Are the Leafs Tough Enough for Playoffs

Discussion in 'National Hockey League Talk' started by DownGoesMcDavid, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. Howie Hodge

    Howie Hodge I Am The Walrus

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    They don't have to be in today's game.

    Even a fossil like myself can see this...
     
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  2. Melo Meds

    Melo Meds Registered User

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    Okay and Tampa and Pittsburgh are bottom 5 in that category?
     
  3. DownGoesMcDavid

    DownGoesMcDavid Registered User

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    But non of those teams are bottom 5 in both categories like the Leafs are. Why is that so hard to understand ?
     
  4. Melo Meds

    Melo Meds Registered User

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    Why is it so hard to understand that fighting majors and throwing a ton of hits doesn't equal playoff success in the modern NHL?
     
  5. DownGoesMcDavid

    DownGoesMcDavid Registered User

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    I disagree.

    Teams cant go into a game thinking they can do whatever they want to mathews marner etc.
     
  6. sessiroth

    sessiroth Registered User

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    This train of thought I don't agree with. So if we had a line up full of face punchers would it have stopped Kronwall from making that hit? Washington is the biggest team in the league did it stop Reaves from destroying Wilson? I don't seem to understand your point
     
  7. filinski77

    filinski77 Registered User

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    I think when teams are close in "skill", then adding that physical factor is definitely huge in the playoffs.

    Leafs top 3 D hitters: Zaitsev (49), Dermott (41), Ozhiganov (31)
    Leafs top 3 F hitters: Hyman (50), Kapanen (33), Gauthier (30)

    That's not really intimidating at all. Compared to the Caps top hitters who would be Ovi/Oshie/Wilson and Orpik/Niskanen/Orlov.

    But as others have said, it's possible to be successful without a 'tough' team, but it certainly makes things easier if you are.
     
  8. sessiroth

    sessiroth Registered User

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    I agree, I think to make things a bit more fair you should trade us Orlov. :naughty:
     
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  9. Salmonsnake

    Salmonsnake Registered User

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    Boston isn't more skilled but their game plan works against them.
     
  10. HabsInsider

    HabsInsider Registered User

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    The Leafs thrive when the game is about speed and skill. The NHL has evolved to increasingly reward this style of play. There's little incentive now for any team to load up on 'goons' although skilled players who can also play physical (and, if need be, fight) will always be relevant and in-demand.

    That's where the Leafs run into some trouble. Teams like Boston, who are capable of playing a physically imposing style, know how to do so mostly without being penalized, and thus they will legally target and hit your star players and whomever else over the duration of a series. It is an advantage to them if your team can't match that physicality.

    What I like about the Leafs is they do stick up for each other when the situation merits, even if it's just everyone on the ice grabbing hold of an opposing player and exchanging words. They also have many players who are capable of hitting, and when a game has become heated they've shown a willingness to fight back.

    The good thing is the league will come down hard on any player(s) taking liberties, though that is little consolation when the damage is already done and your star player is injured. I am sure Dubas would love to add a skilled player who can also act as an enforcer. Kadri is probably the closest he has to that right now.

    The Leafs will always try to take the high road and use their offensive prowess to dismantle teams. The key for them in the playoffs, as it relates to toughness, will be to stick up for each other out of necessity, and punish the opponent on the scoreboard if said opponent takes a roughing penalty.

    That said, I think the Matthews hit was somewhat his fault. You can't reach out like that and put yourself in that vulnerable position when a guy is probably going to check you. I don't think it merits a brawl, personally.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
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  11. sessiroth

    sessiroth Registered User

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    Im not sure about this narrative. 2013 Toronto was the bigger stronger team and lost game 7, and last year Toronto had the lead in game seven going into the third. Also went 4-0 regular season and 4-0 regular season before that against Boston.

    Andersen is 10-1 against Boston (career regular season) and it wasn't bostons size+grit that killed the leafs it was the skill of Pasternak and the speed of debrusk(game 7) that did us in imo.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  12. Syckle78

    Syckle78 Registered User

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    Toughness isn't a thing in hockey anymore. Who's going to bully them? There's nobody to bully them.
     
  13. Fishboy*

    Fishboy* Registered User

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    No, they will get slaughtered by 2nd round. Very soft team, skill only works this well in the regular season.
     
  14. super6646

    super6646 Registered User

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    Is this 2014 still? Even then, Chicago almost had a dynasty and was soft. So what?
     
  15. Hint1k

    Hint1k Registered User

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    Yeah, they lick and kiss people instead! I think Toronto should try something like this. For example, waterguns could be a good idea!:popcorn:
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  16. CantLoseWithMatthews

    CantLoseWithMatthews Registered User

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    the only concern with the Leafs is if their top guns can outplay other teams top players. Last year they didn't against Boston and lost, and it'll be the same story if it happens again. Physicality and toughness are pretty unimportant now
     
  17. Maple Leafs

    Maple Leafs Toronto

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    There will be no fighting from this leaf team, just Kadri, Hyman very rarely. It's built to play fast, skilled, mentally tough, winning hockey, that's it.

    :leafs
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  18. Jesus Take the Wheel

    Jesus Take the Wheel Registered User

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    Nice to see OP decide to troll a fan base besides the Oilers.

    Aside from that though it'll be interesting to see how Toronto does with less "gritty" players than normal playoff teams
     
  19. Macbanan

    Macbanan Registered User

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    That was cowardly, I was sursprised. You don't have to be a great fighter to send a signal that it's not okay to target an star player returning from injury.

    See Sorensen vs Falk after a hit on Thornton last week. He lost against a much bigger opponent but got his point across.
     
  20. Bounces R Way

    Bounces R Way Feaster's Beasters

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    Toughness is more of an attitude than an attribute IMO

    The question you should be asking is not whether or not the Leafs have enough tough players, it's if the players the Leafs do have are tough enough.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
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  21. Goldeneye

    Goldeneye Winnipeg Jets

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    Nope and they got physically dominated by the Caps in last games of the series and lost. Caps were winning more 1 on 1 battles all over the ice, especially in game 6.

    I guess it really depends on what your opponent is capable of when they lay it all on the line. Leafs don't need to get tougher to win playoff games, or even series', but there might be teams in the league that can grind them down in the end while still having the scoring to capitalize on chances.

    I don't see the value of a guy like Tyler Ennis on the 4th line come playoffs, i think the Leafs could use a strong grinding forward there. Little things like that can make a difference.
     
  22. Daz28

    Daz28 Registered User

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    By old standards hell no. By todays, who knows. They and Tampa have the most reg wins, so I'd say yes.
     
  23. oooooooooohCanada

    oooooooooohCanada Registered User

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    I question if you watched the Kronwall hit. Did you not see Rielly charge through half of the Wings players trying to get at Kronwall?
     
  24. BallardEra

    BallardEra Leafs&Caps Since 1982™

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    Didn't know that Brian Burke had an alt account here.
     
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  25. CanadianPensFan1

    CanadianPensFan1 Registered User

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    Only one way the leafs are tough enough.

    They gotta start playing NKOTB "hanging tough" at every opportunity. In the dressing room, after goals, during the whistles, etc

    They will absorb through osmosis and ne ready for the playoffs.
     

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