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Guest2766
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Posted - 09/08/2010 :  06:07:54  Reply with Quote
With the season a month a way what are your feelings on this years addition of the Leafs.

I believe a lot of people are underestimating this team because of last years problems. I think the defence is really good with Phaneuf, Kaberle and a full season of Komisarek. I really love Phaneufs comments saying that anything other than making the playoffs is unacceptable.

I will agree that goal scoring may not come easilly but the defence and goaltending should cover that problem to some degree. The only thing really holding this team back is that bonafide number 1 center. However I believe Burke is working that out.

I see this years addition barring any significant injuries (Kessel,Phaneuf, or Gustavsson) truly contending for 7th or 8th place and making the playoffs.

Edited by - willus3 on 09/26/2010 07:57:05

slozo
Moderator



Canada
4580 Posts

Posted - 09/08/2010 :  06:25:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree with your assessment.

I'll tell ya, it's so much nicer to have them as underdogs, than to come in with such lofty expectations like last year only to fall totally flat on their face.

If Komisarek can play a full season with Pheneuf, Kaberle (perhaps), Beachemin, Schenn . . . they have a very solid defensive crew that should start actually putting fear in the opposition.

The forwards don't look like much at first, but Burke has set up many of the young guys nicely to have to fight for a spot, and it is bound to engender some great performances from the young guys - whether it's Bozak, or a rookie Kadri, or Sjostrom, or Hanson, there is the potential for a great breakout season from one or two of these guys. And let's not forget that the additions of Versteeg and Armstrong add good depth to the scoring ranks, so I don't actually think they will be nearly as weak in that category as people are predicting.

As we saw for the last third of the year, the goaltending was very solid - and Gustavsson looks like he could definitely be the goalie of the future. I like the fact that he hasn't been saddled with spectacular expectations, and with Giggy there he is in a very good position to succeed (again, full credit to Burke).

Yes, last season was a season from hell . . . but I really am full of hope for this season, and predict a total turnaround in terms of attitude and performance.

But I say - keep underestimating my Leafs! It only helps . . .

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8174 Posts

Posted - 09/08/2010 :  08:33:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree the defense is big and strong and scary. But there is also a little something called defense that this group (who gave up the 2nd most goals in the NHL last season and had the absolute worst PK) need to play. Defense is more than just being big and hitting people. They are going with virtually the same defense as last year and adding Lebda. Remember, the TO defense did not get better when Phaneuf came in last year. They goaltending is reasonable solid and the back end will definitely be the reason TO is in any games this season.

The front end is seriously gross. I liken them very much to the Oilers last season. One legitimate 1st line player, a hand full of 2nd line players, and piles of 4th line players. The Leafs were the 6th worst team in the NHL in offensive production and had the leagues worst PP. With all due respect to a player like Kris Versteeg, he simply isn't enough to change the morbid offensive output for the Buds. Nor is Colby Armstrong's 40 pts/season. Kadri, at best, it going to give around 35-40 points. The Leafs have so limited firepower up front that the TO fans are reaching into their pockets to find a little spark to talk about some players with. There is not a projection I can find that has a single TO player cracking 60 points and only 2 potentially cracking 40 points. You don't win hockey games like that.

A team that finished 2nd to last in the NHL who didn't do enough in the off-season to improve and really has but one potential prospect cracking the line up is not in line to do much better than they did last year. Phaneuf's comments about making the playoffs are honestly laughable in any other market outside of TO.

I think a more reasonable goal if for the Leafs to do what they can to ensure that the Kessel deal does not turn out to be a #1 and #2 overall. As much as the Leaf Nation get to talk about if this guy is healthy and if this guy plays all season the team will be better, they are only a key injury or two away from being worse than they were last season.


I really do feel for the Leaf faithful as you deserve so much better than what you have gotten in the past and what you will get in the future and I have the utmost respect for the optimism. A line up full of rejects from other teams with just a few hints of talent. Very few early draft picks in the system and none on the horizon. I will keep properly estimating the Leafs as one of the worst teams in the NHL today.
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Matt_Roberts85
PickupHockey Pro



Canada
936 Posts

Posted - 09/08/2010 :  12:07:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Not even going to predict a thing for my leafs this year, last year scared me so horribley I couldnt possibley do it to myself again.

I just pray they manage to get out of the draft lottery and improve their special teams, 30th PP and 30th PK last year. I think the only hope leafs fans have this year is that a culture change in the dressing room starts to equal wins.... there has been a ton of turnover since the calender switched from 2009 - 2010 and hopefully some young blood and new voices in the locker room make a difference on the ice.





There is no "I" in team, but there is an "M" and an "E".
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The Duke
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
1039 Posts

Posted - 09/08/2010 :  16:14:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Beans are you kidding me ? Toronto in the draft lottery next year. Most of these B/S numbers from last year were because of the moron players the leafs USED TO HAVE....THEY ARE ALL GONE and MAINLY because of their Goaltender, who is also GONE. Beans do you know Toskalas numbers were ranked approx. 66 th...67 th in the league last year with the leafs...HE DIDN`T EVEN REGISTER WITH THE BACKUPS !!!! The leafs were doing ok in a lot of games i watched last year ( and this was with a much more lousier team than they have right now ) until Red Light Toskala let in 2 bad goals and the team went into a tail spin. Goaltending means EVERY-THING. Your predicting TO to be close to the lottery...i`m predicting them to push for 1st in their division, 5th-6th in the east. Before you list 10 reasons why they won`t...wait till the end of next season and see who will eat goat. lol...have a good one ))
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slozo
Moderator



Canada
4580 Posts

Posted - 09/08/2010 :  18:05:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yeah, it's what I thought Beans would say.

A lot of non-Leaf fans will only look at the forwards, at the disappointing play of the defence in the first half without Komisarek (injured) and Phaneuf, and count the goaltending as similar.

For a fan who was watching for the whole season, and who knows the real reasons for the massive failure of last season, trust me - we know.

This year will be different.

That's all I am saying.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8174 Posts

Posted - 09/08/2010 :  22:57:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well Duke, you keep telling yourself that it's all Toskala's fault. If that's what makes it easier to stomach, so be it. If you want to look at the 16 games that Toskala started as a Leaf and lost, that's cool. But what about the other games?? What about the other 36 loses?? Oh, that's right, Dion Phaneuf wasn't there and neither was Komisarek. What was I thinking?? I mean, how can I not see that the worst offensive team last season(who added very little scoring depth) and on of the worst defensive teams in the league(who added nothing to the back end) will automatically do better.

As a final note to Mr. Duke I think you said it all when you said you expect the Leafs to compete for #1 in their division. The only division in the NHL last season to send 4 of the 5 teams to the playoffs. Yep, that says it all.


Edited by - Beans15 on 09/09/2010 10:04:51
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8174 Posts

Posted - 09/08/2010 :  23:10:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by slozo

Yeah, it's what I thought Beans would say.

A lot of non-Leaf fans will only look at the forwards, at the disappointing play of the defence in the first half without Komisarek (injured) and Phaneuf, and count the goaltending as similar.

For a fan who was watching for the whole season, and who knows the real reasons for the massive failure of last season, trust me - we know.

This year will be different.

That's all I am saying.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug



I know as well as you do why the Leafs finished where they did. It is not far off from my beloved Oilers. When you can't score goals and you can't stop the other team of scoring goals, you generally lose the game. Say what ever you want about the start of the season, but what seems to be missing is that in the 2nd part of the season the Leafs were as morbid as they were in the 1st half of the season.

Take a look at this

Games 1-22 - 4 wins, 11 loses, 7 OTL = 15 points
Games 23-42 - 10 wins, 8 loses, 2 OTL = 22 points
Games 43-62 - 5 wins, 13 loses, 2 OTL = 12 points
Games 63-82 - 11 wins, 6 loses, 3 OTL - 25 points


The Leafs were as bad or even a little worse in Jan-Feb as they were in Oct-Nov last year.

A little like a broken record but it's not rocket science. Worst offense and nearly worse defense. Added little of anything substantial. That means litte to nothing substantial regarding improvement.

It's not a Leaf hating thing, it's just a logic thing. Sure, lightning could strike, the heavens could align, and something great might happen. But looking at it logically(as well listening to the odds makers in Vegas) and there is a better chance of getting struck by lightning while doing something great in heaven than the Leafs having a winning-playoff bound season.

Imagine, if you will, a post coming from me saying that with the additions of the couple of defensive players (Foster, Vandermeer), removing some cancer from the dressing room(Souray, Moreau), a healthy team (Hemsky, Khabibulin), and the youth movement(Eberle,Hall) that the Oilers are going make the playoffs this season. How quickly would I be jumped all over??? Why?? Because it's simply not likely. In fact, it is far more likely the Oiler play a more entertaining game but produce about as well. Maybe slightly better and with a few teams sliding, they have a chance at a 12ish finish in the West.

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Pasty7
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
2262 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2010 :  02:50:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Duke

Beans are you kidding me ? Toronto in the draft lottery next year. Most of these B/S numbers from last year were because of the moron players the leafs USED TO HAVE....THEY ARE ALL GONE and MAINLY because of their Goaltender, who is also GONE. Beans do you know Toskalas numbers were ranked approx. 66 th...67 th in the league last year with the leafs...HE DIDN`T EVEN REGISTER WITH THE BACKUPS !!!! The leafs were doing ok in a lot of games i watched last year ( and this was with a much more lousier team than they have right now ) until Red Light Toskala let in 2 bad goals and the team went into a tail spin. Goaltending means EVERY-THING. Your predicting TO to be close to the lottery...i`m predicting them to push for 1st in their division, 5th-6th in the east. Before you list 10 reasons why they won`t...wait till the end of next season and see who will eat goat. lol...have a good one ))




beat out the Boston Bruins? the Division winners with the best goalie in the world sabres, Beat the Senators who player for player match up better besides Goaltending or the conference finalist in the Montreal Canadiens? sure maybe they can be better than one or two of these teams but come on.. really? i love my Habs like any other die hard fan but just because we kocked off the pens and the caps last year doesn;t have me calling for lord stanly,, i know the habs will not win the North east and i know they will battle for a playoff spot down the strecth..... so stop this stupidity and be logical the leafs if they click could push for a 8th to 7th place finish not a 3rd place finish really come on

Pasty
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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5790 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2010 :  08:51:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Beans, it was the Duke it was the Duke! (*anyone catch the move quote here*)? You're calling out Deaner for the Duke's comments, is what i'm getting at.

Regardless of who made the comments, a Leaf fan claiming the Leafs should compete for the division title is far worse than a Leaf hater saying he thinks they'll finish at or near the bottom. Did i say "far" worse? Let's change that to "ridiculously" worse. If the Leafs win that division, i'll gladly eat some of that goat that was spoken of!

If you think Beans is simply stirring the pot as a Leaf hater, he'd likely be doing it with the Canucks and picking them to struggle to make the playoffs (don't think he'd be crazy enough to claim he thinks they're a lottery team). I mean, there's not a team out there he hates more, that's for sure, right Beans?

In reality, the Leafs have not made enough substantial changes for them to have a reasonable chance at finishing atop their div and in the middle of the pack of playoff teams. Yes, anything's possible but i would suspect that any sane Leaf fan would be more than happy with getting as far away from the lottery as they can, pushing for a playoffs spot and maybe sneaking in and simply having a year of all around improvements with the club. Anything more than that is either a dream on the fan's part, or a dream season where the planets have aligned. I'm not much of an astronomer nor a Leaf fan, so i don't see either dream coming true. I'm picking them to improve (how can they not over last year?), but still fail to make the dance.
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8174 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2010 :  10:23:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Listen, I get the Leafs had some stretches of really poor play and some stretches of really great play last year. I get that Phaneuf brings some chutzpah to the line up and the team looks more angry and more dangerous this season. However, looking completely objectively, not stiring the pot, they just don't have the line up to win. For the Leafs to win, they would need virtually every one of their skaters and goalies to match or better their career seasons. That NEVER happens. For each player that overachieves there is at least one who under achieves. There will be injuries, that is a certainty. The Leafs have zero depth offensively.

They just simply do not have the tools to compete with even the middle of the road teams let alone the best out there. Playoffs are a pipedream at best. If they don't finish in a lottery spot, I would consider than a successful season.

Edited by - Beans15 on 09/09/2010 13:33:08
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nuxfan
PickupHockey All-Star



3582 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2010 :  10:23:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
gotta agree with Beans/Alex/Patsy on this one - the Leafs simply will not do much better than they did last year.

No question, they have improved from last year... but so have everyone else around them that needed to improve, so have they done more than those other teams? No. My list of teams that have the potential to do worse than the Leafs in the east: NYI, FLA, ATL. So, I think the Leafs will do no better than 12th in the division.

In the west, teams that could do worse than the Leafs: EDM, CBJ, MIN, maybe DAL. So the Leafs are likely to finish in the bottom 3rd of the league again this year. Good news though, it is likely to be better than second last.
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Guest7752
( )

Posted - 09/09/2010 :  10:54:37  Reply with Quote
Amazing what a summer can do.
From 29th out of 30th last season, Leafs are now daring to mention the "P" word!?!?!
Quote from Mr. GM about Phaneuf's "P" word slip(?)...:
"We use the 'P' word and it sets people off in this marketplace," Burke said. "That's our goal, that's our intention, no bold statements but for a player to say that I think is great."

Wow... someone said the "P" word - was this goal a secret?
Was the "P" word a forbidden word for the past decades??
I just can't stop laughing at these leaf clowns.

What have the additions done for the upcoming season?
Well, for one, the "P" word has come out.
Secondly, .....
nothing.
Last year at this time, everyone was touting how MEAN the leafs were going to be, and how strong the defensive wall was.
The words used last year were... if we are going to lose to you.... at least you will have to work for it....
or
We will be the team that others are going to be afraid of...
All that's changed is an old goalie addition, and less offensive depth.
I think all the teams are still going to be "afraid(?)" of playing these clowns and collect 2 points every time for their efforts.
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slozo
Moderator



Canada
4580 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2010 :  11:00:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, Leaf hater or not, the front end is not "seriously gross" . . . that would be a term I'd reserve for teams like Edmonton.

No one should ignore the fact, when looking at the Leafs of last year, that Toskala lost quite a few games for the Leafs. No one should overlook the fact that after that horrific start, there were nights when no one competed. No one should overlook the anemic goalscoring performances of Blake and even Stajan on a team that needed goalscoring.

Toskala wasn't the reason the Leafs were so bad, Beans?
23 games started: 7 wins, a 3.66 GAA, and a .870 save %

Now THAT is gross. And remember that a fresh rookie, Gustavsson, who took a while until he stopped looking awkward in net at times, during the same time got 9 of his 16 wins during that same stretch of time, with the same players in front of him.

The effect of this, of course, is a total lack of confidence for the defence in front of you. Every mistake becomes a sure goal, and so it was last year with the Leafs it seemed.

With a calmed down and settled defence, with a healthy Komisarek who near the end was finally meshing well with his teammates, and with what appears to be a decent tandem of Gustavsson and Giggy, defensively, there should be improvement - and that is not counting the totally different minset brought by Phaneuf, which brings it another notch upward.

No Beans, ther might be quite a few similar faces, but it won't be the same team, if you know what I mean.

And the offence will have Bozak playing a full season; probably have the addition of a rookie Kadri; and Versteeg and Armstrong replace Stajan and Hagman effectively (notice how I didn't count Blake, the first liner who wasted too many great scoring chances to count and ended up with 10 for the Buds). I actually think this year's Leafs will score about 20 more goals than last year's version, especially with some "seasoned rookies" contributing more, and perhaps a breakout season from Kulemin who seems to be getting better and better.

And lastly . . . this isn't the 90s, folks - welcome to parity. There are a lot of holes in MOST teams! The Eastern conference has maybe Washington, New Jersey, Boston, Pittsburgh and Philly as givens to make the playoffs - and that's without significant injuries to key players on any of those teams. After that, it's a free for all.

Are Atlanta, Florida, Carolina, the NY Rangers, the Islanders, Ottawa all better than the Leafs? I don't think so. Are Buffalo, Montreal and Tampa Bay that much better than the Leafs? We'll see, but I don't think there is a big difference between them, really . . .



"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8174 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2010 :  13:53:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, Mr Slozo, If you believe that a group of forwards that have the grand total of one player who has had more than 25 NHL goals in a season and a group of forwards that have a grand total of one season of more than 60 points is not 'seriously gross' than I believe there is nothing further to argue. Simply put, the Leafs can't score and can't stop the other team and added nothing to change that.

Keep blaming Toskala. 16 loses were on his back. Where did the other 36 loses come from?? Must have been Komisarek being hurt. I wonder what the LeafNation will hang this years garbage season on?? I bet it will be something like a Toskala hangover..

To answer your final question, yes. Many of those teams (on paper as well as performance from last season) are better than the Leafs. Furthermore, most of them did things to try to plug those 'holes' and improve making them far better than the Leafs. I would put the Leafs in the same class as ATL, FLA, and NYI. I would put the rest of the East ahead of the Leafs and without much thought. Much like the West, the bottom end will be EDM, Minny, CBJ, and Dal.

To the parity comment, it's an illusion. There are 10 teams in the NHL that are significantly better than the 10 worst teams. This leaves 10 teams straddling the line in the middle. That is not parity. Parity is a reasonable level across the league. You put those 10 teams in the middle against each other and it will be close ever time. You take the 10 best against anyone and the 10 best win most of the time. You put the 10 worst against anyone and the lose most of the time.

I don't call that parity.
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The Duke
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
1039 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2010 :  14:45:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
well put Slozo. Do you like the taste on crow Alex ?? you better get your taste buds ready !! Goaltending and an execellent defense will put the leafs in the right direction this year. J.S.Gig will be a force this year, you wait and see. What did the leafs have in 2004 besides Sundin and Roberts and a bunch of rejects? A Great Goalie !! Steady goaltending will always do damage in the playoffs, just ask Ottawa fans from the early 2000`s. You can also ask Washington and Pittsburg fans of last season. Burke has made several fantastic moves and i think this year things will finally start to click. Beans you can`t compare this years leafs to this years oilers, what has Edmonton done to improve their team for this year ?? They have no goaltending with little defense, no improvement at all, i see a another terrible season for the oilers. As for the Canucks Alex, like Sundin was in TO, the Sedins will NEVER lead Vancouver to a cup, no-guts..no-glory. Don`t underestimate what a former stanley cup / conn smythe winner ( J.S.Gig ) and a individual with Phaneuf`s character can do for a hockey club. Time will tell guys, i also believe Kadri will have a fantastic rookie season with leafs.
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Leafs81
PickupHockey Pro



714 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2010 :  15:11:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ok as a Leafs fan I will say this. I don't predict they will make the playoffs, because like others said, the odds are not there. I wouldn't put money on them. Why? because on paper they don't compete with the other teams in their division and not against most in the east.

But I will say this it is possible for them to make the playoffs just like anything else, Last year Phoenix and Colorado to make the playoffs was much a bigger surprise then the Leafs to make it this year (both of them had a great goalie and gave confidence to the younger kids to play their games). The year before St Louis and Columbus surprise the hockey world by making it to the playoffs. And I believe the year before the Habs finish on top of the east when nobody ever saw that coming.

So yes the Leafs has the potential to make the playoffs if everything goes well, the defense click, Gustavsson and Gigučre battles hard for the ice time, Kessel scores 40 goals and 5 more scores 20 (Versteeg, Armstrong, Kulemin, Bozak, Grabovski...) and that the injuries stay away from the best players. But I think they will miss it because they lack depth on the front end, therefore if an injury occur, or a series of injuries they don't have the support to keep winning.

I'm one that will agree that Toskala was most of the blame last year by playing aweful and breaking the structure and the confidence of the team because of his poor season.
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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5790 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2010 :  15:13:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by slozo

Well, Leaf hater or not, the front end is not "seriously gross" . . . that would be a term I'd reserve for teams like Edmonton.




Slozo, are you saying the Leafs offense is better than Edm's? Is that what i'm reading? You think Kessel, Bozek, Versteeg, Kulemin, Armstrong, Grabovski and "maybe" Kadri is better than Hemsky, Horcoff, Penner, Gagner, Eberle, Hall, Paajarvi-Svensson?

These guys (Edm) may be young, but i'd take my chances with them, especially in the long run! They've got three guys who just might fight each other for the Calder, so yeah, age may hold them back a bit, but i'd have a difficult time saying that the Leaf's have a better set of forwards than Edmonton!!!
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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5790 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2010 :  15:21:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Duke

well put Slozo. Do you like the taste on crow Alex ?? you better get your taste buds ready !! Goaltending and an execellent defense will put the leafs in the right direction this year. J.S.Gig will be a force this year, you wait and see. What did the leafs have in 2004 besides Sundin and Roberts and a bunch of rejects? A Great Goalie !! Steady goaltending will always do damage in the playoffs, just ask Ottawa fans from the early 2000`s. You can also ask Washington and Pittsburg fans of last season. Burke has made several fantastic moves and i think this year things will finally start to click. Beans you can`t compare this years leafs to this years oilers, what has Edmonton done to improve their team for this year ?? They have no goaltending with little defense, no improvement at all, i see a another terrible season for the oilers. As for the Canucks Alex, like Sundin was in TO, the Sedins will NEVER lead Vancouver to a cup, no-guts..no-glory. Don`t underestimate what a former stanley cup / conn smythe winner ( J.S.Gig ) and a individual with Phaneuf`s character can do for a hockey club. Time will tell guys, i also believe Kadri will have a fantastic rookie season with leafs.




Yo Duke, your comments are brightening my day with laughter and smiles. For that, i thank you. Now, why don't you explain why i should suddenly enjoy crow after Slozo's comments??? All i did was argue the comment that the Leafs would win (or compete for) the division. So, if that's suddenly been rebutted by Slozo or somehow they did just win the division, then my apologies, serve me up your crow, your goat or whatever. However, i've scoured the thread a couple of times and come to the conclusion that your comments to me are simply unfounded and you're simply trying to say "LEAFS RULE" in a round about way. Personally, i'd prefer you hit your caps lock and type LEAFS RULE a zillion times. At least then i wouldn't have to search an entire thread to determine exactly what it is you're trying to get at. Keep up the cheering Leaf fan......

BTW, you know when you can tell you've beaten someone in an argument, or at least that your point has been delivered and accepted? The guy you're debating/arguing with, you in this case i suppose, will go completely off topic to try to bring up something unrelated to what's being discussed. It'd be like you suddenly having a rebuttal along the lines of "yeah, well, the Sedin's will never bring you the cup.....blah, blah, blah....". Of course, you'd never stoop so low now would ya Duke?

Edited by - Alex116 on 09/09/2010 15:22:16
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Guest9299
( )

Posted - 09/09/2010 :  16:09:31  Reply with Quote
I sit somewhere in the middle of the arguments being presented. I don't see how you can argue that the Leafs defence will not be improved and in my opinion by quite a bit by having a healthy Phaneuf, Kaberle, Komisarek and Schenn on the blue line for an entire season. Combine that with a better goaltending tandem and you have significantlly better team defence. Didn't Boston make the playoffs with killer defence and a lousy offence. Like it or not Komisarek, Kaberle and Phaneuf are all ALL STAR defenceman (all three have played in a NHL allstar game.)

Where I do agree with some of the unbelievers is that the Leafs offence is somewhat lacking. Outside of Kessel alot of their forwards are young and unproven. We can hope Kadri lights it up but its no gaurentee. and lets be honest while 20 goal scorers(Versteeg, Armstrong, Kuliman, Bozak) are nice most NHL clubs first lines are far superior.

I am just looking for a hard nosed club that plays like Boston last year and wins alot of 2-1, 3-2 games. If they can do that and I believe they can the playoffs are not that unrealistic. I think a 10th, 9th, 8th or 7th is where we finish this year.
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Pasty7
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
2262 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2010 :  17:25:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest9299

I sit somewhere in the middle of the arguments being presented. I don't see how you can argue that the Leafs defence will not be improved and in my opinion by quite a bit by having a healthy Phaneuf, Kaberle, Komisarek and Schenn on the blue line for an entire season. Combine that with a better goaltending tandem and you have significantlly better team defence. Didn't Boston make the playoffs with killer defence and a lousy offence. Like it or not Komisarek, Kaberle and Phaneuf are all ALL STAR defenceman (all three have played in a NHL allstar game.)

Where I do agree with some of the unbelievers is that the Leafs offence is somewhat lacking. Outside of Kessel alot of their forwards are young and unproven. We can hope Kadri lights it up but its no gaurentee. and lets be honest while 20 goal scorers(Versteeg, Armstrong, Kuliman, Bozak) are nice most NHL clubs first lines are far superior.

I am just looking for a hard nosed club that plays like Boston last year and wins alot of 2-1, 3-2 games. If they can do that and I believe they can the playoffs are not that unrealistic. I think a 10th, 9th, 8th or 7th is where we finish this year.



Guest and leafs fan Thank you i love arguing logicaly about hockey, and trying to predict the futur and i appreciate your logic and how you can put bias aside and look at your favorite team objectivly, and i can agree mostly with your assesments,,,

Pasty
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The Duke
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Canada
1039 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2010 :  17:29:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Guest 9299, thats the message i`m trying to send. Toronto should have a very much Boston, Buffalo, New Jersey type style / system next season, nothing fancy or flashy. Just an in your face style with a very strong and tough defense combined with solid goaltending. This should lead to ( i think ) a successful season for a change, they do have the players in place now to do this, ( all the wimps are gone ) they just have to buy into a team concept. Alex i don`t have anything personnal against you ( i don`t know you ), i just automatically link you with my debates with Beans because you just simply go right along with every comment Beans writes, from what i`m reading anyway.
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The Duke
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Canada
1039 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2010 :  17:44:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sorry Alex i forgot to mention, that eating crow thing has nothing to do with Slozo`s post, not sure how you got that idea. It was from your earlier post...the one where you were conversing with Beans saying...It was the Duke !! it was the Duke !! whatever that was about. Later in that same post you said that you would share ( eat ) some of that crow with Beans if the leafs made the post season... remember ? By the way i do like and cheer for ALL Canadian teams including the Canucks. I just get upset with players like Sundin and the Sedins with so much potential but so little push. Now P.Forsberg and P.Bure...those guys played hockey.
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Pasty7
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Canada
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Posted - 09/09/2010 :  21:00:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Duke

Sorry Alex i forgot to mention, that eating crow thing has nothing to do with Slozo`s post, not sure how you got that idea. It was from your earlier post...the one where you were conversing with Beans saying...It was the Duke !! it was the Duke !! whatever that was about. Later in that same post you said that you would share ( eat ) some of that crow with Beans if the leafs made the post season... remember ? By the way i do like and cheer for ALL Canadian teams including the Canucks. I just get upset with players like Sundin and the Sedins with so much potential but so little push. Now P.Forsberg and P.Bure...those guys played hockey.



the same sedin who completely dominated this past year? im confused are their other sedin twins somewhere?

Pasty
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nuxfan
PickupHockey All-Star



3582 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2010 :  22:10:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:

I am just looking for a hard nosed club that plays like Boston last year and wins alot of 2-1, 3-2 games. If they can do that and I believe they can the playoffs are not that unrealistic. I think a 10th, 9th, 8th or 7th is where we finish this year.



and

quote:

Toronto should have a very much Boston, Buffalo, New Jersey type style / system next season, nothing fancy or flashy



Boston and Buffalo had one thing going for them last year that Toronto does not, that made those seasons possible - awesome goaltending. Rask and Miller both had fantastic years, and allowed their teams to win games that they otherwise should not have.

Toronto does not have that level of goaltending, and I don't think Gustavsson or Giguere is going to have that sort of year next year. Toronto is going to have to rely on the old "score more than you let in" thing and hope it works more often than not.

As for NJ - I'm not sure which Devils you were looking at, but I saw a lot of awesome on that team last year. They had 3 guys that all had more points than Kessel, another awesome year by Brodeur, and a very well balanced team all around.

And Duke, seriously, the Sedins with no push or guts or whatever? Watch a game or two, you'll probably be surprised.
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Guest4210
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Posted - 09/09/2010 :  22:21:31  Reply with Quote
I don't think the leafs will make the playoffs but I think they will have a better team than last year. I mean it would be pretty hard to be worse.

One thing I have noticed from the ever optimistic leaf fans is how over rated Komisarek is. This guy is not going to improve your team unless you can somehow land Markov who made him in Montreal. All he's good for is losing fights and taking stupid penalties and with his $4.5 million cap hit is probably going to be one of the more detrimental parts of your team over the next couple of years.
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Beans15
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Canada
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Posted - 09/09/2010 :  22:27:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Couple of things Duke. First off, people can formulate thier own opinions. It just happens that this topic has two very distinct camps. The Leafs camps seem to think that adding very little to a very bad teams equals success. Others see it the exact opposite. I don't believe that anyone agrees with everything I write. In fact, I would say I have one of the least popular opinions on most things based on my very strong dislike of some teams.

That being said, I just wanted to touch on a little something you commented. The statement was something like, "You can't compare this years Leafs to this years Oilers, what has Edmonton done to improve their team?" Firstly, the comparison of the Oilers and Leafs is valid as they were 29 and 30 in the league. That makes them two peas in the same pod. Secondly, you asked what Edmonton has done to improve their team??? Well, I guess you could start with the departures of O'Sullivan, Nilsson, Moreau, Staios, Visnovsky, Comrie, Grebeshkov, Pisani, and soon to be Souray since last trade deadline. They added Whitney and Foster to bolster their back end giving them 3 players with history of more than 40 points from the back end and they are also bigger (height and weight on average) than that brilliant and physical Leafs defense. Then, the Oilers drafted Taylor Hall adding him to a crew of young and talented offensive forwards including Sam Gagner, Ales Hemsky, Dustin Penner, Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson, Linus Omark, and Gilbert Brule. They also added some toughness in Jim Vandermeer and Colin Frasier to supliment Zack Stortini and Jason Strudwick. Then they hedged their bet on Khabibulin and picked up Gerber for some insurance.

So ya, did the Oiler improve on their team from last year?? No doubt. Did they do enough to compete for the playoffs?? Not even close. The most important thing the Oilers did was to admit they were not good enough to win and the culture had to change. They removed the cancers and are giving the kids a chance to play. They are building a foundation for the future to win. Much like the Caps, Hawks, and Pens did.

The Leafs, on the other hand, do not have the draft picks to rebuild. They continue to hack away at the same plan and think that being mean, angry, and physical will win hockey. Maybe it will, but I really don't think it's gonna work. To be successful in the NHL a team has to be able to score and defend.


Edited by - Beans15 on 09/09/2010 22:29:57
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Pasty7
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Canada
2262 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2010 :  23:28:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
my question for you all is even if the leafs win the division this year and make a lenghthy playoff run,, how are they gonna sustain it? their a liturally no blue chip prospects left besides Kadri,, they are against the cap with only Kabby and Giguere the only contracts coming off the books,,, the days of buying a team are over ,,, you need young players on entry level contracts producing well over their contracts to win that is a fact now in the NHL,,, unless you are the red wings or the devils ,, Toronto simply does not have this next year they will have to sighn big FA's again to substain but they will have limited cap space to do so.,...... TO made a huge mistake in the kessel deal they should be payin Seguin 900 k next year to score 50 plus points finish last then pay Couture or whooever the next year lottery players are 900k to score 50 plus points next year ,, then add a couple good players via FA and rebuild... you simply can't buy a team anymore,, burke squanderd this teams chance to rebuild and sustain the way the devils and red wings have,, the way the LA kings are set up to be the Penguins are set up to be its the only way to do it!

Pasty
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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5790 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2010 :  23:46:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Duke, i appreciate your comments and do note that with just 50-60 posts, you're somewhat new here? Trust me, Beans and i don't always agree on things. Have a sift through some other threads and you'll see us arguing/debating quite often in fact! Sure, we do agree sometimes, such as on this topic (not even completely in fact, i said the Leafs may challenge for the 8th spot but prob fall short, he thinks they'll be lucky just to get out of the bottom 3 or 4!). Either way, you'll see in time that we don't always agree on things.

Your eat crow / goat comment just didn't seem to make sense. By me needing to eat the crow/goat means that you proved me wrong somewhere and seeing as i was talking about the Leafs having pretty much zero chance of winning their div, i saw no proof to say they had. If they challenge and even come close to winning their div, def, i'll be on the hook for a little meal!

Your Sedin comment i'm guessing was out of frustration, however, if it's your opinion that no matter how well he/they do, the Canucks will never win the cup, so be it. That's quite possible. Just like the Caps may never win the cup with OV? It really could happen. A lot of really good players go their entire career without a cup so i can't argue that it could happen to the twins?
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ToXXiK1
PickupHockey Pro



Canada
696 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2010 :  09:08:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Being a diehard Bruin fan, I can only hope for a repeat performance from the Leafs as we hold your 1st pick. That being said, I don't think so. The Leafs have no choice but to be better this season, Burke has done the best he could with what he had. But, I see a couple major problems. 1) he screwed up royally with Kaberle ~ Sundin saga all over again. He'll be leaving and T.O. gets nadda. Telling him for 2 or 3 seasons that you want to trade him and then think he's gonna get all warm and fuzzy and sign with T.O. is foolish. Only chance is Kabs gives a list to Burke before deadline and some team takes a chance that he'll sign with them, otherwise buh-bye.
2) I don't see the hype with Komisarek. From what I seen of him in his brief stint before he got stupid and thought he could go toe to toe with Lucic, he was in the box more than on the ice. He's a defensive liability and a hack.
3) Still need that hole at centre filled.
Toronto will do better than last year, but to say playoffs? That would be a big jump from 29th to 16th wouldn't you agree?
Anything above 21st would be a drastic improvement, but, Leafs are a couple seasons away from being a threat. I'd say Wilson has maybe 25 games and if you have a losing record, he'll be a memory. Another coach in, stressing defence and then you'll see the pouty face on Kessel. Same one that got his ass benched in Boston for the playoffs because he's 1 dimensional player who doesn't like to play south of center.
I wish you well, as Toronto fans deserve better than they've gotten.
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slozo
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Canada
4580 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2010 :  10:28:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, at least the comments are getting better.

To avoid getting comments and predictions getting attributed to me that are totally false, I will state this for the record as my prediction:

IF the Leafs can stay relatively healthy, and IF with a combo of Gustavsson and Giggy the goaltending is solid enough, and IF at least two of the kids have solid breakout seasons as I predict they will have (Bozak and Kadri would be my front runners),

. . . . then the Leafs will be in the playoff hunt and finish as low as 9th, and as high as 5th.

I think this has a high likelihood of happening.

If one or more of those things don't happen, or the Leafers run into injuries, or Kessel blows a tire, etc etc . . . well, it might be 12 - 10th for them. But I don't see them in the bottom 4 in the conference, for sure.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
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Beans15
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Canada
8174 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2010 :  14:18:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
High Likelihood?? I think that is more like wishful things. Most teams who have one area that is questionable are considered marginal. The Leafs, by your admission, have 3. I personally think they have another big one in IF significantly improve their special teams. I also think you are missing IF no player underachieves.

I gotta say, for as knowledgeable of a hockey guy you are I am literally shocked to hear the 'as high as 5th' comment. One of two things has to be happening to say this. Either the Leaf's are being significantly over-estimated or the other teams in the East are being significantly under-estimated. There are 4 incredibly strong teams in the East in Washington, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Philadelphia. After that group I would put Boston, Ottawa, Montreal, and Buffalo that are reasonably strong. Then comes the upstarts in TB and Carolina who have improved on paper over the summer. This leaves TO, NYI, NYR, ATL, and FLA.

TO's competition is the bottom of the East, not the top. Frankly, I don't put the Leafs(on paper anyway) ahead of NYR at this time. Ranking them on paper, I would say TO is around 12th in the East and around 25th over in the NHL. If the Leafs finish at 12th or higher, this season would be a success. If the Leafs finish 5th, it would arguable by the biggest turn around in the history of the modern NHL. I don't believe a team moved 10 spots in their conference year over year. I might be mistaken, but it would be huge to say the least.

Truly, I dig your optimism and never fault a fan for that. Cuddo's. You have bigger stones than I.



Willing to put your money where your mouth is with another friendly wager??? I say the Leafs finish no higher than 11th in the East.
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Guest0009
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Posted - 09/10/2010 :  15:00:39  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by slozo

Well, at least the comments are getting better.

To avoid getting comments and predictions getting attributed to me that are totally false, I will state this for the record as my prediction:

IF the Leafs can stay relatively healthy, and IF with a combo of Gustavsson and Giggy the goaltending is solid enough, and IF at least two of the kids have solid breakout seasons as I predict they will have (Bozak and Kadri would be my front runners),

. . . . then the Leafs will be in the playoff hunt and finish as low as 9th, and as high as 5th.

I think this has a high likelihood of happening.

If one or more of those things don't happen, or the Leafers run into injuries, or Kessel blows a tire, etc etc . . . well, it might be 12 - 10th for them. But I don't see them in the bottom 4 in the conference, for sure.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug


IF...IF....IF...IF...
if no injuries.....
can't you see the sign that these leafs have absolutely no depth whatsoever...
everyone know injuries WILL happen
everyone knows not ALL rookies will produce consistantly
That's where a team needs good management.
So for the leafs to win only IF this and IF that and IF no injuries... then Burke has failed

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nuxfan
PickupHockey All-Star



3582 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2010 :  15:10:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:

I don't believe a team moved 10 spots in their conference year over year. I might be mistaken, but it would be huge to say the least.



The only team to do this, that I can recall, are in fact last year's Coyotes. In 08/09 they finished 14th in the western conference, last year they finished 4th.

The western conference was pretty wild last year - the bottom 3 teams from the 08/09 season all made the playoffs the next year. We also saw the Av's go from 16th in the conference to 8th, and the Kings go from 15th to 6th.

However, I still agree, the Leafs are not going to get there. The Av's and Kings all had tremendous upside going into last year and it showed. The Coyotes played a very trap-like defensive game, and got a stellar goaltending year out of Bryzgalov to go with it. None of those things will happen to the Leafs next year.
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Pasty7
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
2262 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2010 :  15:20:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nuxfan

quote:

I don't believe a team moved 10 spots in their conference year over year. I might be mistaken, but it would be huge to say the least.



The only team to do this, that I can recall, are in fact last year's Coyotes. In 08/09 they finished 14th in the western conference, last year they finished 4th.

The western conference was pretty wild last year - the bottom 3 teams from the 08/09 season all made the playoffs the next year. We also saw the Av's go from 16th in the conference to 8th, and the Kings go from 15th to 6th.

However, I still agree, the Leafs are not going to get there. The Av's and Kings all had tremendous upside going into last year and it showed. The Coyotes played a very trap-like defensive game, and got a stellar goaltending year out of Bryzgalov to go with it. None of those things will happen to the Leafs next year.



or the flyers but the flyers had a huge crop of blue chip prospects and a tonne by nhl standards of legit futur stars under the age of 23

Pasty
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nuxfan
PickupHockey All-Star



3582 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2010 :  15:21:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
oh, also the 06/07 Penguins. Finished 16th in the conference in 05/06, 4th in 06/07. Of course, they added Sid and Malkin between those 2 seasons, so its hardly surprising...
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Guest8605
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Posted - 09/10/2010 :  16:38:26  Reply with Quote
Leaf fans have such high expecations. You guys should set yourselves up for disapointment like this. Its going to be so painful watching Boston at the draft next year.
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slozo
Moderator



Canada
4580 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2010 :  18:18:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Any team that has one questionable aspect is a marginal team, Beans? Than that pretty much sums up the entire Eastern Conference! Heck, you may as well include the West as well, with the San Jose Sharks probably being as complete a team there is on paper, but their goalies are again unproven.

Philly? No goaltending as usual.
Washington? Unproven goaltending, suspect defence.
Pittsburgh? No depth on scoring, soft D, shaky at times goaltending.
New Jersey? Great goalie who might be past due, thin D, not that tough.
Boston? Unproven/shaky goaltending, lots of injury history.

You can pick apart any of the very strong teams by pointing out at least one, usually two potential or obvious weaknesses. Fortunately for all those teams, they are exceptionally strong in one or two areas, and pretty good elsewhere . . .

Look at the playoff teams last year, and I can rhyme off the weak points of teams like . . . #5, Ottawa. Weakish Offence that now depended on 2 guys. Weak D. Somewhat uproven goaltending.

What happened? Everything went right, and even with mediocre goaltending, guys like Fisher had a career year, the defence played above their heads, and they just won a bunch of close games with a lot of tenacity.

Don't tell me last year's #5 team, Beans, was not full of holes at the beginning of the year.

At any rate, I just made a prediction - I don't expect any non-Leafs fan to shout anything but homerism at me, so take it as you will.

But don't talk crap about weaknesses, and how there is no parity, and how all the top teams have no holes.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
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Pasty7
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
2262 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2010 :  18:54:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by slozo

Any team that has one questionable aspect is a marginal team, Beans? Than that pretty much sums up the entire Eastern Conference! Heck, you may as well include the West as well, with the San Jose Sharks probably being as complete a team there is on paper, but their goalies are again unproven.

Philly? No goaltending as usual.
Washington? Unproven goaltending, suspect defence.
Pittsburgh? No depth on scoring, soft D, shaky at times goaltending.
New Jersey? Great goalie who might be past due, thin D, not that tough.
Boston? Unproven/shaky goaltending, lots of injury history.

You can pick apart any of the very strong teams by pointing out at least one, usually two potential or obvious weaknesses. Fortunately for all those teams, they are exceptionally strong in one or two areas, and pretty good elsewhere . . .

Look at the playoff teams last year, and I can rhyme off the weak points of teams like . . . #5, Ottawa. Weakish Offence that now depended on 2 guys. Weak D. Somewhat uproven goaltending.

What happened? Everything went right, and even with mediocre goaltending, guys like Fisher had a career year, the defence played above their heads, and they just won a bunch of close games with a lot of tenacity.

Don't tell me last year's #5 team, Beans, was not full of holes at the beginning of the year.

At any rate, I just made a prediction - I don't expect any non-Leafs fan to shout anything but homerism at me, so take it as you will.

But don't talk crap about weaknesses, and how there is no parity, and how all the top teams have no holes.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug



Ottawa`s 5th place team had two forwards much better than the leafs top forward and 1 other just as good and their whole top six far supierior to the leafs,,
Pitts has a soft d? i take their d over the leafs any day and any objective hockey fan would agree ,,,, Martin Mihalik Oprik are all far from soft Letang is not soft come on this is a terrible assment
New Jersey hahahahaha this one made me laugh perhaps the greatest defensive team of all time and they just added on eof the toughest and best defensive d man in the league,, i agree though brodeur is getting old he only got 40 wins last year right? you wont see Brodeurs age untill the playoffs,,
Philly went to the cup final last year every single player on their roster lines up better than the leafs roster except for goaltending, and its not like im their goalie Leighton will do fine

heres my predictions,, guranteed in the top 5 of the conference in no specific order

Pittsburgh
Washington
New Jersey
Philly
Boston

no way the leafs beat out any of these teams... that Leaves in my opinion Montreal Buffalo Toronto Ottawa Tampa Rangers Atlanta Carolina imo battling for three spots as i said before i see Toronto as a legit team battling for those three spots at the end of the year,, i do not believe they will be playing the spoiler at the end of the year, rather fighting to the last game to secure a spot in the second season,, much like my Habs and all of these teams,,, remember this year 2 games to go in the season and 6th 7th and 8th could have been had by like 6 teams,,, toronto will be there next year,, if they make it or not i don`t know ,,,, with the shootout rules now its always right down to the line for these marginal teams... and Toronto is just that marginal


Pasty
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8174 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2010 :  19:53:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Again Slozo, for a guy as smart as you are I would expect you to be able to not pull a 'strawman argument' as you did. I never once said the best teams in the NHL had no holes. I said teams with a glaring hole is considered marginal. The teams and 'weaknesses" you listed are, for the most part, average in NHL standards. Not Weaknesses.

However, you hit the nail on the head when you said these teams have areas that are so strong, other areas are not as significant. What areas are the Leafs strong in again??

As far as Ottawa goes, well they have been a top 5-7 team in the East for the past 5ish years. With the exception of one year when they were desimated with injuries, they always have been. It is your opinion that their defense is margin. Maybe this year it is more so that the past. However, Volchenkov and Phillips alone can make a defense average at worst.

Pitt has a soft D (adding Michalek and Martin) and thier lack of scoring (top 5 in the league last season and 2 of the top 5 offensive players in the game today). What ever makes you sleep at night.

Considering that more nearly 20 teams in the NHL last season would have had losing records without the benefit of a point for an OTL, it's not parity. That's really simple.

Finally, to say that talking weaknesses about the Leafs is crap and accuse others of their homerism???

I got nothing else to say. Typical argument.


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The Duke
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
1039 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2010 :  20:29:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes Alex I`m new here, just observing what i read. Beans, from what i read you are a very knowledgable and intelligent hockey mind. Alex, form your own opinions. Beans, i agree with a lot of what you post, but don`t twist peoples words out of context from what they actually said into an idea of what you may want to believe. I didn`t say edmonton sucks...i said this year they will suck...every player you listed is 3 years away from a solid NHL career. Edmonton WILL BE the NHL`s next Chicago Blackhawks. I said THIS YEAR`s OILER`s will SUCK, and they will. A total bunch of teenagers can only go so far without leadership, and Edmonton has done NOTHING to bring in personalities to mature these young players, if you disagree with this statement, tell me who they have brought in ( via free agency / or trade ) for leadership purposes ?? Even as a leaf fan i`m exicted for the oilers, but the sad part is that even if these young players stay together long enough to go to the stanley cup finals and do well....1 year later they will be the next Chicago Blackhawks, DISMANTLED, because of contractual obligations. How many core players have Chicago moved out already ?? 8 - 9 ?? So sad but it will be the late 80`s version of the oilers all over again...TERRIBLE TO SEE. From what i see in Toronto ( what burke is doing ) at least the core may be able to stay together for a long time with some stablitity. Beans i love hockey and i think you do too, at least i think you will agree with me here, NOBODY and i mean NOBODY ever played hockey like the oilers in the period from 1984 to 1988...unbelieveable. They took hockey to a level which may never be repeated or appreciated again..too bad $$$$ split them up, de-ja-vous in Chicago now ( not saying they were as good as the 80`s oilers )....de-ja-vous in Edmonton 3 - 5 years from now.
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