Monday Mailbag: Happy Thanksgiving

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To start things off, we here at TheLeafsNation.com would like to wish all of our Canadian readers (aka, most of our readers) a Happy Thanksgiving. We’re very thankful for all the time you’ve invested into reading our content and giving your feedback. Even when it’s not positive, it’s appreciated, and for the most part it happens to be positive. We look forward to becoming even better as time progresses, and it couldn’t be done without all of your support. If you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, we hope your day off was awesome, at least. We’re also thankful for all of these questions you asked – some of them are going to be answered below!

To submit your question, please send a tweet to @TLNdc or leave it in these comments.

@LeafsHub asked: “Which forwards with the Marlies are first to be called up to the Leafs when this debacle continues to unfold?”

I don’t think that there’s a player that jumps out at you as a Panik panic button call up. If the team is unhappy with their depth at centre and feels that Petri Kontiola’s foot speed is where they want it, he’s probably the first guy to get the nod. Beyond that, nobody really stands out.

@Synsensa asked: “With three games played, who has stood out as the WORST Leafs player thus far? The best? Worrisome?”

The worst Leaf so far? Well, after last night’s performance, nobody will allow for me to pick somebody from the first line, despite them being hemmed in their own zone for most of the start of this year. I’m going to go with Jonathan Bernier for now; he’s really struggling to stop pucks, though it’s a very limited sample and some of it may also be driven by not being 100% from his injury. 

The best? Three assists and fantastic team-relative possession numbers despite tough zone starts is enough for me to give that to Stuart Percy. This is the opposite end of the spectrum; I don’t think he’s the best defenceman on the team by any means, but he’s been the best through three games. Anything can change, and probably will. In the meantime, he’s atop the bunch.

@danlif20 asked: “Why did the coach scratch Gardiner instead of Percy?”

I’m going to take this as “why did Carlyle scratch Gardiner?”. In short, it’s the move that makes the most “political” sense. Franson had to come in just off the fact he was ready to play and people wanted a shakeup after two losses. Scratching Dion Phaneuf would’ve caused a city-wide firestorm of speculation that makes what we’re seeing with Gardiner look like amateur angle. Narratives would’ve been formed for the newcomers if he chose Roman Polak or Stephane Robidas. Percy has played very well. You’re basically stuck with Gardiner or Rielly, and Gardiner’s first two games weren’t particularly hot. Besides, they now have half a decade to get his forgiveness.

@Seb182 asked: “Can you explain the new Rogers broadcast deal with the Leafs and how it affects TSN/LeafsTV broadcasts?”

Rogers has the rights to all the nationally broadcasted Leafs games; in this respect, they swallowed up CBC. They also have the regional rights that they did last year, and stripped LeafsTV of all broadcasts (it was the same crew with less potential viewership). TSN still has the same games that they did last season, and will actually start having more than ever beginning next year thanks to a renegotiated regional deal.

@thejustinfisher asked: “In honour of Thanksgiving Monday, who is the biggest TURKEY on the Leafs roster? Haha ha ha haha hahah hahah hah ahah haha”

Let’s take this bowling style, Justin, and see whose shots STRIKED the back of the net three games in a row. Wait, I got it! 

turkey

Bozie forever.

  • Kanuunankuula

    I think that is not really a good way of looking who should sit and who should play (I understand that’s how the coaching+mgmt did). Should always be the ones that are playing play, and those who falter sit. Robidas should’ve been at the press box instead of Gards, appearances be damned.

    • Jeremy Ian

      I agree; at this stage, he’s less effective than Gardiner. His coverage of Crosby the other night was unimpressive.

      Carlyle et al have to stop thinking that individual punishment is an incentive for improvement when the team is playing poorly. Especially if you are banking on long-term success with an anchor player like Gardiner. At best, you get short term results.