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21 Apr 2018 02:47:33
Leafs trade Gardiner, Bracco, Brown, 1st
NYR trade Namestnikov, Shattenkirk

Gardiner is going to be a goner anyway. Bracco is good prospect, but far down the depth chart. Brown is a good player on cap-friendly contract, and the first is a given.

Namestnikov is our new 3C and Shattenkirk is our 1RHD.

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20 Apr 2018 15:49:52
I have a question - does anyone believe Babcock is the right coach for the Leafs? I agree he is a good coach and has done well with Kadri, but no one else. He preaches a defense first philosophy with arguably the most gifted offensive players in the league.
In my opinion, they either have the wrong coach, or the scouting staff and GM are drafting the wrong players. My belief is they have the wrong coach.
Defense matters, but the Oilers of the 80's had little problem winning championships. The game has changed and tilted in favor of the skilled players, maybe it's time to let them play and win 7 - 5 type games.
They can't defend anyways, so take the restraints off all that offensive talent and let them play.

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20 Apr 2018 18:08:11
I think it’s generally agreed upon that Babcock is one of the best coaches in the world. He has certainly been successful at all levels of the game, and has developed and worked with some of the games greatest players. He has been instrumental in turning this new Leafs team into a competitor and a contender. This year was one of the Leafs best seasons ever. I don’t even think a playoff appearance was part of the Shanaplan at this early stage in the rebuild. To suggest replacing Babcock because of an early playoff exit to a much more experienced Bruins team is a little rash at this point. I think the new playoff format is unfair as far as Leafs go. They should have been players a lesser caliber team, rather than a top contender like the Bruins. If the old format was still in place, Leafs would have had a real shot of going deep into playoffs. The new format eliminates some of the best teams early, while allowing lesser contending teams to sneak through.

I’m not seeing so much as defense being the problem in this series so much as lack of offense. Leafs haven’t been able to score.

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20 Apr 2018 18:51:18
I agree with most of your points, but would like to point out that I am not suggesting replacing Babcock because of an early playoff exit.
I am questioning whether Babcock is the right coach for this particular group of players. Not all coaches match with the core players of all teams. I question, when you have such a fast, skilled group of players do you constantly insert Komarov and Polak? I question why players like Leivo or Carrick never seem to get a chance to grow and mature within the organization. I question why he could not motivate this team going into the Boston series.
I agree Babcock is a good coach, but it looks like he is getting out-coached by a very motivated Boston team.

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21 Apr 2018 02:31:09
Reviewing the scores, I disagree with my assessment that it has been lack of offense that is hurting the team. I rescind that comment. It’s a lack of both offense and defense. Leafs are being soundly beaten in all areas of the game by a better Boston team.

It’s easy to start to question the coach and point fingers at, for example, Nylander, but in reality it’s the whole team that has played questionably this series.

I don’t think Babcock is the wrong coach. Certainly there are other coaches, such as Claude Julien himself, who prefer to slow play down and emphasize defense first, but Babs is not one of them. Leafs are a high scoring team, and had one of the highest goals scored this year.

The same question you had about Polak/ Komorov can be applied to Johnsson/ Kapanen: why are these two players receiving ice time in favour of other players who are seemingly more deserving? Of course, the answer to each question is different. Polak/ Komorov play a defense first style game, and are needed to shut down the other team, which they do a better job than Lievo/ Carrick, while Johnsson and Kapanen are younger and faster and more skilled than either Lievo/ Carrick. Lievo/ Carrick simply aren’t good enough at either aspect of the game to get playing time, when others who are more qualified for each of those two areas of play are available. Hence, Lievo/ Carrick get to sit for being mediocre. All round, they are good players, but with hockey becoming more and more a game of specialization, the guys who are good at everything, but not great at anything, are being passed over in favour of players who can specialize in a particular role.

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20 Apr 2018 11:30:09
Can't help but to be impressed with Riley Nash's game against the Leafs tonight. I have been touting this UFA for some time now as an off season target. Checks all Babs boxes for a 4C. Plays the PK, wins face offs, checks, hustles and adds some grit, size and scoring(15G, 26A). 6'1", 200 lbs., 28 yo. Can play up and down the line up(has looked pretty good as the 1C when Burgeron has been out this season) coming off a 900K contract. Dumping Martins contract and giving the $ to Nash would be money well spent.

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20 Apr 2018 03:20:59
Toronto Maple Leafs!

- Leafs are done, better luck next season.
- Sign J.Tavares this off season.
- Sign or trade for a stud Dmen this off seaaon.
- Sign J.Carlson
- Trade Nylander, Gardiner
- let them walk or trade them this off season, Bozak, Komarov, Jvr, Pleckanek, Moore, Martin, Hainsey, Polak, Carrick,

Hyman, Matthews, Marner
Marleau, Tavares, Kapanen
Johnson, Kadri, Brown
Grundstrom, Aaltonen, Leivo
Extra: Bracco

Rielly, J.Carlson
Dermott, Zaitzev
Rosen, Holl
Extra: Liljegren


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20 Apr 2018 03:01:11
Lines for game 5 leafs have been held to 1 goal in 3 games obvipusly something isn't working.

Kadri matthews marner
Jvr bozak marleau
Johnsson nylander kapanen
Hyman plekanec brown

Fourth line plays bostons first when possible if not you still have kadri out when they put them against our first.

Reilly hainsey
Gardiner polak
Dermott carrick

Bench zaitsev he's been probably the worst leaf in this series. And gardiner and him are not good together gardiner needs a more defensive partner. Polak wouldve played that 2 on 1 a lot better. I mean you couldn't play it any worse.

What do you guys think?

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20 Apr 2018 23:03:46
I wouldn’t change Marleau/ Plekanec/ Marner tbh. Mine would be:

Matthews - Kadri - Kapanen
Marleau - Plekanec - Marner
Hyman - Nylander - Johnsson
van Riemsdyk - Bozak - Brown.

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18 Apr 2018 17:46:45
Leafs trade chips not all but you can package from this group


I'm not saying who is gone but if I'm getting the right piece back you may need to lose some quality.

Teams that really need to make changes that may be match Toronto

Los Angeles
St. Louis

When leafs bring top players to the table that they are willing to listen to offers on. A boat load of teams will be interested. All the teams above have players leafs would want.

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18 Apr 2018 18:10:49
I didn't know edmonton got a second team.

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18 Apr 2018 19:00:56
Randy a mistake but at least I have something to say. Randy answer this I don't watch them closely in what areas do Calgary need the most improvement.

It can't be defence they have loaded up back there and goaltending a healthy smith is fine. So Randy what do flames need or anyone who know the answer as I'm sure leafs have what Calgary need in abundance.

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18 Apr 2018 23:56:16
I’m thinking Calgary needs wingers. They were so desperate for scoring winger this year they signed Jagr. He obviously didn’t work out. Calgary may still be looking to add depth at wing position. Leafs are strong at wing, and may be able to make a trade of some sort with Flames.

As you said Mackin, I don’t get the chance to watch a lot of Calgary games. Mainly only when they are playing Leafs, though every now and then I catch the odd late game.

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20 Apr 2018 05:50:59
Im in calgary so the games are blacked out with the provider i use for games. I don't watch a lot either but from what I have seen they need a bottom 6 that doesn't get embarassed and a better coach.

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20 Apr 2018 05:51:49
They struggle to shut down top lines aswell with the gaudreau monahan head on, they try to have that line defend by offense and it burns them.

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18 Apr 2018 06:21:10
Just some random thoughts to spur some discussion.
How the Leafs can sign Tavares and JVR using the Zetterberg model.
Sign JT to a 7 year, 59.5M dollar contract. Breakdown; 10.5, 10.5, 10.5, 10.5, 6, 6, 1 (3M signing bonus). This gives an AAV cap hit of 8.5M. Cash rich Leafs can afford to pay out 13.5M in the first year, few teams can match that.
Sign JVR to a 8 year, 36M dollar contract. Breakdown; 6, 6, 6, 6, 4, 4, 3, 1. This gives a AAV cap hit of 4.5M.
Kadri's trade value. Based on the most recent similar trade (Derek Stepan for # 7OA), I would say Kadri is a slightly better player on a much better contract. That being said, Kadri should be worth a top 10 pick and a good prospect. My suggestion Edmonton(#9) and Khaira.
Leafs need to get tougher without giving up their speed and goal scoring. Grit and pugnacity is best served from the back end where a D-man is playing 20 to 25 minutes a game verses a 4th liner playing 6 to 8 minutes.Look no further then what Byfuglien, Manson, Bieksa, etc. do for their teams. I would love to see Marchad do his circle the net and meet Byfuglien coming the other way!

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18 Apr 2018 17:56:50

Tavares is islander or Ranger bound but if his camp went to Toronto and said he wants to play here leafs would make numbers work.

Spider why would leafs have any interest in JVR

Spider I'm not trading Kadri or his great contract to anyone. Kadri is of tremendous value with his skill set and that contract.

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18 Apr 2018 18:01:38
Instead of trying to sign Tavares, I think the Leafs should be looking at trading for Eberle. The emergence of Barzal, and the mega-contract Tavares is about to sign (probably more than $8.5M AAV I’m afraid), means Eberle might be available. He’s got one year left on his contract at a Beey affordable $6M, of which he is worth every penny.

Leafs trade Gardiner
NYI trade Eberle

One for one exchange of UFA’s.

A trio of Matthews, Kadri, Eberle would be one of the best triplets at the Center position in the league.

DeHaan and Hickey might leave to free agency, which means NYI could really use a defenseman like Gardiner.

Leafs can try to re-sign Eberle next summer, or hopefully have another solution in place by then.

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19 Apr 2018 03:43:08
Two things against the Ranger signing JT in spite of NY being the most desired destination in the league. First, he just went through 9 years of rebuilding hell with the Islanders. Not sure he wants to start his next 7 years on a rebuilding team. Second, he loves the Islanders and the organization. Jumping ship to their most hated rivals might feel traitorous. I think the field is wide open for where he lands, including Toronto. Toronto offers an number of incentives. Good, young, contending team, excellent management and coaching, great wingers and great endorsement opportunities.
Exactly which teams would have no interest in a 27 year old winger that consistently puts up 30 goals and 60 points and is a monster on the PP, especially if he can be signed to a team friendly contract?

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19 Apr 2018 17:53:43

Your last sentence says it all. The only team Tavares might take a discount for is Islanders. I have a hard time believing JT will take a cap friendly contract to go to another team. Tavares is a superstar and will be highly coveted by virtually every team in the league. If he hits open market, a bidding war is likely to ensue and he will be offered mega-bucks. You got to think somewhere in the $10M AAV range for sure. If Leafs were to splash out that kind of money on a UFA, I would like to see them sign a defenseman. Matthews is our undisputed number one center, and Kadri pops in 30 goals and almost as many points as JT and is far cheaper for number two center. With Kadri’s contract so cheap, it means we can use the savings to address deficiencies in the lineup.

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20 Apr 2018 00:00:32
Actually, the last sentence "27 year old winger" was referring to JVR in response to David's comment "why would the Leafs have any interest in JVR". JT is a centre.

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18 Apr 2018 05:15:19
I see many here want Tkachuk from Calgary, but, question is why would Calgary even consider trading him?
If the leafs want Tkachuk, they should try to move up in this year's draft and take Brady, from what I read, is better then his brother.
Clearly, leafs need to consider adding some players grit and toughness to balance the many skilled players currently in the organization.

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18 Apr 2018 08:37:06
Why would Calgary even consider trading him? How about;
1) they missed the playoffs.
2) they lack secondary scoring
3) they need a proven BU goalie.
4) they need to make changes to improve and join the elite.
5) they've blown their draft picks (nothing until the 4th rnd this year) to assemble a defense that is suspect and lacks scoring punch.
6) as has been stated many times on this site "you need to give to get".

Trade I think would help both teams address their needs:

Leafs: Nylander, Gardiner, Brown, Picard, 2019 1st, 2018 2nd.
Flames: Tkachuk, Hamilton, Bennett.

Flames get 141 pts. a NHL BU for Smith and some top draft choices back.
Leafs get some grit and size and a 3C.

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18 Apr 2018 09:02:02
Calgary just drafted Tkachuk. they won't give up on him this soon. Regardless of making the playoffs or not, they will not give up on Tkachuk. A move guranteed not to happen anytime soon.

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18 Apr 2018 13:13:07
I mean i think for that package they would definitely consider it. Gardiner can man a powerplay think of it this way.

Gardiner and a first for hamilton calgary does that trade probably if they feel they can resign him.

Tkachuk for nylander and brown
If i'm calgary I look at making that trade tkachuk is a different style player but if gaudreau monahan and nylander have crazy chemistry that could be bostons top line dangerous in the offensive zone.

And finally bennett for picard and a 2nd i think they win this one aswell as picard may end up being a starter in this league i think calgary would roll the dice on him. So when from calgarys perspective they win 2 out of 3 trades for sure and possibly 3 out of 3 i think they do this trade. From torontos perspective your giving up a lot but getting exactly what you want in return. Benett may be risky but babcock has a way with getting what he wants out of players and activating them.

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19 Apr 2018 02:58:34
Nicely broken down Randy. I think Calgary would have a tough time turning this trade down. They add a lot of badly needed offense and draft picks using their strength (defense) .
Leafs are giving up a lot, but get exactly what they need to get to the next level. Rielly/ Hamilton gives them a legit top pairing. Watch Rielly's numbers soar with Dougie watching his back. Tkachuk, s grit and pugnacity with Kapanen's speed open up the ice for Mathews. I agree with you, I think Babs brings out the talent in Bennett to become a top 2/ 3C at a very affordable price.

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19 Apr 2018 13:57:29
Id take Bennett for Pickard and a second any day. It's mind blowing how low the Knights sold him for at the start of the season, not to mention the fact that he cleared waivers in the first place. Looked great at the Worlds, and has looked great for the Marlies. Here's hoping Lou can flip Pickard for something meaningful.

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18 Apr 2018 03:00:21
eafs lineups next year

Hyman/ Matthews/ Nylander
Marleau/ Kadri/ Marner
Johnsson/ (Bozak) / Kapanen
(Lievo) / (Aaltonen) / Brown
* (Martin)

Rielly/ (Hainsey)
(Gardiner) / Zaitsev
Dermott/ (Liljegren)
*Holl, (Carrick)


Aaltonen might not be ready, and Bozak might not re-sign.

Lievo, Carrick and Martin all on the most likely to be traded list.

We may bring in a big name for beside Rielly, in which case Hainsey drops down to third line and shares the position with Liljegren

Gardiner may be traded by deadline (though I doubt it)

As can be seen, Leafs immediate biggest need is depth centermen. This is probably the only position where a UFA will be brought in.

Rather than pursuing a big name UFA for RHD, Dermott and Liljegren will eventually replace Gardiner and Hainsey, and we bring up other guys from below to provide remaining depth.

When Marleau leaves, Johnsson moves up depth chart and Leafs bring in someone else from Marlies.

Leafs continue to address their needs internally through drafting and development, rather than pursuing big name UFA’s or major trades.

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18 Apr 2018 11:18:10
This years line up isn't finished yet. Only down 2 games to 1 and haven't played their best hockey yet. There's still hope.
Hopefully they make a few adds through UFA's in the off season and a trade or two. When a player of JT's caliber is available at his age, you have to make a concerted effort to add him. With JT, Marleau and Marner on the 1st line, Mathews and co. would eat up second line competition. JT would be in paradise with a couple of wingers like that to play with. Add Riley Nash as a 4C thru free agency.

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18 Apr 2018 13:15:34
JT would be awesome but i'm saying it now there is zero chamce he signs in Toronto.

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17 Apr 2018 12:06:41
Wow can you believe the Leafs managed to win a game without their All Star and series MVP Matt Martin in the lineup?

Joking aside I understand some of you knuckle draggers wanting to have a big body in the lineup to protect the young guns but Martin is not the answer. There is a reason the guy could not crack the roster the last few months -- he is completely one dimensional and does not bring much to the table other than that.

You're not going to beat Boston at their own game -- the Leafs are not built for it and putting Martin in the lineup does not change that. The Leafs need to stick to what they are good at -- speed and skill. And they need to stay disciplined and avoid the penatly box. Let Boston run around and take the extra penalties.

Hopefully Matthews goal gets him going for the rest of the series. Need him to takeover a game like we saw him do so many times this season.

Also I hope Freddy's got his confidence back after last night's stellar performance. Going to need him to be at his best to have a chance. If the Leafs can scrape out a win Thursday it's a whole new series, especially with Kadri back for game 5.

Lastly, one positive to note on Nylander's disappearing act. If the Leafs can't get past Boston and his play does not improve for the rest of the series the Leafs will be in prime position to sign him at a depressed number. There was a lot of talk earlier in the season about Pastrnak's $6.6 mln/ season being a good comparable for his next contract. After getting his lunch eaten this series, I don't think he's going to anything near that. Every penny counts!

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17 Apr 2018 22:06:18
It looked a lot closer to me than a 4-2 win. Boston put up a good game, and Leafs win seemed narrow victory compared to the blowouts when the Bruins beat down the Leafs. It’s definitely a step in the right direction, and Toronto should be proud of a home ice win to keep the dream alive.

Blizz has been spot on so far in all his predictions. Kudos to him. 3 for 3 in his predictions, and was the only one to call out the Leafs getting pounded into the ground by a much more physical Boston team.

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18 Apr 2018 05:37:45
: Boston plays a more physical game than Toronto.

Also on tonight's report, water is wet.

FT4A makes a great point, Nylander hasn't shown the same growth that Matthews and Marner have this season which is a huge break for the Leafs front office. That extra cap room could open the door for one more big acquisition, namely Tavares or Carlson.

Here's a fun one: what happens if Plekanec has another great game higher up in the lineup? If he can handle the high profile match up role, then does it make sense to drop him back down to 4th line duties instead of riding the hot hand?


Thoughts on these lines for game 5?

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