what I really liked is the Leafs generated many quality scoring chances and used their speed finally.

    The combination of Reimer + several forwards who can put the puck in the net gives the Leafs a legitimate chance in this series.

  40. leafy says:

    And how about Matt Frattin? Beauty play on that second Lupul goal and a strong overall game.

  41. leafs_wallace93 says:

    Garbo was huge, he’s usually the best Leaf center against Boston. His willingness to repeatedly sacrifice himself to make a play makes him a huge asset, he simply plays his game, he was a water bug last night.

    Leafs did what they need to keep up all series. Don’t try to out tough Boston because then you’re playing into their hand. So long as the Leafs don’t bite they can burn Boston every game on the PP.

    That game could have been 5-0 Leafs, Kessel’s post had Rask lost and that scrum where there was six rebounds, Boston looked lost.

    How sweet was Phaneuf standing up Seguin on that one on one in the first?

    It would be nice if Bozak shows up at some point in this series. He’s not making a case for earning a contract right now.

  42. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    Looks like the Leafs finally read my posts.LOL

    Puck possession, puck possession, puck possession!

    1) Did the Leafs just chip it out? No, they worked on coming out of their end with passes and retain possession of the puck. Few long shifts by our D caught on the ice in their own end because they couldn’t change. This is why you just don’t “chip it out” all the time.

    2) Our D pinched down more to hold the puck in Boston’s zone to keep the pressure on and wear down Boston’s D. We created more cycles and scoring chances.

    3) We won more puck battles in both ends of the rink, the results were obvious.

    4) On the overall, much less giveaways. We came out as a unit and just didn’t give it away.

    Last nights game was a perfect example of how the Leafs need to play in order to have a chance to win. We controlled the puck and we controlled the play.

    Now we need them to keep doing those things I have been harping about:)

  43. LN91 says:

    After the first 2 games (still early) the best 2 teams I’ve watched is Washington from the East and San Jose from the West.

    They look fresher and fresher each game they play while other teams look beaten up.

    I think the Habs will still win their series, but my god they are already beaten up for their net opponent (Gionta, Pacioretty, and Eller have already been injured while Bourque is a game-time decision).

    No doubt Boston and Toronto going to wear the other down by the end of their series.

    • toronto77 says:

      The 2 most physical series are the 2 4-5 matchups. Bos v.s Tor and LA v.s STL. 2 excellent physical series. The winner of this round may be too bruised to win the next, i agree.

  44. LN91 says:

    Dirty, cheap, pathetic. embarrassing…Anymore to describe the Habs tonight?

    Subban fight Turris? Really. Bourque’s elbow? Suspension. Gorges shoot the puck at the Sens at the end? Is this your version of team toughness? How about Gallagher dropping the gloves and hitting Conacher before he could react?

    Habs might still win the series, but this team cannot handle the physicality of the playoffs. They acted liked big babies for being pushed around by a physical team.

    lafleur will probably bash this, but how can you be happy with this squad or even blame the Sens?

    • leafy says:

      I’m staying neutral in this series. Too much bad blood between the Leafs and Sens going back to last decade. I just can’t root for that team.

    • leafmeister says:

      Yeah that is why I was pretty confident the Leafs would run them over.

    • toronto77 says:

      Toronto and Boston may be the 2 toughest teams in the east but Montreal is definatly the most cockiest!!!

      Georges, Plakanec, Pacioretty, Subban and even Price to a lesser extent. If your going to be cocky, have some toughness to back it up, they are just a bunch of whinny babies. Remember when we beat them 6-0? All they did was bitch and complain after the game. Prust’s comments were stupid too.

  45. leafy says:

    Come on, Ottawa is good, but not THAT good.

    Something seriously wrong with Montreal, from the net and out.

  46. toronto77 says:

    SJ v.s Van is the first series to go

    There is going to be a MASSIVE shake up this summer!

    Glad to see them on the verge of being eliminated. Canada’s team my ass!

    • leafy says:

      Another choke job by the Vancouver Cannots.

      • nordiques100 says:

        Not even Mojo could blame Luongo on this.

        Gillis valued milking the Leafs over what was best for the team. Same with the Panthers.

        I am sure by now, both teams have moved on I hope.

        I don’t know what vendetta he has against the Panthers, maybe it was Tallon building a Chicago roster that bullied the Canucks, I don’t know, but you can be sure, his hatred towards Burke/Nonis got the best of him in making a deal with the Leafs.

        It was a huge mistake on his part and its cost him a playoff run.

        I guess the Leafs can thank him for that. But i feel bad for the skaters on the Canucks. They’ve had to deal with this circus all year. It wasn’t necessary. It was a self inflicted wound by the Canucks Management.

        • realistic_leafs_fan says:

          Only two things can happen with that situation now as I see it.

          1) They give Luongo away or buy him out

          2) They trade Schneider and try to get good assets for him.

          On another note…I wonder why we haven’t heard anything from Doorman.

          • nordiques100 says:

            i think buyout. If I am a GM of the 29 other teams, I am making the Canucks suffer having both goalies and continuing the controversy.

            Not that having two goalies of this calibre is bad, but how it’s played out, its just bad for the team and bad for the room.

            I’d trade Schnieder. why not? He is worth way more and maybe down the road they get a young goalie to replace Lou.

            But the buyout seems likely.

            If Toronto ever got back into that, i’d only offer a 5th rounder and make Van pay half the salary.

            • realistic_leafs_fan says:

              According to a report I read, it would cost the Canucks about $27 mil over 18 years to buy-out Luongo. Doable, but what owner wants to give up $27 mil to get rid of a guy with no return but cap space? That’s a huge chunk of change.
              I hope the Leafs stay away from this, I have no desire for Luongo.
              I know Burke got vilified for not offering big contracts with long terms, although I know not popular, I mostly agreed with that thinking.

              • leafmeister says:

                Yeah with the way Reimer is playing they might as well grab a veteran backup to avoid the circus they have in Vancouver.

                The situation with Reimer and Luongo would be no different than Schneider/Luongo.

              • nordiques100 says:

                i do think that ship has sailed and Lou won’t be a Leaf no more.

                But, the Scrivens, a 2nd and 3rd plus eating salary looks like an embarrassment of riches now for Vancouver.

                This looks good on Gillis. Him and Burke ran teams with arrogance. It got them nowhere.

                There is a difference between quiet confidence (like how Shero, Bryan Murray, Holland) do things, and arrogance like Burke/Gillis.

                • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                  Believe it or not…I am leaning toward them probably trading Schneider for the assets. They could get good return for Cory and Lou has had a good season and played well in the playoffs. If they won’t buy him out, moving Schneider may be the next step.

  47. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    Tonights game being at home favours the Leafs in a sense that Carlysle will have last change which makes line matching much easier. The Leafs won’t have to change on the fly as much to get the match-ups Carlysle wants.
    That said, we need to play the way we did Saturday in order to have a chance to win. We need to control the puck and make Boston chase us. If we control the puck, we can use our speed and draw penalties. If the Leafs fall back to their old ways…it will be a long night for Reimer.

  48. leafy says:

    Looks like another ideal night for web porn.

    • LN91 says:

      This team is funny though.

      After a bad Game 1, the Leafs pretty much played a North-South game and their speed was effective with the chase. Also, limited the turnovers since Toronto was dumping and chasing instead of trying to enter the zone.

      For the first two periods tonight, they went back to the East-West game…And Boston created turnovers again because Toronto tried to get cute with the puck. In the third, they went back to the North-South game and they were taking it to Boston. Played well in the third.

      They’re just funny, stick to what is working…Actual playoff hockey? No.

      • leafy says:

        Agreed. Clearly some nerves the first 2 periods.

        But hey, we generated lots and lots of good scoring chances tonight.

        Toronto will win Game 4. Everyone mark it down.

        • LN91 says:

          Gardiner was the best player tonight by a mile, he’s the only D-Men on the squad that can carry the puck, protect it, and do something with it.

          Phaneuf-Franson is not working on the PP. I remember when our PP was deadly last year…It was Phaneuf-Liles. So why not Gardiner-Phaneuf?

          • leafmeister says:

            What about Phaneuf makes him a lock on the PP? Is it his hands of stone? His shot that whistles 10 feet over the net? Or his inability to effectively move the puck?

            I would go Franson-Gardiner. Franson’s shot is more accurate, he can get it off faster, and is better at holding the puck in.

            • Gambo says:

              Just want to point out that Phaneuf has a 10.2 shooting percentage, only 1 other player has a shooting precentage above 10 in the top 10 scoring defensemen and it’s Markov(who everyone knows has a pretty accurate shot).

              Last year Phaneuf had terrible accuracy, made me want to pull my hair out when he would miss almost every shot over the net. This year is a different story, he’s kept his shots on net for the most part.

              It would be stupid to take him off the first PP. I wouldn’t be against adding Gardiner on with him though, he can carry the puck really well up the ice, much better than Phaneuf and Franson.

              With Franson’s low flex on his stick it’s impossible for him to take one timers without it breaking, Phaneuf has an incredible one timer.

              • leafmeister says:

                High shooting percentage is mostly luck.

                Franson doesn’t need one timers. He gets it off quickly and accurately, and the guys in front can tip his shots.

                Phaneuf carries the puck like its a fucking hand grenade.

                Look at how Boston scores. They don’t rip it by Reimer, they get traffic, tips and rebounds. (Or capitalize on brutal Phaneuf give aways)

                Also; since Bozak is no longer good at faceoffs, can we put to bed this ridiculous notion that he is worthy of resigning? Learn the lesson from Grabovski, and don’t assume that this will be the norm in production. (Even if it was, you won’t win with a 50 point guy as your top line center.)

                I would accept a lost season next year if it meant long term improvement. Even if the roster looks exactly as it did this year, I wouldn’t necessarily expect them to make the playoffs again, so why handicap ourselves long term to resign a glorified 3rd liner to top 6 money when his numbers are so obviously inflated beyond his capability. If they can dump Grabovski, and sign Bozak for under 5, then it would be worth it, but I don’t see that happening.

                Assuming they let Bozak go:

                Lupul – Kadri – Kessel
                JVR – Grabovski – Kulemin
                Frattin – Colborne – MacArthur (if he comes at a fraction of his current salary)
                Komarov – McClement – McClaren

                Phaneuf – Gunnarsson
                Franson – Gardiner
                Fraser – Liles


                Not lookin’ too hot, but I’d sincerely doubt Bozak would make a lick of difference in regards to where that team finished, and would handicap them later on.

  49. Gambo says:

    I think the leafs will bounce back next game, I don’t know what they should do on defense though. Gardiner looked great aside from a few giveaways. O’Byrne played terrible today and in my opinion Fraser has been brutal so far in the playoffs.

    Phaneuf and Gunnarsson need to stay together, Gardiner played himself a spot in the lineup for next game, Franson is a lock for a spot in the lineup, Kostka can’t play because of his injury, O’Byrne and Fraser aren’t playing well enough and Liles could come back in, but he can’t be on a line with Gardiner.

    As much as I hate to say this, I think maybe Fraser needs to watch a game from the press box and put Liles and O’Byrne together and have Gardiner and Franson together.

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