The Physicality Myth

Discussion in 'Toronto Maple Leafs' started by stuart5035, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. Dart Guy

    Dart Guy Registered User

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    Our team is soft as butter. Pretty painful to see Matthews basically start crying when asked how he felt about getting out scored 20-0 by the Bergeron line.
     
  2. Stephen

    Stephen Registered User

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    It’s more of a mental issue. The Bruins have been playing with a pack mentality you see with teams like Vegas while the Leafs are approaching it as an individualistic way. The Leafs are characterized by their high end individual talents who play a softer skill game while the Bruins to a man are playing the same blue collar, disrupt, grind it out game.
     
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  3. Stephen

    Stephen Registered User

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    I don’t think they lack size but lack toughness. A guy like Auston Matthews has the pounds and size to play a heavy Barkov type game to easily wreck guys like Krug on the Bruins but his finesse style doesn’t make use of his frame as a weapon.

    Marleau is a big body but compared to a Rick Nash he’s extremely hesitant to use it to wear down the opposition. JVR has been more physical than normal but he’s still more on the gentle giant, passive end of the power forward spectrum.
     
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  4. Jacquestrapless

    Jacquestrapless Registered User

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    Very true. Physicality is a useful tool for containment, disruption and intimidation. The game is processed logically off the ice, but not so on the ice. A player sees a loose puck and a defender and thinks "If I reach the puck, I can make a play and take the hit." Now the only question is if they will follow through with that line of thinking. Physicality questions the player's commitment by asking themselves if such a price to pay is worth it. Sometimes it's not, sometimes it is. But, in this scenario, the physical defender has 2 options to deal with whatever the path player takes: either he plasters him or he gets the puck. The physical defender has committed himself (i.e skin in the game) and is up to the player to "ante up" so to speak. So essentially over a playoff series, this becomes various smaller-battles within a larger one.

    Now where grit comes in is absorbing hits. This is the most difficult aspect as it requires constant reaffirmation of a player's belief in the coach's process, teammates' abilities as well as the basic fundamentals of hockey: "Taking a hit to make a play." What does that really mean? That hopefully there will be a reward for the sacrifice I make. I say hopefully, because not all sacrifices lead to notable positive results. For example, a player takes a hit in the D-zone but is able to wire the puck around the boards only to end up on the opposing D's stick at the blueline (see Hainsey/Zaitsev) . It can get disheartening when such sacrifices seemingly are an exercise in futility. I can't get angry at any player who bails out of a play or ducks out of a hit. You are essentially putting yourself in harm's way with no knowledge of whether such valor will lead to tangible results. However, the playoffs are wonderful as it serves to distinguish those who do vs those who don't.
     
  5. GordieHoweHatTrick

    GordieHoweHatTrick Registered User

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    OP's thread is based off the false premise that size = physicality, and other's posts off the false premise that physicality is binary, you either have it or you don't..

    The playoffs are physical so you'll see Maple Leafs throw body checks but they're not delivering those hits with as much power as some of the Bruins. This is probably because the Bruins are a physical team at their core, while the Maple Leafs are not.

    Kevan Miller is tossing the Leafs around on his own. You can bet he's in Marner's head when they're on the ice.

    Bang on.

    But never use the words JvR and physical in the same sentence again lol
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  6. Raym11

    Raym11 Phaneuf sucks

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    Oh look we have an expert and analysis opinion that our team is physical because they're bigger.
     
  7. Pookie

    Pookie It was a pleasure doing business with you

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    Jets vs Wild.

    That’s some good hockey. Both teams motivated. Players fired up on both sides. Big players. Small players. No goons. But it’s physical.

    Fans really hate the rough stuff too :sarcasm:

    We can only dream we respond like these teams.
     
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  8. MR4

    MR4 Registered User

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    Lmao. He gave an honest answer instead of a bull**** mindless typical 'oh we just gotta focus on getting pucks deep and get the next one'. **** DOES happen. What was he supposed to say?
     
  9. WTFMAN99

    WTFMAN99 https://hawkeyintangibles.blogspot.ca/

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    Hot takes on these boards have been brutal.
     
  10. Dart Guy

    Dart Guy Registered User

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    Dude I never said anything about what he said. I said it was painful because I didn’t like seeing Steve Simmons make him cry. That’s exactly what happened, check the tape, his eyes well up, his voice cracks and he drops the brim of his hat over his eyes.
     
  11. MR4

    MR4 Registered User

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    Ah. There's some whining going on that it shows he's not a good leader somehow. Nvm my previous post.
     
  12. thunder16

    thunder16 Registered User

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    This is Not our time if they take out 1 of our big three!!!!

    I'm tired of guys that say we don't need a tough guy. Have you seen how many times they went after Marners head??? Thats the ticket take out Marner and they win the series easily!!

    It's developing right before our eyes . please enough with we don't need Martin because we certainly do. But some people think Martin is useless If Babcock has any brains Martin will be back in the line up!

    SERIOUSLY if you haven't seen the Bruins targeting Marners head over and over there is no help for you, stick to your inches and centimeters in player sizes! If Hainsey is the best we have to stick up for Marner might as well give it up now!
     
  13. Stephen

    Stephen Registered User

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    In the end what we need is for the Leafs to play to a standard that is more or less the same across all 12 forwards: and that's basically 1) skate with a certain pace 2) standardized work rate 3) be willing to play a certain amount of physicality to get the job done 4) committed back pressure. I think that's why Babcock favors Hyman so much. If everyone went HAM like Hyman but blended their own unique abilities we'd be in good shape. Fulfill the criteria above and everything else like high end skill, creativity, agitation, etc. can be built on top of that, but what we need is a standard level of play.

    We can't be so specialized that one guy scores in close but doesn't do anything else, we can't have one goon, one checker, 2 soft forwards, 1 dangling perimeter guy, a gentle giant, 2 penalty killers, etc. Because that level of individualism is easily exposed when you play a team with a committed pack mentality.
     
  14. lifelonghockeyfan

    lifelonghockeyfan Registered User

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    Actually when the Leafs are playing well, they are excellent at puck retrieval and winning battles along the boards. Admitting their speed helps. So I think it's a fallacy they can't play physically or they certainly aren't soft. The don't have their regular season record by having such a large hole in their play that would've been exposed during the regular season.
    Admitting the Leafs haven't played well in the past two games. I haven't seen their defence core be so bad this year. The bigger issue to me is that Babcock can be out coached when the game is on. His incessant line changing and matching lines have the players more worried about getting off the ice than playing hockey when there are on the ice.
    Realistically the Bruins are a better team, and going into the series, logic would say the Leafs were the underdogs. Maybe the Leaf have the same fate that the Wings had in the 90s. Lost playoff rounds even when they were favourites before winning some Cups.
     
  15. Nithoniniel

    Nithoniniel Registered User

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    The issue in this series has been mental fragility, not physicality. And people who champion a focus on skill has never said you need to have that resilience.

    Must be why there's such a long history of skilled players performing better with a guy like that in the lineup, eh?

    Oh wait, there isn't.
     
  16. Stephen

    Stephen Registered User

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    If we're using the 1993 series against Detroit as an analogy, the Bruins are definitely more of the Pat Burns Leafs. The Leafs are more like the young Red Wings, though it was Detroit that jumped out to the 2-0 lead in the series.
     
  17. HellasLEAF

    HellasLEAF Auston 20:16

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    I think it's fair to say battles are being lost right now. You can quantify that any way you like. I don't think we need to be bigger. But hungrier to win battles yes.
     
  18. socko

    socko Registered User

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    And we have Tim Cheveldae in net!
     
  19. LaPlante94

    LaPlante94 Registered User

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    We're like the USSR team playing against team Canada
     
  20. Magic Man

    Magic Man Registered User

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    So far I don't really think it's physicality that is beating the Leafs. It's one line Marchand - Bergeron - Pasta. They can't match it and they can't stop it. This is where Nazem Kadri going for 3 games and a period is devastating. Having a true stopper on D like Chara would go a long way.
     
  21. Mess

    Mess Global Moderator

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    Yup there is a difference between being big, strong and physical and big, soft and non physical.

    Size only matters if you use it to an advantage.

    JVR has the size but much like that play in the last game where he was winning a puck battle race into the zone, then bailed by not touching the puck hoping to not get hit, and then got flatten anyway by Miller and got up complaining. That was typical big but soft play and almost embarrassing that he didn't play the puck, take the hit and make a play instead but the Bruins physicality in the series had him running scared and trying to avoid contact.
     
  22. yubbers

    yubbers Weekend at Babsies

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    Really?

    So no teams have ever had a Martin like player to help protect stars. Mkay lirl
     
  23. yubbers

    yubbers Weekend at Babsies

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    You guys that say we don't need Martin keep saying how it's mental. Do you not realize a guy like Martin gives the young guys more confidence? Like when Marner said they were losing a big brother/protector when Kadri got suspended. Do you really not see with a quote like that how much it can effect their mindset?
     
  24. heybuddyhowyadoing

    heybuddyhowyadoing Registered User

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    Gardiner has always been downy soft for as long as I can remember (yes I saw him as a Marlie). He can skate well and pass well. Hasn't been too intense about the defensive side of his position.
     
  25. KeonHorton

    KeonHorton Registered User

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    When does our 10-year dynasty start IF we lose to the Bruins in the 1st round this year?
     

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