The Toronto Marlies are looking to get back to playing better hockey after two games in which they were soundly outshot and outplayed, but relied on opportunistic goal scoring and fantastic goaltending from Drew MacIntyre.
In Games 1 and 2, the Marlies were pulled away from playing their game and spent a lot of time in between the dots loosely defending the neutral zone and home plate areas, as opposed to forcing battles to the boards, where they excel. Getting back to basic hockey and executing simple plays with better accuracy; including making sure there is ample support for the defence from the forwards by providing backside pressure, simple (short) tape-to-tape passes on breakouts and through the neutral zone and using soft, smart dumps to use the Toronto Marlies considerable physical makeup to their advantage.
Followers of the Maple Leafs will notice the same wide open points (which generate rebounds and second chance oppurtunities) with the Marlies, and they will more-than-likely be outshot in the series regularly, but hopefully they can whether the storm and receive the same excellent goaltending they have been from Drew MacIntyre.
Lineup changes for The Marlies: Tyler Biggs and Andrew Macwilliam are in, Jerred Smithson / Dylan Yeo are out. Steve Spott obviously looking to add some more snarl to the lineup in attempts to keeping what was a chippy affair the last game under wraps, to augment the forecheck (Biggs) and keep Texas Stars’ East-West forwards honest (MacWilliam).
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I'm trying to be fair here with Franson. I'm at a loss how he was trending upwards last season and went downwards this season? Is it possible he was playing with some undisclosed injury for the majority of the season along with others? Is this why they haven't fired RC? Nonis? Is this also why they are not in a rush to make moves via trades? The months ahead will surely end a lot of the speculation we do around here. Can't wait for the roller coaster to start up the hill again.
Kulemin isn't as good as he looked in 10/11, or as bad as he looked in 11/12. He's somewhere in between.
His career points per game is about .46, and pro-rates to 38 points per 82 games.
He spent most of the past two seasons buried in the D zone by Carlyle, playing mostly with McClement. Terrible situation to try and produce offence in.
He was still learning the North American game in his first two years.
He only got to spend two full seasons in a 2nd-line, 2nd-unit PP role.
I still think he's a safe bet for .5 points per game over a full season with Kadri and Lupul. And his defensive ability makes him more valuable than his numbers alone indicate.
@DWCMLHS his average also takes his blimp good season. Id be surprised he ever breaks 40 pts again
@DWCMLHS guy got chances, dont even pretend he didnt, just cant finish and has no instinct. Very replaceable for what he'll want.
He wont want under 3 which is what hes really worth
Other than Kessel who else can we possibly get for right wing right now via trade or draft? Sorry forgot to mention in the scenario that we traded Lupul?
@deedrag you might hate the idea but what about heatley as a cheap option
James Van Riemsdyk ($4.250m) / Paul Stastny ($7.000m) / Phil Kessel ($8.000m)
Joffrey Lupul ($5.250m) / Tyler Bozak ($4.200m) / Nikolai Kulemin ($3.500m)
Benoit Pouliot ($2.500m) / Nazem Kadri ($2.900m) / David Clarkson ($5.250m)
Jerry D'Amigo ($0.851m) / Peter Holland ($0.851m) / Carter Ashton ($0.851m)
Troy Bodie ($0.600m) /
Carl Gunnarsson ($3.150m) / Dion Phaneuf ($7.000m)
Jake Gardiner ($2.000m) / Morgan Rielly ($0.894m)
T.J. Brennan ($1.000m) / Tim Gleason ($4.000m)
Andrew MacWilliam ($0.875m) /
Jonathan Bernier ($2.900m)
Martin Brodeur ($2.500m)
Mike Komisarek ($0.000m)
Mikhail Grabovski ($0.000m)
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(estimations for 2014-15)
SALARY CAP: $71,100,000; CAP PAYROLL: $70,320,667; BONUSES: $1,062,500
CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $779,333
If you want to know what Kulemin could do in a 2nd-line, 2nd-PP role over a full season, look at the 10/11 and 11/12 seasons. He spent most of those with Grabo and Mac. Since then, he's typically been buried with McClement. We can't judge his offensive ability properly in that situation.
Kulemin played 152 games in the 10/11 and 11/12 seasons combined, and had 85 points. That's .56 points per game. His shooting percentage over those combined seasons was a little high overall (super high in 10/11, low in 11/12), but if you adjust his goal total to account for that, he is still at .53 points per game.
It's perfectly reasonable to suggest that he'd put up at least .5 points per game over a full season on the Lupul-Kadri line. He's damn good defensively, too. That line needs defence. Kulemin plays as the pseudo-center on that line, freeing Kadri from a lot of his defensive responsibility.
Kulemin should only cost about $3.25 million per year to re-sign. And if for some reason he doesn't work with Kadri and Lupul long-term, he can always play as the 3rd-line center. He's a versitile player.
How people can not want to re-sign this guy, but are okay with the insanely injury-prone 3C Bolland at $4+ million a year is beyond me. Probably the same people who were okay with Clarkson at $5.25x7.
@DWCMLHS I'm not going to dispute your argument that Kulemin can be valuable to the Leafs but you can't take one great year add it to a declining shitty year and try to convince ppl he is a .56 point per game player...
@DWCMLHS I prefer neither Bolland or Kulemin send them both out of town.
He only got to play two full seasons in a 2nd-line, 2nd-PP role with two good offensive line mates. Why would I look at the last couple years if I want to know what he could do with Kadri and Lupul? He spent most of them buried in the D zone with McClement. Obviously his offence was going to suffer.
@Greg Fenton He was replying to DWCMLHS.
@DWCMLHS I agree to a certain extent but he has only broken 40 points once in his career... That one year he had 30 goals..... he has never been a playmaker in my mind so the apples are probably going to be a constant... he has shown no indication of scoring 30 plus again.... with that said... I like Kulemin but he is a 3rd liner and the big question is how much are you going to pay a 3rd liner or can he be replaced for cheaper
With Trotz at the helm, Washington will be a force next year. Good roster (except for that turd Ovechkin) for defense. That will be an interesting team to watch.
I remember when Bowman took over the Wings he had to sit down with Yzerman and convince him to change his game. He was a points first guy for almost a decade and the Wings were going nowhere. He kept getting cut from all the Team Canada variations at the time, passed over for guys like the Sutters and Tochett. He didn't want any part of Bowman's plan at first but eventually became an all round player and a leader on Cup teams. Whether Trotz can pull the same magic with Ovi will be interesting to watch.
@Xxxxxnew Lidstrom and Federov's arrival didn't hurt. There's no coach in the world who can get Ovi to change his game unless he wants to. I don't foresee Trotz having a huge effect on the Caps.
@Greg Fenton I don't know how long the Russians were there before Bowman. I just know their arrival coincided almost exactly with Detroit's success. This idea that Bowman persuaded Yzerman to become a more complete player and that, in turn, led to Detroit becoming a powerhouse is nothing more than a homey narrative created by Yzerman fans.
@Xxxxxnew Would be hilarious if Grabbo signed in Montreal, Boston or Pittsburgh cheap for a run at the cup. He would go to his happy place playing against carlyle.
Grabbo isn't welcome in Montreal. He was a healthy scratch one game as a Hab, and because of it he bailed on his teammates, got on a plane and flew to LA to be with his agent. That's when Montreal sent him to the Leafs. Coach wasn't playing him right.
@Xxxxxnew And he had some weird ugly feud with the Kostistyn brothers, didn't he? Didn't offer to fight either one of them at a place and time of their choosing?
Yeah, never got the full story. Kostistyns were involved with some shady types in Montreal, too. Maybe it was just a case of two Russians picking on a German born Belarusian.
do you know if there is a way to see a players points per game when they only play with certain line mates? (Want to see Kulemin's with Kadri and Lupul)
This one is better.
Shows Kulemin had 3 points playing with the two for 15.79% of his total points.
Just in case anyone ever forgets
I'd rather him at 5.25 than Clarkson anyday, we drafted him, he'll be great again.
one of my favourites on the team. Maybe the one forward we have that actually supports the D-men when they pinch and back checks hard
@KulieFTW Put Kulemin with Kadri or Holland consistently instead of Jay McClement and David Clarkson and his numbers will go back up
@KulieFTW Let him walk and you'll be looking for the same kind of player for the same price(or more).
@KulieFTW Don't want, don't care - Kulemin goodbye! Going through hard times is one thing showing up night in and night out like you just dont give a shit is inexcusable. Pay D'amigo to do what Kuli does for a mil bucks.
More than 5 million TV viewers in Canada watched last Habs-rangers game. Hawks-kings getting around 2 million. Jays doing well with 600,000-800,000 viewers a game. Memorial Cup final drew around 500,000. NBA averaging around 150,000 a game. TFC around 90,000 TV viewers since the first two games.