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Messages - hockeyfan1

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General NHL News & Views / Re: 2013-2014 NHL Playoffs
« on: Yesterday at 11:40:56 PM »
Pittsburgh vs Columbus
On paper, the Columbus Blue Jackets resemble a middle-of-the-road up and coming team with some good offensive youngsters and a good hard-working core group.  This has translated into the team's first-ever playoff appeaounce much to the excitement of their Ohio fans.

However, the Jackets success at securing a playoff  wildcard spot has them facing an opponent 1hat is loaded with depth both on paper as well as on the ice. 
How then docs one stop these Penguins, who have all hands on deck plus a raring-to-go better-than-ever Sydney Crosby et al?

True that Pittsburgh was white-washed by Boston in four straight and that they narrowly beat the Islanders in last year's playoffs.  Fleury was inconsistent, Crosby wasn't himself,  and the Pittsburgh defence & system sputtered by the time they played the Bruins.  Those results are something the Pittsburgh Penguins of this year would like to forget.

Enter Columbus.  The Blue Jackets aren't expected to accomplish an upset, but, should the Jackets' 'keeper Sergei Bobrovsky (better know as "Bobo" to Columba fans), who knows, anything can happen.  If the Penguins and Crosby and Fleury all fall apart figuratively speaking., or somehow forget how to play hockey, then  David will have slayed Goliath once again.

Frankly my dear, many doubt it.

General NHL News & Views / Re: 2013-2014 NHL Playoffs
« on: Yesterday at 11:17:35 PM »
Tampa Bay vs Montèal
Many were anticipating for these two teams to face each other in these playoffs, and for fans of fast-paced anything goes hockey, they got their wish.

This series has it all including two very reliable goaltenders in the Habs Carey Price and the Lightning's Ben Bishop who has became one of the NHL's best after languishing as an unknown quantity ( before being traded from Ottawa to Tampa Bay).  Ben who?  Ah yes, you should ask but no more, as he and he alone may decide the Lightning's fate in this series.

How so?  Bishop's recent wrist injury was cause for concern and if he shouldn't feel a hundred per cent, the Lightning's chances of stopping Habitant goals will be greatly reduced.  Sure they have Anders Lind back, but you know, it always feels better to have your best defending you against them.

Oh well, good luck to Tampa Bay, and as for the Habs, expect them to soar.  Lots of expectations for both sides.  For their fans. Can't wait.

General NHL News & Views / Re: 2013-2014 NHL Playoffs
« on: Yesterday at 10:52:52 PM »
Boston vs Detroit
Can the Red Wings pull up an upset as they did in last year's Round l against Anaheim?  Everyone knows Detroit had no business beating the Ducks, but somehow the rebuilding Wings pulled it off.

Experience, speed and goaltending are what will make this a series to watch.  Even with their best players injured (Zetterberg & Datsyuk), Detroit will still be a force to be reckoned with.  Enter Gustav Nyquist or Johan Franzen and you get the idea.

Of course, the Bruins are no slouches either.  Talk about another experienced hard working tea with plenty of playoff appearances under it's belt.  The towering Chara and the tenacious Lucic, not to mention the pesky Marchand are enough to handle as is, never mind the rest of the Bruins team.
Then there's Tukka Rask who does an admirable job in net.

Can Detroit's Jimmy Howard outshine Rask in this series, and can the Wings defence handle Boston's in-depth forechecking?  We'll find out soon.

Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: The Official Weather Thread
« on: Yesterday at 10:29:41 PM »
Power outage in Toronto's West end.  Here in North York, it's all dark. :(

Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: Media Thread
« on: Yesterday at 03:45:16 AM »
Mirtte's end-of-season Leafs report cards...

The coach

Randy Carlyle: F.

Give Carlyle credit for this much: He recognized there was a problem right from the start. Prior to the first game of the season, the veteran coach had told Bob McKenzie that he wanted his group to be more of a possession team. The problem was he was left saying it right until the end. The more Carlyle tried to correct the issue, the worse and worse in
their shot differentials, zone time and just about any other tangible area of defensive play possible became as the season wore on. One doesn’t have to look much further than
the Ducks, who have rebounded marvellously without Carlyle,
to see a longstanding problem, and there’s far too much of a
pattern here to chalk that all up to coincidence...

Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: Randy Carlyle/Leaf Coach thread
« on: Yesterday at 03:14:53 AM »
Its called "Fat Cat Syndrome" and it affects those who reach a certain if not elevated stretch of success, you work, the rewards go up, you invest in new business which take your time and energy and all of a sudden you forget what brought you to the ball. Its a mental focus and I just watched Shannohan today in the conference and was directly affected by his focus. This is a no bull#$#% no surrender fellow and believe me, that "Tings are gonna change".
By Randy…need any help with the granite slab you placed at the locker room door?  Hate to have that tied around your neck on the way down.

How does this have anything to do with motivation? That's absolutely preposterous if you ask me. It seems so disingenuous to me when you have mounds and mounds of actual data that presents the team as one that has a coach that has completely nosedived on possession and defensive systems, along with a number of players who, quite frankly, are not that good at creating any kind of offense.

Some need to go, but I really don't think it's for a lack of effort or buy in. These players aren't idiots, and didn't, as a group, just decide they collectively forgot how to play hockey.

How many players are honestly happy and not frustrated having to ride the pine if they play poorly? And how many times since before Sundin even left that the leafs lacked an identity and a strong compete level.

And you go on about money reducing motivation? Come on. If this were
true EVERY player in the league would be coasting. Ad nauseum execuspeak
is all this is. Players play for their pride and their legacy, the feeling of winning
instead of constantly getting the feeling of getting trampled on all the time.


I agree that the Leafs have lacked an identity (& character) since Sundin left.

Now,  the part about the money & motivation?  Well, let's just
say this:  many of the better as well as best players in the
league such as Crosby, Stamkos, Price, Pietrangelo, et al, all
make a gigantic amount of money playIng the game they love,
Yet in spite of the big contracts, they want to be better and top
 themselves each time, season after season, whatever.  It's
pretty obvious here that many top players with huge salaries
aren't " coasting".  And it's also pretty obvious that once again,
 attitudes are more important than facts.

The fact of the matter remains that many of the top players
collect sizeable paycheques, yet their level of play, their
attitudes that holds all of that is refreshing.

True that there are the coaches and management that know what they're doing with their teams, how to relate to their
players, from those behind the bench on up.  Still, it's up in the
end to the individual to have the proper capacity to elevate
themselves to what and where they want to be.

Can we say the same things about our Leafs, with the way things have gone?

Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: Randy Carlyle/Leaf Coach thread
« on: April 14, 2014, 02:58:18 PM »
I guess the thing we need to discuss is whether the players of today, that have guaranteed luxury retirement happen with their first contracts, can be motivated by a coach in todays market, where mid level free agents demand multi year multi million dollar deals. What is the motivation in a 30 team league crying out for a higher level of talent.
I hate to say but with the Original 6, the players had to take summer jobs to make ends meet and because there where only 6 teams if you didnt bring your A game every day, then there where 5 guys ready to do so.  We cannot sit the Kessels, Phanuefs and Clarksons, they will just laugh at you and say "I'm Untouchable, I am Rich and that is beyond your control".
So how much do coaches really need to be blamed (and you know how I feel about Randy). 
We need someone to whom these guys can relate, we need a motivator more than a coach

Exactly.  A motivator, one who knows how to relate to today's hockey-playing athlete.  A Mike Babcock type comes to mind.

A coach AND a GM with a good hockey mind, hockey know-how, smart, sharp, with good hockey knowledge, would be a boon to this franchise once again.

I remember ex-Leaf Rick Vaive who once said, "If you make $100,000 and can't get motivated, something's wrong."

In those days, $100.000 was still considered a sizeable sum.  That was then, this is now.  Different eras, different thinking.  How do you 'motivate' someone making ten times the above-mentioned salary in these times, particularly one who plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs?

General NHL News & Views / Re: 2013-2014 NHL Thread
« on: April 13, 2014, 11:03:06 PM »
Oilers classy farewell to Ryan Smyth, captain for the game & all...

Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: Does size matter for Leafs?
« on: April 13, 2014, 09:29:31 PM »
Size has nothing to do with ability. 

Take Kessel as a prime example.  He doesn't go in the corners, he doesn't, fight, he doesn't 'outmuscle' anyone.  But, he has a scoring touch and a way with placing that puck in the net with such accuracy that this alone lends validity to "size has nothing to do with ability".

Even during the more violent NHL era of the past, incredibly talented small players such as Marcel Dionne who toiled for the L.A. Kings, survived using their skills and hockey know-how.  Dionne was listed at 5'6".

The problem with the Leafs is not that they lack the size to outmuscle teams.  While true that our forwards seem 'soft', it doesn't mean that they can't get the job done.  It's the system they used that either didn't fit the players or vice versa.

I believe that Carlyle would prefer a team of bigger, bruising forwards and defenseman.  Perhaps a player or two, an Evander Kane type would help to prop up one of the forward lines, and a defenseman who can actually play without the puck would help.  But the Leafs don't need wholesale changes to their roster en masse.  They've got a good core group and should stick with it while upgrading and at the same time, develop the drafted players who should be up and coming.

13 Events / Re: 2013-2014 Pick'em Standings
« on: April 13, 2014, 05:11:11 AM »
Including Round 27

BarMutt                 322       Champion!
WAYNEINIONA        295
seahwak                280
hockeyfan1            275
Bill_Berg               262               
Leafaholic99          187
Madferret              163
AlmosGirl              149
Big Daddy             136

Congratulations to BarMutt, overall winner of the 2013-2014 TMLfans Pick'em Challenge!  After taking the runaway lead, BarMutt never relinguished it and held on to become the eventual champion!

Thank you to all of you participants, for making this season's Pick'em Challenge a very challenging one indeed!  Looking at the standings, it wasn't too much that separated the next four players after the leader.  Too bad that the rest didn't play enough, otherwise we would have had a very different standings picture I'm sure.

Still, it was fun.  Hope everyone who played had the same sentiment.  That's all for now, and see you all here at the start of the new season in October!   ;)

Results for Round 27

WAYNEINIONA 14     Winner
hockeyfan1          11
seahawk              9
BarMutt               8
Big Daddy            6

Congrats to WAYNEINIONA for winning the final Round of the 2013-2014 TMLfans Pick'em Challenge!

Hope you all had a grand time playing.  I certainly did and do hope that the many of you who participated this year, will return for the new season starting in October.  Can't wait!

Thanks to all for making it such fun...and challenging!  ;)

Standings page Re: 2013-2014  Pick'em Standings

Former Leafs: Ex-Files / Re: Failed Expectations
« on: April 13, 2014, 04:44:13 AM »
Yanic Perrault.  Centre (QMJHL)  Drafted 47th in the Third round of the NHL Entry Draft in 1991.  Made his brief NHL debut in '94 before the Leafs traded him to the L.A. Kings for a fourth rounder.

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