May 29, 2018
Toronto Maple Leafs
2nd Favourite Team
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<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>leaflet</b></div><div>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.</div></div>
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.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>LoganOllivier</b></div><div>There are like 10 teams you say they have the best D core in the league and probably none of them are really right or wrong. The thing about defensive play in this league is that it's a 5 man unit at 5v5. You have have the 6 best defenceman in the league but if your forwards don't commit to playing proper defence, you can often get lit up. I say this because TO on paper should have one of the best in the league as well but the forwards just don't do their job enough (apart from Ceci, he isn't the worst player in the league like many on here like to say but he definitely isn't a top PK guy or a top pair guy capable of playing against the leagues best, too bad Babs can't figure that out as well). Like the game last night, TO for the majority of the game was the better team but when they made a mistake (Johnsson give away led to the first goal, and there was another one there where the Leafs had 4 guys leaving their zone before a turnover led to another goal against that was a 3 on 1 the other way.
I'll say that is the crap that makes the Leafs so frustrating, they can steamroll teams for 50 minutes but those 10 minutes where they aren't focussed they usually give up a few insane chances that the other teams just capitalize on.
Back to the Islanders defence, they are good and the system the team plays maximizes their skills. Trotz is definitely the best coach in the league right now and he has you guys all buying and doing their roles. Babs has probably this regular season to figure out how to get his guys to buy into his strategy or he's going to get fired.
I do have a question, does every line on the islanders play the same way? Its an idea I have just started thinking about but perhaps coaches need to start coaching lines on their own team differently. For example, the Barzal line do stuff a lot of other lines just can't do so does Trotz let them have a little more leeway to maximize their talents? I ask because Babs coaches everyone the same and I think that doesn't work. I wonder if having different lines play systems that work for their talents is wiser than getting everyone to buy into one system.</div></div>
The leafs had a lot more zone time yesterday, but that’s all a part of the Barry trotz system. I believe the leafs had 60% of the shot attempts, but the islanders purposely let them move around the offensive zone and push them to the perimeter forcing them to take shots from there. Even though leafs led in short attempts, the high danger chances were even, and the islanders capitalized off of turnovers and when leafs players were out of position.
What makes the islanders defense dangerous is each one of their pairs has a fast skating puck mover and a shutdown D. Pelech-pulock are surgical - I mean I talk a lot about pulock, but pelech is arguably just as important . Pelech had the 7th best defensive impact among defenseman with tough usage last season. Sean tierney on twitter updates charts last week had them as a top 10 D pairing in the NHL. In terms of quality, Devon toews-mayfield, Leddy-boychuk are both 2nd pairing caliber which also helps. The islanders definitely play as a 6 man unit and the forwards know their role, but there is a lot of skill on the back end.
I would say every line plays the same way defensively , but trotz main thing is “you do what I want you to do when you don’t have the puck but you are free to do what you want when you have the puck on your stick”. Last season trotz separated barzal and eberle so he can develop their defensive game. That has really paid off for barzal, who is developing into one of the better two way centers in the game. A lot of his high danger chances come from turnovers. Barzal line has two players that are great at zone entries (him and eberle) so yeah they can maximize their strengths. What has really made the islanders more dangerous this season is the emergence Anthony beauvillier. He’s only 22, but I actually wanted to trade him this summer because of his lack of confidence last season. He’s been our most consistent forward and now I see him as borderline untouchable. Funny how that works. He’s one of the best forecheckers on the team, I think he’s the fastest north south forward, and has a great shot. He’s given the 2nd line a legitimate threat on the wing. Barry trotz often matches that line against opposing teams top players because of Brock nelson. He’s always been a consistent 20 G scorer, but his work defensively is great, and that kind of goes unnoticed especially from media. The athletic wrote a piece on his underlying numbers and labeled him a low end caliber 1C.
The Casey -cizikas line is collectively the best defensive line on the team and they get most of the tough defensive matchups. They are labeled a 4th line, but they aren’t a true 4th line. They don’t have the most skill offensively, but because of their work ethic, it leads to high danger chances and after every game it seems like that line is one of the leaders in expected goals percentage. Each line has their own way of generating offensive but Barry trotz mentality of continuously moving your feet, being a puck hound , and just out working your opponent has done wonders for this team that keeps improving
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>LoganOllivier</b></div><div>So tomorrow doesn't matter then. Lets make today work and any problems that arise from these decisions can just be someone else's problem. That is definitely how most people seem to think but its a stupid way to think. Why am I saying this? Because you said a 3 year bridge deal helps the team.
How? In what way does that help? Would it give them the ability to sign some aging vet to an overpriced contract that will hurt the team as he ages al a Backes? What about after those 3 years? Because looking at what Timo Mier got, (his QO is 10 million) you'd think Matthews would have a QO in the 13 million range. How does that help the team? What about the other contracts that would be up at the same time? Andersen after next season and Rielly the same time that Matthews and Marner (who I am assuming you would want to have a 3 year deal as well) and probably Nylander as well. So what would that look like? If people with your mentality had their way, you'd likely have valuable cap space taken up by some aging vets that can't carry their contracts and you'd need probably 40% more cap space than Marner, Nylander, and Matthews are currently taking up plus Andersen and Rielly needing new deals. Not to mention, what about the likes of Sandin and Liljegren that will be coming off ELC's around that time as well.
This is why anyone who calls Dubas a bad GM are wrong, they are in all cases thinking about right now, and not at all thinking about what the landscape is going to look like in 3 years. This is Benning sort of short sighted planning. Also I don't mean to sound like I am coming down hard on you personally, I think most fans lack the patience to look beyond this season or the next, its too far away. I have always been someone who tries to anticipate whats coming next as much as whats happening now. Dubas and Pridham clearly seem to think long term as much as they do short term.</div></div>
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>LoganOllivier</b></div><div>The math behind that mentality just doesn't compute though. As I mentioned several times, lets look at what bridge deals would have looked like in TO.
Matthews 3 year deal would have been the richest of all the bridge deals handed out. His QO in 3 years would be close to 11 million. What would his long term deal be at that point? 14? That isn't at all a stretch.
What about Nylander? He signed a year before so lets say 3 years at 4.5 or 5 with the final year being worth 8, now he would need a new contract at the same time as Andersen and if he continues to play like he has been, I bet he'll have a 90 point season by the time this hypothetical deal needs to be made.
What about Marner? He would have gotten at least what Point got, so you are looking at him and Matthews needing new deals at the same time. As well as Rielly.
How much money would these 3 cost in 3 years? Especially if the new TV deal comes in high and Seattle creates extra revenue. What is all that going to look like? TO is knows what they will paying their young forwards in 2-3 years from now. They don't have any bad contracts that will gum up the works and they have a lot of flexibility since they don't have any bad contracts on the team. This is the sort of long term planning that makes Dubas smart and why all notions that he sucks at his job are just short sighted and wrong. I am not at all saying he is the end all and be all, but the point of this post was for the author to compare Dubas to Lou saying Lou would have done so much better. Lou did some good things in TO but he made a lot of mistakes that caused problems this off season and Dubas managed to not only get out from under those issues, but he improved the team as well.
I find it very funny that whenever I ask anyone "What would those bridge deals look like in 3 years" and mention Andersen and Rielly needing new contracts, the response is nothing.</div></div>
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>exo2769</b></div><div><a href="/users/LoganOllivier" target="_blank">@LoganOllivier</a>
I think the issue <a href="/users/glc_0908" target="_blank">@glc_0908</a> is making is a good one. The older Calgary failures at the beginning of the cap era...were that they didn't have any single bad contract. They just overpaid everyone about $500k. That adds up. Again, as I mentioned earlier. It's not that I can say Matthews/Marner contract are bad...but you just paid Marner higher than Kane on the expectation that someday he'll be better than Kane. OK, fine...I can see that and one day that will likely happen. Not today...not tomorrow...probably not for 3-4 years. So...is Marner's ~$11M contract today a bit of an overpayment. YES. It might be worth in in the long run, but I think we're in agreement that it's a projection into the future. maybe it has a 99.999% chance of being a good contract...maybe less? IDK you put your favorite percentage assign to it, but it isn't today.
You're argument is that there needs to be thought about the future. I agree, but my point on the mixture of contracts is that Dubas is planning for 3-4 years in the future. What about the now? Why didn't he try to bridge some of these guys? We may just have different philosophies...which is fine, but I think Matthews should have been bridged with his NEXT deal being $12.5 - $12.6M years from now. It was VERY hard for Dubas to get that done because he failed with Nylander...I'm NOT going down that road again.</div></div>
I'm not taking it personally so don't worry, i'm actually pumped to have a real conversation instead of *insert team* laughs and hangs up or starts with *insert player who isnt being traded*
But my very point I think is proved exactly by what you said to me - which is that AM's contract is in the sweetspot of "screwing" toronto. Because he walked himself to UFA at the highest possible AAV post new CBA and tv deal. He's worth the money yey but the agent beat dubas in this negotiation. by your math hes the highest bridge and comes in with a QO of 11-12 sure and sets himself up for 13-14 MM absolutely. however, at this point he's still an RFA which means you still hold the cards. You sign him for 8 years at 13-14 under the new cap regime and its still a decent contract for a dude who will one be earning his 13-14 at that time and you lock him up for his full prime.
As of now, you're in cap hell (which again i never said dubas is a bad gm quite the opposite actually, but i do think he was outmatched on his negotiations and i guarantee it wont happen again to him) and AM is going to go to the free market where hes going to see max offers because he is that good. and to keep him Toronto will have to match but this time, if they cant, they aren't getting 4 1st's and they aren't getting a trade for his rights. This is the root of the issue.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>MG1986</b></div><div>Neither of your proposals, regardless of the actual details of the deal, fix the issue the Leafs have and that is a big game defender that can defend other team's best players and give you more than 22 minutes a night. Spurgeon is a good D, but he does not usually facest the toughest assignments for the Wild and he's certainly more offensive than he is defensive. DeAngelo is considerably more unproven, and although the Leafs get some additional control out of the deal, I am not convinced yet that he is even a permanent top-4 guy. At some point, the Leafs will have to find the equivalent of what Marc Methot was to Erik Karlsson a few years back when that duo basically did it all. As per <a href="/users/LoganOllivier" target="_blank">@LoganOllivier</a>, Liljegren should really be the only RHD roster upgrade the Leafs make this season. That is, unless they can find that top defender all teams are after, but are never available. If the Wild or NJ decide to blow things up, I could see the Leafs being interested in Matt Dumba and Damon Severson, respectively, though the cost for each, and especially Dumba, may be too much.</div></div>
Spurgeon is a number 1 and faces teams top lines. He is much more defensively solid than dumba and a great two way guy. The cons... his age and contract. This was a trade proposal by someone else that came under fire. I just added my revisions.
Leafs do not need two rhd. They need one top pair shutdown guy. Spurgeon is great and if he had a few more years left let on his current deal I would scoop him up. If Holl continues on his current track (remember this is the first time he has been given a full time spot). I would like to see him in the lineup next year. That gives us 3lhd and 2 rhd ready to go next year.
Neither of your proposals, regardless of the actual details of the deal, fix the issue the Leafs have and that is a big game defender that can defend other team's best players and give you more than 22 minutes a night. Spurgeon is a good D, but he does not usually facest the toughest assignments for the Wild and he's certainly more offensive than he is defensive. DeAngelo is considerably more unproven, and although the Leafs get some additional control out of the deal, I am not convinced yet that he is even a permanent top-4 guy. At some point, the Leafs will have to find the equivalent of what Marc Methot was to Erik Karlsson a few years back when that duo basically did it all. As per <a href="/users/LoganOllivier" target="_blank">@LoganOllivier</a>, Liljegren should really be the only RHD roster upgrade the Leafs make this season. That is, unless they can find that top defender all teams are after, but are never available. If the Wild or NJ decide to blow things up, I could see the Leafs being interested in Matt Dumba and Damon Severson, respectively, though the cost for each, and especially Dumba, may be too much.