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One of the more interesting developments in the beginning of Maple Leafs training camp has been the notion of reuniting Joffrey Lupul with Phil Kessel, which would drop James van Riemsdyk down a line. Would that idiot break up that line? You’re saying that . Or you’re going to say it if I do it. - Randy Carlyle on changing up the top line But should we? Let’s take a closer look at how JVR performed with Kessel this season, compared to how Lupul fared in the 2011-12 season.   There are a few things to keep in mind here when comparing the two:  The Leafs team...
Stephane Robidas

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This past off season, Maple Leafs management brought in two veteran defensemen to replace some combination of Paul Ranger, Carl Gunnarsson and John-Michael Liles/Tim Gleason, with the goal of giving the defense a new look and hopefully reducing the number of shots the Leafs give up. This shouldn't be a difficult task, as last season the Leafs were easily the worst team in the NHL in shot attempt against rate. The question is: Are Robidas and Polak up for the task?  Let's have a look. In a recent post of mine at HockeyAnalysis.com, I looked at what I called CA60RelTM, which in long form can be...

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Most fans had Randy Carlyle fired before the 2013-14 season ended.  He wasn't. Instead, Toronto's front office opted to extend the former Norris trophy winner.  Quotables citing Carlyle's experience and Stanley Cup-winning pedigree have been bandied about as support.  Even his detractors are unlikely to admit his retention immediately spells the end of this year's playoff hopes.  But a failure to significantly overhaul his defensive system of the past two seasons is likely to do exactly that. By now, you're all familiar with the infamous "swarm" tactic that the Leafs have employed (unsuccessfully) since the beginning of the 2012 season.  Many recognize it as...

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Yesterday the Leafs partook in their annual golf tournament and pre-camp media rounds, where Joffrey Lupul touched on a topic that has popped up throughout the summer—the Maple Leafs have gotten older. I’m really excited with a lot of the guys we picked up. Robidas, Polak, Winnik . . . just a little bit of a veteran presence throughout the lineup is going to do a lot for us on and off the ice. The last couple of years we’ve been one of the youngest teams in the NHL and now we’ve added some more veterans, guys who have played in...

Toronto Maple Leafs - Recent Posts

Peter Horachek

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“Obviously, if you can control the neutral zone, you control the game. A lot of teams don’t have possession entries ; they have to lose possession. They have to dump pucks in. On the defensive side, we worked on some concepts there. And it’s the just the start of it.” Some good reporting in the past few days by James Mirtle on some of the defensive tweaks underway with new assistant coach Peter Horachek, including some alterations to the defensive zone system (more of a commitment to limiting point shots) and early adjustments geared at addressing the easy concession of the blueline. We can't read too...

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One of the more interesting developments in the beginning of Maple Leafs training camp has been the notion of reuniting Joffrey Lupul with Phil Kessel, which would drop James van Riemsdyk down a line. Would that idiot break up that line? You’re saying that . Or you’re going to say it if I do it. - Randy Carlyle on changing up the top line But should we? Let’s take a closer look at how JVR performed with Kessel this season, compared to how Lupul fared in the 2011-12 season.   There are a few things to keep in mind here when comparing the two:  The Leafs team...
Stephane Robidas

190
This past off season, Maple Leafs management brought in two veteran defensemen to replace some combination of Paul Ranger, Carl Gunnarsson and John-Michael Liles/Tim Gleason, with the goal of giving the defense a new look and hopefully reducing the number of shots the Leafs give up. This shouldn't be a difficult task, as last season the Leafs were easily the worst team in the NHL in shot attempt against rate. The question is: Are Robidas and Polak up for the task?  Let's have a look. In a recent post of mine at HockeyAnalysis.com, I looked at what I called CA60RelTM, which in long form can be...

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Good news for critics of 'the swarm' and those who want to see the shots against reduced next season -- sounds like the coaching staff is making some defensive zone coverage adjustments in training camp and preseason that will attempt to address last season's glaring holes. Joffrey Lupul sounds more comfortable with it already. As far as premature lineup projections go, we've gotten the following hints out of Randy Carlyle: He believes Roman Polak and Dion Phaneuf could form a "minute-munching top pair," with Dion shifted to the left. While Mike Santorelli can play center, he envisions him as a winger to start. He has mentioned there...

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It's technically Leafs hockey! Give it a watch as William Nylander finds Phil Kessel with three nice passes (one particularly dirty sauce in the o-zone), Peter Holland shows off an NHL shot (scoring twice) and Matt Frattin torches Morgan Rielly. Saturday Links: Canadian Press: Maple Leafs make defensive zone changes at training camp Wooo! We're covering the points more! Mirtle: Splitting up the top line makes sense Globe & Mail: Who will make the Leafs? National Post: Maple Leafs worst sports franchise in North America, says ESPN Toronto Sun: David Clarkson, Tyler Bozak listed as day to day Maple Leafs.com: Leafs sign training camp invitee defenceman Cody...
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Ray Ferraro joins Leafs Lunch to discuss the Phil Kessel / Steve Spott topic from yesterday, as well as discussing projections for the Leafs lineups with the additions of Mike Santorelli, David Booth, Petri Kontiola, Daniel Winnik, Leo Komarov and Matt Frattin + the chances of players like Carter Ashton and Peter Holland.

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He didn’t call anyone’s mother this time for a health report, but it’s bound to generate nearly as much noise just as training camp starts today: Dave Feschuk reported on Steve Spott's talk at a coaching clinic and got some scuttlebutt via unnamed coaches in attendance. The main subject was Phil Kessel, who it should be noted Feschuk has disparaged in the past (doesn’t mean this latest report is 100% untrue, it’s just history worth remembering). We'll leave the Kessel stuff to your own interpretation. The thing is - Feschuk can extract these quotes from a bunch of different sources, frame his...
Randy Carlylevideo

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Randy Carlyle address the media at training camp on Thursday. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7L6Im5mzSno