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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:02 pm 
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Interesting screed on Babcock, I'm only about halfway through it but so far it's been an excellent read.

https://www.pensionplanpuppets.com/2020 ... leafs-news


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 10:19 pm 
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Well Anderson leaves the game versus the Panthros with an upper body injury after being run into by Frank Vatrano. To be fair, he was pushed by Jake Muzzin on a 2-on-1. Looks like a shoulder or maybe his head.

Andersen allowed a goal on eight shots and seemed slow to get up but was able to finish the period before being replaced at the start of the second by Michael Hutchinson. Hutchy has looked shaky. After the Leafs spotted him a two goal lead, he allowed 2 straight goals in the span of a minute or so in the 3rd and then the stinker to make it 4-3 Panthers.

Hope it's not serious but you need 2 legit goaltenders these days period.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:58 pm 
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Well that's...just not good news. This is like, worst case scenario for the Leafies if Freddy is out an appreciable amount of time.

Apparently there were a TON of scouts at tonight's game, and Joe Sakic himself was in attendance. That may not mean anything, but then again...it might. :awesome:

And um, yeah...any time you play a game and give up a friggin' hat trick to Mark Pysyk playing forward due to the injuries Florida is dealing with, including Sasha Barkov...that's just not a recipe for success.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:51 am 
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Leafs have no ability to control the front of the net so once they get caught in a spin cycle a guy who was told to stand in front of the net becomes the most dangerous offensive weapon. Then to compound the problem they don't fill the shooting lanes up high so long bombs that find a corner are going to be a problem as well.

They nullify their often skill advantage by making it too easy to score low skill goals against them on the grind.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:10 am 
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Well, after another underwhelming performance tonight, Michael Hutchinson's chance to "prove the doubters wrong" comes to an end.

https://www.tsn.ca/toronto-maple-leafs- ... -1.1438484


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:28 pm 
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Hounsy wrote:
Leafs have no ability to control the front of the net so once they get caught in a spin cycle a guy who was told to stand in front of the net becomes the most dangerous offensive weapon. Then to compound the problem they don't fill the shooting lanes up high so long bombs that find a corner are going to be a problem as well.

They nullify their often skill advantage by making it too easy to score low skill goals against them on the grind.


Well, and that's why they need an elite or near-elite goaltender. They're never gonna be a "shutdown" type of team.

Really though, no team is going to succeed with the goaltending the Leafs have gotten from Hutchinson and also mid-season Andersen. You have to have at least above-average netminding in order to succeed with a good defensive team, and the Leafs need a little better than that with the style they play and lack of defensive talent both at forward and on the blueline.

Dubas is likely counting the days until he can shove Cody Ceci into the press box where he belongs.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:27 pm 
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Dermott and Barrie have been playing together and it is scary to watch with them on the ice as a Leaf fan. Dermott isn't horrible defensively but he is far from good enough to be the guy to cover up for the defensive mess that is Barrie. Who was his partners in Colorado? He is just too big of a hand grenade to fit with the Leafs as they just don't have the match to off set him.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:14 pm 
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Hounsy wrote:
Dermott and Barrie have been playing together and it is scary to watch with them on the ice as a Leaf fan. Dermott isn't horrible defensively but he is far from good enough to be the guy to cover up for the defensive mess that is Barrie. Who was his partners in Colorado? He is just too big of a hand grenade to fit with the Leafs as they just don't have the match to off set him.


Sorry...kinda long-winded answer forthcoming.

It's funny because Barrie got saddled with some truly horrendous defensive partners over the course of his tenure in Denver, I was really thinking after the trade that he'd finally get some decent partners who'd really let him loose. In hindsight...maybe those other guys were better than I thought, or Barrie's defensive game has regressed even more than where it was.

I cannot for the life of me remember who he was with his 1st full season, but following that he was with Nate "The General" Guenin, who was simply not an NHL-caliber defenseman. Following that, it was Nick Holden, who was serviceable at the time for a season or two, but I was never a fan.

And we'll just skip over 2016-17. That season doesn't count, and it doesn't matter who was partnered with whom on defense.

The next season, he was mostly with Patrik Nemeth, and then in his final season, he and Nikita Zadorov were used as a top pairing when Erik Johnson went down with his annual injury, and it stayed that way for the most part going into the playoffs. Both Nemeth and Zadorov have their fundamental issues but I think those two were by far the best guys he's ever had alongside him.

I'll say this: Maybe Barrie wasn't as good a fit with the Leafs as we all thought. I thought it'd be a match made in heaven, but now I'm rethinking that. Dermott's own struggles may indicate that he's simply not as good as the Leafs (and others) projected him to be, or that offseason surgery is simply going to take a full year to recover from fully. Also, for all the great things he does, Morgan Rielly is not an ideal #1 defenseman. There are some huge flaws in his game that, in some ways, are actually worse than Barrie's. Some of the worst gap control I've ever seen in an NHL defenseman.

Ironically, Barrie would probably be thriving in Colorado right now. Their defensive numbers are worlds better than they've been in years' past, but they really haven't made any huge improvements on the blueline. In fact, one could argue that they're worse given that Ian Cole and Erik Johnson are moving with the grace and speed of wounded snails. What changed is up front--the Avs have essentially stockpiled savvy two-way and defensive forwards, and it's made a huge impact on the team's overall defensive game. Meanwhile, I'd argue that Toronto doesn't have nearly enough of those, especially when you consider that the "Big Three" of Matthews, Nylander, and Marner are abominable when it comes to defense. It can't just be Hyman, Mikheyev, and Kerfoot. You need more. I guess Clifford will help in that regard at least.

Lastly...y'know what is the best panacea for a shitty defenseman? Good goaltending! A shame it took the Leafs over half a season to finally find one to partner with Freddy.

Anyway...tl;dr:
Barrie had some pretty awful defensive partners in CO but maybe not as bad as I thought. Dermott might be a little overrated, but the Leafs for sure could use some better defensive presence at all positions, including in between ye olde pipes.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:35 pm 
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Ceci out for at least a month.

Sorry...mean thing to say here but...putting his bloated salary on LTIR would likely be a godsend for Dubas.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:43 pm 
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Pokecheque wrote:
Ceci out for at least a month.

Sorry...mean thing to say here but...putting his bloated salary on LTIR would likely be a godsend for Dubas.


Are we sure it wasn't Dubas that injured him?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:56 pm 
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E.L. wrote:
Pokecheque wrote:
Ceci out for at least a month.

Sorry...mean thing to say here but...putting his bloated salary on LTIR would likely be a godsend for Dubas.


Are we sure it wasn't Dubas that injured him?


Plus add Reilly's injury to that.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:17 pm 
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E.L. wrote:
Are we sure it wasn't Dubas that injured him?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:52 am 
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Kovalchuk was skating like a 40 year old most of the game, but he scored the GWG in the end. Go figure.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:09 pm 
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Andreas Johnsson out six months following knee surgery. Denis Malgin acquired from Florida to help provide some offensive.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:34 pm 
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They either have to acquire d-man help or get Rielly back soon or they are cooked...if they are not already. The guys they have asked to absorb the extra minutes on the back end are not cutting it at all and most have actually wilted with the pressure and regressed from where they where a few weeks ago.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:42 pm 
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Hounsy wrote:
They either have to acquire d-man help or get Rielly back soon or they are cooked...if they are not already. The guys they have asked to absorb the extra minutes on the back end are not cutting it at all and most have actually wilted with the pressure and regressed from where they where a few weeks ago.


Frankly...I think they're cooked. I just don't think it's the year. Too many different factors adding up to a team that just isn't ready yet.

Have a good offseason, re-sign the RFAs, maybe swing a trade or two, sign some depth, let Keefe build his own staff, and start anew in 2020.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:13 pm 
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Leafs make a minor trade, sending Mason Marchment to FLA in exchange for Denis Malgin.

From what I understand, Malgin is small, speedy, very good defensively, but not a great scorer and since he's a little guy can get knocked around a bit.

Kinda sad Marchment didn't really make it to the promised land in Toronto, he was one of those long-term projects you could easily root for.

But as someone else online pointed out--the Leafs have recently made two trades for legit players and only gave up undrafted free agents. That's pretty good.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:26 pm 
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Hard to have a good off season if you are continually looked upon to pay a premium over other clubs.

If they over pay the big players by a 3-4 million that is the equivalent of one anchor contract so I can forgive Dubas inability to get any solid deals with the big players if they are winning and not signing any outright duds. But if you are losing the spotlight is on those negotiations and not sure Dubas makes it past this off season if they miss.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:27 pm 
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Hounsy wrote:
Hard to have a good off season if you are continually looked upon to pay a premium over other clubs.

If they over pay the big players by a 3-4 million that is the equivalent of one anchor contract so I can forgive Dubas inability to get any solid deals with the big players if they are winning and not signing any outright duds. But if you are losing the spotlight is on those negotiations and not sure Dubas makes it past this off season if they miss.


Boy I hope they give him more than two effin' seasons, especially since he had to pay a pretty dire price just to get the awful contracts Lou left on the books just so he could take sign the team's four best players.

And not firing Babcock was a horrible blunder, but that's 100% on Shanahan, and he knows it.

The only major screwup I'd pin on Dubas is the backup goalie nightmare. Admittedly it sure seemed like a safe bet with Sparks but that blew up spectacularly (and I don't think Babs helped matters), but Hutchinson was not a good "Plan B".


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 10:10 pm 
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Emergency goalie vs the Leafs tonight. 40something year old zamboni driver David Ayers in nets for the Hurricanes. Legend!

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