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 Good Morning, Leafs Playoff Team . . .

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
slozo Posted - 04/22/2013 : 04:50:36
. . . how are YOU today?

This is a thread to discuss Toronto's newfound and totally unfamiliar position in the playoffs. Preferred seedings, best match-ups, thoughts on how we got here.

Basically . . . is this an actual contending team that could go deep in the playoffs, or is this going to be a team just happy to have made it in finally?

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
19   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
The_Gipper Posted - 04/27/2013 : 07:58:41
you're 100% right Beans.
i just get a bit frustrated when the Kessel bashing starts despite the fact that he's had a great season. comments like "this trade didn't help them make the playoffs" are ridiculous.
and i'm with you on the Burke thing as well. he deserves a lot more credit for this team then most are willing to give him.
mandree888 Posted - 04/27/2013 : 06:21:32
HERE HERE Beans i agree this is burkes team with a nonis alteration (Mclaren, O'Byrne)

burke deserves his credit! and i for one believe they would be right here they are in the standings if burke hadn't been fired!
Beans15 Posted - 04/26/2013 : 14:09:24
I would prefer to not see this very deserving thread for Leaf Fans turn into another Kessel trade bashing forum.

Secondly, I still hold Burke more responsible for this team than many Leaf fans are giving him credit for. Sure, there were a number of puzzle pieces that were put into the correct place. But there are few, if any, players in this group that Burke didn't put in place.

If you give Burke the beating for all the moves he SHOULD have done you must also give him the props for all the moves that he did do. Kessel, Lupul, Kadri, Gunnarson, Phaneuf, Van Reimsdyk, et al. All of them are Brian's Children.
The_Gipper Posted - 04/26/2013 : 05:31:06
quote:
Originally posted by Guest9285

Would this be the great kessels first ever playoff game. Seems to me if he was that good it wouldn't have taken four years to lead the leafs to the promised land. Could be quite ironic if Seguin and Hamilton beat them out in the first round.

P.S. Dont mean to ruin the fact the leafs made the playoffs but this trade didn't help them do it.



no this trade didn't help at all......not a chance. the fact that Kessel currently sits 6th in the scoring race, made no difference what so ever. Kessel was no help AT ALL in helping this team make the playoffs. you're absolutely spot on with that comment!
mandree888 Posted - 04/24/2013 : 10:44:25
hhhm interesting fact if the leafs win the next three games we have a chance at home ice advantage.
Alex116 Posted - 04/24/2013 : 10:39:51
Slozo....thank you for that response to a post that had me seriously confused. You obviously know much more about the Leafs than i do and you clarifed things nicely. Gunnarsson and gritty in the same sentence had me confused big time. Then the bit about Burke? I was pretty sure Anaheim was employing him now and you confirmed that too!

Anyway, that was a really strange post 4292. I have no problem with your opinion that Burke had a hand in what this team has accomplished as far as some of the aquisitions when he was working for the Leafs, but to say "And even though he is not the GM, don't think he is not still invoved with the teams operations." makes me shake my head. It's exactly what i'm thinking!!! Anyway, perhaps you thought he was still employed by the Leafs?
slozo Posted - 04/24/2013 : 09:13:37
quote:
Originally posted by Guest4292

Everyone seems to forget that Burke made this team what it is today. And even though he is not the GM, don't think he is not still invoved with the teams operations. Burke was just given a new title and was taken out of the limelight.

The Leafs making it to the playoffs was a team effort. Kadri's success this year was because he had something to proove. I guess keeping him in the minors was a good idea. wtg Kadri.

We cant forget Gunnerson and Orr. These players have been the gritt of Toronto this year.

Reimer has been the number one reason why we made it this year and no i don't think Burke would have traded for another goalie. Burke believes in rewarding players for the teams success.

I hope to see Montreal and Toronto in the first round of the playoffs. A win against Montreal will give the team the confidence it needs to carry them beyond the next round.



Burke has had 100% nothing to do with hockey operations since his firing, there was even a special clause in his firing that ensured he could have no say or part in hockey operations, only in an advisory role (the fake position they gave him to make his paycheque flow have some meaning). And now he is with Anaheim, has zero to do as an advisor or for hockey ops.

And all of that was made apparent with many of the "non-Burke" moves Nonis / Carlyle were able to do, especially burying the contracts in the minors.

Kadri might have still been in the minors if Connolly and Lombardi hadn't been traded.

Gunnarsson brings no grit, what the heck are you talking about?
And Orr fights, and plays less than 5 minutes a game . . . I don't consider that grit, just fighting, but that's my opinion.

Reimer is a very big reason, yes; but you have no idea what Burke would have done with the Luongo offer, and supposedly there was a Bernier deal on the table too. Burke DID love to make trades.

Burke believed in rewarding players for team success? Not even sure what you mean by that, or if you could even give an example of that. But suffice it to say . . . players are almost always judged by their own performance, no one else's.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
Guest4292 Posted - 04/24/2013 : 06:04:17
Everyone seems to forget that Burke made this team what it is today. And even though he is not the GM, don't think he is not still invoved with the teams operations. Burke was just given a new title and was taken out of the limelight.

The Leafs making it to the playoffs was a team effort. Kadri's success this year was because he had something to proove. I guess keeping him in the minors was a good idea. wtg Kadri.

We cant forget Gunnerson and Orr. These players have been the gritt of Toronto this year.

Reimer has been the number one reason why we made it this year and no i don't think Burke would have traded for another goalie. Burke believes in rewarding players for the teams success.

I hope to see Montreal and Toronto in the first round of the playoffs. A win against Montreal will give the team the confidence it needs to carry them beyond the next round.
The Duke Posted - 04/23/2013 : 16:05:23
You wanna know something guest 9285..........your post just backed up and solidified EVERY comment i made about Phil kessel......now thats very funny....thank - you
The_Gipper Posted - 04/23/2013 : 08:46:45
this year more then any Leafs team I've seen since perhaps the early 2000's, they have shown that they are willing to battle. for the most part, every night they have played hard and have played consistent. only on a few occasions have we felt the need to heave our foot through the TV because of their horrific play. this season, the Leafs have given us reason to be fans again. every game they come to work hard and to compete.

aside from the play of Kadri and Reimer, the two players that have made a HUGE impact this year are McClemment and Fraser. plain and simple, these guys are beasts. their excellent defensive play are a massive reason why our PK is ranked 3rd overall this year.

this team has proven to every team in the conference this year that they are able to compete against the best. we have a 1-1-1 record against the Pens, a 1-2-1 record against Boston, and a 3-1 record against Montreal. with the exception of one game against Montreal, all regulation losses were very close games.

i would love to see a 1st round match-up with the Habs. i think both teams match up fairly evenly, and it'd be an exciting series that'd probably go 7 games. it would be good for the NHL, and it would renew a playoff rivalry that hasn't been seen in a very long time. and assuming we finish in 5th place, i think they give us the best chance to win a round.

no matter what the result, making the playoffs is a big step in this teams development. they just have to keep moving forward, and it's going to be an interesting summer to see what Nonis does to keep moving his team in that direction.
Guest0873 Posted - 04/23/2013 : 07:29:17
No shoot outs In playoffs we will be fine
slozo Posted - 04/23/2013 : 04:28:48
quote:
Originally posted by Guest9285

Would this be the great kessels first ever playoff game. Seems to me if he was that good it wouldn't have taken four years to lead the leafs to the promised land. Could be quite ironic if Seguin and Hamilton beat them out in the first round.

P.S. Dont mean to ruin the fact the leafs made the playoffs but this trade didn't help them do it.



Kessel's playoff stats - all with the Bruins so far:
15games played, 9 goals 6 assists, 15 points

Seems to me bud that you're a twit for not being able to look that up before posting. Not that making the playoffs should be hung on one player anyways, no matter how good they are.

And for a better definition of irony . . . I'll take Toronto beating Boston in the 2nd round THAT would be ironic.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
Guest9285 Posted - 04/22/2013 : 17:03:54
Would this be the great kessels first ever playoff game. Seems to me if he was that good it wouldn't have taken four years to lead the leafs to the promised land. Could be quite ironic if Seguin and Hamilton beat them out in the first round.

P.S. Dont mean to ruin the fact the leafs made the playoffs but this trade didn't help them do it.
@valanche Posted - 04/22/2013 : 14:51:27
Can't see them winning more than one series and even that's a stretch. They came a long way and can honestly be happy making the playoffs and not even just sneaking in.

I still think goaltending will be the demise of this team in the playoffs.

66 is > than 99
The Duke Posted - 04/22/2013 : 14:46:11
Congrats....leafs ...finally

Yes Slozo, all important points for the leafs sucess this season, i totally agree. Coaching, defensive system, GOAL-TENDING and the emergence of their youth all contributed, no doubt.

1 more important factor for the leafs, one which seems to be over-looked in almost all hockey circles is the play of Phil kessel. This player never seems to get the pat on the back from any1.........instead he just goes on putting points on the board, night in - night out.

With kessel you are not getting the rough and tumble style of play like Gary Roberts provided......... but the puck has to go in the net......someone has to set up and score these goals.......kessel keeps doing this but just doesn`t seem to be appreciated by many.

In this season and last season combined with the leafs ( to date ) he has 130 points in 127 games..........since joining the leafs he has scored 115 goals in 279 games.

Doing all this has primarily a youngster, with NOTHING close to a 1st line center to support him.....not too shabby.

He will lead the leafs in scoring AGAIN this year......making this feat his 4th....yes 4th concecutive year leading the Toronto Maple leafs in team scoring !!!!!!!!...Thank You Phil

Not bad for a player who some said ( and still say to this day ) was involved in one of the worst trades in league history..............kessel has led the leafs in team scoring as a ( 22 yr old )...( 23 yr old )...( 24 yr old )...and a ( 25 yr old )....i wonder if any other leaf has done that ??

Its time for the fans, some media, and armchair GM`s to give this player a break and recognition he deserves.

P;S.....dont mean to turn this topic into a kessel debate but his success has a lot to do with the leafs success this season....
( making the playoffs ).

As leaf fans we have no idea of how they will do in the playoffs...what have we to judge them upon ??...can`t compare them to the last leafs post season team ....anyway GOOD LUCK !!!!!

slozo Posted - 04/22/2013 : 10:35:06
quote:
Originally posted by Guest4045

Agreed. But if we're in the bottom 5 in penalty killing instead of the top 5, we don't make it. Plus we wouldn't be able to play with much "truculence", which I think helped us play which a lot more confidence.
Your best penalty killer is always your goalie, so Reimer deserves as much credit as anyone. And you can bet he would have been traded or playing back up if Burkie was at the controls.



A team's PK is largely put together and coached by whom?
Carlyle.

In fact, most observers will tell you that a team's power play and penalty kill are greatly influenced by the coach . . . and who he uses for them. Sure, McClement was also a really key addition . . . but I don't think it's the overriding factor for the pk.

And as you stated, what position is the most important on a penalty kill?
Reimer.

And I agree . . . with Burke around, so much would have been different, starting with Kadri perhaps only playing in half the games because of Lombardi and Connolly.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
Guest4045 Posted - 04/22/2013 : 07:50:51
Agreed. But if we're in the bottom 5 in penalty killing instead of the top 5, we don't make it. Plus we wouldn't be able to play with much "truculence", which I think helped us play which a lot more confidence.
Your best penalty killer is always your goalie, so Reimer deserves as much credit as anyone. And you can bet he would have been traded or playing back up if Burkie was at the controls.
slozo Posted - 04/22/2013 : 07:06:51
I also think of 3 PRIMARY (there were other contributing factors obviously) factors, all of relatively equal importance.

1) Kadri
2) Carlyle
3) Reimer

In my opinion, if any one of these was mising from this season, the Leafs may have been life and death to make it. Without two of them, they'd have been a non-playoff team for sure.

Yep - it began with Carlyle's defensive system, player accountability, and total change in locker room atmosphere; much success was garnered through the emergence of Kadri as our 2nd offensive star on the team, completely changing the dynamics of how other teams defended against us; and the re-emergence of Reimer as an 'A' starting goaltender.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
Guest4045 Posted - 04/22/2013 : 06:30:42
The Leafs got there because of three things. Goaltending, penalty killing, and consistency. The first 2 won them some games they shouldn't have and the third kept them from freefalling, like last year.
The emergence of Franson, Kadri, Frasor, and Kamorov sure helped too. McClement was the unsung hero all season. Maybe the best thing was getting rid of Burke, because although he assembled these players, they would not have got the chance to flourish.

If we get the Canadians in the first round (please God) we have a chance, not so much with Boston. Either way, you have to get through Pittsburg to get out of the East. Not happening for the Leafs this year.

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