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IPv6Freely

Maple Leafs 2016-17

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Let's get this thread started! As a Leaf fan, I haven't been this excited about a new season in many, many years. The culture change and dedication to a full rebuild process is something every fan has been begging for for a long time. This should be quite the transitional year in many regards... fitting for their centennial.

While I don't necessarily expect a playoff finish, let alone a cup contender, I do hope for a team still playing meaningful games in April. This team will improve with time.

That said... what else can be said about the first game vs Ottawa? Matthews was unstoppable, and that second goal where he stripped Karlsson like a $20 hooker was the highlight of the night league-wide. Unfortunately Andersen was not good at all and it was all for nothing. The kid said all the right things after the game though... saying the loss was 100% his fault, and that he'd have traded all 4 goals for a win. Extremely composed. Almost reminds me of the maturity of Roberto Osuna... well beyond his years.

For the second game, it's been the Mitch Marner show. He was by far the best player on the ice for either team. Now I fully understand that this is just the Boston Bruins so not really a true test, but they controlled the play for pretty much the entire game. The shift where Marner was stickhandling all over the offensive zone, passing the puck to himself, making a glorious pass while on his knees just showed what he was capable of. The snipe was just the icing on the cake. 

Andersen was much better this game, answering the call just about every time he was tested. The only goal he allowed was when he was screened and didn't see the pass across to an open man. Certainly a lot better than the first game. Hopefully he's at least as good in Toronto as he was in Anaheim. While I do think Gibson is a better goalie, he should at least provide some stability and hopefully some consistency. Something Bernier certainly could never provide.

I really liked the play of Martin. I was skeptical about the signing but I think having a bit of grit out there will only help the kids, even if he isn't going to land on the score sheet much. I also really liked how he wanted nothing to do with Chara making a fool of himself at the end of the game. Like I said, I was skeptical about him but seeing that he's not going to be lured into any shenanigans and isn't going to take stupid penalties. Well, hopefully. We'll see.

Zaitsev was also very impressive. His pro experience in the KHL is clearly showing. What a great signing! 

I can't wait to see these kids grow up together, they already look pretty impressive. 

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On 10/15/2016 at 8:53 PM, IPv6Freely said:

Now I fully understand that this is just the Boston Bruins so not really a true test,

I know you probably didn't mean it this way, but sheesh this came across as typical Toronto fan arrogance.  The Bruins may not be a perennial championship contender the likes of the Hawks, Penguins or Kings, but as a fan I'd be an awful lot happier with the Bruins record of 1 Stanley Cup, 2 final series appearances and 7 playoff appearances in the last 10 years than with the Maple Leafs record of 1 playoff appearance.  Lets maybe see more than 1 win and an overtime loss before we start saying the Leafs should treat the Bruins like patsies.

But then again, I'm an Oilers fan so what do I know? 

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6 minutes ago, Neal said:

I know you probably didn't mean it this way, but sheesh this came across as typical Toronto fan arrogance.  The Bruins may not be a perennial championship contender the likes of the Hawks, Penguins or Kings, but as a fan I'd be an awful lot happier with the Bruins record of 1 Stanley Cup, 2 final series appearances and 7 playoff appearances in the last 10 years than with the Maple Leafs record of 1 playoff appearance.  Lets maybe see more than 1 win and an overtime loss before we start saying the Leafs should treat the Bruins like patsies.

But then again, I'm an Oilers fan so what do I know? 

Just meant they're a bottom-half team, one of the ones you're supposed to beat. I meant that it's not like they were facing a top tier team who would (and likely will) expose their youth. 

Also, the past is irrelevant to me. I'm only looking forward at this point. A team's past accomplishments (or failures in the case of the Leafs...many, many failures) means absolutely nothing to me at this point. This may be hard to understand for somebody who is not a fan of the team that has been the butt of every hockey joke for decades, but this is a new beginning and I have not been this excited for a hockey season in a long, long time. Management cares. The coach cares. The players care. And now, so do the fans. 

The team did right by the past with its jersey retirement ceremony. The organization finally made amends with its best player of all-time. It is time to look towards the future, and I am enjoying every bit of it. 

Pardon me for being excited ;) 

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The Leafs would know a lot about being in the bottom half of the league. It's always funny when a superfan goes crazy after a game or two and declares the past to be irrelevant because the future is so bright. That song has absolutely never been sung about the Leafs before. FYI, the coaches and players have always cared. Saying that they didn't is just an absurd slam on guys that didn't win enough for you. But yeah, guys like Kessel had to be cleared out to make way for real winners. 

 

It's one thing to be excited, it's something entirely different to be an ass about it.

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Nobody is going crazy. I'm just excited to see the transition year we have ahead of us. Also nobody is being an ass. Also nobody said the coaches and players didn't care before but the vibe right now is still very different. Everyone is buying in.

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7 hours ago, Neal said:

I know you probably didn't mean it this way, but sheesh this came across as typical Toronto fan arrogance.  The Bruins may not be a perennial championship contender the likes of the Hawks, Penguins or Kings, but as a fan I'd be an awful lot happier with the Bruins record of 1 Stanley Cup, 2 final series appearances and 7 playoff appearances in the last 10 years than with the Maple Leafs record of 1 playoff appearance.  Lets maybe see more than 1 win and an overtime loss before we start saying the Leafs should treat the Bruins like patsies.

But then again, I'm an Oilers fan so what do I know? 

Yep, get used to OptimusReim. 

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You have proved in the past what kind of Maple Leafs fan you are, the way you analyze the Leafs and the way you talk about other teams whether the Leafs win or lose does not make any sense to me. 

Edited by icewalker_bg

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11 hours ago, icewalker_bg said:

You have proved in the past what kind of Maple Leafs fan you are, the way you analyze the Leafs and the way you talk about other teams whether the Leafs win or lose does not make any sense to me. 

And that was coming from a Canadiens fan.

 

 

 

Here we go.

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13 hours ago, Chadd said:

The Leafs would know a lot about being in the bottom half of the league. It's always funny when a superfan goes crazy after a game or two and declares the past to be irrelevant because the future is so bright. That song has absolutely never been sung about the Leafs before. FYI, the coaches and players have always cared. Saying that they didn't is just an absurd slam on guys that didn't win enough for you. But yeah, guys like Kessel had to be cleared out to make way for real winners. 

 

It's one thing to be excited, it's something entirely different to be an ass about it.

but Kessel is the real winner now :cool:

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1 minute ago, Haggerty said:

but Kessel is the real winner now :cool:

I was so happy for him, after the way the Toronto media ran him out of town. Even more happy the way he performed and dominated. Should have been MVP for sure. 

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Holy crap, the Jets with another massive comeback. To be fair, they should have never been down 4-0 as they controlled most of that game. Once the bounces started going their way instead it was game over. 

- Not enough defensive play, though Hyman and Zaitsev did pretty well defensively.

- The tying and OT goals look really bad on Andersen. He played well in the 2nd but looked brutal in the 3rd

- I admit I got a kick out of the Jets fans chant of "Laine's better", especially since he backed them up on it with the hat trick. He's going to be a hell of a star.

- JVR and Marner look good together

-Kadri looks lost out there

Thats three games where they've scored 4 goals, and have only won one of them. I expect shoddy D with such a young team but Andersen really needs to be a whole lot better.

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That tying goal doesn't look bad on Andersen. He has to respect the shot from Ehlers. The rest of the Leafs were mesmerized by the puck and were so busy trying to get in the shooting lane that nobody went to any open forwards. The Jets just made a really good play to tie it up.

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1 hour ago, chippa13 said:

That tying goal doesn't look bad on Andersen. He has to respect the shot from Ehlers. The rest of the Leafs were mesmerized by the puck and were so busy trying to get in the shooting lane that nobody went to any open forwards. The Jets just made a really good play to tie it up.

Good point. I think there was a bit of over-commit there but not enough to fault him for the result. Just a really bad set of circumstances seeing a clearing attempt land directly on the guy's stick. I'd say he should have put it up the boards or something, but he didn't have a whole lot of time to make that happen. Just tried to get rid of it as quickly as possible.

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Leafs looked pretty favorable to win this one, In OT they had many opportunities, but hurried the shots and basically were shooting right in the goalie. Looked like they were trying his 5-hole the entire  OT while that was pretty protected the entire game except for the second goal when Hutchinson could not see through the screen. In the final breakaway in the end of the OT, even Buff thought it was over and stopped his challenge of Mathews and let him enjoy one-on-one, but Mathews went straight after already disappearing 5-hole for like fifth time and the perfect opportunity was turned into a breakaway on the other end and a game ending goal by Jets. If in OT, Leafs were going for goal sides, the OT would have been over few seconds after it began. Some goalies have weak 5-hole, but it was not Hutchinson, not on this day at least. Zaitsev did an outstanding job defending in OT. Jets had no opportunities to take a single shot at Leafs goal and the first opportunity the got, Laine went straight after top shelf where Anderson did not have much chance in this 2 on 1 play.  

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16 hours ago, IPv6Freely said:

Thats three games where they've scored 4 goals, and have only won one of them. I expect shoddy D with such a young team but Andersen really needs to be a whole lot better.

Just because it is fun to do, I am going to go through the goals and see if that was really the case for Anderson.

1) 2-on-1 one timer that was well placed. Not his fault.

2) While that was a ridiculous shot, he was too deep here. There wasn't a back door threat and there wasn't a threat in the slot either. Laine made an awesome shot but had nothing around the net to do but either shoot or pass it out of danger. Great shot but he needs to challenge more as he is getting beat high a lot now. Since it was a weird spin shot I can't really fault him for playing it like he did, but he isn't getting his shoulders high enough to be able to play that deep.

3) Another perfect shot, another shot beating Anderson high. He wasn't horribly deep here, it simply was corner post and in on basically an knuckle puck.

4) I think Hunwick actually hits his skate here and makes him trip... Funny thing is if he wasn't challenging as much he would've probably recovered in time. Holy Toronto looked just like 2013 playoff defense here. Not his fault

5) Beat high again... but he was challenging a decent amount. Partially to blame

Overall, I agree and think Anderson needs to be better. Some of the goals were ridiculous shots but when you are constantly getting beat in the same spots over and over you need to work on something in your game to fix that.

 

 

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Welp, first regulation loss. 

Nothing necessarily good or bad to say on this one. The whole game looked like a bit of a clusterf*ck on both sides.

Some are upset about "another blown lead" but honestly I don't see it that way. Goals happen in the NHL and being up by 1 to start the 3rd is by no means a safe lead. That said, elite teams are able to hold a 1-goal lead either by attacking and getting another (like Chicago or Dallas) or by playing really good defence and throwing the puck back out of the zone over and over again (Los Angeles). Being realistic, I don't expect this group of kids to be able to play shutdown hockey at this point.

That said, dropping a 4-0 lead is a whole other story, and completely inexcusable.

I think the only players that stood out for me in this game were Hyman (again), and Dubnyk (for MIN) absolutely stealing the game. Man, he put on a hell of a performance. 

I did think Enroth played well enough. He had absolutely zero chance on the winning goal. 

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Pushed around badly in the first period, they came back to play well in the 2nd and 3rd. 

And then they blew it. 

Andersen looked fantastic in OT. 

You have all those kids on your bench and you put out Holland for the shootout? WHAT?

I expected to lose against Chicago but definitely not like that. 

It will get better, eventually. I imagine the confidence level is in the toilet right now.

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52 minutes ago, IPv6Freely said:

Pushed around badly in the first period, they came back to play well in the 2nd and 3rd. 

And then they blew it. 

Andersen looked fantastic in OT. 

You have all those kids on your bench and you put out Holland for the shootout? WHAT?

I expected to lose against Chicago but definitely not like that. 

It will get better, eventually. I imagine the confidence level is in the toilet right now.

Anderson was AWESOME in OT, but he had bad angles in the shootout.

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3 hours ago, Hills said:

Anderson was AWESOME in OT, but he had bad angles in the shootout.

It's looking like his glove side isn't doing too well. I'm sure that's a confidence thing at this point. He missed camp and definitely looks rusty. Super deep into his net on the 4-3 goal (if I'm remembering the order correctly - it's late). He's going to get better. 

I really do believe the biggest issue here is that this young team just doesn't know how to play with a lead. To quote a Star article (https://www.thestar.com/sports/breakaway_blog/2016/10/maple-leafs-discover-winning-is-harder-than-losing.html):

Quote

For the most part over the past few years, the Leafs have trailed going into the third period. That's easy. Just open up the game and go for it. But to have a lead? And to hold it? That's something new. That's going to take some learning, some getting used to.

The dearly departed (but only to the Marlies) Brooks Laich summed it up nicely on the Maple Leafs locker cleanout day last April when asked about what lay ahead:

"The last 15 minutes of the game, you push for a goal. It's pretty easy to play. You play care-free, guns-a-blazing, you're trying to score. Flip that: You're up a goal? How do we play? That's something different. ...These guys are going to get used to playing when they're expected to win, when it's tough, Not just chasing a game. Chasing a game is easy. There's no pressure. But playing with a lead, playing structured, playing smart, how everything matters, getting the puck out, not hooking a guy, moving your feet, body position. Everything matters when you're playing with the lead."

Matthews told reporters much the same post-game in Winnipeg.

"We need to learn how to play with a lead," said Matthews. "We were up 4-1 and I think we were playing like we were down 4-1. So we've got to be smart with the puck, be smart in the defensive zone, and just learn how to play with that lead I guess."

I think that's a really good point, even if Laich's quote is from last April. It's very true.

They WILL get better. It's October in a re-building year where, unlike last year where they loaded up on veterans on 1-year deals they could trade for picks at the deadline, they are letting the kids do their thing. It's going to be painful. But with a young team scoring 4 goals in 4 of 5 games this season, it's going to be exciting at least. Well, until the end of the game, that is. That part will be less fun. 

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http://www.sbnation.com/nhl/2016/10/24/13369482/toronto-maple-leafs-frederik-andersen-goals-against-auston-matthews

This is an awful article I wanted to share because it makes it clear the writer doesn't have a clue what is going wrong with Anderson.

Being too aggressive isn't his problem, when you keep getting sniped over your shoulders you have to be more aggressive to stop that... but evidently he should be deeper in his net for what exactly?

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