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A new era??
#1
The Leafs quietly slipped into the top half of the NHL last night at 14th. If the play-offs started today, we'd be in. Our goal differential is at plus 6 and we are 6 points above .500. I don't know how many of you thought that was possible with this group, but I never did. Matthews is a solid candidate for ROTY, and Babs should be considered for the Jack Adams. It's going to be real interesting to see how the back half of the season goes.
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#2
7th in the conference for points per game. We still have games in hand on a bunch of teams ahead of us. If we keep playing at our current overall pace, we should be a playoff team.
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#3
Make in (I hope) or not I like the direction we are going! If some here remember I was one who was upset 3 years ago the way we were going. I tried to shut my eyes and mind to all of this back then. I wanted to win then and there. I had some dialogue back then from a few posters here that eventually changed my mindset. Saw where this was going. Happy now I woke up to smell the sweat of the new management team. My big problem was I felt at my age I would never live to the fruit ripen on the tree. Been a long time since 1967 folks. Now I see that train light at the end of that very long tunnel and it gets brighter every game.
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#4
Sophomore slumps could be an issue next season, but ultimately we have pretty good depth, and should have another wave of rookies (though not as good as this seasons) to help keep the ball rolling (Kapanen, Nielsen, Dermott, Leipsic, Rychel, Valiev, etc all have semi-legit shots for next season).

And between Nylander + Marner + Matthews, even if one has a sophomore slump, another one could just as easily have a big breakout season and take another step forward, so it should balance out somewhat.
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#5
(2017-01-07, 08:32 AM)Viable Wrote: The Leafs quietly slipped into the top half of the NHL last night at 14th. If the play-offs started today, we'd be in. Our goal differential is at plus 6 and we are 6 points above .500. I don't know how many of you thought that was possible with this group, but I never did. Matthews is a solid candidate for ROTY, and Babs should be considered for the Jack Adams. It's going to be real interesting to see how the back half of the season goes.

I love the direction we are headed and how we are really close to the playoffs this early on in our rebuild but I hope LL and Shanny don't do anything desperate and make a few trades at the deadline to bolster our blue line..i would rather us make the playoffs with what we have and get experience in however long we last..1st round or 2nd.? 4 and out..? it would really give all our rookies a taste od success no matter how brief it is...

honestly I do not think anyone envisioned us being a playoff team this year..this is just the kids and them blowing us away with their talents so far..
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#6
Some of us predicted a quick turnaround for this team with the assets that were here, a couple low finishes and a new coach.

The team is starting to reap the benefits of years of finishing bottom 10 with guys like Kadri, JVR(Schenn), Rielly, Nylander, Marner, Matthews all big contributors and some good depth finds in Brown, Hyman, Zaitsev, Gardiner, Gauthier, Carrick etc. Perhaps Andersen is the best move yet.

While the Leafs didn't hit any home runs with guys like Kessel and Phaneuf they did find some decent assets that should help long term.
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#7
(2017-01-07, 12:54 PM)SNLeafaholic Wrote:
(2017-01-07, 08:32 AM)Viable Wrote: The Leafs quietly slipped into the top half of the NHL last night at 14th. If the play-offs started today, we'd be in. Our goal differential is at plus 6 and we are 6 points above .500. I don't know how many of you thought that was possible with this group, but I never did. Matthews is a solid candidate for ROTY, and Babs should be considered for the Jack Adams. It's going to be real interesting to see how the back half of the season goes.

I love the direction we are headed and how we are really close to the playoffs this early on in our rebuild but I hope LL and Shanny don't do anything desperate and make a few trades at the deadline to bolster our blue line..i would rather us make the playoffs with what we have and get experience in however long we last..1st round or 2nd.? 4 and out..? it would really give all our rookies a taste od success no matter how brief it is...

honestly I do not think anyone envisioned us being a playoff team this year..this is just the kids and them blowing us away with their talents so far..
I thought we would. I predicted back around training camp 9th place 2 points out of the playoffs. Now I think I could be somewhat right. The only problem I see is our defense. 2 more D men and we could win a round or 2. I am not as worried about our goal tending anymore unless Andersen gets hurt!
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#8
Oh, and Kadri for the Selke !
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#9
Not even looking at the big moves of Kessel and Phaneuf, just being willing to sell guys off at the deadline in general has been a nice breath of fresh air. How many picks did we get for Polak, Matthais, Santorelli, Franson, Winnik, etc.

Franson + Santorelli became a 1st + Leipsic, that 1st became Dermott + Dzierkals + Bracco.
Winnik became 2nd + 4th in 2015 and Connor Carrick + 2nd in 2016.
Holzer became a 5th rounder.
Matthias a 4th rounder.
Polak + Spaling two 2nd rounders.
Etc

11 picks last draft, 9 the draft before, and I believe two extra 2nd rounders this upcoming draft and another one for the draft after that.

Theyve also worked hard to avoid saddling us with difficult contracts. We still have Horton/Lupul sitting on LTIR reducing our flexibility in the offseason, and retained salary on Kessel for years to come. But at least they havent been further adding inflexibility to the payroll. Spending a few years clearing up our cap space as much as we can, and beefing up the farm, has been a breath of fresh air.
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#10
(2017-01-08, 09:48 AM)tmleafer Wrote: Not even looking at the big moves of Kessel and Phaneuf, just being willing to sell guys off at the deadline in general has been a nice breath of fresh air. How many picks did we get for Polak, Matthais, Santorelli, Franson, Winnik, etc.

Franson + Santorelli became a 1st + Leipsic, that 1st became Dermott + Dzierkals + Bracco.
Winnik became 2nd + 4th in 2015 and Connor Carrick + 2nd in 2016.
Holzer became a 5th rounder.
Matthias a 4th rounder.
Polak + Spaling two 2nd rounders.
Etc

11 picks last draft, 9 the draft before, and I believe two extra 2nd rounders this upcoming draft and another one for the draft after that.

Theyve also worked hard to avoid saddling us with difficult contracts. We still have Horton/Lupul sitting on LTIR reducing our flexibility in the offseason, and retained salary on Kessel for years to come. But at least they havent been further adding inflexibility to the payroll. Spending a few years clearing up our cap space as much as we can, and beefing up the farm, has been a breath of fresh air.

I will give leafs management praise for this

I do not know if any other team has done this (as I don't really pay attention to other teams then Habs, and leafs cause I live in GTA)

But it was very creative to sign a bunch of meh players to 1 yr deals at good salaries. These players took the offers cause offers were not flooding in. They were put in best positions to succeed...top 6 roles, top 4 d...as they really had few other options. They got fair results and therefore Leafs were able to trade them at the deadline for fair return. It was brilliant. I do believe this was the plan 100% of the way. Get guys who with a lot of ice time should do ok even on a bad team, that a playoff team would be interested in for depth come the playoffs. It worked out for most of their UFA signings (a few not so). Very smart thing to do. They could have simply filled a lot of spots with ahl guys in the system, but instead got nhl vets and used them as trade bait.

Very smart.
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#11
The scary thing is they still got guys coming. Whether those guys will be used to improve the current roster remains to be seen but its the most optimistic time to be a leafs fan right now.

They still have Bracco, Dzierkals, Korestelev, Brooks in junior not to mention solid players on the marlies like Kapanen, Leipsic, Dermott, Neilsen, Timashov, Johnsson
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#12
(2017-01-10, 08:47 PM)Sportking Wrote: The scary thing is they still got guys coming. Whether those guys will be used to improve the current roster remains to be seen but its the most optimistic time to be a leafs fan right now.

They still have Bracco, Dzierkals, Korestelev, Brooks in junior not to mention solid players on the marlies like Kapanen, Leipsic, Dermott, Neilsen, Timashov, Johnsson

I wonder if any of those prospects will be turned into trade bait to upgrade our D? Freiedman was saying tonight go McCown's show despite some TO media thinking JVR will be used in trade talks he doubts it this year because of the Vegas draft.
No Place to Run, No Place to Hide!!
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#13
(2017-01-10, 09:54 PM)CaperLeaf Wrote:
(2017-01-10, 08:47 PM)Sportking Wrote: The scary thing is they still got guys coming. Whether those guys will be used to improve the current roster remains to be seen but its the most optimistic time to be a leafs fan right now.

They still have Bracco, Dzierkals, Korestelev, Brooks in junior not to mention solid players on the marlies like Kapanen, Leipsic, Dermott, Neilsen, Timashov, Johnsson

I wonder if any of those prospects will be turned into trade bait to upgrade our D? Freiedman was saying tonight go McCown's show despite some TO media thinking JVR will be used in trade talks he doubts it this year because of the Vegas draft.
He's also playing very well...And still has a year on his deal.

This month could be quite telling...

If Toronto gets into the playoff picture, there is no way they part with JVR.

And yes...The noose of the expansion draft.





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#14
(2017-01-10, 10:15 PM)BlueMountain Wrote:
(2017-01-10, 09:54 PM)CaperLeaf Wrote:
(2017-01-10, 08:47 PM)Sportking Wrote: The scary thing is they still got guys coming. Whether those guys will be used to improve the current roster remains to be seen but its the most optimistic time to be a leafs fan right now.

They still have Bracco, Dzierkals, Korestelev, Brooks in junior not to mention solid players on the marlies like Kapanen, Leipsic, Dermott, Neilsen, Timashov, Johnsson

I wonder if any of those prospects will be turned into trade bait to upgrade our D? Freiedman was saying tonight go McCown's show despite some TO media thinking JVR will be used in trade talks he doubts it this year because of the Vegas draft.
He's also playing very well...And still has a year on his deal.

This month could be quite telling...

If Toronto gets into the playoff picture, there is no way they part with JVR.

And yes...The noose of the expansion draft.



McPhee was telling the hockey world that the Vegas owner wants to move up to Mar 01, 2017 the final payment to the league so they can be "in business" at that time to pursue college free agents and other players not currently under NHL contracts.

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