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Toronto Maple Leafs 2018 - 2019 thread

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  • Originally posted by Ignatius Reilly View Post

    It hasn't been that way for the previous 2 series, and that's what worries a lot of fans.

    Also - we're not really a tough team at all and Boston really is.

    My current concern is our players aren't as great as we think. Watching Tampa, or Pittsburgh or even Edmonton... there are a lot of very elite guys on other teams.

    Living and breathing all Leafs all the time in this city, I'd started to think the top players in the league were Matthews, Marner, Reilly and Anderson. And Tavares, starting 6 months ago....

    It's certainly the first time in a long time that we've even been in the discussion, and that's what got me thinking we're better than we actually are.

    The bright side is we're still young and improving.

    It was only a couple of years ago that Leafs fans were bitterly arguing about which of our #3Cs should be playing in the #1C position. Then we got a real #1C. And then another.

    Anyways, for about 15 minutes last night we showed we can be absolute beasts when we want to. So how come we don't seem to want to all the time?
    We pushed Boston to two game 7's with imo a weaker squad! I dont thing fans should be that afraid of Boston's 1 line hockey team.

    our players ARE great

    and I agree why cant we start on time? game in game out it seems were down 1 or 2 goals.. why Babs?






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    • Originally posted by Doba View Post

      I'm not really interested in someones accomplishments, but when someone like Button or anyone on the panel states an opinion with backed up footage of what he means, theres some truth to it, and its not just from last night. You gotta find a system that works best with what you have, and if your defense is struggling or as Emtee pointed out if your forwards struggle to support your defense then maybe you need to back off a bit and not pressure them so much.

      People are always gonna blame something cause after most losses theres usually someone to blame, ex. weak goal allowed, bad giveaway, etc.

      Yes we were dead last and we were rewarded for that.. AM34, Mitch, along with a few other youngsters and the addition of JT.. that alone is gonna win you games and score more goals. Could do that without Babs! however one are we have always struggled and continue to struggle is team defense, and no matter who we get we continue to struggle in the same area.
      you can find a video clip from every game to show something good or bad and substantiate any point you want to make. It's a very small sample size.

      Look at the big picture, Leafs are 4th best in goals for and 11th best in goals against. Could they be or play better in their own end, sure....every team has liabilities . With Boston it's lack of forward depth, with SJ and Calgary its perhaps lack of consistent/strong goaltending. Leafs are built to score and have a top goalie that stops the puck. This is how they win, when both things are working. Everybody , including Babcock knew and knows they do not have strong defensive defenceman and their forwards ( save a few) are soft and struggle to win puck battles. As such they are vulnerable to teams who have strong cycling game and who are strong on the puck. It's one reason Leafs use the pressure game and stretch pass, they try to create turnovers and use their speed to recover the puck and quickly exit the puck from the zone. Babcock has made comments several times that he doesn't have the tools he needs on the back end to be strong in their own end. Missing Dermott, Gardiner have been huge, missing Hyman , their best puck recovery player also hurts.

      always looking for a scapegoat to blame is fruitless. It's sport, the best teams don't win every game, the best players don't play their best every game, things happen. The Leafs are what they are as is every other team. There is only one team that looks complete top to bottom in and all areas and they are running away with the league.

      One difference between Toronto and Boston , to me IS team cohesion and play. Toronto often looks like a bunch of individuals, Boston, is arguably less talented ( certainly on the top end a) but plays better as a team.

      "Don't cry because it's over, Smile because it happened "

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      • Originally posted by Doba View Post

        We pushed Boston to two game 7's with imo a weaker squad! I dont thing fans should be that afraid of Boston's 1 line hockey team.

        our players ARE great
        Well Leafs are on pace to get 104 points this season versus 105 last season. On paper, one would think that the addition of JT would have made a bigger difference to their standing. It hasn't. One could argue Nylander's absence early on was a factor, but fact is Leafs record was better with him out of the line up.

        Boston is on pace for 108 points and has one of the highest number of man/games lost due to injury in the league this year. I believe Arizona has had the most.

        On paper, it could be expected that the Leafs should be on pace for more points than last season and be ahead of Boston but games aren't played on paper.

        Boston does have the best line in the NHL when Pastrnak is in the line up
        but he's been out several weeks now and they really haven't missed a beat so maybe their "lack of depth" is a bit overstated. Leafs are certainly deep up front but Boston is incredibly deep on defence.

        A lot lot comes down to teamwork and heart and to my eye, Boston is better in both areas.

        In the end , pretty equal teams and I can see a series easily going either way, and quite likely 6-7 games.
        Last edited by Weirfan; Mar 14, 2019, 01:34 PM.
        "Don't cry because it's over, Smile because it happened "

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        • Originally posted by Doba View Post

          We pushed Boston to two game 7's with imo a weaker squad! I dont thing fans should be that afraid of Boston's 1 line hockey team.

          our players ARE great

          and I agree why cant we start on time? game in game out it seems were down 1 or 2 goals.. why Babs?
          Maybe the Leaf stars aren't as great as we thought. When the going gets tough, they have yet to prove they can handle adversity of any kind. Hopefully they will do so but I wouldn't bet on it this year. In the media there was talk that the Leafs are a cup contender. They are quite a ways away IMO, they lack the experience that teams like Tampa , Washington & Pittsburgh have. They have to go through a few playoff series and get beat, then hopefully they will learn what it takes to reach the pinnacle.

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          • Originally posted by 4wedges View Post

            Maybe the Leaf stars aren't as great as we thought.
            Um, Edmonton? I don't think you can blame "the stars" and they certainly are not as bad as Edmonton.

            The team seems quite cohesive. The team, with the exception of a few, doesn't show up for the first period. I'm sure that frustrates the heck out of Babcock.


            When the going gets tough, they have yet to prove they can handle adversity of any kind. Hopefully they will do so but I wouldn't bet on it this year. In the media there was talk that the Leafs are a cup contender. They are quite a ways away IMO, they lack the experience that teams like Tampa , Washington & Pittsburgh have. They have to go through a few playoff series and get beat, then hopefully they will learn what it takes to reach the pinnacle.
            Vegas was the main propagator of that contender talk. They were fleecing suckers. Most of the media were much more cautious.

            I also agree that Gardener, with all his faults, contributes more than most here acknowledge.
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            • Originally posted by Fredk View Post
              Um, Edmonton? I don't think you can blame "the stars" and they certainly are not as bad as Edmonton.

              The team seems quite cohesive. The team, with the exception of a few, doesn't show up for the first period. I'm sure that frustrates the heck out of Babcock.



              Vegas was the main propagator of that contender talk. They were fleecing suckers. Most of the media were much more cautious.

              I also agree that Gardener, with all his faults, contributes more than most here acknowledge.
              Vegas doesn't predict cup champions, they set betting lines..... and yes they like to / were fleecing suckers, mostly Leaf fans!

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              • Originally posted by Weirfan View Post

                With a 5-0 lead, Chicago players stopped playing and were already on the bus to the airport, Columbus did the same thing night before with a 5-1 lead on Boston, then Boston , like Toronto did, closed the gap to 5-4 but it was too late. In both cases the teams relaxed too much and it almost came back to bite them.
                Chicago pulled Crawford after only allowing 1 goal so it wasn't for poor play, perhaps to rest him or maybe he got injured, didn't catch the reason.
                On the radio they shared a report that he was under the weather, sounded like the flu.

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                • Originally posted by High cut View Post

                  Vegas doesn't predict cup champions, they set betting lines..... and yes they like to / were fleecing suckers,
                  zactly !!!!
                  "Don't cry because it's over, Smile because it happened "

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                  • I could be wrong about this but based on my years of watching hockey and the Leafs, the Leafs these last past few seasons kind of reminds me of the Leafs teams from the late 90's-early 2000's (Pat Quinn/Mats Sundin in his prime era), except that we're now not trading away picks/prospects for playoff rentals like we used to in those days (remember getting Brian Leetch, Glen Wesley, Ron Francis? etc.).

                    Under the cap era, it just seems that ANY team that makes it into the playoffs has a chance. Think of Nashville, Ottawa, and Vegas from the past few years. So this year, despite Tampa being the heavy favourite to win it all, I wouldn't be surprised if they lost in the first round either. Boston and Toronto would be a coin-toss for me but if its anything like the Leafs-Sens series of past years, then maybe its simply Boston having the psychological edge and therefore the likely winner in taking the series again. And yes, the Leafs are a young team so maybe we have to wait for AM34, MM, and Willy to be in their primes (so like mid-late 20's) for the Leafs to truly TRULY be a legit contender for the cup... And maybe by then, their defensive prospects (Liljegren and Sandin) end up developing into really good defencemen... So for now, lets just be glad that at least they're making the playoffs on a consistent, annual basis! :-).

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Ignatius Reilly View Post
                      Anyways, for about 15 minutes last night we showed we can be absolute beasts when we want to. So how come we don't seem to want to all the time?
                      This.

                      It frustrates me when the Leafs donít skate and donít get on the puck, especially during puck battles. I was screaming last night as guys like AM and Zaitsev seem to phone it in and do the one handed half-azzed poke check.

                      Those last 8 minutes were great, so why canít they play like that more often? Why canít they play for 60 minutes?
                      Ė Greg

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                      • They're still at the point where they go as far as Freddie carries them. He keeps them in a lot of games til they get going. Not the best recipe for going deep against the best teams in the playoffs but their window is just opening not closing imo.



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                        • I have to disagree with the hockey coach having the least amount of impact. Iíd put a hockey coach WAYYYYY ahead of the manager on an MLB team. This team is far too talented to be struggling the way they are - especially on the PP.

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                          • Originally posted by bogey5 View Post
                            They're still at the point where they go as far as Freddie carries them. He keeps them in a lot of games til they get going. Not the best recipe for going deep against the best teams in the playoffs but their window is just opening not closing imo.


                            I agree that the window is just opening. They have Matthews, Tavares & Willy for the next 5 years and a few left with Andersen and Reilly. Winning 1 round would be a big success IMO.

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                            • Originally posted by 4wedges View Post

                              I agree that the window is just opening. They have Matthews, Tavares & Willy for the next 5 years and a few left with Andersen and Reilly. Winning 1 round would be a big success IMO.
                              I agree, they aren't quite there yet.
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                              • Originally posted by High cut View Post

                                Vegas doesn't predict cup champions, they set betting lines..... and yes they like to / were fleecing suckers, mostly Leaf fans!
                                They had the Leafs as the odds on favorite at one point. Silly people picked up on that and ran with it. This is sort of like those mafia guys that never tell anyone what to do, but everyone knows...
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