Leafs talk 2


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22 Jan 2021 06:49:31
To me, the most concerning thing about the loss to Edmonton was Matthews reaction.

To paraphrase, he said something along the lines of: “We need to play to win, not play to not lose” and “We can’t play just to contain two guys”.

To me, this amounts to calling out the coach in media. Should a lesser player have done so, I can only assume they would have been benched the very next game.

Already Matthews seems to be resisting the necessity of playing a 200 foot game. We are back to where we were with Babcock. Keefe needs to resist the temptation of pandering to the wants of his players, who seem more interested in padding their stats than winning.

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22 Jan 2021 07:48:32
I was taken aback by that reaction as well. I thought they played well enough to win even rid they didn't.

I wouldn't read too much into this one comment though. We all say things we may not have meant. I'm sure he was unhappy with a loss.

22 Jan 2021 10:56:46
I don’t think it’s so much Matthews doesn’t want to play a 200ft game rather it’s the choice of the lineup Hyman and Mikheyev are clear top 6 guys and with Thornton out hopefully we see them in the top 6.

22 Jan 2021 13:25:42
I listened to his comments and I think what he meant was that there is no doubt McDavid and Draisaitl are two of the best players in the world, but we can't play scared, we still have to play to our strengths as we also have very talented players. We also have to try and create offence and not just contain them and be satisfied if we contain them. I took it that he was saying as players, they need to play with more confidence and not play scared to make a mistake, because mistakes will happen, so go play your game.

You guys could be right though, he may have been calling out the coaching strategy or line combos. Matthews has shown he hates losing and he knows we don't pay him to be a defensive-shut down centre. He was really angry after the Columbus loss and bite his tongue hard so he didn't speak his mind on why they lost. Just my opinion, but I think he is more unhappy with certain players effort level and commitment at times than coaching.

22 Jan 2021 23:04:38
Mathews has not been shy about saying he doesn't want certain linemates. Been wondering if he may say something about Jumbo soon as well.

21 Jan 2021 23:33:47
Andersen and D. Kuemper swits team.

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22 Jan 2021 04:50:08
I'm not sure why Arizona does this.

22 Jan 2021 04:50:20
Why would they agree?

21 Jan 2021 19:45:33
Leafs now have Matthews and Thornton out for tomorrow's game so let's look at the lines that I would use
Hyman Tavares Marner
Mikheyev Kerfoot Nylander
Simmonds Spezza Veesy
Engvall Brooks Anderson

Riley Brodie
Muzzin Holl
Dermott Bogosian

That second line looks very good as a matchup against draistel they have so much more speed then the oilers second line and if they can use that speed in the right ways they can trap the oilers second line in there own zone. If they can generate offence, and Tavares can shut down mcdavid while creating some offence and the bottom 6 is a wash out then we can still win

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21 Jan 2021 20:53:04
Is Mathews out? I haven't heard anything more than he left practice.

22 Jan 2021 01:55:42
I imagine focus protocol will keep him out because any flu or cold like symptoms are also c.v. synptoms.

22 Jan 2021 03:40:30
Is it flu symptoms? I haven't heard anything but that's a good point @Anderson. I figured the same. If he tests negative I don't see why he would still be out though. Either way, I would imagine only one game unless it is c. v.

21 Jan 2021 14:43:03
And so the Leafs are 3-2.

While being better than completely useless is an easy enough bar for a baby to crawl under, it is still perhaps too much credit to give Vesey.

But, of course, you win as a team, and you lose as a team. And as a team, the Leafs lost.

To be sure, there was much to be encouraged about in this loss. I’m going to point out the obvious. Matthews is a determined man. He is playing with fire in the belly. Now if only the rest of the team were able to pick up the baton.

I’ve said it before, and I’m going to keep flogging it. When faced with an aggressive defensive system, the Leafs forwards activate their cloaking devices. Like a Penn and Teller act, they disappear.

Of course, if they won all the games they lost, they would be undefeated. And no one seriously expected them to go 56-0 this year.

While the loss was regrettable, the fact remains that after five games, the Leafs still have more wins than losses.

The rematch is Friday. A proper assessment of the teams should await until then. While the Oilers may have won the first battle, the war is far from over.

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21 Jan 2021 15:20:46
That game last night coulda went either way an unlucky bounce and a bad call away from winning this game but excuses aside I think Matthews has a real good chance at a selke this year I’m just hoping he starts shooting more the other point I’d make is I think keefe has put too much emphasis on creating a balanced lineup I think they need to worry about those top two lines because if they are going like they have in the past the 3rd and 4th line will become irrelevant same goes for the top power play load up that unit because when we do it’s very hard for teams to keep the puck out of the net.

21 Jan 2021 16:42:38
You are correct. The game was very, very close. A bad bounce and a bad call were the difference makers.

Eventually Matthews will start to find the back of the net. A guy with a shot like his, it’s not possible to imagine his Sh% will remain at a level lower than Thornton’s career average.

The Leafs are working on a new system. Edmonton trapped out of them last night. And rather than try to spend the whole game in frustration, constantly trying to break through, the Leafs instead returned the favour in kind.

The last couple games have seen a huge change in style for the Leafs. That alone is something to be encouraged by.

Holl has been our best defenseman so far this year. If he keeps it up, he’s going to play himself right off the team. Seattle will pick him for sure.

21 Jan 2021 23:26:01
Is Mathews shoots any more than he is no one else will ever touch the puck lol. He's been firing from everywhere. I'm really not worried about him though. Mathews is to talented not to score. Even if this was a down year he probably still pots 35+.

I like the 11-7. Keefe seems to have this team buying into what Babs tried so hard to tell them. Sound defensive hockey.

21 Jan 2021 10:20:13
So after last nights game I was thinking how the league need to take back some of the control of the refs what I mean by that is the refs need to be held accountable more they influence the out come of the game way to much for example Muzzin gets a penalty for the Edmonton player tripping his own guy and the ref was standing right there this lead to the game winning goal so to me I think the league should be able to go back and look at these plays and fine the ref for making a bad call or let each team be able to challenge 1-2 penalties a game same with the marner penalty he grabs the shoulder of nurse just barely and gets a call but you're allowed to burry guys in front of the net? Idk just seem really inconsistent with all the games so far including teams other then the leafs

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21 Jan 2021 14:31:57
Consistency in how games are reffed seems to be a forever ongoing issue. Depending on the ref, seems to depend on how the games is called. It is hard to watch a game and think "you called some cheesy holding penalty, but you aren't calling that! " Happens every game.

I am probably on the minority thinking here, but I don't agree with the thinking that the ref's should "put away the whistles" because we don't want them "deciding" the game by calling a crucial penalty that leads to the winning goal. My thought is that they are influencing the game by NOT calling any penalties. One team could be dominating and the only thing preventing them scoring is the other team getting away with trips/ crosschecks/ holding/ whatever that prevented goals. How is NOT calling the penalty not influencing the outcome?

Anyway. I am not sure what the answer is, as it has been around as long as I can remember. Would fining them help? Don't know, they may end up having a negative paycheck if they get fined for every missed call or bad call. lol.

21 Jan 2021 15:24:18
I agree they should put the whistles away either but the league need to look at what is and what is not a penalty because from what I have watched there has been a lot of questionable ones that are being called and ones that are not but I do think the refs have too much control over the outcomes of the game.

21 Jan 2021 16:52:30
lgm123 suggested a 10-8 roster. And the more I think about it, the more I like it.

Implement the 2F-3D system that we have discussed on here previously as suggested by Jack Han. Use Rielly as a rover similar to how Nashville uses Josi. I don’t think anyone doubts Rielly would be a more capable “forward” than half the guys we have in the bottom six already.

The biggest knock against using Rielly s a river before was that the forwards can’t be trusted to cover if he gets caught. This eliminates that problem.

We have enough good defenseman that it is definitely worth at least considering.

Good job lgm123. A very original thought that makes a lot of sense.

21 Jan 2021 18:19:47
I don’t think the 10-8 works with such a compact schedule you have a better chance at injuring players.

21 Jan 2021 18:59:31
In theory, there is some merit to the 10/ 8 for sure. In the D-zone, in theory, it may be better to have 3 d-men down low compared to a centreman down low and offensively having a rover D who can go all offence while not giving up defensively sounds promising.

Translating to realty may be an issue;

It would be asking a lot from your D-men and asking all of your forwards to basically become wingers. D-men have had it drilled into their brains to only go when it is safe on offence. They are not programmed to just fly around the O-zone. It would also take the full use of ice away from Matthews and Tavares who are used to using the middle to create. A lot of times in this system, it is going to be the 3rd D-man who is picking up the loose pucks to create and Matthews/ Tavares etc are going to be the forecheckers. Also, who do you want in the high slot getting the puck, Matthews or Dermott/ Rielly/ Bogosian Etc? I would prefer Matthews, but that is not happening in this system.

In the defensive zone.
Down low, we should be better at disrupting the cycles. The issue will be transition and creating offence from it. Rielly can't play every shift. So the 3rd F/ D isn't likely as effective at being part of the rush as most of our top 9, nor are they used to cycling in the offensive zone. They will likely hang back instead of forcing just because their brain tells them to. It is what they know.

It is an interesting concept though.

21 Jan 2021 23:28:40
I agree @Leafs1994 some kind of review board for referees. Hockey isn't like most other sports where one thing is a penalty 100% of the time. Cross checking a guy 10 times is generally accepting when your net front but based on the rules shouldn't be. Many examples of what could be technically refered too as interference but isn't called.

I am fine with the amount of penalties called it's the consistency that's the issue for sure. Can anyone actually look at a penalty and say with certainty that will be called every night by every official every time? If the answer is a resounding no, then something should be done about it.

21 Jan 2021 04:56:53
With both Thornton and Robertson injured I think we have to go back to what was working.
Hyman Matthews Marner
Veesy Tavares Nylander
Engvall Kerfoot Mikheyev
Barabanov Spezza Simmonds

Riley Brodie
Muzzin Holl
Dermott Bogosian
Sandin Lehtonen
Rosen Lilygreen
Marincin Howell

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21 Jan 2021 05:21:39
I feel like a dick saying this but, I'm glad he's out. Mathews and Marner deserve better as a linemate.

Get that Vesey S*** outta here and put Mikheyev back where he belongs. He has been a monster this year as far I can see. His energy makes me want to start doing push-ups in my living room. Reward the man!

21 Jan 2021 10:06:18
Yea vessey should be the extra guy on the fourth line he continues to show nothing and even scored an own goal I put soup or Simmonds up there.

21 Jan 2021 10:14:57
Oh come on vesey is a sniper

On his own net that is

Vesey deserves 1 round of waivers.

21 Jan 2021 14:40:34
We played well enough to win. Team played well. Seems pretty obvious they are working on their defensive game assuming the offence will come around and take care of itself. It will be interesting to see how long these offensively talented players buy in if the goals aren't coming.

The top line was obviously better when Hyman was on it. Mikheyev should be with Tavares and Nylander. You could put Kerfoot with Vesey and Simmonds as a third line. Spezza with Engvall/ Barabanov/ Brooks in any combination is fine as a 4th line. If one of them are really going in a game, give them more minutes.

I was happy to see Nylander show some passion there by smacking his stick and basically saying "give me the puck", let's get going. Good on him. Like to see more of that from him.

21 Jan 2021 23:30:32
Nylander is the strangest case I have ever seen. I say it all the time. If he plays with passion every single night he could probably put up 100pts and maybe 40 goals. But he doesn't. He just gets lazy sometimes or looks like he doesn't give a s***. I was thrilled to see his attitude in that game even though he didn't score.

Tavares for hart trophy! Been loving his game so far.

20 Jan 2021 23:03:29
I want to revisit the 10-8 concept

Lineup in this manor

Thorton marner
Hyman micheyev
Simmonds nylander

^ the 3 sets of wingers rotating through


You can double shift tavares and Matthews in place of spezza and Thorton

Defence pairings

Reilly Brodie
Muzzin holl
Dermott bagoshian
Sandin lehtonen.

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21 Jan 2021 05:22:09
10-8 is pushing it a bit.

20 Jan 2021 16:18:59
If you convince yourself that things cannot be better than they already are, then you assure yourself that they never will be.

Despite their slow start to the year, Edmonton is still the team to beat. Tonight’s game will be the first real test for the Leafs.

Unlike the wimpy Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton is a hard hitting, physically aggressive team. I state this not as a matter of opinion, but as a matter of fact.

With 105 hits in 4 games, Edmonton is among the league leaders in this category, averaging 26 hits a game. That’s a lot of hits. A lot. In contrast, the Leafs have 65 hits in 4 games. An average of 16.25 hits per game. That’s a huge difference. Huge.

Like we saw in the series against Ottawa and the game against Montreal, Leafs continue to struggle against teams that are the more physically domineering.

It was a pleasant surprise to see the Leafs manhandle the Jets. But they will need to do better tonight if they are going to win against an Edmonton team with the two best players in the world.

In the words of a certain blogger of dubious fame, Edmonton is “due” for a win. I state that tongue-in-cheek of course. What I really mean is Edmonton is going to give their absolute best tonight.

Leafs would be well advised to do the same.

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20 Jan 2021 18:16:20
Good game day speech as apways.

Well, if this years trend of The Leafs possessing the puck a lot and the Oilers chasing it a lot continues tonight, the Leafs will be taking their fare share of hits, that is for sure. They key is to be on them when you don't have it and you will get your own share in. Like last game.

20 Jan 2021 20:44:19
Excellent speech and very true

Can’t wait.

20 Jan 2021 22:44:58
EDM, Tor, MTL, Van are my picks for top 4 in the division. I'm expecting games against those 3 to be great.

Good speech. Let's go boys!


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