Kadri off to a good start.

 The way Nazem Kadri performed at camp and played in the Leafs’ opener in Montreal, it looks like he’s here to stay.

That’s great for the young man and for anxious Leafs fans who have been waiting for the 2009 seventh overall pick to blossom into an everyday NHL player.

But there seems to be this school of thought that it was big, bad Ron Wilson to blame for Kadri’s slower than expected progression as a big-league player and for his frequent demotions to the Marlies the past couple of seasons. Which is a lot of hooey. Yes, the former Leafs coach threw the London, Ont., native under the bus with his public criticisms of Kadri’s decision-making with the puck and defensive play (or lack thereof). But the reason why Kadri has taken a step in the right direction this season has more to do with his maturity as a player, and not because new coach Randy Carlyle is his new best buddy.

28 Responses to Kadri off to a good start.

  1. doorman says:

    The biggest thing now is for everyone to not get disappointed if he has an off game or two. he is essentially still a rookie and needs to grow, there will be a learning curve. I wish him well qand if he plays hard good things will happen.

    • nordiques100 says:

      The biggest thing is for the coach to make sure he doesn’t throw him under the bus.

      That was the biggest problem with him and Wilson. He had a 3 point game and the first thing Wilson says was his defensive game was shit. The kid is still a kid. It hurt his confidence. The kid needs to play with some swagger with the puck. He will give it away some times. He has to learn not to be too careless. But at the same time, he can’t panic after 1 mistake and have the coach call him out in the media/dressing room in front of everyone.

      If Carlyle can push the right buttons with him, well then he may turn into something yet.

  2. toronto77 says:

    Kadri was pretty good tonight and played well defensively.

    JVR thus far has been unimpressive

    Kulemin may never ever reach his 30 goal performance and may be a one season wonder.

    After watching tonights game, NOTHING has changed from last season. We still do not go hard to the net, the leafs weren’t successful at screening any goaltenders last season.

    Why was Phaneuf the third star? he wasn’t all that great. Kostka is a horse and he got an assist on Kadri’s goal. One of those two should have gotten the third star, not Phaneuf.

    Komarov has quietly been one of our better players. Great 3rd line player.

    Gardiner will be a huge addition.

    We still need to be meaner and tougher, we added a little toughness with Komarov, Kadri may not be tough but plays hard for a small guy. JVR is big but not mean or tough, he’s almost like an american Kulemin.

    • LN91 says:

      I thought JVR was very good tonight, he is not getting on the score sheet…But he is a big body with tons of skill. He was one of the few Leafs that crashed the net.

      Kulemin was alright…But to me, Grabo and MacArthur have been extremely poor this season.

      If I was Carlyle, more ice time should be given to Komarov-Kadri-vanRiemsdyk.

  3. Gambo says:

    From my point of view it looked like the Leafs completely outplayed them. The only reason the Leafs lost was because of Ryan Miller and there is no arguing that.

    I disagree with you because it was clear to me that they actually did go hard to the net quite a lot.

    Phaneuf played great, he had 6 shots, played over 28 mins, stopped 2 different 3 on 1s. It’s not all about points.

    Kostka, Komarov and Kadri have been really impressive and they should all have permanent spots on the lineup.

    I absolutely love our 4th line, constantly bringing energy and huge points to Orr for going after Scott on his first fight back in the NHL and winning.

    The Leafs had 35 shots and also had a lot of missed shots or shots that were blocked(18 blocked shots I believe). So there is no question at all that they would have won had Miller not stood on his head.

    The 2nd line hasn’t proven anything at all yet, Grabovski certainly isn’t living up to his 6m he’s earning this year.

    I’m not sure why you’re so quick to call the team out and cry for tanking, it makes no sense.

    • LN91 says:

      Grabo and MacArthur have been very poor….No excuses.

    • toronto77 says:

      First off, we do not have the goaltending to compete with the rest of the goaltenders in the east.

      The problem with the leafs the last couple of seasons is that they cannot find a way to beat hot goaltenders. Its good to get lots of shots on net because eventually they will start going in, but at some point you have to get more creative with that.

      Yes there were times when we went hard to the net but on most of the point shots Miller say everything! we have to make his and other hot goaltenders lives difficult and we do not have the payers to do that.

      As for the tanking, how many top prospects would you say we drafted since we started rebuilding? only Schenn(who didn’t pan out), Kadri and Rielly, and to a lesser extent Biggs and Percy.

      Look at all the other teams that have struggled to make the playoffs since the last lockout and the top prospects they now have.

      Tampa – Stamkos, Hedman, Connolly, Ashton(who hasn’t panned out)
      Florida – Huberdeau, Gudbranson, Bjugstad, Howden, Kulikov, Markstrom
      NYI – Reinhart, Strome, Neiderreiter, Tavares, de Haan, Bailey, Okposo
      Edmonton – Yakupov, RNH, klefbom, Hall, MPS, Eberle, Gagner, Omark
      Columbus – Murray, Jenner, Johansen, Moore(not that great), Filatov(didn’t pan out), Atkinson,

      the list goes on and on…..even Boston has Seguin, Hamilton, Subban, Camara, Knight, Spooner, Lucic, Marchand, and were even able to grab Kessel.

      What prospects do the leafs have to show for their losing ways?

      Kadri top 6 25-30 goal scorer(not bad)
      Rielly top 2 pairing offensive d-man(pretty good)
      Schenn turned into JVR(former 2nd overall in ’07) should be a top 6 power forward
      Biggs 2nd-3rd line power forward
      Percy top 4 pairing d-man
      Finn may have been a 2nd round steal, but a top 4 pairing d-man

      In comparing ourselves to the above teams, we need more star power. This years draft is full of potential no.1 centremen and that is our biggest weakness. Thus the reason for tanking.

      • Gambo says:

        So what, tank, lose Kessel and Phaneuf to free agency, wait another 5+ years to make the playoffs?

      • Steven_Leafs0 says:

        biggest difference between those teams you mentioned and Toronto is that their players are all proven talents. The Leafs’ guys still need to develop and make the NHL.

        Also tanking is just plain stupid right now. Unless the Leafs end up pulling an Edmonton and getting 3 straight overall picks it is not worth losing Kessel (former 5th overall pick and possibly a better player than most top 3 overall picks in the upcoming years), Kulemin & Phaneuf to FA.

        We should develop the kids, play to win now without making JFJ-like deals and accept whatever position we get. Don’t deter star FAs like Getzlaf or Perry (for example) from considering Toronto.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      I’m with Gambo, I can’t remember the last time the Leafs looked that good in a losing effort. Phaneuf looked great, he even made a few cute passes (a third give and go with Kessel on the 5 on 3 and a drop pass to Liles in the second) that didn’t work out because he caught others off guard. It’s nice to see Phaneuf adding a dimension to his game, others will have to adjust.

      The Leafs took over the last two minutes of the game, I never saw that under Wilson. Lupul went to the next all night.

      JVR isn’t a dominant power forward, I don’t understand why people expect him to be the second coming of John Leclaire. He’s more of a Kulemin with upside.

      Judging by Scrivens performance, he just might be ok under Caryle. Bozak – Kessel – Scrivens are looking a lot better than Luongo. Goaltending hasn’t been our problem this season.

      It’s nice to see Orr and Brown have roles that matter, I’m just starting to realize how much I should have hated Wilson.

      Perhaps we should hold off on the tanking until we’re about 15-20 games in.

      • nordiques100 says:

        Wilson was completely brutal.

        The 2nd line of grabovski, macarthur and kulemin have to find some consistency. they were solid in the 1st night, but not good last night. never seen kulemin knocked off the puck like that before. by Vanek of all players.

        they’ll be the big key to the season b/c i think everyone else has a role to fill, or seems to be doing what is expected based on their roles/minutes played. Yes JVR could step it up a little, but i bet he is more hurt that we are led to believe. He could be big and injury prone like Lindros.

        that 2nd line not only needs to score, but be defensively responsible as i think Carlyle is using them as the matchup against the opponents best. if they are doing neither, that’s not going to be good for the Leafs.

        I am looking forward to seeing gardiner back this week. They miss him and the confidence he gives off back there.

  4. doorman says:

    I am not sure we lose either actually. Just a hunch but I think Dion is in love with being “the man”. Kessel has has success here and I am not sure is going anywhere. We do absolutely need a franchise player. unfortunatly they are most often drafted in the top 5.

  5. nordiques100 says:

    i have to say, while it’s early, there is one team that looks done to me and that’s the Flames.

    They are BRUTAL.

    They need to start over. Sure, they are missing a couple players but this does not look like a playoff team or even an NHL team.

    even if they somehow get hot and get a playoff spot, for them, its not worth it. They need to be stripped down and re-done.

    I think Calgary would be an excellent place for Brian Burke to get redemption. I think he’d learn from what he didn’t do in Toronto and build up this Flames team properly.

    If any team needs to tank, its the Flames. I would love to see a stud like McKinnon or Jones there. And maybe another one in the 2014 draft. it would rekindle the Flames/Oilers rivalry.

    • JoelLeafs says:

      They can get serious returns for Kipper and Iggy. Package them with a few other older guys and pick up a few first and prospects. Without Kipper I’m pretty sure they’re bottom three in the league. I think they have an opportunity to tank fast and recover fast… if they can find a replacement for Kipper. Maybe get a tender prospect back in a trade.

      Although I might just be saying that because I have Kipper in my Fantasy league and want him to go to a better team.

      But seriously, if they get rid of say Kipper, Iggy, Cammalleri, and maybe Glencross if someone will take him they would have something like 3 players signed past next year. Ideal positioning to tear it apart and start a youth movement. It’ll suck to have to be Edmonton for the next 2-4 years, but they payoff would be worth it. Plus, how many good years does Kipper realistically have in him? He sticks around and they are not going to get a top 5 pick… then they lose him for nothing and are stuck with a brutal team that they can’t build off of. Gotta be hard as a flames fan to say get rid of Kipper and Iggy, but it looks like probably the best option at this point. I can see no way of them becoming a cup contender before Miikka is too old.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      Everytime I look at Calgary I just think JFJ, Burke is better off not to repeat trying to clean up that mess.

      If Calgary was to have a fire sale, who do you even want? Kipper and Iggy are a bit old to land great pieces in return and the lineup as so many tweeker talents that they’ll win enough games to keep out of the basement of the standings. Glad that roster isn’t ours.

      • nordiques100 says:

        yes, there are a lot of people not happy with the Leaf roster and yes it has some significant holes, but i would never trade it for what Calgary has right now. I wouldn’t trade half of what Toronto has for half of Calgary, even if it included Sven Baertchi.

        The Flames are dreadful. The Flames are going nowhere.

  6. Gambo says:

    If they decide to trade both of them I can see Vancouver going hard for Iginla and Chicago going hard for kipper. With those additions both of them have a really good chance of making the finals.

  7. LN91 says:

    In support of Toronto77, I would not be surprised if Nonis takes this team apart if he is near the bottom of the standings at the deadline. Three years and zero progress is not smart to keep an entire team intact.

    I think some players are safe…Kessel, Lupul.

    But I would not be surprised if players like MacArthur, Grabovski, Kulemin, Bozak, Liles, and Phaneuf are up for sale at the deadline.

    As much as many say Nonis will keep this on track…It’s important to realize that it’s his team now and also his vision. If he wants to make some changes…And possibly start the way he wants to, he might do it. Should not surprise anybody.

    I predict Toronto will be bottom-5 at the deadline…And a fire sale might begin. But I doubt Lupul goes, Nonis just signed that deal…And I doubt Kessel goes, he’s really becoming a complete player and a threat every time he comes onto the ice.

    Adding another star player…Like a Mackinnon or Monahan, should make this a promising squad in two-years time.

    I.e. (top-two lines)

    Lupul-(top-pick)- Kessel
    (top-six)- Kadri- VanRiemsdyk

    • LN91 says:

      Also, I know some of you guys are harping on vanRiemsyk for not hitting the score sheet but I thought he was very sound defensively yesterday and the guy does have mad skill. He played well last night, tons of opportunities and the Kadri line was probably the best last night.

      • nordiques100 says:

        I think JVR’s foot is hurting. I think he has looked a bit slow and didnt have that huge burst of speed I have been expecting. He had a chance to last night but was easily subdued by Sulzer.

        i think he’ll come around. He has been promoted to join Grabo and Kulemin in practice today.

        He too has the biggest adjustment since he is the newest forward and without a role. At least McClement knows what his role is and has had no trouble fitting in. same with Komarov who at least tasted some AHL action. bottom 6 guys. JVR? short camp, new team, its tough. or been tough for him.

        • LN91 says:

          I don’t think he’s hurting that much. He showed some great burst of speed last night…Still an adjustment period but I think he is better with a more creative guy like Kadri.

    • nordiques100 says:

      my thinking is I think the Leafs will be much more competitive if there is a Brad Richards, Ilya Kovalchuk kind of free agent out there in the summer.

      I’d really like to see what they can do then and see if my hunch is correct.

      I think they will try much harder to woo, pay and lure those players here to play in Toronto.

      Burke’s only avenue was trade. He didn’t even consider Kovalchuk and sent Cliff Fletcher to see Richards.

      He painted himself in a corner with his own ideals, not doing whatever it took to make the leafs better.

      yes, i know the excuses, Richards wouldnt come here anyways, but the effort, was pitiful on Burke’s part.

      I want to see if Bell/Rogers will throw their financial weight around.

        • nordiques100 says:

          you think there is a remote chance i could be right on this one?

          when Burke got fired, one of the things being said was that the owners didnt like how he did business (i.e no offer sheets, wouldn’t bury contracts, buyout the wrong players, no backdiving contracts, etc.).

          i just think Bell/Rogers doesn’t want to seem weak and pathetic. Burke’s ways made the leafs weak and pathetic. I think they want to make a stand and show they’re serious, that they are players, that they aren’t going to mess around. Just like how Rogers has shown with the Jays.

          just not sure Nonis is the guy who has the ca-hones to get it done.

          • leafs_wallace93 says:

            You look at why trade rumors get leaked, it’s to gauge the reaction of the fanbase. When Burke got fired, the outrage wasn’t ‘OMG Burke is gone’ it was ‘these idiots are going to sell the future again’.

            The FAN/Rodgers was reporting deals in place for Luongo as ‘matters of fact’ and yet nothing happened. If Rogers/Bell can be media savvy then they should be able to service to what Leaf Nation actually wants. Who doesn’t want a UFA splash.

            And we’re not getting that player in the draft. I expect the Leafs to finish between 7th and 10th place.

            • nordiques100 says:

              Yes the Leaf’s don’t seem destined to pick top 3. Their last top 3 pick that was selected by Toronto was Scott Thornton. wow.

              • LN91 says:

                I don’t know about that…I see Toronto picking between 1-5.

                Tough division (Buffalo, Boston, Ottawa) and a tough conference. Also, Motreal has Carey Price…He will steal them a few games.

  8. doorman says:

    While I have no issues with Burkes firing, except the timing. I am not going to totally bash him as I truly believe we are in better shape then before he was here. Our lack of a competent coach was my biggest problem with Burke. Offer sheets don’t usually work and I guess we will have to wait and see how some of these deals end up with the new CBA clause. I do believe they could/should have done more and should have sold some assets, this I believe will change. Like i would love to know the deal Nonis wanted to pull the trigger on at the draft, but Burke wouldn’t?

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