Forums/Armchair-GM

The Leafs problems discussion thread

Created by: CapFriendlysFinest
Initial Creation Date: Nov 14, 2019
Published: Nov 14, 2019 at 2:20 pm
Team: 2019-20 Toronto Maple Leafs
Team Explanation
So I am here just to have a chat about the Leafs current record of 9-7-4
Over the first 20 games the Leafs are below 500. for winning percent and things have gotten to the point were everyone is over reacting. Relax. Things ned to change but what does? I am here to look at the issues and talk about what should be stressed about and what shouldn't.

Lets start with the back up goalie situation: Relax. I am not too worried about our backup situation, Hutch never had a good team in front of him and all five of his starts he allowed 5 goals plus. Not good at all, yet he did make some big saves. That being said it was time to move on and Kask is up for the Leafs. Is he the answer? No, he won't be but getting a back up goalie in todays NHL is easy so I wouldn't be that worried in the long run. Who knows, Kask could play well enough to keep the job.

Secondly the Power Play: Meh? The problem is not who is on the power play, its how its being run. Every team in the NHL knows about the drop back pass and can just load up the blue line to prevent the flying forward moving the puck in. Secondly, once inside the zone, their attack is too predictable. With no shot from the point, the PP is shooting only from the wings which can make life for opposing teams PK a lot easier. The people on the PP don't need change though I would move JT down to the second unit to allow for a better scoring chance. Fix the movement and fix the set up and the goals will come

Thirdly the PK: Yikes. Its ugly, so ugly its now 6th last in the NHL. This needs to be fixed ASAP. The biggest problem isn't again the players its the set up. The Leafs PK is covering the right guy at the right time. A great example was vs the Burins , Capitals and Blackhawks. When you leave Kane, Ovi and Pasta on the wing completely open, arguably the three best RWs in the game, its going end up in your net. Fix the set up, and also get guys on the PK who have a cool style of play. Soup man is great for fitting int he corners but when he's on the PK and gets the puck, he kinda just freaks out and throws it up the boards hoping it gets out. Fix the set up and get that cool mojo back and it should be ok.

Babcock: Well ... Here is the thing I think about Babcock, he is a fantastic NHL Coach. He has one of the best defensive structures in the NHL and has a gold medal and Stanley Cup to his name. Heres the problem, he doesn't play to the Leafs skills. The leafs are a fast and skilled team and yet are playing a defensive style game. It doesn't work, its tough to tell guys who are use to scoring every day to forget about that and play D. The team needs to know that they are a scoring team and Babcock is the last one to figure that out. He needs to change or he needs to move over. If Babcock can't figure out that Matthews or JT should be leading your team in ice cream rather than Hyman. Overall, I would give Babcock another 10 games to change. if over that 10 games, we have at least 7 wins and have been playing an offensive style of game, then keep Babcock. If not, we cannot have another season of a 1st round exit or WORST, missing the playoffs.

I want to hear what other Leafs fan think, what is your biggest concern so far and do you think we can change it all?

Also my lines are based on what I would like to see once Marner is back and healthy
Buyouts
  • Mikhail Grabovski: $0
Retained Salary Transactions
  • Phil Kessel: $1,200,000 (15%)
DRAFT YEARROUND 1ROUND 2ROUND 3ROUND 4ROUND 5ROUND 6ROUND 7
2020
TOR
CBJ
TOR
VGK
TOR
CAR
COL
EDM
SJS
STL
WPG
2021
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
2022
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
ROSTER SIZESALARY CAPCAP HITOVERAGES BONUSESCAP SPACE
21$81,500,000$81,322,143$0$70,000$177,857

Roster

Left WingCenterRight Wing
TOR
Johnsson, Andreas
$3,400,000
LW
UFA - 4
TOR
Matthews, Auston
$11,634,000
C
UFA - 5
TOR
Nylander, William
$6,962,366
RW, C
UFA - 5
TOR
Hyman, Zach
$2,250,000
LW
NTC
UFA - 2
TOR
Tavares, John
$11,000,000
C
NMC
UFA - 6
TOR
Marner, Mitchell
$10,893,000
RW
UFA - 6
TOR
Mikheyev, Ilya
$925,000
LW, RW
RFA - 1
TOR
Kerfoot, Alexander
$3,500,000
C, LW
UFA - 4
TOR
Kapanen, Kasperi
$3,200,000
RW
RFA - 3
TOR
Timashov, Dmytro
$694,444
LW
RFA - 1
TOR
Gauthier, Frédérik
$675,000
C
RFA - 1
TOR
Moore, Trevor
$775,000
RW, LW
RFA - 2
Left DefenseRight DefenseGoaltender
TOR
Rielly, Morgan
$5,000,000
LD
UFA - 3
TOR
Holl, Justin
$675,000
RD
UFA - 1
TOR
Andersen, Frederik
$5,000,000
G
NTC
UFA - 2
TOR
Muzzin, Jake
$4,000,000
LD
UFA - 1
TOR
Barrie, Tyson
$2,750,000
RD
UFA - 1
TOR
Kaskisuo, Kasimir
$675,000
G
RFA - 1
TOR
Dermott, Travis
$863,333
LD
RFA - 1
TOR
Ceci, Cody
$4,500,000
RD
UFA - 1
ScratchesInjured Reserve (IR)Long Term IR (LTIR)
TOR
Shore, Nick
$750,000
C
UFA - 1
TOR
Horton, Nathan
$5,300,000
RW
NMC NTC
UFA - 1
TOR
Clarkson, David
$5,250,000
RW
NMC NTC
UFA - 1

Special Teams

Power Play 1
Johnsson, A.
Matthews, A.
Nylander, W.
Rielly, M.
Kapanen, K.
Power Play 2
Hyman, Z.
Tavares, J.
Marner, M.
Kerfoot, A.
Barrie, T.
Penalty Kill 1
Matthews, A.
Kapanen, K.
Rielly, M.
Holl, J.
Penalty Kill 2
Gauthier, F.
Hyman, Z.
Muzzin, J.
Ceci, C.

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Nov 14, 2019 at 2:39
#1
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 668
Likes: 159
1. ".. he doesn't play to the Leafs skills. The leafs are a fast and skilled team and yet are playing a defensive style game."

I've heard that line many times on social media. I don't know where that idea comes from. The Leafs don't play defensively. We are among the very worst teams in goals allowed. And we have been for years. Yesterday against the Isles, the Leafs were playing offensively during the first two periods, and dominating. They lost because they make fatal mistakes in their own zone. Defensive play is their weakness.

What I don't like about Babcock is line/TOI usage. Matthews didn't play enough last year, and should have more time this year. Maybe that's what you mean by "playing defensively", but that's not the same.

2. PPs around the league score on one-timers, or because of the threat of one-timers. We have only one player on the team who can take one timers: Barrie. Aside from Matthews who has been developing it but doesn't use it consistently. The solution is simple.

3. Glad that Dubas spoke on the Ceci case. Leaf fans' subjective appreciation of our D has become preposterous. Holl is doing great, but placing him against top opposition is not going to help him, or the team. Meanwhile, Ceci has proven to be very reliable, and plays above expectations. He's not elite, and not great at zone exits. But he's the best defensive player on the roster this year. Can't afford to lose him.
Jamiepo and Trickster liked this.
Nov 14, 2019 at 2:54
#2
get off my lawn...
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 11,615
Likes: 5,785
Quoting: leaflet
1. ".. he doesn't play to the Leafs skills. The leafs are a fast and skilled team and yet are playing a defensive style game."

I've heard that line many times on social media. I don't know where that idea comes from. The Leafs don't play defensively. We are among the very worst teams in goals allowed. And we have been for years. Yesterday against the Isles, the Leafs were playing offensively during the first two periods, and dominating. They lost because they make fatal mistakes in their own zone. Defensive play is their weakness.

What I don't like about Babcock is line/TOI usage. Matthews didn't play enough last year, and should have more time this year. Maybe that's what you mean by "playing defensively", but that's not the same.

2. PPs around the league score on one-timers, or because of the threat of one-timers. We have only one player on the team who can take one timers: Barrie. Aside from Matthews who has been developing it but doesn't use it consistently. The solution is simple.

3. Glad that Dubas spoke on the Ceci case. Leaf fans' subjective appreciation of our D has become preposterous. Holl is doing great, but placing him against top opposition is not going to help him, or the team. Meanwhile, Ceci has proven to be very reliable, and plays above expectations. He's not elite, and not great at zone exits. But he's the best defensive player on the roster this year. Can't afford to lose him.


Missed muzzin Rielly and Dermott on one timers. Don’t let Dermott fool you. He actually can load up a heavy shot.

I think it is a lot of brain farts. The systems seem to work well but a couple times a period things go to the ****s for 1 second and other teams seems to capitalize quite easily. Not sure how you fix that. It could just be something that takes time.

Matthews needs to play more... period. The Matthews and Tavares lines should have much more time than the 3rd and 4th. The Matthews line should also have more time than JT’s line.
PleaseBanMeForMyOwnGood, CapFriendlysFinest, Trickster and 1 other person liked this.
Nov 14, 2019 at 3:09
#3
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 12,326
Likes: 3,775
Quoting: leaflet
1. ".. he doesn't play to the Leafs skills. The leafs are a fast and skilled team and yet are playing a defensive style game."

I've heard that line many times on social media. I don't know where that idea comes from. The Leafs don't play defensively. We are among the very worst teams in goals allowed. And we have been for years. Yesterday against the Isles, the Leafs were playing offensively during the first two periods, and dominating. They lost because they make fatal mistakes in their own zone. Defensive play is their weakness.

What I don't like about Babcock is line/TOI usage. Matthews didn't play enough last year, and should have more time this year. Maybe that's what you mean by "playing defensively", but that's not the same.

2. PPs around the league score on one-timers, or because of the threat of one-timers. We have only one player on the team who can take one timers: Barrie. Aside from Matthews who has been developing it but doesn't use it consistently. The solution is simple.

3. Glad that Dubas spoke on the Ceci case. Leaf fans' subjective appreciation of our D has become preposterous. Holl is doing great, but placing him against top opposition is not going to help him, or the team. Meanwhile, Ceci has proven to be very reliable, and plays above expectations. He's not elite, and not great at zone exits. But he's the best defensive player on the roster this year. Can't afford to lose him.


Ceci being the best defensive player is a hot take for the ages. He hasn't been a pile of garbage but he also hasn't been good. He is really not at all capable of playing against top players and for being such a big guy he doesn't do very well clearing the front of the net either. He also is just hands down not good on the PK. I think if he was on the bottom pair the team would benefit greatly. Move Dermott to the right side with Rielly and that pair will be good. I think Holl has been really solid all year. He just goes out there and plays simple and smart. Personally I'd move Dermott up to the top pair, get rid of Ceci and bring Sandin back up to play on the bottom pair with Holl.
CapFriendlysFinest and Jamiepo liked this.
Nov 14, 2019 at 3:55
#4
Thread Starter
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 677
Likes: 143
Quoting: LoganOllivier
Ceci being the best defensive player is a hot take for the ages. He hasn't been a pile of garbage but he also hasn't been good. He is really not at all capable of playing against top players and for being such a big guy he doesn't do very well clearing the front of the net either. He also is just hands down not good on the PK. I think if he was on the bottom pair the team would benefit greatly. Move Dermott to the right side with Rielly and that pair will be good. I think Holl has been really solid all year. He just goes out there and plays simple and smart. Personally I'd move Dermott up to the top pair, get rid of Ceci and bring Sandin back up to play on the bottom pair with Holl.


Ive wanted Dermott to move up sooooooo badly beside Reilly but it won't happen
Nov 14, 2019 at 4:03
#5
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 12,326
Likes: 3,775
Quoting: CapFriendlysFinest
Ive wanted Dermott to move up sooooooo badly beside Reilly but it won't happen


Why I don't think it'll happen is because I think Babs won't want to play Holl or Ceci on their off side and won't be willing to give Sandin a shot on the bottom pair over Ceci.

Rielly-Dermot
Muzzin-Barrie
Sandin-Holl

Is better than what we have.
Nov 14, 2019 at 4:32
#6
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2,980
Likes: 1,244
Quoting: leaflet
1. ".. he doesn't play to the Leafs skills. The leafs are a fast and skilled team and yet are playing a defensive style game."

I've heard that line many times on social media. I don't know where that idea comes from. The Leafs don't play defensively. We are among the very worst teams in goals allowed. And we have been for years. Yesterday against the Isles, the Leafs were playing offensively during the first two periods, and dominating. They lost because they make fatal mistakes in their own zone. Defensive play is their weakness.


For the last 25 years ( and beyond ) TML Office thinks McCabe - Kaberle is just enough to bring parade into town.....
Jamiepo liked this.
Nov 14, 2019 at 5:20
#7
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 51
Likes: 13
PP- Barrie's shot is an asset that the Leafs should be using on the PP. Without a big shot from the point it makes it much easier to defend. I'm not saying he should be out with the 1st unit every time, but at least give him a shot or put out whoever is rested instead of running out a tired Reilly every time. PP breakout works fine if they attack with SPEED, which half of the time they don't and get stuffed at the blueline.

PK - They're over complicating this. The PK system they've implemented is not being grasped by the players. Too many times forwards are pushing down the half wall, then when a puck goes to the point it's confusion between F's of who is going where. They run around, get out of position and it results in quality shots against. Elite NHL players (like the guys on the 1st PP unit of each team) only need a very small opening to be dangerous and the Leafs are making it way too easy on them.

As much as people want to hate on the Leafs, if their special teams improve just a little bit they will be a very difficult team to beat.
Nov 14, 2019 at 5:26
#8
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 51
Likes: 13
Quoting: CapFriendlysFinest
Ive wanted Dermott to move up sooooooo badly beside Reilly but it won't happen


Dermott and Holl are turing into a really solid 3rd pair. Don't you think they would be better off playing them 16-18 minutes a night together (instead of 10-12), keep Muzzin/Barrie in the 20 minute range, and get Reilly/Ceci in the 20-22 minute range? Less minutes should equate to better quality, they'll be as tired and who knows, even be able to put together a decent effort in back to back games.
Nov 14, 2019 at 6:17
#9
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,225
Likes: 1,255
Quoting: leaflet
1. ".. he doesn't play to the Leafs skills. The leafs are a fast and skilled team and yet are playing a defensive style game."

I've heard that line many times on social media. I don't know where that idea comes from. The Leafs don't play defensively. We are among the very worst teams in goals allowed. And we have been for years. Yesterday against the Isles, the Leafs were playing offensively during the first two periods, and dominating. They lost because they make fatal mistakes in their own zone. Defensive play is their weakness.

What I don't like about Babcock is line/TOI usage. Matthews didn't play enough last year, and should have more time this year. Maybe that's what you mean by "playing defensively", but that's not the same.

2. PPs around the league score on one-timers, or because of the threat of one-timers. We have only one player on the team who can take one timers: Barrie. Aside from Matthews who has been developing it but doesn't use it consistently. The solution is simple.

3. Glad that Dubas spoke on the Ceci case. Leaf fans' subjective appreciation of our D has become preposterous. Holl is doing great, but placing him against top opposition is not going to help him, or the team. Meanwhile, Ceci has proven to be very reliable, and plays above expectations. He's not elite, and not great at zone exits. But he's the best defensive player on the roster this year. Can't afford to lose him.


You hear about players not being used right because that really is the case.

Before even getting into D pairing talk, how about we talk about Babcock and his unwillingness to change?

Knowing the team doesn't have strong backup goaltending, why not play the backup at least some of the time when the team is fresh (first night of a back-to-back)? That imo is mismanaging the roster.

Power play has struggled so why not use Rielly and Barrie on the power play? These are just two quick things I thought of..I'm sure there's more.
Jamiepo liked this.
Nov 14, 2019 at 6:35
#10
BtZ's buttercup
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 3,220
Likes: 1,883
Great post.


Totally agree one alot of points.
However, Ceci needs to stay with Rielly IMO.

Holl has played amazing, but at the end of the day he is good at his roll... let's not ruin this by asking him to do too much.

I want the PP to have Barrie double shifted.
Use Riely and Barrie one 1st PP, yes 3 FWs.
Barrie and maybe Dermott one the 2nd, shift out Barrie for another when hes tired.

Love to see Tavares and Matthews separated on the PP.
leaflet liked this.
Nov 14, 2019 at 8:22
#11
get off my lawn...
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 11,615
Likes: 5,785
Quoting: LoganOllivier
Ceci being the best defensive player is a hot take for the ages. He hasn't been a pile of garbage but he also hasn't been good. He is really not at all capable of playing against top players and for being such a big guy he doesn't do very well clearing the front of the net either. He also is just hands down not good on the PK. I think if he was on the bottom pair the team would benefit greatly. Move Dermott to the right side with Rielly and that pair will be good. I think Holl has been really solid all year. He just goes out there and plays simple and smart. Personally I'd move Dermott up to the top pair, get rid of Ceci and bring Sandin back up to play on the bottom pair with Holl.


It’s not a bad idea but getting rid of ceci without a suitable replacement is a bad idea. Of a Dman goes down I’m all for bringing up Lilly or sandin. But if one goes down and we have traded ceci we may be in trouble.
Nov 14, 2019 at 9:57
#12
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 12,326
Likes: 3,775
Quoting: Jamiepo
It’s not a bad idea but getting rid of ceci without a suitable replacement is a bad idea. Of a Dman goes down I’m all for bringing up Lilly or sandin. But if one goes down and we have traded ceci we may be in trouble.


I suppose sitting him isn't the worst really
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