Around the League - 2019/20 Season Edition #2

Discussion in 'Toronto Maple Leafs' started by Mess, Jan 10, 2020.

  1. SeaOfBlue The Passion That Unites Us All

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    Nobody forced him to not give Kaskisuo, who was coming off of a really hot stretch, a chance either. Kaskisuo's only chance was in a Pittsburgh game which was arguably the worst team effort of the entire year, and Kaskisuo was probably the best player despite letting in like 5 or 6 goals.
     
  2. weems Registered User

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    Rielly literally missed like half the games we played under Keefe.

    Muzzin also missed somewhere around 15 games under Keefe.

    Those are devastating injuries to a team's two best D especially for a team that's weaker spot is the blueline.
     
  3. lottster14 Registered User

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    The time off benefits experienced older teams like Chicago and we're seeing it. As it probably will Boston though..
     
  4. Antropovsky Registered User

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    To clarify...

    I dont know enough about Keefe... the sample size is too small.

    Why do i think Babs is a more demanding coach defensively? Because babs wont play players he considers to lack effort or lack defensive skill. See Spezza and how he coached Nylander ...or his young players in general and his obsession with defensive players...see Hyman or Cleary before. As others have said...Robertson wouldnt even be getting a look right now over Gauthier or Engvall.

    Am i wrong to say Keefe is less demanding defensively? Maybe... maybe i should say they have different views of how to defend?... i think Keefe and Dubas want to keep the puck more and less fight for it. Meaning a guy like Spezza is more important than a player like say Gauthier. Gauthier is better defensively but spezza is better with the puck and keeping the puck.

    What style will be more effective? I want to believe that Keefes will be. However... i wonder if a leaders like Babs or Tortorella stuffing dog determined effort and defensive play down his players throats is needed to motivate them to rise to the occasion of playoff hockey.

    Im just waiting to see if the leafs will be outmatched in effort like they have been in the past...against hard working teams/players.

    Remember babs preached dog determined effort and defensive play. Keefe was preaching play to your god given talents. Im curious to see if the leafs will be prepared and how robertson and Spezza will effect the games etc.
     
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  5. Antropovsky Registered User

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    Nothing can be looked back on in a vacuum. Leafs played 12 of 23 games back to back under babs. Leafs confidence in their backup was less than 0.... keefe himself struggled with the problem. He tried to get creative by starting Hutch in the first game, he tried Andersen in both games, he tried the AHL starter. Ultimately Dubas acquired Campbell because the same problem babs was having, Keefe was. Fortubately Keefe only had to deal with it 12 times in 46 games though.

    I like Dubas...but i wonder what the cost of not getting a capable backup for 2 seasons was to his teams. Confidence can be the difference between a bad team and a stanley cup winner. See St.louis.
     
  6. SeaOfBlue The Passion That Unites Us All

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    As people have pointed out though, Edmonton has a weaker defense and goaltending (assuming Andersen does not suck) than us. Plus their top guys have been terribly sloppy...

    I still expect Edmonton to be able to beat Chicago, but McDavid and Drasaitl need to be much better, and the rest of the team can't suck like they have today... I am really questioning their ability to be able to beat any of those top 4 teams in the West now though. I thought they could realistically win a round, but if this is what they are bringing, then good luck with that.
     
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  7. Jozay Registered User

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    Yeah I dont think he pushes the needle that much I just dont want Canadien fans to be happy :D
     
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  8. Mikeyg Registered User

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    oilers suck.
    rags suck.
     
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  9. MSZ Registered User

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    I have read that McJesus only has two career 5 on 5 pts in the playoffs.
     
  10. SeaOfBlue The Passion That Unites Us All

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    Hutch started 6 games for Keefe and 5 games for Babcock. He won 4 games under Keefe. He lost all 5 under Babcock. Hutch played weaker teams under Keefe, but Babcock had the choice to do the same thing and chose not to do it. Babcock was not fired because of backups though... He was fired because the entire team was generally underperforming, and the team was much better (independent of goaltending) under Keefe than pretty much any equivalent stretch under Babcock.

    Hutch sucked, but Sparks did not... And the Leafs played noticeably better defense under Keefe than at any point under Babcock.

    We made the playoffs last year, and at best we may have lost home-ice advantage (however Sparks did not cost the Leafs 4 games on his own relative to a higher end backup). This year, Hutch was brutal but so was Andersen for much of the year. If we got a backup as good as Campbell (aka one of the best backups in the league) from the beginning of the year, we may have been able to leapfrog Pittsburgh and faced Montreal instead, and we may have been able to play against an easier top 4 team in the first round (however with the round robin, it's essentially a coin flip right now anyways). If we got a good but not top end backup like Campbell, we are getting Florida or the Rangers instead of Columbus, which is not much of a difference. If it was not for Covid, we were likely going to finish 3rd in our division regardless. Andersen prevented us from finishing higher, and while a better backup from the beginning may have bailed out Andersen a little bit, Andersen would have been the main reason we finished lower than 3rd (or out of the playoffs altogether).

    When it comes to the playoffs itself, our backups did not play in the past. If we are worried about home ice advantage, the Leafs lost 2/3 games on home ice against Boston last year and 2/3 games against Washington in 2017, so we did not exactly benefit from playing in front of our fans more often than not (we won 2/3 in 2018 against Boston). This year, there is hardly a home ice advantage anyways. You get last change, but that's pretty much it...

    In total, the cost was little to nothing, and people really need to move on... Especially now that we have a good backup locked up for at least next year (if not the next two years if Campbell is not taken in the expansion draft).
     
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  11. SeaOfBlue The Passion That Unites Us All

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    I don't really have an irrational hatred against the Canadiens, so just I think it would be cool for them and the NHL to have a local kid be their face of the franchise and future captain.

    Otherwise, hopefully he can help put a few more butts in the Coyotes' seats or something like that.
     
  12. Keon1963 Registered User

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    Wow!!! Buttman rigged the draft again so the Oilers can win the 1st Overall Draft again and we did not see it.
     
  13. stickty111 Registered User

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    If Babcock was more demanding at coaching defensive hockey, he sure didn't know how to teach it. At no point under his tenure, were the Leafs ever even below average defensively. They were all bottom 10 in basically all categories defensively. During Keefe's small tenure, Leafs were average defensively.
    Babcock has a lot to blame for the backup struggling, his system was abysmal from a defensive perspective and while you need saves, his methods didn't help.

    All though this is funny. We are blaming Dubas for Babcock not having a backup who could make saves, but under Keefe where he wasn't getting much saves, that doesn't apply. Why is Babcock getting the backup goalie not making saves excuse, but Keefe isn't?
    Another way to protect Babcock it looks like.
     
  14. Nineteen67 Registered User Sponsor

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    Understatement of the year, but it sure was a pleasure watching hockey all day.
     
  15. Antropovsky Registered User

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    Leafs played 12 back to backs in the first 23 games.... and 12 in 47 for keefe. How did being tired effect their results?

    More and more teams are going to 1A and 1B tandems... is this a coincidence or is there stats that are leading teams to do this?

    Look forward to your expert analysis and evidence based research on how this could not effected outcomes...

    Fact is...it is too early for anyone to be right and know if keefe is the better coach. But we can speculate.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020 at 7:18 PM
  16. Monsieur Gustave H No practice for you, Comrade.

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    Canes vs Rags was the best game so far. Iles vs Panthers was boring and Chicago vs Edmonton was an entertaining mess. Two more games plus the Raps tonight makes for a great Saturday.

    Hopefully the boys come out guns blazing tomorrow, they said on the Panthers broadcast that the team who wins game 1, wins the best-of-5 series 81% of the time.
     
  17. Thor Odinson God of Thunder

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    It was fun watching the LOLiers lose to the Hawks. My only fear is they'll probably lose this series but win the lottery again.
     
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  18. SeaOfBlue The Passion That Unites Us All

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    It was still the same number of back-to-backs, just over a larger stretch of time. I'm not going to go into how much having back-to-backs in a short period of time vs. a long period of time affects how teams perform, but it was not like this was a one year problem. We struggled on back-to-backs from day 1 under Babcock. Even when we had a capable backup and we had back-to-backs spread out over an entire season. Every team has back-to-backs, and it is not like we've been screwed by the schedule every season. For some reason, we were either tired or not prepared for them, and we often sucked relative to many other good teams.Hutch was just the first goalie who really showed that we suck on back-to-backs. Sparks did too at the end of the 2018-2019 season, but was good at the beginning. If it was not for McElhinney having the best 30 games of his life at the end of 2016-2017 and into 2018-2019 (performances he never really replicated despite playing on much better defensive teams the next two subsequent seasons), it likely would have been the same in 2016-2017.

    The idea for improvement should not solely rest on the fact that our backup needs to steal games in order for us to win a back-to-back, because that is effectively what every backup under Babcock has done, besides Hutchinson. That is not what successful teams on a back-to-back rely upon.

    As for the 1A/1B approach, it depends on how you are defining it. A 50-30 split is not a 1A/1B approach. That's an approach that many coaches have been using for a long time, and it does not require the backup to be "1B" quality. If you are talking about splitting the games equally between the starter and backup, then few good teams do that:

    - Washington did it the year they won because Holtby was sucking for a long stretch of time.
    - St. Louis kind of did it because they had terrible goaltending to start and then eventually just rode Binnington as much as possible after January.
    - Other playoff teams, like Carolina and Edmonton, do it because they have two below-average starters who are not good.
    - The Penguins kind of did it too because Murray kept getting injured and has been wildly inconsistent the past few years.
    - Same goes for Boston in 2018-2019 where Rask got hurt, so Halak took over.

    So mostly, teams did it out of necessity, not by choice. Teams are trying to get a split of 50-30 (or 55-25) if possible, and they will often run 1 goalie in the playoffs. They just want to keep their goalies fresh for the playoffs. Babcock was one of the few coaches who did not believe in that. Even when he had a backup goalie who had the best save percentage in the league (McElhinney), he only started him 15 times. If you want to confirm, I would bet that it was only on back-to-backs and IIRC, he started one or two standalone games because Andersen was injured (although that may have been 2016-2017, not 2017-2018). Dubas is not telling him to do that. If anything, Dubas is probably telling him to do the exact opposite, because he likely knows the analytics about goalie usage, and understands that it is tough for a goalie to only play once every couple of weeks. Goalies prefer getting into a rhythm and are often used to playing a decent amount. Just ask Andersen, who wants to play as many games as possible because he says he wants to be in a rhythm. However, under Babcock, our backups are never really given that chance, and the only guy who has really had success with it was a guy who had been used to playing sparingly as a backup for his entire 10+ year career.

    Dubas' original plan was to have Sparks back (he gave him an extension in early March), but Sparks rubbed someone (probably Babcock) the wrong way and was exiled. Dubas then had to find someone to replace him for cheap in a market with few good options (and all of said options receiving overpayments for the most part) and ultimately settled on a guy that Babcock liked and was familiar: Hutchinson. If Dubas had his way, and assuming Sparks did not say something behind the scenes that was totally disparaging to his image, then Sparks likely would have been the backup this year... And I can say that the odds were in favour of Sparks doing significantly better than Hutch this year, because he had done significantly better than Hutch the prior two years as well. Maybe he still would have needed to be upgraded, but at least we should have been away from the fringes of the playoffs and there is a much better market for backups this year than last year.

    Now, hopefully everything is resolved. It only cost us a good depth player we can easily replace in Moore, and 2 3rds... Plus we were able to get Clifford at 50% (who probably would have cost Moore + the conditional 3rd on his own anyways; paying a mid-3rd for a high end cheap backup with term is a great deal). We have two good goalies who have proven that they can perform, and we have a coach who should hopefully make our team more prepared for back-to-backs, and hopefully the playoffs, than Babcock.
     
  19. SeaOfBlue The Passion That Unites Us All

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    Habs are beating Pittsburgh right now, but it is only 1-0 so things can change.

    New York and Florida went about as expected. Islanders are not a lethal offensive team, and Florida does not have enough offense to be able to crack a tight defense like New York easily. I still expect/hope Florida can win, because they had some good chances that did not bounce their way, but it will probably be a very boring, yet exciting, 5 game series by the end of it.
     
  20. Nineteen67 Registered User Sponsor

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    Sid and Co. better pull up their socks. I’d love to see Montreal out of the Laf sweepstakes but I don’t like watching them win a game let alone a series.
     
  21. hockeywiz542 Registered User

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    SIMMONS: It's not just time, it's overtime for the win-now playoff Maple Leafs | Toronto Sun

    FEW FEELING BAD AFTER CHAYKA’S EXIT

    There were hardly tears shed around the hockey world when John Chayka was fired recently as general manager of the Arizona Coyotes. In fact, behind the scenes, there was quiet applause and almost no words of credit.

    That isn’t how hockey normally works. Hockey protects its own. Hockey believes in its own. And Chayka, too cool for hockey school, was never the flavour of the month in his profession.

    He talked a better game than he played. The Coyotes never qualified for the playoffs during his time in Phoenix. They never did much of anything right.

    Several hockey people used the same expression to describe Chayka’s unsuccessful reign with the Coyotes. They called him a “hockey con-man.” More than one lifelong hockey person referenced the movie Catch Me If You Can with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks to explain Chayka’s term in Arizona.

    He quit just before he was exposed. Or at least that’s how it looks from the outside.

    Apparently, Joshua Harris and David Blitzer, the billionaire owners of the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 76ers, had an interest in bringing Chayka in to run both his hockey and basketball teams.


    Why? We’re not sure. In his five years running the Coyotes, he showed a propensity for signing poor contracts, drafted terribly, made dubious trades and the only really smart move he made was hiring Rick Tocchet to coach.

    Chayka was 26 when hired and 31 when he was let go and who knows where we see him next.
     
  22. Jimmy Firecracker Reporting from this Tree!

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    You’ve gotta be kidding me. Montreal wins in OT 3-2 and they’re up 1-0 in their series. Price with 39 saves.
     
  23. Havoc Registered User

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    can you imagine if one of our stars threw a no look pass like malkin did in OT allowing the other team to transition and score :help:
     
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  24. MSZ Registered User

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    Price is fully capable of stealing a series.
     
  25. Jimmy Firecracker Reporting from this Tree!

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    They looked so lacklustre in the exhibition game and Price was so mediocre this season. Wasn’t sure he still had it in him to steal a series. Evidently he does.
     

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