May 14, 2017
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<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>exo2769</b></div><div>I'm not trying to be a mean person here, but if I'm making a trade for CAR's 1st...I'd pay up to get TORs 1st if you know what I mean. I am sure I'm in the minority, but Keefe isn't the savior. He just switched the game plan from a 2 way game to a 1 way game and it's worked until other teams figured it out. Now its...who can score more. TOR is really soft.</div></div>
The Leafs were due for a coach change, but I'll give you that, Keefe made some strange decisions lately.
He had a very short switch when he removed Andersen twice, which may have affected the confidence of our starter. Then tonight, he dresses the inexperienced Brooks (at fault on the second goal) instead of Gauthier, inexplicably. And dresses 7 Ds, a strategy the team never used this year, and not an ideal scenario to introduce Liljegren to the NHL, without a stable partner. Tonight's game wasn't a preseason game, and I don't see it as a time to conduct experiments on the fly.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>Eli</b></div><div>The Leafs are tied with Chicago for 21st in GA/GP. Their goalie is great. Their defensemen are great.
Yeah, that's probably all on John Tavares. Glad we figured that out.</div></div>
The Pens are one of the best teams in the NHL in goals against right now, and their defense currently comprises Chad Ruhwedel, Juuso Riikola, Jack Johnson, a player obtained for a sixth round pick (John Marino), and Marcus Pettersson.
The thing is, there's more to it than just the d-men on the roster. Like the team's defensive system, as others pointed out. All else equal, I'd take the Leafs' blue line before that of the Jets, or the Pens for that matter.
Nobody said that Tavares had all the blame for the Leafs' GA. Yet the fact is, his line was the one matched against top opposition all season long last year, and was rather successful at it. Keefe had to break it apart recently, because it's just not working this year. No doubt he'll bounce back. But not having a designated centre to match the other teams' stars certainly doesn't help this season.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>ExpiredmilkYT</b></div><div>Thing is, Dermott doesn't get that much TOI or point (not representative of his skill, of course), so the contract will likely be a pretty good one if long term.</div></div>
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>palhal</b></div><div>Stats aren't everything, but his offensive production is the same as Andersson/s. Gee Dermot's plus minus is much better. I know some say Dermot has had sheltered minutes But last year his main partner was a Russian rookie and this year it's been Ceci. So really when he's been on the ice he has been "the man". on defence. His ice time and points are down because he doesn't play the PP. Reilly this year and Reilly/Gardiner in the previous two years dominated PP ice time. Next year assuming the LHD is going to be Reilly, Dermot and Sandin, Dermot is going to get lots of PK minutes</div></div>
I disagree on the valuation here, even though I like Dermott. He has that speed burst I find very well suited for the modern NHL. But we can't compare him to Girard, and there's still uncertainty, especially with Sandin who'll be competing for a top pairing spot. Girard was a regular in the NHL at age 19, and was trusted with big minutes before signing. And he played above 1ppg in the OHL at age 17. Very different trajectories.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>OldNYIfan</b></div><div>You wanna suggest trading Sandin for Ryan Pulock or Brandon Carlo, okay, that has merit although it's reaching too far. Trading Sandin for Scott Mayfield or Connor Clifton (who are actually already in the NHL) would be a short-sighted move and, in my opinion, a real howler; but trading Sandin for a defensive prospect is just cuckoo. Is there any reason to believe that Sandin won't be as good as Cale Makar? If you are seriously thinking about trading Sandin, may I point out that Olli Juolevi was considered just as highly as Jamie Drysdale?</div></div>
I'm just exploring the possibilities here, knowing too well this would be a serious move. But there are real concerns behind it.
My concerns are twofold:
1) I think our team still struggles defensively, and that it will come back to haunt us in the future. We have many defensemen with a similar style (modern-style, offensive-oriented, not the robust type that will do the heavy lifting in our own zone). 2) Next year in particular, we lose three UFAs, and we just can't afford to bid for players on the UFA market to fill in these spots, due to cap concerns.
Suppose Sandin makes it into the lineup next year. An almost sure bet. He could be as good as Makar (or close to it, though not quite, I would think). Then we have Rielly-Sandin-Dermott on the LHD. Three players not really minded on the defensive side of the game. None of them really suited to block shots or do the dirty work on the PK.
Take Makar or Girard with Colorado. They're doing really well. But they have a Zadorov and Johnson behind them. It gives balance to their lineup.
(BTW, Carlo or Mayfield would be perfect on our team next year. But I wouldn't trade Sandin for them - a forward, instead. He has more value than that to me.)
Finally, Drysdale is already above 1 PPG at 17 in the OHL. Juolevi never was. Point taken, there's a big risk. Although he is a legit prospect, I think, and the kind who would fit well for the team's future.
Like Gudas as an option, but the contract values are off, in my humble opinion.
Dermott plays 14 minutes per game, with no PP or PK duties. He wouldn't get 3M for a bridge RFA contract. 1.5M maybe, though with the "Dubas bonus", your post may be realistic. In all seriousness, though, we can't afford to overpay in the current situation. Also, Sandin will almost surely jump ahead next year and take that no 2 spot.
Mikheyev, on the other hand, play(ed) a lot, with PK duties. He has comparables in the 3-3.5M range on the team. In short, switch the values of these two contracts. Wish him well (I like the player a lot), but you're right to say his injury may actually decrease his next contract by missing the entire year.
I'd say Engvalll will get a higher contract (close to 1M) than Gauthier (probably a Moore-type 2x 0.75).
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>Rsamuelson</b></div><div>Fair enough, I can understand your points! So in your eyes you don’t think the leafs have an issue on the right side of their defence?</div></div>
Things could always be better, but so far the right side is doing well, especially since Keefe took over. The two main issues were Barrie being cold and letting everything in, and uncertainty about Holl.
As of now, though:
1. Barrie is again the player he used to be. He finally got into the team's chemistry, and we couldn't find a better bargain.
2. Holl has become a fan favourite, and he could turn out to be the inspiring type of story of the late bloomer taking his place in the NHL. He's doing well, both defensively and offensively, and keeps improving every game. If anything, he's the one who could still be replaced by someone with more experience, but that would be heartbreaking in a sense. I'd like to see him remain and for his story end well. I couldn't see him being replaced with Stecher, for instance.
3. Ceci has to cope with some fans' distorted views and disparaging comments, but I like his play a lot without the puck. In a nutshell, he rarely lets goals in when on the ice, and that's what I want. His pairing with Dermott hasn't allowed a goal at 5v5 for many games now. He may be overpriced at 4.5M given that he doesn't produce offensively, but other than that, he's hasn't done much wrong, and his game with the puck keeps improving under Keefe. If he leaves, the player stepping in has to be able to play the same role on the PK, and defensively.
To me, the real problem with the RHD will be next year, when all three players leave as UFA!