Speculation: So what's wrong then (Possession + shots for/against)

Discussion in 'Toronto Maple Leafs' started by Rare Jewel, Nov 2, 2013.

View Users: View Users
  1. Rare Jewel

    Rare Jewel Patience

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Messages:
    15,232
    Likes Received:
    360
    Trophy Points:
    154
    Location:
    Leaf Land
    There's a lot of ranting a raving by fans and media about the problems of this team, But no one is looking for reasons why this is happening or potential remedies.

    Is it personnel or systematic? or is it something intangible like effort or passion etc..
     
  2. WillNyeTheHockeyGuy

    WillNyeTheHockeyGuy #29

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    3,777
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Toronto
    Our defense is iffy as hell. Aside from Phaneuf, who else can play proper defense? Gardiner, Franson, Ranger, and Gunnarsson have all struggled and Rielly's a rookie. There-in lies the problem. The reason why we're doing so damn well is because we have 2 amazing goalies. Also our amazing centre depth that we just lost to Kassian helped. Nonis has to address our need for a #2 or a legit 2nd pairing D that knows how to play defense.
     
  3. Diatomic

    Diatomic Mitch Matthewlander

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Messages:
    9,153
    Likes Received:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Occupation:
    Student
    Location:
    Air Canada Centre
    Our defense just isn't good. Phaneuf and Gunnar pair are decent but other than that this team can't play good defense. Franson - Rielly hasn't looked good and theres games where Rielly looks like a 10 year NHL Vet compared to lead foot Franson. Gardiner and Ranger can't read off each other well and some of their plays just look hectic and chaotic.

    I'd say make the pairings

    Gunnar - Phaneuf
    Franson - Gardiner
    Rielly - Fraser
     
  4. Mess

    Mess Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Messages:
    76,209
    Likes Received:
    1,207
    Trophy Points:
    214
    Home Page:
    Your centers generate a lot of offense and its why teams believe in strength down the middle is the key to success.

    Leafs strength is on the wings and it shows in the games as teams disrupt the play along the wall and the attack breaks down. Defensive systems like left wing lock or traps force the play up the middle and that is where Leafs are lacking.

    Leafs have become a specialty team and strong goaltending team, feasting on the PP for offense and wins with the extra man. Even strength 5 on 5 is where the majority of the game is played however.
     
  5. Suntouchable13

    Suntouchable13 Registered User

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    29,135
    Likes Received:
    1,756
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Thornhill, ON
    Amazing centre depth? :laugh:
     
  6. WillNyeTheHockeyGuy

    WillNyeTheHockeyGuy #29

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    3,777
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Toronto
    Kadri, Bolland, and McClement isn't good enough for you? Bozak's been fine on the 1st line just in case you haven't noticed. Obviously we can do better, but we've been fine on forwards. I don't know if you read it fully or not, but I just mentioned how we lost it to injuries.
     
  7. TheLeastOfTheBunch

    TheLeastOfTheBunch Franchise Centre

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Messages:
    38,008
    Likes Received:
    63
    Trophy Points:
    131
    Location:
    Toronto
    Guessing it's the personnel. We gave up a pretty high Corsi against per 60 minutes in Wilson's last few seasons here.

    But as long as we're winning, not too worried about it. Every team has a stinker occasionally.
     
  8. Backhandshelf81

    Backhandshelf81 Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    453
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think it's a bit of both. We don't have many two-way forwards, or maybe we do but they just aren't playing it because they think the counter-attacking approach will take them through 82.

    I posted this in a different thread, but 3 of the things contributing to the possession problem are: 1) board play, 2) the breakout, 3) puck management in general.

    For board play, two of the best forwards are Clarkson and Kulemin. JVR at times. Everyone else is pretty terrible. For this one I'm having a hard time figuring out if it's personnel or systemic. I want to think these forwards are capable of being good on the boards, but the evidence suggests otherwise.

    On the breakout, well, this is an obvious one we've seen all too many times, getting hemmed in our zone often. The forwards don't seem to think they have a role in it and don't offer support to the D. The forwards just start skating out of the defensive zone, ending up with the D having to make risky stretch passes. A lot of the time the opposing D just pinches in to intercept and the whole process starts all over again, and the Leafs remain hemmed in.

    Puck management in general... You don't need to always wait for the best scoring chance, but our players often do, even when we badly need a goal. In this sport sometimes you just need to take a shot because anything can happen. The longer you wait trying to set up something that looks sexier, like more of a scoring chance, the likelier you are to just end up causing a turnover, which happens a lot.
     
  9. Leaf Rocket

    Leaf Rocket Leaf Fan Till I Die

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2007
    Messages:
    74,266
    Likes Received:
    86
    Trophy Points:
    131
    Occupation:
    Student
    Location:
    Toronto/Fredericton
    I'm not too worried about it to be honest, however I'm worried about our defensive play of the late. I've been calling it out quite a bit and I'm frankly annoyed at how our players are atm defensively while shining offensively. If we want to a good team consistently then we need to fix this fast before it becomes a habit.
     
  10. thewave

    thewave Your safe space is 1 click away cowards!

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Messages:
    29,206
    Likes Received:
    2,118
    Trophy Points:
    156
    The problem with our D stems from our problem at C. We think it's the D but it's really our forwards that are burdening our D, that and Franson and Rielly and Jake are only o.k defensively, they are good but suffer lapses, now interesting is they suffer lapses when our forwards have atomic meltdowns defensively especially at the C position.

    We don't drive possession from C, so we are on our heels. That's why now with Grabo gone our stats in that dept went haywire
     
  11. thewave

    thewave Your safe space is 1 click away cowards!

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Messages:
    29,206
    Likes Received:
    2,118
    Trophy Points:
    156
    All you guys say stuff but you don't actually break down the problem and have resolutions to it.

    Blah blah blah it's a problem. Guess what bud, it stems from the C, the C is in the middle he is the bridge for all perimeter players, there's only one!

    I wish you guys could break down the game and just see it for what it is but nope same crap Bozak is great garbage blah blah blah yet zero comprehension of real time hockey. See it, don't get it.

    If we had a team with 3 clones of Grabo we would be par on shots against with any team in the league.
     
  12. sommervr

    sommervr Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Messages:
    1,709
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    66
    This is true. This is why the stats-based leaf fans went ballistic after the Grabo buyout. The leafs had a puck possesion problem and then gave away their best puck possesion center. Now we have a bigger puck possesion problem.
     
  13. thewave

    thewave Your safe space is 1 click away cowards!

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Messages:
    29,206
    Likes Received:
    2,118
    Trophy Points:
    156
    Then we start throwing good money after bad and become the 1980s leafs, again.

    The trickle down effect from the all important C position is completely lost by our organization. One would think a team who recognized the merits of Dougie, Sundin etc would understand this, they don't though.

    Shocking really.
     
  14. sommervr

    sommervr Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Messages:
    1,709
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    66
    And to answer the OP question: the problem is the defensive play of our forwards. As a team we are weak at center and weak on the walls. Our D are not the problem and goaltending sure isn't.

    As a mental exercise combine the rosters of the leafs and another bubble team and make cuts. The leafs supply 4+ D and two goalies but no centres.
     
  15. thewave

    thewave Your safe space is 1 click away cowards!

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Messages:
    29,206
    Likes Received:
    2,118
    Trophy Points:
    156
    The problems literally can be pin pointed to the C position. With the makeup of our wings we need Grabo type C's or forget it.

    We have as a whole possibly the worst grouping of C in the NHL (possession) To fix this we need to open the wallet, trade defensive prospects for a couple C who can skate with the puck.

    May as well ditch Bolland, Bozak because they are both similar really, Bolland would be better on wing probably after thinking about it. Mc does well from the wing but is also decent at c for 4th line.

    Kadri is getting better. Add: Mc isn't to bad just thinking here, you know the 4th line has been the best in the possession on several occasions...
     
  16. SteveV*

    SteveV* Guest

    We miss Grabo, biggest asset of his line, sustained forecheck, time in offensive zone. Anyways....
     
  17. Ash35

    Ash35 Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,226
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Where are you planning on getting the Cap space for that? Only the leafs are dumb enough to pay 4mil + for Bosak. We are stuck with him.
     
  18. Gallagbi

    Gallagbi Formerly Eazy_B97

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Messages:
    34,934
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Trophy Points:
    169
    Maybe this is just written oddly, but those systems force the play to the boards, which is where the Leafs are strongest. Like the vast majority of defensive systems, they are based around taking the middle of the ice away, forcing the puck carrier to the outside and limiting options.

    When a player is in the middle of the ice he has more options than when he is on the boards, which is why very few systems force players down the middle.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  19. thewave

    thewave Your safe space is 1 click away cowards!

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Messages:
    29,206
    Likes Received:
    2,118
    Trophy Points:
    156
    The two acquisitions or as I call them mistakes plus Liles have the money value of what it would take to right. The problem is finding the players too. It really was short sighted and now we have no C in the farm and are incredibly terrible at puck possession.

    I never even really thought to look at the c we have in the farm. We have got nothing worthy or at least ready.
     
  20. Mess

    Mess Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Messages:
    76,209
    Likes Received:
    1,207
    Trophy Points:
    214
    Home Page:
    Agreed, I should have stated it better in that defensive trap type systems are intended to direct the flow of the play and take away the boards.. It really forces a team to come up the middle with puck possession and speed to break a trap, because the other team is directing you towards to the boards, funneling a team to take away time and space.

    Leafs are a rush team with their main team strength on the wings. They're not a puck possession team and thus regularly lose the time of possession and shot total battles as a result. While their strength is also on the wings in talent, many of those players are not strong on the puck which prevents the wingers from getting the puck out of the Leafs zone in defensive responsibilities thus the defensemen don't have help getting the puck out of Leafs zone, often trapping the team for sustained periods while the shot against totals rise. A problem that carries over to the offensive zone where there is little cycle or puck possession time which also gives opponents the puck more.

    Corsi numbers don't lie and it exposes the Leafs team to its weaknesses. Leafs specialty teams and strong goaltending is the only thing sustaining this current record while defying the Corsi (puck possession and shot totals) on a regular basis. A strong PP assisting shooting % totals and providing enough offense to win, while the team struggles to create offense at ES.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  21. Gallagbi

    Gallagbi Formerly Eazy_B97

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Messages:
    34,934
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Trophy Points:
    169
    Still doesn't look like you get it.

    The traps take away the middle, so they force you to the boards. To beat it you need a good dump and chase with speed (we have speedy wingers) or to incorporate your d-men and bring them in to the rush. With Dion, Franson, Gardiner, Rielly and even Ranger, we have capable d-men for this.

    The other ting is even if you were accurate, these are passive defensive systems for the most part, which allow the offensive team time to come up the ice and give them some space in their own zone. Guys like Kessel, Kadri, Lupul and the majority NHL puck carriers have no problems going East-West before they come up ice. A left-winger is allowed to move to the middle of the ice, just like a centre is allowed to move to the right and/or left side of the ice, etc...

    If you come up the middle with speed, you're running right in to the traffic. The defending team is angling you to the boards, if you don't take the angle, you turn the puck over.

    There are a lot of reasons why we're not a great puck possession team. The left-wing lock and neutral zone trap forcing play to the middle of the ice is not one of them, since it's not true.
     
  22. Mess

    Mess Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Messages:
    76,209
    Likes Received:
    1,207
    Trophy Points:
    214
    Home Page:
    A left wing lock, does exactly as stated removes one avenue of attack leaving only the middle and the opposite wing to come up the ice, essentially cutting the ice down and funneling the flow of the play for your opponents. If my opponent wants me to come up the boards and is directing me that way, you come up the middle and test their defense gap control with speed.

    Dump and chase tactics are even more limited by the new ** No Touch Icing ** rules now in effect. Leafs forwards no longer need to beat opposing Dmen to the puck but rather be closer to it at the face-off dots to avoid a whistle and stop of play for icing. Dmen have an added advantage now by having a head start to the position.

    Leafs need stronger centers to carry the puck north-south while the wingers try and stretch the defense with their speed. Too many east-west players is precisely the problem that Leafs struggle with to generate sustain offense and get bogged down by defensive systems. If you have strong puck distributing centers and you're coming up the middle you force your opponents out of their desired positions by focusing now on their defensive responsibilities of Leafs wingers. Fear of players getting in behind them the motivating factor to lose defensive position and thus breaking the trap.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  23. thewave

    thewave Your safe space is 1 click away cowards!

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Messages:
    29,206
    Likes Received:
    2,118
    Trophy Points:
    156
    In short, we are weak at the Center position and other teams are catching on. Now with injury and nothing on the farm because it was wise to keep Mclaren and Ashton over Colborne, we are in deep **** and forced to make a move for a C which we will probably overpay for.
     
  24. Gallagbi

    Gallagbi Formerly Eazy_B97

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Messages:
    34,934
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Trophy Points:
    169
    Your defense is terrible in the situation then. The way you force players to the boards is by taking he middle away. If you go up the middle when it's taken away, you immediately turn the puck over. The middle won't open up until you've taken their angle and gone to the boards. At that point you're looking to cross the line and dump or drop it back to your support and have them carry it up. Usually that's a d-man.

    The left-wing lock doesn't mean you take away the left-side, forcing the play. It's a LW Lock because the the LWer drops back giving 3 d-men in a line, then the 2 remaining forwards angle the puck carrier to the boards by taking the middle of the ice away.

    Dump and chase usually requires you to gain the line, which negates any icing potential. A trap is also stationary and if you're planning a dump and chase you have your winger's attacking with speed that the d-men don't have. If the D-man has bailed early, cheating towards an icing it opens up other options.
    he
    Doesn't look like you grasped my last point.

    Back to your original point. The left-wing lock and neutral zone trap don't force teams to the middle, they do the exact opposite. They're entire purpose is to force the play to the boards.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  25. TheOneArmedMan

    TheOneArmedMan Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Messages:
    1,223
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Center and defensive depth is lacking. I would still try and look around for a top 6 center and a 1st pairing D who can play big minutes with Phaneuf.

    Remember when everyone thought Franson was gonna be Phaneuf's replacement? I don't think right now there is anyone I would rather have than Phaneuf.
     

Share This Page

monitoring_string = "358c248ada348a047a4b9bb27a146148"