Leafs biggest issue... Fan expectations set by the team

Discussion in 'Toronto Maple Leafs' started by Pookie, Apr 15, 2018.

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  1. Pookie

    Pookie It was a pleasure doing business with you

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    Maybe the issue isn't the team... or the fact that they are 2 years removed from a last place finish.

    Maybe it is the expectations set by the team and fans when they went out to trade picks for rentals and sign 3 x 35 year old players.

    In a regular season that rewards keeping games close, whereby both teams play somewhat conservative. Where you earn points 3 vs 3 or in a SO. Where the whistle is used more frequently and PPs abound. Maybe that's where our team currently excels.

    In the playoffs. Where grit matters. Where will matters. Where one team is pressing relentlessly and the other is holding on. Where the whistle is used conservatively. Maybe that's where we have work to do.

    2 games isn't over. We can come back. 2 games also isn't an indication that the season was horrible.

    But fans that set expectations without understanding that the regular season and playoffs are two very different and distinct phases... well, they set themselves up for disappointment. I don't totally blame fan expectations. Aim low, you'll never hit high. But the team has veered from it's long rebuild plan and with it come increased expectations.

    We've got work to do. It's a shame we wasted picks on rentals. It's a shame that we signed vets to positions we need to develop.

    It's a long road. To expect it to be over in 2 years is pretty silly.
     
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  2. mmalady

    mmalady Registered User

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    i agree with pookie on this....the Leafs always found a new way to break my heart and i learned to manage my expectations after the infamous game 7...it has made all the difference for me...
     
  3. Brown Dog

    Brown Dog Registered User

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    I don't agree. But I do think there is something to be said for trusting young, inexperienced players in key roles. NHL is a young man's game now, more than ever.
     
  4. Cor

    Cor Most Likes Received By HFW Poster - 2018

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    The past two games, I’ve been thinking “damn, we’d be winning, if only my expectations were lower”
     
  5. Pookie

    Pookie It was a pleasure doing business with you

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    :)

    Maybe you'd be watching and NOT thinking "we'd be winning." Just thinking, ok... got work to do. Future looks good though.

    Instead, we endure relentless criticism of Babcock or various US conspiracies against our players and other such silliness that abounds in the PGT
     
  6. TheBeastCoast

    TheBeastCoast Registered User

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    I find it interesting. If we hadn't of made the playoffs last year. Maybe we pushed hard but came up short and then this year we made the playoffs. Would we be dealing with the same ridiculous over reactions about the team being flawed and all the other crazy hot takes going around right now? This series has obviously been embarrassing so far but it is absolutely crazy some of the things people are saying and conclusions being jumped to by certain people in this fan base. The path to the top isn't always straight up with no bumps in the road.
     
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  7. Kamiccolo

    Kamiccolo Proud Leafs and Hurricanes fan

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    Sorry. This is a Leaf team that can beat anyone. When they are rolling almost no one can match the combo of speed / skill and solid goaltending to bail out anything that goes wrong. This is a team who is supposed to be hungry and had taken it to Boston over the last few years.

    Now they don't bother showing up in the playoffs and I am being told this is my fault? Nah. It's the players who have not shown up to meet expectations. No one would be pissed if we lost the last two games but they were close like with Washington. We're mad because they are skating circles around us and making the team look like a gongshow.

    As Babcock says, Expectations are a good thing because it means you've earned the right to have people believe in you.
     
  8. Jeypic

    Jeypic Registered User

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    Our team had a great season. It’s fair for us to have high expectations. It’s fair for the leafs brass to have high expectations. It’s fair for you to give up on your team after two games and make threads like this too.
     
  9. Trawna Phan

    Trawna Phan Registered User Sponsor

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    Because the Leafs give up so many scoring chances and I expected Freddie to let in a few soft goals like he did against Washington last year, I predicted Boston in 5, but I saw no reason to believe it would be this easy for them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  10. Spirit of 67

    Spirit of 67 Registered User

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    Mature, experienced, Cup winning men against inexpereinced boys. At least, at the core of the rosters.

    They will have to learn from this and the only way you can learn from this is to go through it.

    And this is still a long rebuild process. The trades and signings they've made have been minimal and short term.
    We also shouldn't over react to the absolute worst possible match up we could've gotten.

    Gotta love HF though, one thread says we aren't doing enough to make the team more competitive right away. Another says we've done too much.
     
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  11. shortfuze

    shortfuze Registered User

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    Now I’m not saying Toronto would have won these 2 games but Boston has been getting some bounces go their way. If Toronto has some of those bounces or blow calls on offsides it would be a different outcome. Not to mention Toronto had 2 great power plays in the first game but no goals. They score on either power play it’s a different game. Good teams like Boston still need luck on their side just like any other good team. Toronto has been pretty unlucky.
     
  12. Pookie

    Pookie It was a pleasure doing business with you

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    I'm not saying we've done too much. I think we were trying to plug holes with older players (such as Plekanec) or signing Moore, Marleau and Hainsey. I think we held on to the UFAs for the sake of a "run" when we really should be thinking long term (imo).

    I'm not sure any of them were necessary to be at the stage we are now. Folks are clamouring for AJ or Kappy to get ice time. They'd have it if JVR or Komarov were moved. Borgman would be getting playoff experience right now if we didn't have Hainsey for another year.

    I don't fault the brass for going for it... they don't have unlimited contracts either.

    But the net effect of bringing in vets and not following the asset acquisition/development model is unrealistic expectations from the fan base. We must be good. We don't need a draft pick. We need an "own rental." Marleau's playoff experience will be fantastic. Etc. etc.
     
  13. 666

    666 Registered User

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    The realists aren't upset. No one expected the Leafs to be this bad, but anyone calling this team contenders is too emotionally involved. And that's the problem. Homers get emotionally attached to the team and end up with unrealistic expectations
     
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  14. hullsy47

    hullsy47 Registered User

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  15. Throw More Waffles

    Throw More Waffles Registered User

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    When your 100 year old team just got their franchise record in wins and points... at that point, the future is now.
    How many teams get over ONE HUNDRED points and then say “We’re still rebuilding.”

    It would be different if we lost in round 1 respectably (like last year). But we just literally got laughed out of Boston.
     
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  16. BertCorbeau

    BertCorbeau Rest in Peace Fugu

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    No one is saying they're still rebuilding, it's a matter of context that the Leafs core players are just starting to enter their best years and that development is still needed from the youth. Patience is still a virtue, and there's no need for irrational decisions.

    Stick with the process.

    Given the pending UFA's of Bozak and JVR, and to a lesser extent Komarov, there should be a good overhaul in the make up of this team for next year.
     
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  17. Pookie

    Pookie It was a pleasure doing business with you

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    When the franchise record is set with extra points for losing or winning a SO... you have to find the salt shaker and take a grain of it with you.

    Series isn't over. '92-93 team lost the first 2 in Detroit I believe.

    But look at the roster right now. Take off the UFAs... that's basically what we have going forward. You think the rebuild is over? There is a lot of development work left to do
     
  18. Spirit of 67

    Spirit of 67 Registered User

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    On the flip side, we've seen what an Edmonton team with no adult supervision has done. Or the wrong vets like Buffalo.

    I also see where management looked at a good team and allowed it to go out and fight without mortgaging the future. We knew Boston was the worst match up we could've gotten. Good teams will always have their nemesis and in order to win, you have to avoid them. Like Washington against Pittsburgh. Us in the 90's against New Jersey, Winnipeg in the 80's against Edmonton, Boston in the 70's against Montreal.
    Great teams can beat anyone. We aren't great yet.

    It's also only been 2 games. In '93 we got taken apart by Detroit in the first 2 games and still won the series. I know most people will trot out the very easy that's not gonna happen this time narrative but it should be pointed out that it wasn't gonna happen in '93. But it did.

    We're still in good shape going forward. But my opinion that this summer is when they should start to get aggressive is now being reconsidered. It sucks. But this is part of the pain we were promised.
     
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  19. hector morrison

    hector morrison Registered User

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    So, 'lowered expectation' is what you are preaching?
    Ok ,sure,maybe for a few! Really, I didn't
    think the Leafs were winning the cup this year anyhow! Did you? Maybe get to the 2nd round or so! Hence, the veteran pick-ups.
    I don't view this as 'veering from a long rebuild plan' at all.
    Plans are fluid . They have to be. I have total confidence in Shanahan and Lou. I think they have been great and will steer the ship as needed.
    If nothing else, this is great experience for the youngsters to gain. The intensity level , same opponent each game, the acceptance of the way the game is called....invaluable stuff!
     
  20. diceman934

    diceman934 Help is on the way.

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    The rebuild started over 3 years ago and we did everything we could to tank including playing a poor AHL goal to help us lose. We also suspended Kadri for 3 games sat down JVR and sent players to the minors who could have helped as well as kept players on the marlies who should have been Leafs.

    Fan expection is not the reason for our poor play these last two games but the fact our best players did not show up and played scared is. Nylander has been magic he is dressing and gets ice time but he is invisible so was Mathews for 4 and a half periods.

    All the people who wanted Johnnson dressed so a prime example of a soft as butter player...he needs to be traded as soon as mid season next year. Let him get a lot of points playing in regular season and move him as he was the softest player last night by a wide margin and he was attempting to impress.

    Without the vets we signed we would be like Edmonton a young group of garbage without a rudder aimlessly playing. We have established that roster spots are earned not given and you saying that we should simply give players roster spots because they are young simply do not understand how to build a winning team with the attitude that winning over individual stats is more important. We have a long way to go in that area.
    Look for us to sign/trade for more experience players again this summer as we have been shown it is a weakness that needs to be addressed.

    Hyman was attacked all year and people who understand what it takes to put together lines kept saying why which was ignored but the proof is there for everyone to see he had easily been the best of the 3 by a wide margin as you need to be more than a stick checking player if any success is going to happen. Willingness to take a check to make a play is a bear minimum we should expect and yet everyone kept saying Johnnson over Hyman which is a joke.

    I love the Leafs and I have a lot of time for players who want to play the game the right way. Babcock has mentioned it so many times and gets attacked on here daily and blamed but yet he has been 100% correct in his assessment of our cutiepies sitting them for willing players late in games we are leading as he wants hockey players on the ice late in games players willing to take a check.

    Drew Daughty said in early in the season we except losing far to easy to be a good team and it is not skill we lack but a willingness to play to win.

    End of rant,
     
  21. Pi

    Pi Registered User

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    Yeah they are losing because I have high expectations. Don’t worry, I called Babcock and lowered my expectation. They should do well now!
     
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  22. justafan22

    justafan22 Registered User

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    Next year is the last year of their first window with cheap contracts. Don't fool yourself into thinking this type of play is ok.
     
  23. Liminality

    Liminality Registered User

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    I think this is just part of the process. You put your team in these situations to see how they do. You evaluate what bends and what breaks. What exceeds expectations and what doesn't reach them.
    These games so far have given management a lot of intel about their team. We'll see how the other games go first but I'm sure that management is already discussing what needs to change.

    There's never a moment to feel sorry for yourself, just evaluate and decide how to move forward on this green horn team.
     
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  24. Throw More Waffles

    Throw More Waffles Registered User

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    Fans that thought we were cup favourites had unrealistic expectations.

    But to be outclassed and embarrassed like this is a whole different story and is an unrealistic thing to just accept.

    You lose the series to Boston on a few close fought games, and then you say "We're not quite there yet." But what we've witnessed these past 2 games? We have a right to be angry. If we're supposed to just expect that our core is this inexperienced and weak willed, then why weren't we sellers at the deadline? By being buyers since last season, management set this expectation. Not for the fans. But for the team.
     
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  25. justafan22

    justafan22 Registered User

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    I agree. You can't play the "young team is learning card" when they played much better agains the president's trophy winning team last year.
     

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