I hope everyone is enjoying the early stages of their hangover this morning. I assume everyone is hungover because the Leafs game last night was a debacle that would drive any Leafs fan to have a few swigs of whatever is closest at hand. The dreaded Southeast-opponent-on-a-Tuesday-night curse has reared its ugly head once again, and even the dissolution of the Southeast division can’t put it to rest it would seem.
The meanest part of the toughest stretch of the schedule is behind the Leafs at this point and they will have to start winning hockey games again if they want to be in the playoff conversation for the rest of the season. Things will have to turn around very quickly or else we could be talking draft lottery by the Olympic break.
Coming through the so-called “Deathcember” with 6 of a possible 18 points so far is obviously not a particularly exciting development. The game against the LA Kings last Wednesday was the strongest Leafs effort of the season to this point even though they came away with nothing to show for it. After a shocking upset win over Chicago, dropping both games of a back-to-back when both were winnable is frustrating to say the least. Phoenix is in town on Thursday followed by Detroit on Saturday. The Leafs will have to regroup quickly and rediscover the missing ingredient present for the LA and Chicago games.
Carlyle in his post-game presser seemed to think fatigue was a major reason for the slow start Tuesday, as opposed to the slow start against Pittsburgh, which he attributed to mental dullness. Carlyle also admitted to noted jerkwad Steve Simmons that the losing is starting to reach a crisis point.
Reimer was noticeably peeved enough to depart from his typical gee-willikers comportment, even going as far to use an abbreviation for a curse word when he called any injury or busy-schedule excuses “BS.” He also added:
Reimer:”We either have guys or half or a full team that dont show up at parts and then things go wrong and pucks go into your net.” #Leafs
— Matthew Scianitti (@TSNScianitti) December 18, 2013
Red flags everywhere.
Trevor Smith broke a bone in his hand and left the game, which is yet another hit to the Leafs thin depth at centre. Jerred Smithson, oh joy, has been recalled.
Some Hump Day reading:
- Last night’s Game in 10 from Alec.
- Is the Florida loss a tipping point, asks Michael Langlois.
- Shoalts’ Globe & Mail post-game from last night.
- Hope In The Big Smoke with an article on the shocking change that came over the Leafs for a few games.
- Shoalts with an article about D’Amigo in his call-up stint from the Globe & Mail.
I've spent a good part of today listening to both MSM and folks here pinning the top lines' lack of production on Naz playing poorly, which is not what I'm seeing at all. I think Naz has been the best of the 3. JVR and Kessel are cold right now, and they have both had terrible turnovers at bad times, and their pathetic board play in their zone is as bad as it was 2 years ago. Both have been getting a pass based on reputation, imo.
Anyone tell me, is Micheal Del Zotto of NYR, an offensive or defensive defenceman? Just reading of rumors that Leafs are in the discussions for him.
Watching the 3 goals from last nite, for the 1st time its a bit of a joke. .
The 2nd and 3rd goals are gifts . No pressure exerted by the opposition. Just lackadaisical play. Beating ourselves
The Pit game the same. Don't show up for the 1st few minutes, cough up, a lead. Out play the Pens for next 50 . Ice the puck with no pressure , face-off , Sid scores. game over
@Mcost61 Dangle nailed it . So did Riemer in his interview . No excuses
Having said that, the writing was on the wall for Riemer once it was reported that the great hockey mind Wendel Clark purportedly claimed that Riemer needed to go. With Berniers arrival, Riemers departure was just when not if. Trade deadline, 2014 draft .
His argument about asset management is valid but is dependent on what Nonis gets for Riemer and when
Like what he said about Holland. Play him more.
I love anguishing over the Leafs almost as much as I love celebrating their victories. Is there something wrong with me? Have I been conditioned this way? Maple Leafs sorrow and angst has become my warm blanket, my comfy shoes
@dlb eh Why break up JVR/Kessel? Raymond is one of our top scorers, why put him on 4th line? Clarkson is a bust, give him 3rd or 4th line minute until he gets his shit together.
What's so funny? Lol
They are only a few points behind us which is great that their losing, but if Leafs don't smarten up we could be on the outside looking in for a playoff postition by Xmas
@WendelGilmour Kadri has played poorly.disappointing I thought he would show that he was ready to be a number 1 he has a long ways to go
@WendelGilmour JVR has fallen in love with the MOVE.
The 3 of them are playing like Picassos with all the nifty stuff
Time to paint some shithouses and get some pucks at the net
@WendelGilmour It's based on morons like Steve Simmons who spread the myth of Bozak being the right fit there because he's a good "three zone" player. Bozak's ok but nothing special, and he doesn't really add anything to the first line when he's on it. The only reason it seems like he's good defensively is because he hardly ever has the puck so it's not like he'll be able to turn it over anyway, and he never tries to do anything special with it.
He's a good PKer I guess but he's not some great 2-way forward like Toews or something.
@Alec Brownscombe well said ty
@Alec Brownscombe Great analysis Alec. The takeaway for me is that Nonis wasn't able to see into the future when he was deciding who to buy out, and who to pursue in Free Agency. We all wanted Clarkson...hell we assumed he was going to be a Leaf all last year.
There's not a team in the league that could have survived the losses at centre we've experienced. But what has really bothered me was that even before the injuries started we weren't playing the way I though we would...the way we did last year. Fast, physical and opportunistic.
I don't think Nonis is going to over-react if things keep going south. It may be best to let it ride and just write off the season as a freak occurrence and take the top 10 pick next June.
@Alec Brownscombe Holland trade was a mini steal, though at this pace the 3rd will turn into a 2nd. he should get more minutes. Has potential to play in top 6 and push Kadri
I liked the Bolland acquisition ,was puzzled by Grabs and thought that Clarkson would add to the team but hated the 7 years.
The Bernier deal, after less than ringing endorsement from management after playoffs and Clarks rumoured comments , were not surprising.
No one could predict or dream that Clarkson would be this ineffective.
maybe when Bozak gets back ,they can do Clarkson / Kadri /Lupul or put Kadri there now and put Holland with Phil and JVR
Leafs have tied themselves to Clarkson for awhile , they need to find away to get him going.
@Alec BrownscombeBetween the Ranger decision, and RC's refusal to play Reilly, Gards, and JML all at the same time the D decisions are killing us.
Having said this, I also hope Nonis stays calm and doesn't do anything that involves trading younger guys for older vets from a position of weakness.
@Alec Brownscombe that's a hell of a take down, you should post it as a blog so we can watch the fireworks fly
please and thankyou
@dlb ehIt's the way the players are failing to execute them properly. The idea is to make that stretch pass for the tip-in while you have a full head of steam to forecheck with. I don't like the play, but it can be a little effective if done properly.
@LeafsForLife an older Jake Gardiner perhaps. He's also a lefty which we don't need.
@LeafsForLife 2 way guy.
@Zep2 @Mcost61 I agreed with his implication that Reimer is not sticking around to be a back up. I know he's RFA, but assuming his play remains as is, he'll get an offer sheet. What is it, $3.3 million and the compensation is a 2nd rounder? Yeah, some team will go for that. If you'll recall, that was the same reason LA traded Bernier.
@MaxwellHowe I don't know there's only so much losing one fan can take. It's a good thing I was raised a Pats fan also, at least they've balanced me out over the past decade.
@Mcost61 Dangle certainly nailed it in this video
@djamon that's how the Avs got Mackinnon when they already had an embarrassment of riches.
@lieffan @Alec Brownscombe I was thinking about it. Wasn't sure if it was blog worthy or just overly-long-comment worthy.
@Alec Brownscombe I think you should make it a post.
"It’s better than Bozak-Kadri-Bolland-McClement-Smith, to these eyes, but is it good? And more importantly, is it capable of surviving two significant long term injuries without looking horribly depleted? No. "
That part specifically ^ is something a lot of people don't seem to understand when they rag on the Leafs center depth.
@Zep2 @MaxwellHowe @Mcost61 I actually believe it was good asset management. In order to make trades you must have a surplus in an area. The leafs have been stocking the their cupboard by drafting and acquiring defensemen. They had an opportunity to acquire a highly touted young goalie without pulling from that cupboard. Now they have with 2 good young goalies, and young Dmen they can create a package for that centre they have always coveted. That is, in my opinion, what Nonis' plan is