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Leafs Still Don't Seem Built For Playoffs

Are the Leafs built for playoff hockey?
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May 17 at 3:55
#1
Big Sheary Fan
Joined: Apr 2019
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Having watched the first few playoff games this season, I have decided that the Leafs just aren’t capable of playing at the level of legit contenders.
While they do have a tremendous amount of talent & physicality, I just don’t know if they can play with the same level of speed & intensity as the top teams outside the division. For example, other teams move the puck quickly & are always driving to the net. It feels the Leafs system operates at a slower pace & they emphasize on passing the puck along the perimeter & shooting from distance. There just isn't enough movement or creativity. Plus it feels like they don’t play for each other, like they don’t play with a lot of emotion & just let the opposition push them around. I have a feeling that they’re going to get worn out very quickly.
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May 17 at 3:56
#2
Thread Starter
Big Sheary Fan
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 2,953
Likes: 736
Sorry for the tag guys, I just want to hear your opinion on this topic. Do you agree with my take?
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May 17 at 3:57
#3
Tyler Johnson 4ever
Joined: Sep 2020
Posts: 2,138
Likes: 1,540
What is that quote list?

I voted yes because this year is an improvement from last year. But I think they're going to be in for a rude awakening regardless of what division they play if they win the North division.
May 17 at 4:00
#4
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 7,698
Likes: 2,596
We haven't seen them play yet. All of the teams who played yesterday without a doubt brought more to their GM1 than their last regular season game. The leafs should turn it on, but we won't know until we see them play.

If anything, this thread is jumping the gun too much.
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May 17 at 4:03
#5
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 13,655
Likes: 3,998
They're better built than any previous year (at least in recent memory). If they can get by MTL then they stand a chance against other teams that play the speed and intensity game you mentioned, as MTL definitely plays that way. It'll be interesting to see... I give TOR a 60% chance to win the 1st round.
May 17 at 4:05
#6
Miss the Thrashers
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 9,059
Likes: 1,932
Quoting: Penguins_Legend_Sheary
Sorry for the tag guys, I just want to hear your opinion on this topic. Do you agree with my take?


They're completely carried by their forwards. Their defense and goaltending isn't good enough. All it takes is a good defensive unit (Like Columbus or Boston) to beat them. Hell, it isn't even goaltending that steals series from them. They lost to the best defense in the league when it was playing in front of a Zamboni driver. It's just an organisation that's too incomplete. It goes back to the infamous saying, offense wins games, defense wins Championships.
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May 17 at 4:08
#7
Tyler Johnson 4ever
Joined: Sep 2020
Posts: 2,138
Likes: 1,540
Quoting: Penguins_Legend_Sheary
Sorry for the tag guys, I just want to hear your opinion on this topic

Where did you find the quotes? You had me talking about Volkov and he hasn't been on the Lightning for half a season lol
May 17 at 4:10
#8
First NY Then LA
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 19,590
Likes: 10,018
Oh, I think that they have plenty of creativity, all right -- the issue is whether they have enough guys willing to try to score all of their goals from within 5 feet of the crease. And whether Jack Campbell is good enough to carry them.
OutCold13 liked this.
May 17 at 4:11
#9
Jack Hughes is Elite
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 12,304
Likes: 7,172
It all depends on this year. They seem the most playoff built this year compared to years prior. If they can't find a way to go far in the playoffs this year, something has to change.

But I agree, I don't think they are "playoff built" compared to other contending teams
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May 17 at 4:12
#10
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 342
Likes: 32
The Leafs are built better for the playoffs than they have been in recent years. But after playing in the defense-less North all season and again in the playoffs, I expect them to advance to the semis but then be in for a shock. Unless they get lucky with the matchup in stylistic terms, I think the physicality and two-way focus will be too much for them. In a tight battle where grinding and goaltending matter most, I can't see the Leafs winning.
OldNYIfan liked this.
May 17 at 4:13
#11
Hockey Fan13
Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 3,403
Likes: 2,135
Quoting: Penguins_Legend_Sheary
Sorry for the tag guys, I just want to hear your opinion on this topic. Do you agree with my take?





I've only seen a bit of Leafs hockey this year and your assessment seems accurate from that. Still with this year you have to wonder if they play like that because they want to or because they can.
You could say they are built to win the Canadian division and that is technically playoff hockey. Can't see them making it out of the semi finals.
If the Jets had a better blue line then they would be the team in the Canadian division to watch and if Hellebuyck gets hot maybe they still are.
Sorry Leafs fans, I really enjoy Marner and Matthews but as a team it doesn't look like what we have seen before when compared to past cup champs.
OldNYIfan liked this.
May 17 at 4:14
#12
Shibbal18
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 16,962
Likes: 4,908
Dubas doesnt understand playoff hockey, hes an advanced stat nerd who covers his eyes when there's a fight
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May 17 at 4:22
#13
EichelOverrated
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 1,418
Likes: 953
Hard to say they aren't built for playoffs when they haven't played a game yet. I've seen nothing but arguments of how weak the North Division was this year. Yet apparently Vegas and Colorado had it tough with 3 teams not reaching the 50 point mark? Carolina, Florida, and TB had it tough with 2 teams not making the 50 point mark? The East had it tough with Buffalo, Philly, and NJ in their division? I have found every argument extremely weak. Fact is there is no true test until playoffs start. Not often does the presidents trophy winner take the cup. Leafs will be fine. This is the most well rounded team they've iced since 93.
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May 17 at 4:26
#14
Joined: Apr 2020
Posts: 3,297
Likes: 1,111
too early to say. they should have no problem with the habs but i'm leaning towards no.
May 17 at 4:37
#15
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 6,677
Likes: 2,749
Time and space are harder to find in the Playoffs because the Refs swallow their whistles, so there is more clutch-n-grab and interference. Solid D-zone play/structure and decent goaltending is what takes teams far in the Playoffs. A high powered offense can win a series, but can't keep it up for the 4 series.

The Leafs are fine in the North where there don't have the VGK, BOS, MN, NSH, etc teams that play the physical, solid defense game to get TOR off their game and wear them down over 7 games. Get to the final 4 and anything can happen. The other 3 teams should be more beat up and worn down from their Divisions.
May 17 at 4:38
#16
Kravtsov_Stan
Joined: Sep 2020
Posts: 1,057
Likes: 460
Quoting: Penguins_Legend_Sheary
Sorry for the tag guys, I just want to hear your opinion on this topic. Do you agree with my take?


I think their depth gets really overrated and although they are a good team if just one of their top 5 guys is injured the entire team is screwed which I can say is the case for any other team I would consider a contender. They are a good team but nowhere near the level of a Carolina, Vegas, Colorado, or Tampa
May 17 at 5:13
#17
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 3,121
Likes: 932
Quoting: Penguins_Legend_Sheary
Sorry for the tag guys, I just want to hear your opinion on this topic. Do you agree with my take?


Better than last year with foligino, brodie, and simmonds.. but they haven't had to play any defensive juggernauts in the west yet.. they're definately built to beat MTL with no carey price
Saskleaf liked this.
May 17 at 5:13
#18
LongtimeLeafsufferer
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 38,198
Likes: 11,101
Edited May 18 at 2:04
Leafs for some reason are so heavily criticized. Seems like so many Leaf fans and non Leaf fans think the Leafs have to have perfect personnel to win.
We'll see how far they advance, but I don't think any failure on their part will because they aren't build to be a playoff team.
BigDaddyOvech liked this.
May 17 at 5:16
#19
Thread Starter
Big Sheary Fan
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 2,953
Likes: 736
Quoting: CD282
They're better built than any previous year (at least in recent memory). If they can get by MTL then they stand a chance against other teams that play the speed and intensity game you mentioned, as MTL definitely plays that way. It'll be interesting to see... I give TOR a 60% chance to win the 1st round.


MTL has 3 below replacement level defenders in their top 4 (Weber, Edmundson & chariot) so I don’t think Toronto should have much trouble with them even with their relentless style. When they face a good team, they'll Be toast.
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May 17 at 5:24
#20
Thread Starter
Big Sheary Fan
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 2,953
Likes: 736
Quoting: Caniac2000
They're completely carried by their forwards. Their defense and goaltending isn't good enough. All it takes is a good defensive unit (Like Columbus or Boston) to beat them. Hell, it isn't even goaltending that steals series from them. They lost to the best defense in the league when it was playing in front of a Zamboni driver. It's just an organisation that's too incomplete. It goes back to the infamous saying, offense wins games, defense wins Championships.


I think you’re being a little dramatic cuz if you look at the stats, there is no doubt the Leafs blueline has improved from previous years (every D except Holl has an xGF share of 55% or higher). But I do think they’ll be overwhelmed by a team like TBL that can roll 4 dominant lines & 3 pairings as most of their opponents so far aren’t deep.
May 17 at 5:26
#21
Leafs suck
Joined: Apr 2020
Posts: 6,840
Likes: 3,263
Quoting: Penguins_Legend_Sheary
Having watched the first few playoff games this season, I have decided that the Leafs just aren’t capable of playing at the level of legit contenders.
While they do have a tremendous amount of talent & physicality, I just don’t know if they can play with the same level of speed & intensity as the top teams outside the division. For example, other teams move the puck quickly & are always driving to the net. It feels the Leafs system operates at a slower pace & they emphasize on passing the puck along the perimeter & shooting from distance. There just isn't enough movement or creativity. Plus it feels like they don’t play for each other, like they don’t play with a lot of emotion & just let the opposition push them around. I have a feeling that they’re going to get worn out very quickly.


I think we need to wait until they actually play a playoff game this year.
May 17 at 5:26
#22
Thread Starter
Big Sheary Fan
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 2,953
Likes: 736
Quoting: OldNYIfan
Oh, I think that they have plenty of creativity, all right -- the issue is whether they have enough guys willing to try to score all of their goals from within 5 feet of the crease. And whether Jack Campbell is good enough to carry them.


Agree I just feel the team’s buildup to generate a chance is too slow & guys aren’t willing to drive the puck to the net. They’ll get away with it vs weak teams but if they play like that vs TBL or COL, they’re toast.
OldNYIfan liked this.
May 17 at 5:27
#23
exo2769
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 9,912
Likes: 3,997
We're certainly going to find out. I like the moves they made getting Foligno and signing Simmonds. They needed those type of Players. I still don't think their Dcore is all that great, nor their goalies, BUT you don't have to be perfect in every category AND the system takes a bit of blame for that...just being so aggressive. It makes the D look bad when they're probably ok.
OldNYIfan liked this.
May 17 at 5:31
#24
best poster
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 5,877
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635702692219453471.png?v=1
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May 17 at 5:34
#25
Thread Starter
Big Sheary Fan
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 2,953
Likes: 736
Quoting: bruinsdude77
The Leafs are built better for the playoffs than they have been in recent years. But after playing in the defense-less North all season and again in the playoffs, I expect them to advance to the semis but then be in for a shock. Unless they get lucky with the matchup in stylistic terms, I think the physicality and two-way focus will be too much for them. In a tight battle where grinding and goaltending matter most, I can't see the Leafs winning.


IDK honestly, I think the Leafs have plenty of physical guys who can pressure opposing defencemen on the forecheck. I just have a hard time seeing them match the speed of other teams cuz they are slow both in skating & puck movement.
 
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