Are the 2017/2018 Leafs legitimate contenders for the Cup?

Discussion in 'Toronto Maple Leafs' started by thewave, Jan 31, 2018.

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Are the 2017/2018 Leafs legitimate contenders for the Cup?

  1. Yes 100%

    12.9%
  2. Yes, but only if we are buyers!

    9.4%
  3. Maybe

    44.6%
  4. No absolutely not.

    33.0%
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  1. 7even

    7even Go on, do your duty

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    Zeke you're being tedious man. Yes we can outgun Tampa, Boston, Nashville if they want to play firewagon hockey with us, but in a 7 game series we're clear underdogs for legitimate reasons. Maybe to a lesser extent Boston because we can matchup well with them but as of now they're rolling 3 lines with a brutal forecheck that gives our D headaches.
     
  2. The CyNick

    The CyNick Follow @ TheCyNick

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    Boston has a injected a ton of youth this year and they're far more dangerous now vs last year. Tampa has a lot of young guys too. The thing a lot of people don't seem to grasp is you can win with youth in the No Hitting League. Much different than even five to ten years ago when you needed "heavy" players to go deep in the playoffs. Youth generally correlates with more speed and speed seems to be thetcritical component to success in the current game.

    There's not one team above the Leafs that you can say with certainty would crush the Leafs in a seven game series. A hot goalie and multiple lines firing on all cylinders can go a long way.
     
  3. Sypher04

    Sypher04 Registered User

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    You mean the kind of all around game that has your line holding a bigger divide in goals for to goals against than any other in the league? I don't pretend to know what all the stats on that link I posted are, but the ones I do know put the Matthews line right in line with anyone else.

    Corsi is a little lower than some of the others (still good), but I don't place a ton of value in corsi tbh... as not all teams try to generate shots & scoring chances the same way.
     
  4. zeke

    zeke #freeVladdyJr

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    tedious?

    you're really going with the "leafs only won because the other teams weren't trying" angle?
     
  5. 7even

    7even Go on, do your duty

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    No not at all, and I think it takes an uncharitable reading to think that's what im saying. I'm going with the parity angle. Ie this isn't the 80s and any team can beat any team any night. Hell, the ****in Sabres just smoked Tampa for 5 goals the other night. A seven game series is something else entirely.
     
  6. zeke

    zeke #freeVladdyJr

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    It's true, the parity thing does hurt top teams like us sometimes - the leafs have thrown away more points against bottom feeding teams than any of the other top teams.
     
  7. 7even

    7even Go on, do your duty

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    Such a Leafy thing to do, too.
     
  8. Gary Nylund

    Gary Nylund Registered User

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    Agreed. I'd say those are the top 3 teams and then we're in the next tier with a bunch of teams. In no particular order, I'd say we share that tier with Vegas, WSH, PIT and WPG with a few others close behind. And it is close, a couple of weeks from now I might do the tiers a bit differently. But for now, that's the way I see it any maybe most importantly, the gap between us and the teams in that top tier isn't big at all.
     
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  9. 7even

    7even Go on, do your duty

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    What a time to be a Leafs fan eh? I'd say I've watched ~90% of their games since the '05-06 season, so I have no idea what to do with a team that's #actuallygood.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. thewave

    thewave Nazem Kadri #1 Fan

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    We won a lot of games we shouldn't have based on Frederik Andersen. Zeke, search your feelings, you know it to be true.

     
  11. Gary Nylund

    Gary Nylund Registered User

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    It's going to take some getting used to, that's for sure. The best part for me is, this is only the beginning. I really feel like we should be contenders for the next decade and that's why I'm not a fan of any "quick fix" ideas.

    On one hand, you're right and we can't keep on relying on Andersen or he'll simply burn out. On the other hand, he's a part of our team, if we win the cup and he's our MVP, I have no problem with that at all.

    Or to put it another way, I don't agree that "we shouldn't have won those games". If you win fair and square, you win fair and square, end of story.
     
  12. zeke

    zeke #freeVladdyJr

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    most all the teams ahead of us have received just as good, or better, goaltending.
     
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  13. thewave

    thewave Nazem Kadri #1 Fan

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    Zeke, many of those teams see under 30 shots against per game. Andersen faces 34+ a game avg. Rinne is at like 27 shots per game. That's a huge difference. Andersen has also stopped something like 200 more shots than anyone else?

    That tells you something doesn't it? We even started playing defensive hockey for a while (which resulted in the Bozak and Moore lines being locked in their zone usually).
     
  14. thewave

    thewave Nazem Kadri #1 Fan

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    I get it, I know you're right but the point is we are relying a lot on one man too much, like MTL does Price.
     
  15. Gary Nylund

    Gary Nylund Registered User

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    100% correct. I just had a quick look at the goalie stats and while I might be missing something, it looks to me like the three teams with the best goaltending are TB, BOS and NSH. To me those are also the top 3 teams in the NHL so yeah, why should we be apologizing for having goaltending that's just a notch below the elite teams?
     
  16. Gary Nylund

    Gary Nylund Registered User

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    I don't think it's quite that bad, the Price situation is pretty extreme. But I agree, we can't rely on Freddie every night and we have lots of room for improvement. We still have a couple of months to work on things though so I'm optimistic, we'll see what happens.
     
  17. zeke

    zeke #freeVladdyJr

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    but the amount of shots doesn't effect save percentage. in fact, if anything, the leafs shots against totals would inflate save percentage, as they give up a lower percentage of high danger shots than most teams.

    mcelhinney faces just as many shots, and has put up much better numbers.
     
  18. thewave

    thewave Nazem Kadri #1 Fan

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    It effects wear and tear. The amount of abuse a tender takes leads to burnout or injury. We've seen it enough to know that's a real thing. How long can you red-line for?
     
  19. zeke

    zeke #freeVladdyJr

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    Price ran a .930+sv% over his best years where he carried the habs to the top.

    adn the habs didn't give him a top 5 offense like the leafs give freddy.
     
  20. ACC1224

    ACC1224 Registered User

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    Wouldn't the Backup typically face the weaker opponents?
     
  21. thewave

    thewave Nazem Kadri #1 Fan

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    That's fine. Have you ever played Goal before? It's a really intense position and physically draining when the puck is even just in your end. Lot of stored energy loaded and ready to react. Some tenders may want to chime in if you like.

    I just want to add as well, you think we need an upgrade at D. I disagree, we need a couple more defensively minded C if anything. ie. Bozak out Pageau (more compete) in. Moore is Moore but Boyle was certainly better, we seem under pressure a lot with Moore.
     
  22. zeke

    zeke #freeVladdyJr

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    usually, but not with the leafs.

    McElhinney only plays the backend of back to back games, no matter who the opponent is. And he plays every one - freddy never plays the backend games of back to backs.

    So this actually makes McElhinney's job even tougher - because on average teams are expected to perform worse in the backend of back to backs than in games in which they're rested.
     
  23. ACC1224

    ACC1224 Registered User

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    Good point, true enough.
     
  24. HamiltonNHL

    HamiltonNHL Mini Cup run commences

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    upload_2018-4-16_16-21-20.png

    The results are in.
     
  25. HamiltonNHL

    HamiltonNHL Mini Cup run commences

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    Contenders ?

    You are 4/4.
     
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