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As Presently Constructed, Can They Contend For Cup?
#61
This team, as constructed last season, was 20wins and 23 losses in the second half.  You want more sobering stats?  Okay, glad you asked.  We were 5 and freakin' 10 in the final 15 when the playoffs really began and teams were fighting for playoff spots.  Where does Babcock's responsibility lie amongst the key contributing factors to playing below 500 hockey?  Perhaps we can debate that?

Here are my top 10 reasons for Leaf failure in 2019:
Nylander's game went walkabout.
Matthews' injury.
Gardiner's injury.
Lack of NHL-ready depth.
Kadri's drop off.
Marleau's drop off.
Brown's offensive drop off.
Spark's loss of confidence.
Freddie's inability to steal enough games.
Babcock's inability to adapt to team adversity.
"To love life is to plant trees, under which shade you may never sit"
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#62
(Today, 05:11 AM)Arsenal Wrote: This team, as constructed last season, was 20wins and 23 losses in the second half.  You want more sobering stats?  Okay, glad you asked.  We were 5 and freakin' 10 in the final 15 when the playoffs really began and teams were fighting for playoff spots.  Where does Babcock's responsibility lie amongst the key contributing factors to playing below 500 hockey?  Perhaps we can debate that?

Here are my top 10 reasons for Leaf failure in 2019:
Nylander's game went walkabout.
Matthews' injury.
Gardiner's injury.
Lack of NHL-ready depth.
Kadri's drop off.
Marleau's drop off.
Brown's offensive drop off.
Spark's loss of confidence.
Freddie's inability to steal enough games.
Babcock's inability to adapt to team adversity.

All very solid points Arsenal. Most cannot be argued. I think that the Kadri suspension in round one had much more to do with the Leafs not advancing against Boston. That changed the look of the team offensively. 

I think Nylander's poor season resulted because he missed training camp and then the first two months of the season. By the time he looked up to speed again, he was slotted into that 3rd line role with two plugs, (Brown and Marleau), because Kadri was absent. That line really did not produce much offensively and the Bruins were able to focus on the top two lines exclusively and hold the offence in check.

Hindsight is 20/20 but, I really do think that the Leafs would've beaten Boston had Kadri not gotten his ass suspended. He was probably their best player in the first two games of that series. 

Having Gardiner playing with a messed up back was a disaster. He was a shadow of his former self. Hyman playing on a blown out knee was not optimal either to say the least. 

Sparks barely played at all down the stretch and Freddie played well enough that I don't see any issues there. 

Matthews being injured was a factor in the regular season but he was a beast in the post season. 

Bottom line for me, there were shortcomings leading up to and into the post season. But I do still believe that a healthy Leafs team with a full compliment of players wins that series in six games.
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#63
(9 hours ago)Trevorchef Wrote:
(Today, 05:11 AM)Arsenal Wrote: This team, as constructed last season, was 20wins and 23 losses in the second half.  You want more sobering stats?  Okay, glad you asked.  We were 5 and freakin' 10 in the final 15 when the playoffs really began and teams were fighting for playoff spots.  Where does Babcock's responsibility lie amongst the key contributing factors to playing below 500 hockey?  Perhaps we can debate that?

Here are my top 10 reasons for Leaf failure in 2019:
Nylander's game went walkabout.
Matthews' injury.
Gardiner's injury.
Lack of NHL-ready depth.
Kadri's drop off.
Marleau's drop off.
Brown's offensive drop off.
Spark's loss of confidence.
Freddie's inability to steal enough games.
Babcock's inability to adapt to team adversity.

All very solid points Arsenal. Most cannot be argued. I think that the Kadri suspension in round one had much more to do with the Leafs not advancing against Boston. That changed the look of the team offensively. 

I think Nylander's poor season resulted because he missed training camp and then the first two months of the season. By the time he looked up to speed again, he was slotted into that 3rd line role with two plugs, (Brown and Marleau), because Kadri was absent. That line really did not produce much offensively and the Bruins were able to focus on the top two lines exclusively and hold the offence in check.

Hindsight is 20/20 but, I really do think that the Leafs would've beaten Boston had Kadri not gotten his ass suspended. He was probably their best player in the first two games of that series. 

Having Gardiner playing with a messed up back was a disaster. He was a shadow of his former self. Hyman playing on a blown out knee was not optimal either to say the least. 

Sparks barely played at all down the stretch and Freddie played well enough that I don't see any issues there. 

Matthews being injured was a factor in the regular season but he was a beast in the post season. 

Bottom line for me, there were shortcomings leading up to and into the post season. But I do still believe that a healthy Leafs team with a full compliment of players wins that series in six games.

I find it funny that they lure JT to Toronto with the promise of playing with Marner, but they force their own superstar, Matthews, to play with lesser talent. They better put Nylander back with him for the year.
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#64
I would like to see Matthews and Nylander play a full season together. I would feel pretty good about this group heading into the playoffs...

Johnsson / Matthews / Nylander
Hyman / Tavares / Marner
Mikheyev / Kerfoot / Kapanen
Agostino / Spezza / Moore
Shore / Petan / Marchment / Bracco

Muzzin / Barrie
Rielly / Dermott
Borgman / Ceci
Sandin / Liljegren
Marincin / Holl

Andersen
Hutchinson

Adding some size and tenacity to the forward group and more defensive depth is always a good thing. Here's hoping they can do that somehow. 

The only wildcard for me, (broken record), is Coach.
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#65
(9 hours ago)Trevorchef Wrote: I would like to see Matthews and Nylander play a full season together. I would feel pretty good about this group heading into the playoffs...

Johnsson / Matthews / Nylander
Hyman / Tavares / Marner
Mikheyev / Kerfoot / Kapanen
Agostino / Spezza / Moore
Shore / Petan / Marchment / Bracco

Muzzin / Barrie
Rielly / Dermott
Borgman / Ceci
Sandin / Liljegren
Marincin / Holl

Andersen
Hutchinson

Adding some size and tenacity to the forward group and more defensive depth is always a good thing. Here's hoping they can do that somehow. 

The only wildcard for me, (broken record), is Coach.

Hey, I am positive Babs, Shanny and Dubas have met at length over the Summer.

We have to give him some benefit of the doubt that he will execute the strategies of the team and adjust.
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#66
(6 hours ago)CuttingEdge Wrote:
(9 hours ago)Trevorchef Wrote: I would like to see Matthews and Nylander play a full season together. I would feel pretty good about this group heading into the playoffs...

Johnsson / Matthews / Nylander
Hyman / Tavares / Marner
Mikheyev / Kerfoot / Kapanen
Agostino / Spezza / Moore
Shore / Petan / Marchment / Bracco

Muzzin / Barrie
Rielly / Dermott
Borgman / Ceci
Sandin / Liljegren
Marincin / Holl

Andersen
Hutchinson

Adding some size and tenacity to the forward group and more defensive depth is always a good thing. Here's hoping they can do that somehow. 

The only wildcard for me, (broken record), is Coach.

Hey, I am positive Babs, Shanny and Dubas have met at length over the Summer.

We have to give him some benefit of the doubt that he will execute the strategies of the team and adjust.

I did that before last season. Nothing changed. I don't expect it will have changed this year either. Here's hoping I'm wrong.
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