Speaking of suspensions, I don’t think Prust should be suspended for his cheap shot on Conacher as it wasn’t much of a shot, even though it was clearly targeting the head.
Rene Bourque however should be. that was an elbow to the head that equaled what Ference did. One game for Bourque likely.
That was some ugly game.
QUESTION: wanna see what everyone thinks, which hit is more dirty/suspension worthy, andrew gryba’s on eller or abdelkader on lydmen ?
Grbya’s hit was clean. That #61 on Montreal made a boneheaded play.
After that 3rd period last night, everyone associated with the Habs organization should be embarrassed. Not only because they got their asses handed to them on the score sheet, but they couldn’t even send a message through fighting. 5 guys individually got their asses kicked. It was pretty funny really. So when that didn’t work, they resort to cheap shots.
Then after the game Therrien goes crying to the media about the time out, when his players are blatantly trying to injure the Ottawa guys, and directly after Gorges fires the puck at Turris. (Why Turris by the way? He seemed to have a target on his back all game)
I never thought I would cheer for Ottawa, but I hope they come out and run over this team of jokers the next two games and wipe them out in 5.
MacLean is a great coach.
He’s in Therrien’s head without even having the best forward in this series…Spezza.
Sure Diaz’s pass was stupid but if u step up on a guy you have to get more body then that, he hit some shoulder which some people say therefor it’s clean but he hit the top of the shoulder and got most head, people say most of the damage was when he hit the ice but he was out cold before taking that high hit, I’m playing junior a hockey right now and ask anyone playing, no matter how hard u get hit, if ur not outcold before u hit the ice you won’t allow yourself to hit your head on the ice.. Eller would have a concussion even if he didn’t hit the ice, gryba must get some part of ellers body if he’s going to throw an open ice hit and not just a piece of a shoulder.. I’m not saying it was worth a major suspension, but I do agree with the refs giving him a major penalty and if it was the regular season it would have been a short suspension in my opinion, if shanahan goes by his statement that one game suspension in the playoffs is 4 games in the regular season then gryba not getting additional game suspension is okay because he got a major penalty already but the hit was deffinately not clean.. I hate the habs but the hit was deffinately at least penalty worthy
Can you imagine being one of those suckers who paid a hefty sum to see that shit show? I know of some people who went, but only those who got them for free. Anyone who shells out that kind of money for a game is doing no favours for the team, and likely is mortgaging their house to watch these fuckin’ losers.
All aboard the Phaneuf Hate train!
God what an awful defensemen. I woke up this morning just as enraged at that fuck. I can’t even watch his interviews. After that young team plays its heart and soul out, they are sunk by their shit captain who plays with no heart, makes mindnumbingly stupid plays.
If any of those guys had an ounce of respect for that asshole before last night, I should hope it is gone. You rely on your captain to come through in the clutch, not sink your team in over time by going for a stupid, risky hit. It is not like they needed to tie the game, there is no justification in any sense for making that hit. He did it because he is stupid, and has zero hockey sense. The occasional big hit and even more occasional goal (his shooting % was unsustainably high this year) is not worth his countless errors.
I hope he gets the Bryan McCabe treatment. Honestly, the only difference is McCabe could hit the net, and was better positionally.
I guess time does not heal all wounds haha.
Haha! I’m not a fan either. He’s not voted as the most over-rated player in the league by his peers for nothing.
Now this isn’t to say that Phaneuf is Drake Berehowsky or Jeff Ware bad. But he’s simply not a star, which Phaneuf fans are unwilling or unable to acknowledge for unknown reasons.
In short, a plain ordinary mediocre defenceman who plays a lot and is good only sporadically. Nothing more. Good as a no. 3, but salary doesn’t warrant that.
I don’t think its accurate to say he is plain and mediocre but a no. 3.
plain and mediocre is say Ryan O’Byrne or Mike Kostka. 6th or 7th defenceman types. Guys like Sheldon Brookbank or Kent Huskins or Mark Eaton who have made a living in that role.
No, Ryan O’Byrne is not mediocre. He just plain sucks.
But to keep you happy, forget plain ordinary. I’ll just say Phaneuf is ‘nothing special’. Is that not a fair assessment of Phaneuf?
48 average games go a long way towards making you pretty special in this town. Goes to show what the standards have dropped to. We should have a parade for making the playoffs.
Not many special guys in the NHL IMO.
Karlsson, Weber, Suter, Doughty, Chara make my list.
I love the way Keith plays so that makes 6. Subban maybe eventually, but not quite yet. Maybe my bias Montreal Hatred keeps me from saying he’s elite.
I like that Pietrangelo but i think he needs more time. Same goes with Ekman-Larsson.
Mike Green maybe? Letang?
Lots of young prospects like Hedman, Larsson, Bogosian, guys drafted high, they are still works in progress. They aren’t yet even in the top tier groups.
Dion is in that 2nd tier. Kronvall, maybe includes Green because he isn’t as strong a defensive player. Maybe Byfuglien who has the same issues as Green.
Either way, he’s def in the top 30 in the NHL. that’s the top 10-15 percentile. That’s pretty incredible. Not to say he’s incredible but he’s very good. He can have a positive impact on your team. He does a lot of good things.
Really hard to put that “special” tag on anyone.
Its the bettman effect. too many teams, too many players, too many shit players. too many good players playing with shit players because of too many teams.
Tough loss last night. I felt like that game could have gone either way. There were tons of chances, back and forth. I recall a late play by Nikolai Kulemin where he cut into the middle, but couldn’t bury. Tons of chances both ways. What a heart breaker.
I’m not giving up hope yet though. If we can play that way again in Boston, steal a win there, then we can win at home. Then game 7 anything can happen. It’s going to be tough now, but still a chance.
Besides, like Leafy alluded to, the Bruins have lost the Kavorka. This is not the B’s of the last few years, they can be beat.
I agree Mojo, it’s never over. But boy, it’s a tall order.
I think the Leafs have to play a much more conservative game. They can’t take so many chances and trade glorious scoring chances like it’s some pre-season game.
Not impossible though. Montreal came back from 3-1 recently against a heavily favored Caps team.
I should also acknowledge Gunnarrsson has been fine this series. Before the playoffs, I was nervous about him, but he’s done his job reasonably well.
As for Dion Phaneuf. He actually played a ton last night, and was quite good for most of the game. Unfortunately he was very bad on 5 or 6 plays, including obviously the game winner.
His good does not outweigh his bad, because as an NHL defenceman, one negative play takes a ton of positive plays to make up for. You are expected to be completely mistake free, or very close to it.
I feel as though we could still get great use out of Dion if we had added a Jay Bouwmeester type. If we had a legitimate top-end minute eater who is steady, then we could tone back Dion’s minutes and he would be more effective.
I don’t hate the guy but he does frustrate the hell out of me.
I disagree. Phaneuf has been god awful all playoffs. He made a shitty play on Krecji’s first goal too.
I agree leafmeister, that was one of the bad plays, but I don’t see that as a mental error, or a skill error. I think that was fatigue, which goes to my point. I could be wrong, but that’s what I’m seeing.
I don’t think Phaneuf should leave either and I thought he played well down the stretch.
But, reality is, he has been downright awful this series. Many things I would understand (if he had a good series, if Toronto was struggling in OT, etc.) but that play made zero sense.
Also, Phaneuf has played in 5 series already. I actually expected a solid series from him and did not get it.
You can see the difference between him and Gardiner. Gardiner just has the heart of a lion to win. He’s been the Leafs best player by a mile.
Granted I am kind of talking out my ass here, as I dont know the locker room dynamic, but I would find it hard to believe that Phaneuf is the hardest worker on the team, or sets the best example. But man, can that guy pick a playlist!
I am well aware this isn’t the case, but sometimes it looks like he isn’t even trying.
good call Mo. He needs help.
if they can manage to push Franson/Fraser back to the 3rd pair playing 17 minutes a game rather than 21 that would be big.
I’d expect Gardiner and Dion to play in the 20+ range and Gunnarsson likely around the 17-18 minutes.
Even getting Dion down from 25-26 to 22-23 minutes consistently would be big.
Dion 23 minutes
Gunnarsson 18 minutes
Gardiner 22 minutes
Fraser 18 minutes
Franson 18 minutes
that leaves another 21 minutes unaccounted for.
A player like a Bouwmeester, not necessarily him, but someone in his range would be able to handle that.
That would keep the D fresher for an 82 game season.
I’d expect Holzer to be the 7th next year or Blacker. Don’t know if Kostka would be brought back. O’Byrne not likely to be back.
Reilly I would love to see anchor the Marlies D the whole season and perhaps maybe learn to play the big minutes at a higher level than Junior. Maybe learn the PK too. Really no need whatsoever at all to rush him.
Ya, I like that breakdown of minutes. The addition of a high end d-man would bring our team to another level.
Where is lafleur? I watched the games…But I want to what do you think about the Habs being worn down this entire series to the point Price is injured?
Speed is a great asset during the season, but the postseason’s grind can wear down speed.
Lafleur vanishes when the habs are sucking, but no doubt when the draft comes around he will be boasting timmins incredible drafting. He’ll come out of the woodwork if the habs ever win again with a “SMOKED LIKE A CHEAP CIGAR!”
No Emelin already, no price, no prust, no white, no Gionta and maybe no Pacioretty.
That means they’ll win tonight.
Regardless of how this series ultimately turns out, how nice has it been to even have playoff hockey? The past decade I’ve been cheering for teams I disklike to lose as opposed to cheering for a team to win.
The second game was amazing. That feeling of being united with everyone watching was awesome. Everywhere was buzzing and the goal reactions were amazing. Good to have some passion about this team again.
And wow, don’t want to bandwagon too hard but Gardiner is something else. If he can get consistency he really controls the tempo of the game. Interesting point whoever mentioned it about how it is more effective against slower teams – but I do feel as he hones his game more he will be more consistent. His poise with the puck is unreal.
And sure Phaneuf blew it but the series isn’t over. Go Leafs Go!!
Yeah its good to see. Hopefully it continues next year, although without some major changes I wouldn’t bet on it. Man the Leafs can get me bummed out.
My feelings on the series is summed up in this video:
oops forgot to post the video
And what about the ACC cleanup crew shoveling Fraser’s blood into Reimer’s net? Talk about bad omen.
Lucky Reimer isn’t Billy Smith, or else he’d have gone ballistic.
he let him!
Those cleanup guys are intimidating. I’d be too frightened to say anything too.
he’d probably let them if the them were she’s.
i mean those chicks at the Blackhawk games. wow. they can shovel anything in the net if they want lol
Hurricanes have the hottest girls in the league.
So I am not feeling the UFA centres that are available.
The 5 centres who could play a top 6 role are Andy McDonald, Val Filppula, Derek Roy, Mike Ribiero, Tyler Bozak and Stephen Weiss.
If they don’t decide to re-sign Bozak, then if they choose free agency, its Stephen Weiss who is the best choice of the group.
He is small but skilled, he’s arguably as good as draws as Bozak (53% in 2012) and is a solid two way player.
But, you do have to worry about the lack of size. And the fact he just had major surgery. How good will he be? Also, you have to think too of the Panther effect. Horton has been ok, but Garrison, Booth, Ballard, not so much.
If the trade route is taken, I guess the best available is Paul Stastny. He too is as good on draws as Bozak (both around 53.5 percent this year) and is a high skilled player.
But you worry about his durability and the fact he is really soft. But again, just not 30 Ryan Getzlafs or Joe Thorntons out there for everyone to have. He is though really Tim Connolly soft.
And with Stastny comes a 6 mil cap hit and a pending UFA in 2014, the same time as Kessel and Phaneuf.
And of course, what assets would you have to trade for someone like Stastny, often referred to as a No. 1 Centre.
The other option is to keep Bozak and replace Grabovski with one of the above mentioned guys.
Or perhaps go within, like Joe Colborne who is pretty much their only option from within who’s close.
There are too few elite guys to go around.
A more far fetched option is to perhaps explore what it would take to pry Vincent Lecavalier out of Tampa. As I said, far fetched, but, with that contract, and his age, and he too having some durability issues, you wonder, maybe, just maybe?
He’s really the only “elite” guy i see who has a sliver of a chance to be available this off-season. And even then, pretty slim chances.
Getzlaf re-signed in Anaheim, Toews, Stamkos, Crosby, Malkin, Tavares, the Staals, Kopitar, Richards, Carter, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Thornton, Couture are going nowhere. And there are a lot of other good centers like Benn, O’Reilly, Krecji, etc who aren’t moving either.
So filling this void could be difficult. It may result in status quo. Re-sign Bozak, keep Grabovski, have those 2 join Kadri with McClement the 4th centre, Colborne for depth.
If that is the case, then they should try and vastly improve on the wing. For not having a top centre, it may mean 2 additions to the wing to make this team harder to play against.
That doesn’t mean 2 more guys like Orr/McLaren, that kind of hard, it means more guys who are hard to handle in the offensive zone. It also means for me, guys who can push back.
Lupul is not afraid to get dirty, same with JVR and Kulemin, but they are not intimidating physically nor do they willingly initiate physical contact. Not every team can have a Lucic, but you know, Toronto needs a top 6 guy who will make some defenceman think about it going back to the corner to retrieve the puck.
Guys like Iginla or Horton are out there. At this stage in his career, Iginla isn’t an intimidating force as he was probably a decade ago.
Horton will take hits to make plays and is big and strong, but not a say Neely kind of player or Gary Roberts kind. He’s more like JVR. A big guy who can be a handful, but not really a guy who pushes back. He could be an option though. Someone they could put along side Kadri.
The guys who’d be more of the push back kind would be a Morrow or a Clowe, but how much do they have left in the tank and will they provide enough offence? Maybe on both counts.
Wouldnt though the Leafs forwards be interesting adding say Clowe and Horton while retaining Bozak?
Bottom line, Toronto will need to find a way to make improvements this off-season. Their season isn’t over just yet, but definitely at the end of the day, there are holes in the lineup, things that need to improve on. Their forwards are certainly one part of it.
Getting bigger and harder to play against, even more than say they were last year, is a high need.
I personally would love to see a major trade happen, much like the trades LA did to get Carter/Richards. Something along those lines to acquire impact forwards. But there just isn’t as much out there.
Its too bad Nash isn’t available any more now that Burke is gone and his restrictive ways wouldn’t stand in the way of a big contract coming in. But hey, maybe that is a Lecavalier.
Hard to say what it would cost, but in all likelihood, it probably would mean one of their 2 young potential future stars on D going the other way. Big, large contract or not, Lecavalier is an impact guy who, at the centre position, with his size and skill and pedigree are extremely hard to find.
But I don’t know. I’m feeling like something earth shattering needs to happen. While the McClement signing last summer has turned out to be perhaps one of the best by any team last year, I don’t believe another “ordinary” off-season will cut it. This team needs an extra push. A push to get to the next level. This is where Nonis may need to seek out a special player, or at least shake-up the lineup that currently exists. While I like Frattin and Colborne, hoping they make the cut to fill the current lineup holes is not good enough for me and shouldn’t be for anyone.
Nords I just want to say that all of your posts are a good read. I love reading your insight on things and almost always agree with what you say. Keep it up man.
What’s the old saying…”You can put makeup on a pig, but it’s still a pig?”
That describes the Leafs center situation now and moving forward with adding guys like Horton and Clowe.
You can say Boston does not have elite centers…But lord knows Bozak/Grabovski/Kadri can never have the same impact as Krejci/Bergeron/Kelly.
hey if there is a centre out there that could help them now and that is available please tell me who this is?
I’m looking around, I see no one. At least not anyone the team can get easily.
Easily meaning not trading Kessel, Lupul, JVR, Gardiner, Dion, Reilly, Kadri, Reimer, 1st round picks. If there is an appetite to rip into the Leafs core, or trade significant youth, then by all means. I personally won’t like it, but I’m not Dave Nonis so we’d have to accept whatever he does from here on in.
You can view the Feaster deals or what Toronto got for Beau, but really, talking about those handful of centres out there who’d make serious inroads in impacting the Leafs extremely positively, deals at that magnitude are costly.
And, if you feel there is a top centre out there, that’s available, that won’t cost the Leafs the aformentioned assets, please, go ahead and explain that one to me too. It is indeed a difficult question.
Unfortunately for Toronto those players are not readily available. Its not a slight to you, Nonis, me or anyone, its reality.
Believe me, I’d love to get someone. But there just isn’t anyone. It could be Weiss, it could be Stastny, but really again, it won’t add up to much.
Its unfortunate as I said. There’s no Richards/Carter out there. Even no impact winger like Nash.
I’m willing to fork over assets to get Lecavalier. If I just had to get that superb centre. But they are in zero hurry to move him and as Gillis did with Lou, and he isn’t holding the Bolts hostage. it would not be out of the question that Yzerman asks for at least one of Gardiner/Kadri/Reilly Plus others. He is their captain and been the face of the team for 15 years.
At age 33, with a worn down body and signed through 2020, I don’t know, I just don’t know if that’s worth it.
Or maybe Jumbo Joe. 1 year from UFA status, who knows. Maybe the Sharks die in round 2…again.
Maybe that prompts them to decide, its time for a new beginning. You’d for sure have to give up one of Gardiner/Kadri/Reilly+ and I’d really think long and hard about it. I just might do it for Jumbo Joe.
But the stars really have to align there. Yes he sort of is and could be in the Iginla situation, being a UFA, but Wilson isn’t blind and stupid like Feaster. And while Iggy fetched nothing, Thornton is a type, who if he were available, you’d have to act quickly IMO. I’d not wait til say the chips fell all the way to the deadline. Having a Thornton all year could be the difference in making or not making the new realigned NHL playoffs.
Historically Toronto has waited too patiently when players like this are out there. But jump far too quickly on unproven commodities (see Raycroft, Toskala). Or as Burke did, waited for the right problem to surface (Dion, but by the time they got him and Gigure, the Leafs were done and cost themselves the 2nd overall pick).
So maybe Joe is there? I’d love it. You may too but 20 bazillion others may hate it. I guess the key question would be what Nonis likes.
Personally he has to do something. I am again all for it being an elite centre. Heck if the Pens implode and die to the Isles, why not Malkin?
But even if not at that magnitude, Nonis has to find a way to improve the Leafs. If as I said a centre of high calibre isn’t readily there, then I dont know, and I don’t care to be honest.
I just care the team doesn’t stand pat. Do nothing. Nonis has a season to review and a playoff. It can’t be clear to just us fans what he needs to do. It, the needs, may not necessarily be fixable in a month, but, he has to find ways to make the team better for the beginning of next season.
Going with the same 22-26 guys who’ve thrown on the leafs jersey this year, next year is unacceptable. So even if its as “little” as Clowe/Horton plus adding a top 4 D, though not addressing that centre spot, I have to say that’d be progress. I am just looking for some recognition by Nonis to see if he actually realizes he has to move to improve his squad.
And i am also very curious if he is going to have tunnel vision (must get Lou) or if he plays that super, risk averse card.
that means not just standing pat on the core guys above, but also resistant to even trade the Percy’s or Biggs or D’Amigos or even lower still, the Holzers of the world whatsoever. Then at that moment i’m raising the red flag of concern.
So we’ll see. Bottom line, not much available for now. Perhaps that changes in June. And if it changes to where the market is actually consisting of high end players, well lets just see if Toronto acts or not.
No center is available…That’s the issue.
Toronto would be on the first good-center available…Along with 15 teams.
What I’m saying is…Spending 12 million on Clowe and Horton is not very bright for Toronto. Considering Clowe has been bad and Horton has not been that great either.
When it comes to wings, Toronto is best to look from within since Kessel needs a new deal, Kadri, etc.
Not to mention Phaneuf…Who will have one of the worst contracts given to him next season. $7.5 million for 6 years????
Rather than re-signing Bozak I would rather just try our luck with Colborne and save the cap space.
Kadri, Grabovski, Colbourne, McClement – pretty good group. If we could land Weiss, great. Other than that, I’m not too interested. Andy MacDonald on a 2-year deal could be a nice pick up too, especially since he can play either wing as well. Lots of flexibility with a signing like that.
My big concern Mo is the faceoffs.
McClement is a 50 percent guy but the others are pretty weak on the draws.
Weiss can win draws, so can Stastny if we’re talking the 3rd tier guys who are available.
I’d love to get one of the horses like a Thornton. Would you be willing to pay that high price in assets this summer?
But isn’t that similar to saying were going to spend around $5 million on Bozak for only face-offs?
He really brings nothing else to the table sadly….Long term deal does not make sense.
David Steckel brought only faceoffs.
Bozak does a lot of things for Toronto. He just doesn’t stand out because he does a lot of things ok, but nothing great.
Sadly that’s the nature of UFA. players get overpaid.
Bozak isn’t worth 5 mil. I’ve said it before, no one is really worth what they’re getting.
But, that skill he brought with the draws is very very important. As you know, puck possession is key. It helped the PK gaining possession quickly and being able to dump it down the ice.
Its key in the offensive zone. Its important Toronto has possession so not to get hemmed in their own zone.
And besides that he also found some good chemistry with Lupul, JVR and Kessel. He is also very close to Kessel as friends. That is an important thing not to overlook.
There are definitely guys out there who can bring the same level of offence. Heck even Tim COnnolly can do that. But as we’ve come to understand, Connolly was melancholic and not great for the room. Bozak is well liked by the team and being one of the closest friends to the team’s best player, its something to think about.
again, bring up some name you think fits. bottom line, some answer has to be found if Bozak leaves. doing nothing to replace him is again unacceptable.
Wow, Lafleur was right. The Habs-Sens series only lasted 5 games.
Hab fans will talk again if the Leafs are eliminated. Whenever and if that happens, they’ll return to tell us the Leafs drought is longer than Montreal’s, THN has the Habs future watch ranked way higher than Toronto. Montreal finished higher than Toronto and Montreal has 4 picks in the top 40 compared to the Leafs 1 pick.
If it happens Friday, they’ll base the success on the season being Montreal wins because they were higher in the standings and played exactly the same number of games.
And then Toronto fans will come back to defend and 402 meaningless posts later, we have a new thread to break. Happy Trails
Good call. Let’s just skip all that.
All I know is that the habs were obviously going down. I picked the Sens in 5, big snipe by me. But before I gloat too much I had the Leafs in 6, which is out now.
My big hope is that the Leafs don’t do what Montreal just did last night. Hope the Leafs watched that tape. Don’t quit like Montreal did last night.
The Habs had nothing. Probably due mostly with 33% of their team on IR including their leader Gionta and goalie, Price.
Looks like everyone wants to keep Grabovski and dump Bozak now. Not that I completely disagree but it leaves the Leafs looking awful thin up front next season. Not to mention Bozak seems to be a Carlyle favorite.
Lupul – Kadri – Kessel
JVR – Grabovski – Kulimen
Frattin – Colborne – Komarov
McLaren – McClement – ______
That’s letting Bozak, MacArthur, Orr and Hamilton walk as UFA.
Kadri, Komarov, McLaren, and Colborne are all RFA.
Pretty thin group. A regression from Kadri over 82 games seems all but assured.
Asking a bounce back season from Grabo is questionable.
Expecting a breakout year from Colborne is risky.
Two guys that I think will be available and the Leafs will target are David Clarkson and Boyd Gordon. Assuming the UFA forwards walk.
Clarkson gives more size, toughness and scoring depth in the top 9.
Gordon is another McClement, give us another face off option and ensure the PK stays at the top.
Glad to see so many talking about puck possession finally. It is the key to improved Leaf success.
So what should the Leafs do in the off-season?
Here’s what I would like to see them do.
I put this on the last post, but incase some have moved on to this I thought I would re-post here since that is the main topic.
They should target teams like Calgary, Buffalo, Philly, Colorado, Vancouver, NYR(If they get knocked out in the first round) for trades as these teams will be re-tooling or rebuilding, still building.
1) Let Bozak, MacA, Kostka and Connolly walk.
2)I am fine with Kadri/Grabo as the 1-2 punch to start the season. I think under the right conditions, Grabo is still a good productive centre.
3)Look for a potential top-line D-man. Giordano, Myers come to mind.
4)Acquire a BIG third line centre who is good on draws and won’t break the bank. Boyle comes to mind.
5) Acquire another BIG winger to develop or play in top 9.
6) Be willing to trade our 2013 1st or prospects(not top prospects) for assets now. ONLY FOR PROVEN PLAYERS OR DEVELOPING NHL READY PROSPECTS WITH GREAT POTENTIAL.
Say for arguments sake, Let’s say
Toronto sends Franson(love the guy, but RFA looking for big raise), Ashton and 2013 1st to Buffalo for Myers and Foligno.
Toronto then sends Blacker and a 2013 4th to NYR for Boyle.
Liles could either be moved and the money used for a depth 4-6 D via UFA (ie.Douglas Murray), or kept as a 7th D-man.
Lupul – Kadri – Kessel
Kulimen – Grabo – JVR(always loved that line)
Foligno – Boyle – Frattin
Komarov – McClement – Orr
ex. Colborne, McLaren.
Gunarsson – Phaneuf
Gardiner – Myers
Fraser – O’Byrne
ex. Liles, Holzer, Reilly? UFA?
If Myers, Gardiner, Reilly, Percy and Finn continue to develop as expected, Phaneuf becomes a player you don’t HAVE to re-sign and could be moved for other needed pieces at next years trade deadline(could return a centre in a package). As well as Colborne will, I believe, develop into a good 2ndline/3rdline centre.
Do we have that #1 centre to start the season? No. But we have size, speed, grit, talent and a more balanced D. We would be tough on the walls, BIG defence that has mobility and is still young. Reimer in net of course just solidifies things.
Two things I don’t like.
Although I posted a potential line up with the same thing forcing Kadri into big minutes next season scares me.
I don’t think he’s ready for both a largely increased role and an 82 game season both at the same time. I think Carlyle feels this way as well and is one reason I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bozak stay.
Kadri did his best work this year with reduced sheltered minutes. Good for our secondary scoring but can he do it as the top dog? I think its to much to ask.
If we make a move for a true top 6 center via trade then by all means let Bozak walk but as others pointed out thats a thin market.
Stastny or O’Reilly from Colorado? That seems kinda meh to me.
The second thing is I really dont like moving Franson. You did move him for a poential stud in Myers which is cool but I doubt Buffalo and Toronto would ever swing a deal that substantial.
At the start of the season I thought Franson was a perfect 3rd pairing two way Dman that could get big PP time.
I think he’s shown from then till now he’s an absolute lock for the top 4 on Carlyles team. If anything I think he can become a great number 3 and anchor the second unit perhaps with Gardiner for a big minute combo?
Fraser and Franson was steady but Franson has a higher ceiling than that IMO. Fraser looks better on the 3rd pairing with less minutes.
I agree on Franson Blaze. I was one of his biggest supporters last year as well when Wilson and many were down on him.. The trades were just to show what kind of things we should do.IMO
Franson is likely to get $3-$3.5 per. To get Myers, we would have to move some good pieces and I think Franson would be what Buffalo would want back over a Gunner etc. Franson is a lesser version of Myers really. I would also want a big winger with potential as well if my 1st and Franson go which is where Foligno comes in.
As for Kadri, yes, a larger work load would be tough as he has not shown a lot in the playoffs. I wouldn’t expect his workload to increase THAT much with 3 lines that can play. I would give the Grabo line more minutes and the Boyle line fair minutes thus reducing the pressure off Kadri. The defence is much improved on mobility and playmaking which should lead to having more puck possession and better control coming out of our own end, again taking pressure off of Kadri.
Im guessing you’re still high on Clarkson, pretty sure you’ve been his biggest supporter.
Seems like a slam dunk to me. He’s going to get overpaid but Toronto making the playoffs and NJ missing sealed it.
Still a huge Clarkson supporter…but at the right price. I am not a huge fan of over paying huge to get a player in a cap world. A little Yes. A lot? No.
I would rather keep the cap space sometimes (see Bozak) for when what is really needed comes along.
I hated the Connolly signing because of the ridiculous over payment and here’s why.
Connolly $1mil overpayment
Grabovski $1.5 mil ”
Komisarek $1.5 mil ”
Phaneuf $1.5 mil ”
MacArthur $750,000 ”
Liles $1 mil ”
Total = $7.25 mil in overpayment.
All those overpayments make it more difficult to re-sign RFA’s(ie Franson, Gunnar) or entry level guys(ie. Kadri, Gardiner) in a cap world OR that is about the equivalent of a top line high end centre we have been looking for. This is why I am mostly in favour of smart trades for proven guys with existing contracts even if it means giving up prospects or picks sometimes. Much easier to manage your cap and you know what you are getting…player wise and money wise. They could do it when they got Phaneuf because they gave back so many contracts.
Anyomre than $3.75-$4mil per for Clarkson I’m out of the race if it were me.
Thin about the winger pairings if the Leafs landed Clarkson.
Lupul& Kessel(speed,finish and Lupul’s determination)
JVR & Clarkson(Size and power, hard to the net)
Kulimen & Frattin(Good size all around solid)
Komarov & Orr/McLaren(Grit and toughness)
That would be awesome top 3 winger combo’s and a great 4th line combo.
I do like the looks of that!
That would be a fantastic set of wingers.
It’s probably one of the best set of wingers in the league. Many teams would love that.
Then you look at the most important position, down the middle, and you want to off your head with a musket.
The D could use some help as well. Not necessarily pairings but more of a depth chart for next season.
Only Phaneuf, Liles and Komisarek are actually signed to play next year. Komisarek is the obvious buy out. Liles is the question mark.
Franson, Gardiner, Gunnarson and Fraser are RFAs.
O’Byrne and Kostka are UFAs.
Potentially UFAs are very scarce with Streit and Ference the only real ‘prizes’.
Could be an active trade market. Or could let Kostka walk, re-sign O’Byrne and run with essentially the same group.
Fairly deep with NHL caliber players. The hope is the rather young core gains experience from the playoffs and comes back healthy and ready for next year.
A healthy Gunnarson and what should be a full season from Gardiner. Liles could be trade material possible a dump, or worst case next off-season buy out.
Decent looking group but could be better.
Interesting to see what they do with Gardiner next season. He’s going to play big minutes Im sure, likely 25 a night nearly so where do he pair.
He’s looked decent with Phaneuf at times. Maybe they get a shot next preseason to see if they can get any chemistry. Seeing as how they are the only two that will 25+ minutes regularly why not try them together?
Gardiner can handle the rushing responsibilities and Phaneuf can play a more steady game.
Gunnarson should be healthy so it isn’t unreasonable to think he might pair with Phaneuf instead quite effectively for most of the season.
Gunnarson is coming into the age where he could be primed for a really solid year. Overall I like his fit with Phaneuf. The biggest drawback is don’t think Gunnar can match Phaneufs minutes.
Phaneuf does play huge PK and PP minutes so that helps even it out.
Gardiner – Franson could turn out to be a fanatastic second pairing if Franson can build off this great year for him. This pairing playing 20+ min a night will really help take some pressure of the Phaneuf pairing.
Phaneuf – Gunnarson
Franson – Gardiner
Would be nice to upgrade maybe Gunnars spot but this could be a very effective top 4.
Not sure how you feel about David Shoalts, but this is exactly what I think of Phaneuf.
Although I do not agree with that article completely, especially on running him out of towm and the timing of it.
This is what I have wrote about Phaneuf and said many times.
“Dion struggles with…when to, when not to. Always has. He pinches or goes for the big hit when he shouldn’t, he rushes when he shouldn’t, he doesn’t pinch or throw the big hit when he should or rush when he should far too often. He has always struggled with decision making. He is not going to make, or even be considered for team Canada. Last night is a great example, the only reason for that play would have been if he was trying to change momentum because Boston was taking the play to us, which wasn’t the case.
That said, is Dion a good defenceman? Yes.
Is he upper level like Suter, Chara, Doughty, Keith etc? No
Is he worth $6.5 mil or deserve a raise? No. He is a $5 to $5.5 mil guy tops.
Does he have talent? Yes. Does he put it into a “complete game” on a consistant enough basis? No.”
That sums up Phaneuf. IMO
We should keep him til at least near next years trade deadline and move him for assets where hopefully he is playing well enough to get a good return. Now, is the worst time to move him as his value is down due to his overall play in the playoffs. Let some time go by where GM’s will pay more for the potential agian and the playoff performance is not fresh in their minds.
To Carolina: Dion Phaneuf
To Toronto: Tim Gleason, Victor Rask
Sign Mark Streit, David Clarkson
Trade Tyler Bozak’s negotiating rights, Matt Frattin, 2013 2nd to STL for Patrick Berglund
van Riemsdyk – Kadri (A) – Kessel
Lupul (C) – Berglund – Colborne
Clarkson – Grabovski – Kulemin
Komarov – McClement (A) – McClaren
Gardiner – Gleason
Streit (A) – Franson
Fraser – Liles
More or less handing the reigns on D to the youngsters, with vets like Gleason and Streit replacing Dion’s presence. Gleason could match his shutdown ability, and Streit would replace his offense. Rolling the dice on a guy like Berglund could pay off big time, and is really one of the more realistic options for potentially solving the issue at center. He meets the size requirements, and can contribute offensively.
A lot of people last off season mulled ditching Phaneuf and annoiting Gardiner our number 1 defenseman.
That would’ve turned out great.
Well, I do think they should replace his minutes with vets who can properly give the kids time.
The situation at centre and finding a suitable and significant upgrade over Bozak as opposed to keeping him is the same as finding a suitable, significant upgrade on Phaneuf.
The free agent market is thin. Just like the centres, which has just Ribiero, Filppula, Weiss, the blueline has names like Gonchar, Zidlicky, Ian White, Leopold, Whitney, Regehr, Streit, Scuderi, Hamrlik, Hainsey, Lydman, Murray and Roszival to name a few.
If any of those defenceman are considered upgrades on Dion, that to me would be a very far fetched assessment.
Toronto within has besides Dion, Gunnarsson, Gardiner, Franson, Liles, Fraser, Holzer, Reilly, Blacker among a couple other lesser names. If any of them are considered upgrades on Dion, then again, that’s a far fetched assessment.
Gardiner is an incredible talent. But could he go toe to toe physically with a big body like Nash, Lucic, Ovechkin or Malkin? Probably not. I don’t believe either he has the same ridiculous hockey brain as a Niedermayer or a Lidstrom. But really who would?
Gardiner is more an offensive guy who’s primary role is to move the puck quickly and skate it out quickly. Going toe to toe against the NHL’s best forwards night after night, probably not ready for that role.
The other defenceman not named Dion are also incapable on their own to face the opposing team’s best. Gunnarsson is probably the most reliable of the bunch and he is Dion’s partner.
Dion is out there every game, game in, game out facing the NHL’s best players.
He faces Crosby, Ovechkin, Nash, Stamkos, Seguin, Vanek among everyone else. These are some of the arguably best players in the world. They will get beat by some of the best D in the world, but also they will too beat some of the best D in the world when trying to score.
It’s not an easy job or an easy role to replace.
Maybe some of the offensive responsibilities of Dion could be replaced but that’s the strength of his game. He was one of the league leaders in points among Dmen. He is a very productive 50+ point defenceman, not many of those around.
Gardiner is a great puck mover, and Franson has a good shot, but there is something to be said about some guy with a dangerous point shot. Teams are weary of him, and others like Weber, Chara, who have bombs at the point. He tends to shoot to hurt. I like that. It makes players think twice. Its a skill none of the other Leafs D have.
Reilly is much like Gardiner but he too is a work in progress. The kid is learning and needs/deserves time to learn the game. He cannot step into the role Dion plays.
So possibly we could trade for a defenceman to replace Dion. But where’s that going to come from?
I went through the list of the top Dmen for each team.
Ekman-Larsson-Yandle – I think these two right now are even par with Dion on offence. But I don’t think they could handle the kind of responsibility facing the Crosby’s of the world night in and night out just yet. OEL probably is the one with the best potential for that role.
Doughty-Scuderi-Voynov – Doughty is a stud and prob one of the top 5 D in the NHL. Scuderi and Voynov though are not better than Dion.
Boyle-Stuart – Boyle is an offensive machine, but a liability defensively. Stuart is now strictly a defensive defenceman and diminishing with age.
Robidas-Daley – These guys are smurfs. Love the grit and heart Robidas brings but he has no offence at this stage of his career.
Beauchemin-Souray-Fowler – Fowler will eventually be an offensive star. He isn’t there yet because his defensive game is so bad. Don’t think the other two vets measure up to what Dion can bring.
Keith-Seabrook – Keith one of the best. Seabrook, probably equal to what he brings to the team as Dion. Seabrook was an olympian.
Pietrangelo-Bouwmeester-Shattenkirk – Piets is close real close to being one of the best. Its the consistency. He’ll get that “i get it now” moment soon. JBo isnt as good as Dion but close. Shatty is an offensive guy.
Weber-Josi – Weber a stud, Josi an nice support guy.
Kronvall-Ericsson – Kronvall, thats who Dion is quite like too. This guy was awesome with Lidstrom. Now he has to carry the mail and its hard. Hard to face the Toews, Halls, Kopitars every night.
Johnson-Tyutin-Wiesniewski – Johnson is an incredible talent but we’re still waiting for him to put the whole thing together. He will I think.
Giordano-Brodie-Wideman – Depth guys.
Smid-Schultz-Petry – More depth support guys. Schultz will be an offensive machine, but not a defensive one.
EJohnson-Hedja – Still waiting on this Johnson and we for him may have to wait forever. Seth Jones though could be a star. He isn’t better than Dion right now though.
Edler-Hamhuis-Bieska – 3 good 3-4 level Dmen, not no. 1 guys.
Suter-Brodin – Suter is one of the best if not the best. Brodin will be good, not at Dion level yet.
Campbell-Kulikov – purely offensive guys.
Salo-Hedman-Brewer – STill waiting on Hedman.
Green-Alzer-Carlson – Green is a machine and arguably the best on offence. No defence game though.
Byfuglien-Bogosian-Enstrom – Bogosian is the pending star of this group but not at Dion’s level yet. I think he will be a Norris candidate eventually. maybe 2-3 years
Pitkanen-Faulk – Faulk is good, Pitkanen not good.
Timonen-Coburn – Coburn is a top shutdown guy but is way better on a team that has Pronger.
Streit-Hamonic – Hamonic is one of those guys you win with, like Seidenberg but not a top level guy.
McDonagh-Staal-Girardi-Delzotto – The Rangers have like 4 guys who are like no. 2’s. McD and Dion are on par, MDZ is close but not there yet.
Letang-Orpik – Letang is a stud, He does it all.
Greene-Larsson – Could be 5 years b4 we see how good Larsson is.
Subban-Markov – Subban is a norris candidate, this guy is good. Still a work in progress but he’ll be a good one for sure.
Karlsson-Gonchar-Phillips – Karlsson one of the best, but not the mean guy defensively. but hey when you score nearly 80 points who cares.
Myers-Sekera – Myers is a work in progress but he, like Chara may get it sometime later.
Chara-Seidenberg – Chara = Awesome, but he is getting old. still one of the best.
So looking at this, Chara, Karlsson, Subban, Letang, Suter, Pietrangelo, Keith, Doughty are probably clearly better guys than Dion.
Kronvall, Green, McD, Jack Johnson, Seabrook, JBO are prob the comparables to Dion.
Hedman, Bogosian, Seth Jones, OEL, Myers, MDZ, Brodin have high high potential but still working on it.
Thats about 20 guys. 20 out of 210 defenceman jobs in the NHL. 20 guys of which who are right now better, as good or could be better than Dion. That’s top 10 percent. Give or take another 10 guys, that’s around 15 percent. Very very hard to replace that kind of play IMO.
Also, hard to find any of those names in the top 20-30 as players Toronto could get.
And then if there were names on the big list available, are they good enough to replace Dion? We’re talking maybe Boyle, He’s really old or getting there. Maybe Sign Gonchar? Very old. JBO? not bad, but not to replace Dion, but to support him perhaps. He looks good with Piets, Shatty, Jackman etc etc in STL doesnt he rather than in Calgary or Florida for that matter.
The aging Robidas? again, with Dion yeah, not replace him.
The bottom line is its way easier said than done.
Best thing is again to add help for Dion. we’ve seen with JBO as my example, he looks better wtih better players. Kronvall, a better guy with Stuart as his partner and Lidstrom in front of him. Many examples of this.
Sorry but ridding of Dion is just stupid. The only scenario that makes sense for me to get rid of him is if he wants 8 million per over 10 years or something ridic. Ya for sure then, the options have to be looked at.
But guys who can score 50 or so points. keep up with the league best players night in and night out on a team with a D that doesnt have anyone who could do that and was actually filled out by players who were career minor leaguers or guys ready to be cast off is pretty good.
I definitely was reactionary to Phaneuf’s OT pinch, can’t argue his numbers or his physical presence but the holes in his game that stand out in this series is his inability to hold the line on offense, over playing the physical game that costs him positionally, desperate clearing attempts and mishandling the puck. The question with Dion should be does his offense and toughness/hitting out weigh what he gives up with the puck?
I haven’t seen enough of an impact from him in this series (we have to start evaluating this team in terms of playoff pieces) to outweigh what he’s giving up.
I agree with your list, Phaneuf holds up but the question should be framed as whether or the Leafs would be more competitive with Phaneuf as their stud or with a couple of shut down or plug guys that paint between the lines and are less creative than Phaneuf. Is a pair of stable players better than Phaneuf’s gambles. I’m just at a loss to find Phaneuf’s pay offs in this series (and I’m a Phaneuf fan).
With the contract extension on the horizon does Phaneuf fit the identity of the Leafs of a fast, skilled team? I’m leaning towards a Liles, Gardiner and Reilly blueline that can rush the puck while molding Franson to a suitable (not better) replacement for Dion on the PP.
Phaneuf could be the chip to play on the trade market this summer address the need a center (Nonis revisit a Bertuzzi type deal) that could free up some cap space as well.
Then put the C on McClement, the C hurts high profile players in Toronto opening them to ridiculous criticism whereas it would elevate a journey plug like McClement.
I am shocked to see you write this about Dion Wallace. I have suggested the same thing in the past and you were one of the ones who argued the most that moving Dion would be stupid.
I give you credit for watching his play this post season and evaluating with-out bias.
I liked Dion in the regular season where over the long haul he brings great value IMO. As for being a playoff piece where every play counts, I don’t see him fitting that role given his play in this series.
Another thing on Dion.
The guy owned up to it. Its not like he blamed the team for not covering the pinch or Reimer for not coming up with a timely save as Rask was doing.
I don’t think the Leafs have the leaders other than Lupul who’d own up to what he did. Good on him.
Secondly, if you watched that game, the Leafs D was pinching all night long. There were more than just that one odd man break. Its the system and style of play. It was a great game plan. the D were going in hard and creating a lot of problems and lots of chances.
The Leafs could have veered back to a more “dont want to lose” approach and sit back. But you can’t sit back vs Boston. They come at you hard. Best thing is to come back harder. Its just that their goalie came up with some ridic saves and we hit a post. We were damn damn close!
The Leafs actually in the last month played that risk averse style where they were being outshot by a wide margin and scraping by some games, losing others.
Running a guy out of town for one mistake, which he owed up to is retarded.
Again, game 3, Kessel, fucking around with the puck and having Paille dance in alone for a shortie. Do we blame Phil or lets just rip Reimer for not making a big save. No, we dont. We just target certain guys. We shouldn’t.
C’mon. This is about more than one mistake. That particular play embodied Phaneuf’s high risk/questionable reward play, and likely cost us a chance at this series, but it is not like that is terrible uncommon for Dion. (He went for a big hit that cost a scoring chance earlier that game)
Do you think any top forwards go ‘geez guys, tough match up tonight, were up against Phaneuf.’ He has been playing against the other teams top guys since he got here and up until this shortened season, he was not very good at it. He was decent this year, but still allowed a tonne of shots. Reimer was the main difference between this year and other years.
If Phaneuf can accept a reduced role, then maybe he has a place. Playing decently with top line minutes does not make you a top defensemen, especially when you only do it for a shortened season. Nobody has ever claimed Phaneuf can’t play well for stretches.
Also, people are giving O’Byrne and Reimer shit, but this is Reimer’s first playoffs, it was an odd man rush, and I don’t have the same expectations of O’Byrne that I do of Phaneuf. The captain should not sink the ship.
Kessel is worth the occasional mistake because he scores a tonne, and generates offense.
How close we came is the hardest part. I had time to digest Monday’s loss over 4 goals, but that OT winner was like a dagger to the belly.
The one thing I hate is how Leaf fans always find excuses…Especially with Phaneuf. Like theirs an asterik beside his name when it comes to his play compared to others.
If people here claim he is an #1 D-Men on a NHL team…He deserves the same scrutiny as 1.
I will rank D-Men from #1 to #6. He is probably a #2 and he needs to be paired with another #2 or #1 to be a solid player.
A #1 makes players around him look great…Although they are still young, Gardiner and Reilly do have that skill set to dominate.
For example, in NHL terms, Karlsson can make Methot look great, Chara makes Seidenberg look great, Ryan Suter makes Jonas Brodin look great, etc.
Meanwhile, in Toronto, Phaneuf did not work well with Beauchemin, Aulie, Kostka, etc. and it’s either hit or miss with Gunnarsson.
It’s not saying Phaneuf is not a good defencemen…He’s just not great.
However, Toronto and Burke’s management boosted him to the point where everyone perceives he’s elite…And sadly will get a contract to reflect that…However, Toronto will regret it. Guaranteed.
Gardiner and Rielly at least have the upside so that there risks more often result in rewards, and when they fuck up, they have the speed to recover. I would go so far as to say unless there is literally zero chance of leaving your D partner open to a 2 on 1, going for a big open ice hit is never worth the risk. Not saying you shouldn’t play physically, but there are less risky ways. A little situational awareness can go a long way.
The one thing I hate about leaf fans is their constant negativity and fetish for running players out of town.
There were many mistakes on the one play, not just Dion’s. u can’t see it well I don’t know
I would say satisfaction with mediocrity has been an equally big problem.
Phaneuf has done a fine job against the other teams top line. Hardly anyone in the NHL plays agaisnt tougher compition. Let alone with questionable line mates.
Phaneuf is growing along with the team. If you think ditching Phaneuf and letting Gardiner take the brunt of the work makes us better than Im not sure what to think.
You give 100% of the credit this year to Reimer for great season, so explain to me how Scrivens who played 20 games, over 1/3 of the season posted some of the best numbers in the Toronto crease since Belfour.
Phaneuf was a massively influential prescence on a D group, that despite the high shots against, was substantially better than theyve been in years.
Not to mention he’s been a workhorse on the PK, logging some of the biggest minutes in the NHL for Dman. A PK that finished second in the NHL this season.
Well, most of the credit goes to the coach. I am sorry, that was my mistake. He is the main variable that differentiates this year from last, so it stands to reason he had the single biggest impact. Reimer’s health was also much better this year. Same old Phaneuf, just with a better coach, and a healthy #1 goalie.
Yep ok its all the coach. A coach that was a Norris winning defensemen.
Who seems to have a completely different opinion of Dion than you. He wouldnt know what hes doing would he?
Defence is more about the system than the player. Phaneuf is very replaceable.
….by who? A name
Lets get rid of Kessel.
The Leafs would be better if they scored by committee.
Scoring =/= defence.
Defence = science
Offence = art.
Plus Kessel is actually, you know, good at offense. But, like I say in the post below, I feel like a dick for being so negative after a win. So lets continue this if/when/when/when Toronto gets eliminated.
Lol, wait till Kessel goes five games without scoring next season and they’ll be running him of town.
30 minutes a night is very replaceable
He is awful playing 30 minutes a night. He isn’t that kind of defensemen. I remember once they showed his stats when he is around the 22 minute mark, compared to when he is over, and the difference is staggering.
Again tonight, zero situational awareness on that hand pass play. He is a big, tough, hard hitting, hard shooting, decent skating hockey player. But he is not a smart hockey player.
But, I feel like a dick being so negative after a win, so I’ll stop.
Dion is a good defenceman, but not irreplaceable.
I think of it this way, of all those defencemen that Nords mentioned…how many of those players would their current teams trade for Dion straight up?
With Dion’s cap hit…not as many as some would think. What a player makes matters to his worth and expectations whether we like it or not.
I thought the Chara goal was weak, but man was he unreal tonight. Game 6 should be a beauty!
He’s only human man. What about Rask on the 2 Leaf goals? He looked like Andrew Raycrap.
He stole the win. No other way to put it.
We can argue, we can yell, insult each other but at end of day we’re proud of them getting to game 6. Good for them and especially Reimer and Dion. Lots of heart shown tonight!
They showed Montreal both how to lose with grace (game 3), and how to not lay down to get killed. Good to see.
Totally. Couldn’t say it better
This series feels like shadows of the Battle of Ontario series but the shoe on the other foot. Ottawa was the younger skill team that would carry the play but a tough veteran Leaf team would just bury on the handful of chances they’d stumble on. Reimer is obviously better than Barraso/Laime hopefully that could be the difference.
MacAuthur again makes a case for himself, sure he has his limitations but the one thing he always does is provide timely goals. If the Leafs could carry him as a depth forward in the 1-1.5 range and let Orr walk it would be prudent.
I withdraw my endorsement of any Gardiner trade.
People forget (or don’t realize) that concussions can take a long time to recover from. Just look at Crosby. It was over a year until he became the ‘old’ Crosby again.
It was a brave effort…I still don’t understand how this team struggles with a 2-0 lead on any team in the NHL.
Gardiner has been the Leafs player. He is tied for the Leafs lead in points and his defensive game has been great, mostly because the other team does not see the puck.
I thought Liles played well. Huge props, I just wish he carries the puck a bit more since he has the skill to do it.
Phaneuf’s and Gunner’s struggles continue in this series. They just never seem to leave their own end, sad from your supposed ‘best tandem’.
All is well with Leaf fans and Phaneuf if he has a stellar Game 6 (@ home) and finally steps up in this series. Still waiting for that moment.
Gardiner is on the fast track to becoming our best D-man.
Carlyle is having an ‘Ah ha’ moment with Gardiner as he did with Kadri.
The more trusts he puts in them, the better they become.
Imagine this series without him? Where would the Leafs be?
Indeed, the Leafs would be out right now without Gardiner.
Gardiner is a gem. I look back at Bryan Berard. Just like Gardiner, he was tremendous on offense but took a while to master the defensive part of the game. Then you could see he started to come into his own until an eye injury derailed his career.
I see a lot of Berard in Gardiner. Huge talent that will only get better. Just imagine if he and Reilly both blossom. The Leafs will be set for years.
Interesting comparison. I thought Gardiner’s defense has improved greatly. Positioning has been solid, active stick, physical. What more can you ask? Most importantly…The puck has been a magnet on his stick.
I think his defensive game will evolve…And be great someday. Something that some guys (Kaberle) were poor at.
Yes fully agreed. The kid can really handle the puck and he’s been spot on most of this series.
His evolution will depend on him being in positions to succeed.
Leafs need another top 4. They have Dion to take the attention and play hard minutes, be physical.
Fraser plays simple and tough. Franson has some offensive game and is a big body.
Gardiner…or Reilly in a year or two add good puck movement and skating ability.
Gunnarsson is a safe reliable low maintenance guy.
But, just that one extra guy to give them some more help would benefit all.
I’d rather see gardiner not be force fed the best forwards around. Let him grow and continue to polish his game.
I look at a guy like Nick Leddy. He was force fed last year on a team that was to contend and he was not good. This year they had him as the No. 5 guy. He’s now in top 4 now but allowing him that opportunity to grow and work on his game…at this level will benefit everyone.
After Colaiacovo, Schenn, rushing guys didn’t really work.
Having Gardiner slide in behind Dion and some other 20 minute plus guy with experience, well that could provide a huge advantage for the Leafs in the future. Even if its the short term the rewards can b high.
I think his ceiling is high. But I think he’ll benefit more in the presence of Dion leading the charge and getting a chance to reach his ceiling at a reasonable pace.
Let a guy like Dion take the heat and let Gardiner be put in advantageous situations. That can only benefit Toronto as opposed to anointing him the no. 1 now.
You know, the one line that is killing TO is the Krejci line…The other’s have been non-factors for the most part.
How badly is Phaneuf-Gunner getting burned in this matchup? Especially from a line that has been ridiculed all year long.
A good example of what I mean is PK. He had a fantastic season culminating in a Norris Trophy nomination.
I think he benefited from having Andrei Markov in the lineup for the full season in Montreal.
And looking back, great signing by Bergevin to force PK to work at it still, not give him the dough right away.
PK has earned the accolades this year. But it goes to having the interest to be better, having the good support system and being forced to earn his keep.
Gardiner no doubt has the ability to reach high, but lets not give it to him yet. And lets ensure we have talent surrounding him, like Dion.
At age 41, Jagr is still the most dangerous player on the ice. That is fascinating.
I also wish the entire series was played in Boston. The Leafs would win for sure.
I don’t think he has stood out above Krecji or Lucic, but he has been awesome. He is so powerful. That guy must be able to put up a ten tonnes on leg press.
Yeah I’m exaggerating, but still. He defies biology.
Selanne and Lidstrom too.
speaking of MVP like players, didn’t Toews get cheated a bit out of a hart nomination?
I thought he’d deserve it more than Ovechkin. This Toews guy is ridiculous.
Not that OV didn’t have a good year, but Toews is the straw that stirs the Hawks.
Liked seeing Tavares in the mix. One of many in my mind.
I agree that Toews should have been nominated, but with the other 3 in there someone deserving would have to be removed.
It’s hard to keep Crosby out of it when he had such a good [shortened] season. Ovechkin picked his team up and brought them to the playoffs by scoring at the rate he did at the end. Same goes with Tavares, he carried the Islanders to the playoffs.
I guess they just felt that the other players were more valuable to their team than Toews. My winner is actually Ovechkin.
Phaneuf just over the 21 minute mark, 4th on the team. Just sayin’.
A couple times I saw him laboring to the bench. Much like Franson in game 1.
Also too, a coaching tactic is to ride your horses in the back half of the game. There was that one crazy shift where O’Byrne and Liles played and a couple others, but mostly Carlyle went with 4 D in the 3rd. Gunny, Dion and McClement never left the ice it seems the last 5 minutes. Kessel didn’t play hardly the last 10 minutes of the 3rd. All those icings i think.
There were giveaways, but as you can see, it’s just brutal playing your wrong side on D. When you are pressured by the Boston forecheckers and you’re on your backhand, it’s brutal. But in the last minute he did will the puck out to relieve some pressure. And he partially blocked the JJ chance that Reimer got as well.
Poor Gunnarsson. he had vapor lock on that one play where like everyone left him alone and he didn’t know what to do. Then the Bruins collapsed and suddenly it was 2-1.
Instead of finding a partner for Phaneuf I think it would better to look for a partner for Gardiner.
A) it would likely be cheaper (cap wise)
B) It would help Gardiner’s development
C) Leaving Dion and Gunnar to play a real shut down “role” and let Gardiner and Partner take care of rushing the puck and offense.
D) If the Leafs decide to not re-sign Dion, then the future has already started with Gardiner and partner, which would also allow the Leafs the option of trading Dion and getting a return for him over letting him walk if they didn’t intend on signing him anyway.
Dion and Gunnar fills two spots. Leafs can have vets like O’Byrne, Gunnar, Fraser, Franson to choose from to fill 3 spots. Gardiner and partner fills 2 more. Plus, the Leafs have many D prospects coming down the line in Reilly, Percy, Finn etc.
Much smater in a cap world to build around a D that moves the puck like Gardiner, (Or Reilly seems to be able to), then around Dion and his huge cap hit. If Dion could carry the puck and control a game…then fine, but he cannot and he is paid way too much to play strictly a shut down “role” like a Scuderi. It makes no sense to me to continue to try and build around a guy like Dion and his massive salary (which he will want even more in a year) when clearily he is not an offensive superstar, nor is he top notch solid like Doughty, Seabrook, Chara, etc, nor is he an up and coming stud like PK, Pietrangelo, Karlsson etc. He has been in the league 9 years…NINE YEARS. Why do people say he is still learning? He is suffers the same problems his whole career…consistency. Time to move forward with someone who continues to develop. If Dion finds consistency and wants to stay…great, but not at even close to $6.5 mil or higher.
I mentioned earlier that many Leaf fans put an asterisk beside his name for some reason. Always excuses for the guy.
I don’t think Toronto should get rid of him right now as there’s nothing out there…But it’s important to realize he’s not great.
Unfortunately, Toronto might be cornered and have to dump him after next season.
Do you really think this guy will take a pay cut to his true value??? Doubt it, he’s too egotistical. It is also a mistake for TO to sign him to 6.5+++ for x number of years.
Agreed. He is just not a franchise defenseman. Bulding around Phaneuf would be like building around Bryan McCabe as he was pre-lockout. Also agreed on salary. I wouldn’t have a problem with Phaneuf on a lower salary. He gets paid well more than he’s worth. Being ice time leader doesn’t cut it. It must be QUALITY ice time.
Check out this link. James Reimer is The Sherminator.
Pens score in OT and advance. Boy the Isles put up a tough fight.
They are a gutsy team. Pens now face Pesky Sens. No easy test. Ottawa’s going to need Spezza I think.
Isles are a goalie away. I’d say for them, go after Miller.
Could use help on D, but if they upgrade on Nabokov, look out.
Yeah the Isles could be the next Chicago.
Strome, Niederreiter and Reinhart could be on the team next year. Maybe Brock Nelson too.
Hope they re-sign Streit. It would actually be dumb if he left. He can’t have it any better anywhere else.
Kudos Garth Snow. Never thought anyone would say that eh?
So 5 teams gone so far: Isles, Canucks, Blues, Wild, Habs.
Who’s in the best shape? I think its Long Island.
Who’s in bad shape? Vancouver.
I don’t know what to make of Montreal, whether they are this good or just a fluke year, but Long Island, wow, I think the new Patrick Division next season better watch out. They’re going to be real good going forward.
I really don’t think Van is in bad shape. It is still a very talented group. They need a new message behind the bench and solve the goalie issue and I think they will be strong again.
Personally, I think they need to realize they are stuck with Luongo and trade Schneider for some assets. Let Roy walk and get a real third line centre.
Speaking of centres…The worst thing the Leafs could do is bring in a guy like Weiss if they still have Grabo and Kadri. Three small, shifty centres? Bad idea. Get a BIG, hard on the puck third line centre that can handle opponents down low in our own end. We have to give the opponent different looks down the middle to play against. Three similar styles like Bozak, Grabo, Kadri is too easy to prepare for and play against physically.
This is why I continue to push hard for a guy like Brian Boyle. We could match opponent size with Boyle and McClement and we can match opponent speed and skill with Kadri, Grabo. It’s a more balanced look down the middle and makes it harder for opponent coaching to line match as they won’t want their small centres trying to contain a Boyle as much as we don’t want our small guys trying to contain a Staal.
well the habs are this good and they’ll get better last year with the last place finish wasn’t them either! but we still need a few pieces and some are on the way…we need some size bergevin will address that in the off-season the defence will be better with tinordi and beaulieu as regulars next season… we have some intriguing pieces as in kristo,collberg,hudon vail,bournival up front and i think bergevin will target a major ufs in the off-season(david clarkson) and he’ll explore some big trades too. also with galchenyuk and gallagher have a year under there belt will only help them going forward they’ll be even better in year 2.
Just curious. Where is Bergevin going to find the cap space for UFA’s (clarkson) and also adding size to the line-up? No one really wants Kaberle, Bourque or Gionta with their cap hits, so Who are the players he is willing to trade?
he’ll have some some free to explore those guys ryder won’t be back that save 3.25 million kaberle will be bought out and that’s another 4.25 million saved we’ll ltir for emelin he won’t start the season and won’t likely be back until december or january i think gionta could retire
Gionta won’t retire. He’s only 34?
with his injuries to his forearms both tears to the left and the right the are career threatening so he could retire
Even with no Kaberle, Ryder, Armstrong, Weber, Drewiske and Halpern…Montreal is at $65 million dollar cap hit. The league is dropping down to 64.3 million next season.
Even no Gionta…At 60 million and you need to sign up many spots.
Might have to say goodbye to Markov…But that really destroys your entire team. Bealieu will be decent, but he cannot take on Markov’s spot on this squad.
beaulieu will be a very good defenceman his skating is elite he could very well replace markov…and we’ll have a little more capspace due to the emelin’s injury he’ll be placed on ltir so we’ll have money to do stuff
Who plays goal for Canada next year? Normally I’d have said Price but he’s been awful and appears to be a choker. Go with Lu again? Another choker. Maybe a younger guy like Holtby? He’s been solid lately and if he can keep it up will probably get a look. Homer pick but if Reimer keeps it up he maybe could compete for the third string spot.
Very envious of USAs goalie situation. They have 3 goalies that are all better than any Canadian in Quick, Anderson and Miller.
Goalies are sort of unpredictable. It really depends who’s playing well next year, this year doesn’t have much to do with it. Mike Smith is a good example, after last year everyone thought that he would be on team Canada in 2014, but he’s not even being mentioned now. So yeah, I have no idea who will be their goalies next year.
Yeah countries like USA and Finland are set for goal. USA wasn’t really known for having quality goaltenders for a while, that has sure changed.
omg game 7
The Leafs played a more technically sound game than even Game 5. They were fantastic.
How many times did you see them pick of Bruins passes? They were reading the play so well. I noticed it from Franson in particular.
Good on Dion for getting the goal. He played well tonight.
Exactly! Always in the right position all night long. And you’re right about Dion. Great to see him bounce back strong.
Like I said in earlier posts, a great “Dion” performance can make you forget that game…Tommorow is the deciding factor. A great game from your captain makes him look holy in Toronto…Poor game makes Leaf fans question his play this entire series.
Unbelievable you sit here after such a win and wait with great anticipation to pounce on Dion hoping for failure to justify your previous comments.
You hate him, we get it. Now no one cares.
I don’t need to justify my comments because the evidence is on the ice D-Bag.
I said good game, read between the lines, I just said he needs to have the same performance tommorow. one good game is not an excuse to disappear…Well, unless you don’t like winning? Which I’m not sure of.
Nobody is forgetting his inconsistent play, but he played quite well tonight. If nothing else it shows good character. I am no Phaneuf fan, and I realize that this kind of game has to be the rule rather than the exception if he has a future with the team, but criticisms of his play are more legitimate if you can acknowledge when the guy plays well.
Leafy, I did say Bruins in 7..If you remember haha
So obviously the leafs are gonna win 😉
Haha kidding, but seriously, please be wrong dude.
A lot of talk how one of the biggest needs now is to find a partner for Gardiner, I think Franson is that guy. They play extremely well together and are both young players who have a lot more growing to do.
I have suggested Franson as well as I think it would work, but I would rather have Franson on a different pairing with a very solid veteran. Gardiner is the better choice to find a partner for especially if you look at the cap situation.IMO
A partner for Phaneuf is most likely a $4-$5mil D-man, so would probably a partner for Gardiner…not really possible to do both without completely re-doing the whole D. Both have contracts do in a year as well and both will want raises. Phaneuf may take $6mil a year…if you give him an 8 year contract.(I think that’s the max now). I’m not in favour of that.
If Dion is truely a top 20 defenceman in the league, as some of you think, then he should be highly sought after and a good return can be had. This is why I am more in favour of moving Phaneuf.
Cap-With Phaneuf and finding him a partner.
Dion (6.5) Partner (4mil minimum)
Gardiner (1.1) Franson (3.25) re-sign
Gunnar (2.25) re-sign Fraser (1.1) re-sign
O’Byrne not re-signed…no money or room left
Total = $22.075 (not bad)
next year add $500,000 Dion and $2.5 Gardiner (PK type contract). Cap hit up to $25.075. Liles could be bought-out and Holzer or Reilly brought up cheaper. But…who do we trade in order to get a partner for Dion?
Go with Gardiner(Reilly future) option.
Just some trade ideas for an example.
Trade Dion to Buffalo for Myers and Foligno. According to the list Nords made, Myers is not as good as Dion but has potential, so this is a fair trade.
Cap hit with no Dion or Dion partner.
Gardiner(1.1) Myers (5.5)
Gunnar(2.25) Franson (3.25)
Liles (3.875) O’Byrne re-sign 2 years(2)
Total = $19.050. Gardiner the only one left to re-sign next year and lots of cap room left. Reilly groomed to play with Franson and Gunnar to go to 3rd line shut-down with O’Byrne. Liles could be moved or bought-out at end of next season to make room for Reilly if ready. Plus we pick up a good young power forward for the top 9.
Phaneuf, Liles, D’Amigo to Vancouver for Bieksa, Ballard, Kassian. Bieksa is apparently rated much lower than Phaneuf and Liles and Ballard are salary trade-offs, so Vancouver shuld be all over this. But we get a big, young top 9 power forward again in this deal.
Gardiner(1.1) Bieksa (4.6)
Ballard (4.2) Franson (3.25)
Gunnar (2.25) O’Byrne (2)
Total=$18.5. Ballard only has 2 years left on his deal making it easy to buy-out and make room for Reilly or someone else.
Phaneuf partner mimimun $22.075
Myers option $19.050 = $3.025 mil less
Bieksa option $18.5 = $4.025 mil less
With Dion and a “suitable” partner…where is the money left for a top quality centre? Dion already has the 8th highest cap hit amonst D-men. If he gets $7mil, he will be tied for 4th with Doughty and according to Nords list, Doughty is clearily a better D-man, why are we giving Dion $7mil + AND another $4mil + to find him a partner that we will probably have to give up assets to acquire?
Doughty $7mil-next d-man $3.5
Suter $7.5 next $4, then no one over $1.375
Weber $7.85 next $2
Chara $6.9 next $3.36
etc etc etc
Leafs plan – Phaneuf $7+, Liles $3.875, Gardiner $3.5+, Franson $3.25. Really???? This is the plan?
With what Phaneuf makes, and how he is ranked by those who think he is a top 20 D-man, he should be able to play with a guy making $2-$3mil and be effective as a top pairing. The stupid thing to do would be to give up assets to acquire Phaneuf a partner and then pay the guy $4+mil.
It’s not that Dion is a bad D-man, he’s good, I have liked his game at times. But a real top 20 defencman does not need a top 30 defenceman to play with to be effective.
On the Gardiner partner topic, i wonder if Colorado is willing to move Eric Johnson now that they’re going to draft Jones. Former 1st overall pick who’s a big body and strong defensively. I’d like Toronto to take a shot at him if he ever becomes available. Could be a perfect partner for Gardiner, or even Phaneuf.
Colorado maybe thinking that Jones and Johnson would make a pretty good duo or 1-2 pairings to go with. Add Barrie to the mix and the D looks good in the future. Not sure they would want to move Johnson. If he was avaiable, cap hit would be ok and he would be an interesting partner for either Dion or Gardiner.
I remember I debated this with Nords a few months ago…About the Leafs depth/prospects from the Marlies. He believed Toronto had no depth…While I argued that Toronto had good depth in case of injuries.
Dallas Eakins has done a heck of a job. Unsung hero.
Even with the Leafs taking 1/2 of the Marlies roster…The baby Leafs have played well enough to finish second and now in the 2nd round of the playoffs.
The best players have been Leafs prospects Jerry D’Amigo, Greg Mckegg, Jesse Blacker, etc. Guys that will probably filter into the mix in the next few years because of Eakins work.
Teams that win play to their strengths, and Toronto could be in a fairly unique position with the re-emergence of Jake Gardiner, and the up and coming Morgan Rielly. If both of those develop into playing a Letang/Karlsson style (perhaps not as good, but with two of them they would have less ice time) could mean that Toronto could have an elite puck movers on two pairings, and perhaps playing 45-50 minutes a night. They would need to be complimented by positionally sound, bigger, defensive guys, but having those two elite skaters who can take chances offensively and still recover could give the Leafs quite a serious advantage, and an advantage not many teams have.
This team is already full of fast skaters, but if they have elite skaters who can also move the puck in a hurry to other elite skaters like Kadri and Kessel, they are going to be extremely difficult to contain offensively.
They obviously still need that big center, or at least a Kesler/Bergeron-esque 2nd line center, but they could have a fairly unique advantage in regards to pushing the attack from the blue line.
Obviously, many fans want David Clarkson…I like the guy too, but how overhyped has he become?
This guy will make bank at UFA, I believe 5+ million, for a guy that’s only had 2 offensively good seasons. Also, many NJD forwards have gone from stars in NJ to complete duds elsewhere.
Bergfors, Gomez, Gionta (not bad, but not great), etc. to name a few.
my tops on Clarkson is about $4mil per, 3-4 years max. It’s fair.
Oh, I agree. But don’t you think some team will throw 5+ at him??? I do. I don’t know why, but someone will.
Someone probably will throw around $5mil. Nonis will have to sell the “play for your hometeam” and the “young team looking to challenge for a cup” stuff to do his best to convince him to come here at around $4mil.
I’ve never really been a fan of Clarkson, he must have one of the lowest hockey IQ’s in the league. He only really scores from getting rebounds on the top powerplay line and he wouldn’t be getting top powerplay minutes in Toronto. I like that he’s from Toronto, but i wouldn’t want him any higher than playing 3rd line and he’ll be wanting much more than 3rd line money.
JM Liles infuriates me. He has so much skill, and can probably carry the puck when he needs to and chip it into the B’s zone…But he seems to always wants to pass it right away and has caused many turnovers because of it.
I wonder if this is what Carlyle preaches to D-Men..But Liles has the skill to play like Gardiner. I want him to watch his tapes.
He is playing the way Wilson taught him to – get it out as fast as possible, don’t think, just get it out.
I agree and I hate.
This guy can probably skate out with ease and recover if he makes a mistake.
Can we remove the threads that don’t work anymore? Or put the good threads in an archive somewhere? If these comments are gone forever, we may as well delete the topic, esp since it’s pinned to the top.
Also, is there something we do that breaks the thread? Is it a specific user with a username that messes it up? Is the the traffic being generated? A certain amount of replies? I see a lot of FB updates, but I don’t see anything updated this site.
Holy shit. Sorry to brag boys but –
Chicago – right
Detroit – right
Kings – right
Sharks – right
Penguins – right
Senators – right
Leafs and Rangers tonight makes me a clean 8 for 8.
And Capitals/Bruins make me 8 for 8? lol. Point?
LN91, I actually don’t have your predictions on file. You must have done them on the first thread right before it crashed.
-Blackhawks over Minnesota in 5
-Sharks over Canucks in 6
-Kings over Blues in 7
-Redwings over Ducks in 6
-Bruins over Leafs in 7
-Senators over Montreal in 7
-Capitals over Rangers in 7 (I noted the fact they’ve played each other many times the last few seasons…And have ALWAYS gone to 7
-Penguins over Islanders in 5
Not so fast, buddy! You said Hawks in 7, Wings in 6, Sharks in 7, Kings in 5, and leafs in 6…
lol. But outside of games played, that’s impressive.
Your turn with the Bruins!
Is there anything left from that squad? Toronto might not have won…But they wore the hell out of them. Seidenberg, Ference, and Redden all beaten up.
Unlike rookie Gardiner, Hamilton did not look like he belonged.
That play by McClement last game in his own corner, starts to skate up the boards, stops, cuts back towards the corner, stops, cuts back up the boards again and makes an outlet pass…. that was a thing of beauty.
The way things are going you have to like the Leafs chances. Overall, over the past 3 games Toronto has been the better team. If we can continue to keep Jagr at bay, and play tight on Krejci, we’ll be fine. Those are really the only two legitimately dangerous players who consistently create offence for boston.
Tonight is Bergeron vs. Grabovski.
Both players are a bit snake bittern, whoever puts up points will probably win the series.
Wow, I called this one ^^^
Thanks Nonis, just give away Steckel while we get raped all through game 7 on draws.
Kind of hard to win a game when you’re changing lines every time you get the puck out of your own zone. Wasn’t thrilled with Bozak this series but with so many defensive starts this team isn’t holding onto a lead. Bozak would be money better spent than on Riberio or Briere this off season.
Was Bozak the real reason why they lost though? They had a 4-1 lead without him.
Even in the games he played in…It was still a struggle the last 2 minutes of the game.
Face-offs were the reason they couldn’t hold onto the lead. I’ll grant you this, Ryan O’Rielly would have help in this series.
If Nonis can find a center in the off season somehow this team could be scary good.
Well, you would have to hope Kadri develops in time. It was a great learning experience for him as well…He needs to be better.
Colborne did well though, could not complain about his play.
Why hello there Captain Morgan, we’re making sweet love tonight.
Neat scotch, no ice till October…
Well, that’s how the cookie crumbles.
Heartbreaking? Yes. End of the world? No. You saw the difference between the Bruins and still a ‘rebuilding’ squad. Great learning experience and hopefully they use that rage to be better next season.
Although one thing is for certain, this team needs to do better holding a lead. Too many times teams came back or put Toronto under duress in the last minute…That won’t win you a cup.
Really proud of the Leafs. Taking one of the NHL’s best teams to the brink of elimination. An unimaginable feat at the start of the season. Fantastic job.
Chalk up tonight’s lesson to a necessary lesson learned. Better days lie ahead.
I know people will complain.
But I just look throughout the lineup, and everyone matched the Bruins every way possible. Even Kessel, who had a fantastic series….Very stunned, good for him!!!
In saying that, the one weakness was this…Chara/Seidenberg completely outplayed and outclassed Phaneuf/Gunnarsson. Which does suck, a repeat of Game 6 would have probaly won the Leafs the series…But ‘would’ve’, ‘could’ve’, and ‘should’ve’ I guess.
Hopefully they learn as well, if not…Then their are concerns.
Yeah we need some upgrades for sure.
But on this night, I’d rather just sit back and reflect on how far this team has come in 1 year. It was only one season ago when we got blown out by the Bruins in 6 regular seasons games. I think everyone needs to let that sink in.
Very proud with the way Toronto played this year.
Losing helps you learn how to win.
Same thing happened to Stevie Y early in his career, like in 1993 to Toronto, 95 being swept and 96 loss to Colorado.
Same thing happened to Boston 3 years ago. Up 3-0 in the series, they blew that. Up 3-0 in game 7, at home, they blew that and lost. the next year they won it all.
Toronto too had the same. The 18 wheeler fell off and they bounced back this year and didn’t let it happen. This is another lesson for Toronto.
Its now about what they do going forward. The preparation i am sure will start right away. Figuring out who stays, who goes, what’s needed and so forth.
But their top guys had great years, Kessel, Dion, Reimer. Lupul too was great when he did play. And they’re all young enough to be even better. JVR, Kadri, Gardiner will be awesome going forward. Then the surprises like Franson, the impact from McClement and the minor leaguers like Fraser who stepped in nicely. Its a solid solid nucleus.
They have kids coming, like Reilly and Biggs plus hopefully Frattin, Colborne use this experience as something that will make them better players. They have their 1st too which will add another excellent prospect.
Now its about filling the holes and finding the needs. Being even harder to play against. Being more consistent, being able to continue to withstand the rigors of a hard season plus playoffs. Having that character.
The team, with its nucleus bounced back from last year’s disaster. They’ll have to step it up again to bounce back next year.
Its a tough loss, a bad way to lose, but let that give them strength to move forward.
Better D. At the end of the day, that is what they need more than anything. Dion may have been good if you go super easy on him, but is there any time when late in a game you go ‘GET PHANEUF OUT THERE!’ I know Phaneuf causes me more anxiety than anything. Bigger, faster, dumber Bryan McCabe who cannot hit the net. Certainly not someone you build around.
Granted, D-men like that are hard to find, but winning teams typically have them.
As much as I want someone to blame, that loss can be attributed to being young more than anything. Still can’t believe it though.
so…the leafs draft 17th now?
centremen for next year should be:
We should let Bozak walk.
Good face/off guy and decent penalty killer but 5 on 5 he does not have the same grind and fight that Kadri and Grabo have. McClement can take over Bozak’s PK duties.
Bozak cannot be re-signed as no.1 centremen.
Totally agreed. But I have to admit, I like Bozak on breakaways.
Well that kind of sucked.
At least we scared the crap out of these bastards. I’ll bet the Bruins thought they’d crush the Leafs in 4 or 5 games.
Not even that.
The entire Bruins squad got beaten up bad…Now they have an even tougher series against NYR.
The entire squad is a bang-em-around squad. Would the Bruins really want to play guys like Callahan and Nash now with guys like Ference and now Seidenberg on the mend?
Advantage Rangers for sure.
My nerves and frustration levels would have preferred if they had just lost regularly. That really sucked. Good season overall. Hopefully they can bounce back next year.
To those depressed by the Leafs’ defeat tonight, consider that nobody is getting by the Penguins in the East. No use wasting a playoff run with the Penguins all stacked. Pittsburgh will play in the Stanley Cup final this June and you can take that to the bank.
I had accepted a series loss after game 4. They just fucking had to look like they had stolen it back, and then fucking blow it. I try to be rational, but I fucking hate this team right now.
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