Mailbag: Cough Sneeze

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
May 30 2014 07:03PM

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If there's one fall back to not being the extremely large person I used to be, it's that my immune system sucks these days. I pick up stuff quite easily from people, and generally tend to get it worse. A minor cough and sneeze from a friend of mine has since turned into a couple of days of a full-on cold that may also end up being a sinus infection. But the show must go on, right? I've spent the last two Marlies games shivering in the press box and today, I'm taking a crack at some of your questions. Lets go!

To submit a question, send me a tweetemail meask me, or leave a comment.

Hi Jeff. Thank you for doing this mailbag. Here's my question: What is the coaching style of Steve Spott like? I'm asking this because I watched the first two games vs. Texas and the Marlies were outshot by a large margin. Is Spott's coaching style similar to Carlyle (compare/contrast)?

Thanks for the question! This series isn't the best of examples to use when judging the Marlies' "style of play". Texas is probably the best team in the American Hockey League and has played overwhelmingly good hockey for 3 1/2 of the first four games. The Marlies have also been in the penalty box a lot.

The Leafs organization likes to keep play styles similar between their big club and affiliates, but the Marlies seem to employ less of the 'wingers casually cherry picking' on the breakout, a bit less dump and chase, and bulid their powerplay schemes based on the point (as you would when you have TJ Brennan on one side and convert Spencer Abbott into a special teams defenceman).

Thoughts on Leivo's rookie season? Do you think he's a future Leaf?

Josh Leivo has shown a bunch of positive traits this year. Spott is keen on comparing him and their development plans for him to Joffrey Lupul, and I think that goes beyond the slight tan, right handed shot, and matching initials. That said, I think he's at least a year away. His 16.2 shooting percentage is rather high, and one of just three on the team above 14%. McKegg's makes sense because he rarely shoots unless he's alone in the slot, D'Amigo feasts on empty nets and turnovers, but Leivo's shots are typically wristers with some decent distance from the net. I'd expect his numbers to drop at worst and maintain at best next year, and to see him get an NHL promotion the year after.

If/when he gets dealt, where do you think Reimer will end up?

I was starting to think the Islanders would be a great fit before they acquired and signed Halak, which was a good move on their part. I also thought the Jets would be a stellar one until they committed to Ondrej Pavelec, which is an amazing move if they're interested in Connor McDavid. Now, I'm leaning towards Calgary. There's the Burke connection, not to mention the fact that they have no other goalies immediately ready.

Are the leafs actually interested in getting back Leo Komarov? Here's to hoping

I believe so. Scott Gordon's "exit" interview with James Mirtle implies that the team felt they missed him this year, and if the Leafs are serious about getting with the times yet still keeping a tough identity, a good possession player who hits everything in sight, draws penalties, kills penalties, drives opponents insane, loves being a Leaf, and as he's shown in Russia this year, might be capable of producing with more minutes is a good thing to pursue. Especially when the negotiation process is believed to be like shooting fish in a barrel.

From your perspective, how disappointing has it been watching Tyler Biggs this season? I hear he's being scratched in the playoffs.

I'm not ready to write him off completely; he did just turn 21, after all. But I hope he spends his offseason working his butt off. Like, I wouldn't even leave Toronto and I'd spend as much time as possible with the staff, if I were him. There isn't a single element of his game that appears to be progressing to expectation.

This isn't necessarily his fault; he wasn't the one who created the expectations placed on him, and from what I've seen, he's putting the effort out there. But you have to think that next year is do or die for him.

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I bring news about the Toronto Marlies, opinions about the Toronto Maple Leafs, and a bunch of ridiculous thoughts about everything else.
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#1 Skill2Envy
May 31 2014, 03:17AM
Trash it!
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Jeffler, I first want to say I was NEVER a fan of trading up (pick #30 Rickard Rakell and #39 John Gibson) for Biggs, better players were on the board (B. Saad, V. Rask, B. Jenner, T. Jurco, Ty Rattie, Z. Phillips, N. Jensen).

Why would you think it is do or die for Biggs next year. Only 21, do you think it has to do with draft position/expectation? Leivo and Broll were forwards from the same draft but you don't hold the same opinion of them.

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#2 Millerrr
May 31 2014, 03:16PM
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Skill2Envy wrote:

Jeffler, I first want to say I was NEVER a fan of trading up (pick #30 Rickard Rakell and #39 John Gibson) for Biggs, better players were on the board (B. Saad, V. Rask, B. Jenner, T. Jurco, Ty Rattie, Z. Phillips, N. Jensen).

Why would you think it is do or die for Biggs next year. Only 21, do you think it has to do with draft position/expectation? Leivo and Broll were forwards from the same draft but you don't hold the same opinion of them.

I wouldn't necessarily say next season is make or break for Biggs as a hockey prospect, but it very well may be his last shot at proving he's worth keeping in the organization since he was drafted under a different management structure and the AHL team is fed new prospect forwards every season. Connor Brown and Ryan Rupert could jump to the Marlies next season so he'll have competition for ice time, especially since him and Rupert are fairly comparable

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