Discussion in 'Toronto Maple Leafs' started by IamruKusleaf, Mar 13, 2018.
Exactly so why are we worried about the bruins regular season access?
I don't agree. They did what they needed to do at the TDL to strengthen the team for the playoffs for a reasonable cost (hindsight is 20/20). The team improved this year and continues to trend up. That is what we should take away from this season. I see them improving the team this off season and would be more disappointed if they lost in round 1 next year.
Im going to say a shocking first round win and then outed in the 2nd. We are due for some breakthrough.
We've got a real fighting chance to make deep into the playoffs. IMO, the Bruins are the best team in the league, but we've proven time and again that we can skate with the best. We're underdogs, but have a legitimate chance at winning that series. Then it's on to Tampa Bay, where we are again the underdogs with a real chance. If we want to be cup contenders, we've gotta figure out a way to get through those teams sooner or later, because they've got talented young cores that aren't going anywhere for the next five years. We may have the hardest road to the cup in the whole league, but we've get a better than Cinderella chance at making it there. Odds are that we go down in the first to the Bruins, but there's no shame in that unless we stink out the joint. Voted "Win one round" because that's halfway between winning two and winning none.
I think containing Marchant and staying out of the penalty box will be the keys to beating the Bruins. If Marchant is allowed to do his thing (sh1t disturbing and scoring) we need Rask to not be on top of his game and a lethal PP.
I like your post, friend, truly. You put some thought into this. However, your analysis of the teams we face included the shortcomings/weaknesses of the those teams. Your analysis of the Leafs mainly looked at the positives. I'm sure you, as me, know that the Leafs have to tighten up defensively. I worry about JVR and Bozak, Brown can only do so much. I worry about Zaitsev, even more than Polak (who I think has improved these past couple of weeks) because of his low threshold with the puck and zone entries. To the point I'd easily take Carrick with Gardiner over Z. How long can Hainsey go on a night/off/night schedule? Which Gardiner do we get (I lean to good Gards based on history)?
Generally, I like our team, we're good. And, dangerous. But, someone said earlier,'I don't fear any team', I don't either. But, I respect them. You make the playoffs, you got a chance. The Leafs better than most. I think we'll go as far as Andersen takes us. Goalies in the playoffs...give me the guy going lights out and that's who I'm betting on.
This is where I think we'll get undermined. We have this 2 unit PP non sense. We should be loading up 1 unit that plays 1.5 mins of each PP. If we don't utilize our best players more often then we did in the regular season, we will lose. Bozak shouldn't be playing instead of Matthews on the PP with better players, I am sorry. Komarov should never see PP time in the playoffs either. No way should Polak get more than 15 mins of ice time in the playoff either.
I don't seem to be as worried about Boston as other people. I don't think it's a sure thing by a long shot but I feel like we have a 60%ish percent chance of winning that series.
I think we can beat Boston.
Voted 2nd round.
Agreed. Babs can start with what got us here but as soon as it isn't working, he has to lean on his horses. If we are going down, it has to be on the shoulders of Matthews, Nylander, Marner, Kadri and JVR (on the PP only) and Rielly, Dermott, Hansey and Gardiner on D.
Just because they're using the 2nd unit heavily right now doesn't mean that they will use it the same way in the playoffs. Babcock knows that rest is a weapon, and he isn't over using anyone (maybe Andersen, but that seems to be working and is a different conversation).
I expect the minutes to be distributed differently in the 2nd season. And I'm glad that the coaching staff is making sure our whole roster is clicking for when we get there. Playing the top guys a bit less and the depth guys a bit more makes sure we have everyone rested and tested, rather than some tired and some rusty.
Thanks @meefer, honestly didn't put much thought into it just spoke about the obvious things that come to mind. I type really fast, plus I am at work so I'm working on a double monitor setup which makes it easy to juggle the rosters/stats about other teams
Yeah my Leafs section was harping more on the positive. I agree with a lot of the points you mention on the "question marks" surrounding our team. JVR looked to use his size and reach a bit against the Pens recently, I was surprised with how he was tying guys up at times. Him & Bozak are our wildcards tbh. If they decide "Hey, that's it, I've had enough!" and they go on a tear, hitting everything, scoring, blocking shots, etc then we can do quite well. We will need to rely on them heavily. They know we are counting on them so hopefully they can bring it! I can't tell you how much I harp on Bozak and company, but the moment he scored that winner with the deft direction (pass from Kadri) in Game 3, I was going wild
Every player steps it up in the playoffs, every player! They know this is the real season, where every shift counts, every possession counts. I am not expecting domination or a sweep of any kind. I am looking for positive growth from all of our core guys and steady support from our vets (Bozak, Komarov, JVR, Hainsey).
Andersen is Andersen! I am not worried about him at all.
Not sure how my prediction matters but Tampa Bay and Boston seem like the least formidable 110+ point NHL teams I can imagine. The Leafs seem to match up with either team well. Pittsburgh and Washington seem like opponents with games that really challenge the Leafs. Pittsburgh is all hustle and elite forechecking/cycling up front. Washington can rough up an opponent although meeting such a team in the 3rd round means this is less of a factor.
Not scared of Boston. They have one unbelievable line, which means the Kadri and Plekanec lines will have to be at the top of their game, but I don't see them having the offensive depth to hang with us in a long series. We have too many threats on every line.
Tampa is a different beast altogether.
Lets atleast win one playoff series before we talk about easily beating teams ahead of us in the standings.
I think the key to beating Boston is getting Marchand off of his game, and I'm of the opinion that this is why we acquired Plekanec at the deadline.
When we have control of the line match-ups, you can bet that Pleks will be out there in Marchand's face every time.
It should be a fairly even battle against BOS or TB so I find it hard to see how winning the first round would be shocking.
I voted win cup, because ask and ye shall receive.
Marchand has such a punch-able mug
I voted to win 2 rounds.
We're a better team than last year and now we have real playoff experience to draw on.
We've beaten Boston 7 of the last 8. They terrify me because they used to beat us all the time, and then there was that series I cannot bring myself to talk about. But I still think we can do it, and the key is probably Marchand. I hope Mr. Iafrate is right about Pleks and him. Rask is the other problem. The rest of them.... they're getting old.
If we can win the first round we can win the second on pure momentum. Beyond that? Anything's possible but I ain't gonna jinx it.
He's a big playoff performer
Nah, not really. Would not say anything extraordinary. 3 points in 6 games last season. The only "good" playoffs he has had was in 2013 with 7 points in 7 games. Beyond that, 2 in 7 in 2012, 7 in 11 in 2011 and 6 in 21 in 2010. Nothing "big". What a myth.
The 1st round is usually the toughest round to win. Watching past play-offs minus the Leafs I always seemed to lose interest after the 1st round. I find the 1st round the hardest to predict and each successive round easier to predict.
Yes, but lets play the underdog! Advantages to this for sure.
Hahaha sure, if people want to think we're huge underdogs, I'll play along. Don't tell anyone we're good, ssh.