Jan. 29, 2019
2nd Favourite Team
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<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>Affectionate_Side_64</b></div><div>You're proving my point.. they showed they can score plenty of goals against the best goaltender in the world. If you run into a hot goalie you have play mistake free and wait for your bounces. Every game against Florida was a 1 goal game except the 4-2 loss in game one. Jake "Muzzin 2.0" McCabe was on the ice for 6 more GA than GF - the panthers scored 4 more goals than we did to win the series. We controlled most of the play in the series but you can point to egregious mistakes in every game that cost us. We had the better offense, they made fewer mistakes. It's literally been the same thing every year but some people can't seem to grasp that I guess.
If our excessive investment in the forward group hasn't resulted in enough scoring and our goalies have posted back to back years of sub .900%, both of whom we paid as our backups because the goalies we acquired to be our starters didn't play a single playoff game for us and ended up being cap dumps, why would we keep going back to that philosophy when we have nothing but failure to show for it? Matthews, Marner, Tavares, Nylander, ROR etc. can't solve Bobrovsky, or Vasi the year before, or Price, or Korpisalo, but the next 3rd liner we sign will be that difference?
We had to play our 7 million dollar forward Nylander on the 3rd line because he couldn't handle top 6 matchups and needed to be sheltered with offensive zone starts, yet he still got outscored more than any other forward on the team. That means the team was losing when Nylander was on the ice against the other team's 3rd lines, and we're going to pay him close to 10 mil until he's 36?
The strategy to beat the Leafs is pretty simple and has always been the same. Collapse around the net and keep the forwards to the outside. This might leave more space at the point but only Rielly is a threat to provide offense from there anyway. Then just wait until we inevitably make a mistake to create an odd-man rush the other way and bury your chance on a weaker goaltender.
I'm not even talking about shutdown D necessarily, though we definitely need a better shutdown pair than Brodie and McCabe. We also need defenseman who can create offense from the point when our forwards have no space in the offensive zone.
Your whole theory goes against all conventional wisdom and we have nothing but failure to show for it. Guess what? Spending assets to add two D-men to our top 4 at each of the last 2 deadlines, 2 of whom were bottom pairing D making close to league min that we played with our best D man (Lyubushkin and Schenn) and the other 2 who we had to pay extra for to get retention because we couldn't afford them at more than 2 mil (McCabe and Gio), while asking them to play higher in the lineup than they should, and acquiring guys like Mrazek and Murray to be your starters only to have them play zero playoff games before becoming cap dumps, or spending assets on rentals like ROR and Foligno because you're not deep enough at center, all because you invested half your cap in 4 forwards who as you've said haven't been able to give us the scoring we needed to overcome our goals against, HASN'T WORKED. Like, not even ****ing close.
Toronto is supposed to be the Mecca of hockey and our fans should be among the most knowledgeable in the league, but somehow Carolina, Vegas and Tampa fans seem to have figured out the absolute basics before most Leafs fans have.
Also, I've already explained that this roster would be better offensively than last year's as well as being better defensively. That's what can happen when you spread out your cap.
Thankfully Treliving has enough sense to see what needs to be done - take notes.</div></div>
I would thumbs up this post 100 times if I could. You have summed up the issues with Toronto very nicely. In particular you have analyzed why Nylander is one of the most over rated players by some Toronto posters. All they want to talk about is his points, but never want to look at the fact he is on the ice for almost as many goals against, all the while avoiding the other team's top checking lines. I won't even go into detail about how Nylander is not a team player, and doesn't sacrifice, and does not have the play off mentality. And the lack of balance between forwards and the back end is mind boggling, even after multiple years in a row of showing that this balance does not work in the play offs some posters just refuse to acknowledge how the lack of top end defenders are one of the reasons this team continuously fail. I nominate this reply as one of the top entries on this site.
It's fitting that the word crazy is part of this title. Toronto makes out like bandits in this. Essentially give up one high end asset who only has 1 year left on his contract, and a bunch of minor pieces, some of them causing cap issues, in return gets 2 high end assets and minor pieces on reasonably priced contracts, one major asset at 50% retention, both high end assets under control contract longer than 1 year. Pretty much at the expense of the Flyers, giving up those 2 major assets, and retention on 2 players, while getting back minor pieces with questionable cap hits, for 2 late firsts, one of them 3 years from now. Like you said, crazy.