TLN Monday Mailbag: February 20th


Roller coasters are fun. The metaphorical ones, of course; I’m not good with rapid ascension/descention so when it comes to the real one, I stick to the Tycoon video games. Up and down sports hot streaks, though? Feed those into my veins.

Anyway, it’s Monday, so it’s time to reach into the mailbag.

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A couple of good games? That’s not to say that it’s a bad line, but they haven’t exactly been together for long yet. Nazem Kadri’s been in good form of late, Josh Leivo has looked good with everyone now that he has a chip on his shoulder, and, well, I’m not sure if Komarov’s contributed too much to the line but he’s at least been finishing his checks.

I think it’s going to take a few weeks, which the trio might not get with each other, to know for sure if it’s a sum of all parts that’s making things click over a few nice Leivo takeaways and Kadri dekes. They can keep doing those as long as they want, though, because they’re great.

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I’d say it’s likely that all three will be in that 11-13% tier that you see from many of the league’s superstars moving forward, with maybe some flare up/down weeks/months from time to time. All three possess lethal releases, but they also have qualities that make them more likely to take higher percentage shots. Nylander tends to get most of his even strength shots off breaks and his more traditional shots off of open looks on the powerplay, Marner seems to pass unless he thinks he has a great chance, and Matthews takes most of his shots from the slot.

Not on board with it. My status on mid-aged to veteran free agents is pretty simple: You need to be an absolute star player or you need to sign short term. Berglund is a very good player who will look for quite a few years out of his next deal and I don’t think that makes sense for a team that already has Matthews, Nylander, and Kadri.

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Because Ben Smith is responsible and wins faceoffs. Just look at how well he’s done since coming back from injury!


*shrug* I don’t know. Froese is what the team seems to think Smith is, and also the AHL’s goal-scoring leader. I’d have him up now, playing in a more offensively-driven role than last year.

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Toronto’s biggest and most experienced players are the ones who tend to get shelled for the most shots against every night, so I don’t think it’s that. The Leafs play an up-tempo, risk/reward game on purpose because they have the skillset to convert more than their opponents will as long as they can keep the differential above water.

Trying to add size and experience will probably just slow that process down. It’s fine to have those guys physically around for good habits right now, but moving forward, I’d roll my eyes and just focus on scoring goals.

Maybe, but last I saw it was heading northbound on the 401. Hey, the Senators haven’t really faced any cold streak adversity yet this year, have they?

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  • Stan Smith

    I chuckled at the Berglund for Bozak question. The Leafs as a team struggle on faceoffs, so lets get rid of the best centre they have at faceoffs. Makes perfect sense to me.

    As for Smith. He has been simply terrible since coming back from his injury. There as to be some reason, we are not aware of, for him playing over Gauthier.

    I think the whole team struggles in their own end, veterans and rookies both. Their biggest problem is they have a lot of players that know what to do with the puck once they get it, but a shortage of players that can get the puck when they don’t have it, especially on defence.

    I truly don’t think we will see a cliff like in past years, a steep hill to climb maybe. it looks like the Sens got hit by an eighteen wheeler this weekend. It was called the Winnipeg Jets. I hope the Leafs don’t have the same issues when they play them. They need to keep their heads up.