Monday Mailbag: Playoff Edition

After a long, grueling, and quite frankly, boring regular season, the playoffs have finally begun. We now know the Leafs will have to take on the Bruins in the first round, so that’s out of the way, and now it’s just a matter of if the Leafs can actually do the thing or not.

Anyways, let’s crack into some of the mail that you have for me this week.

To be completely honest, there’s nothing wrong with using either. Skilled players provide a threat for shorthanded goals on the penalty kill, especially when the league is shifting towards a four forward, one defenseman format on the power play, which creates a lot of potential for it going back the other way. But, bottom six forwards also could be useful because it gives your team the opportunity to rest those stars for 5v5/PP time. Also, and this is the only time I’ll agree with him, but Don Cherry always raises a good point about how it’s better to have bottom six forwards so that your stars don’t get hurt blocking shots on the PK.

A look over some penalty kill stats over the last three years, and you there are certainly a lot more skilled players, like Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and Jeff Carter, but then you also have some bottom six types like Joakim Nordstrom, Scottie Upshall, and Brandon Sutter.

A player’s success on the penalty kill depends less on their role at 5v5, and more so on their own defensive abilities. An Auston Matthews and a Tomas Plekanec could both be really good on the penalty kill, but for completely different reasons.

JVR – make offer/re-sign. JVR has been nothing but productive since coming to Toronto, and his offense would be really hard to replace, so at least attempting to bring him back would be a good idea.

Bozak – let walk. Your time here has been heavily debated and cherished, but I think it’s time to say good bye to the long time Leafs centre. With William Nylander as an option internally, and the potential to bring in John Tavares or Joe Thornton, the Leafs have some options, and probably need the roster spots for their constantly growing forward depth.

Komarov – let walk. While I wouldn’t be opposed to re-signing him to a cheap, one year deal, he’s already in a position where you could make the case for him being a healthy scratch, with this team’s depth up front. It’s hard to really see a fit for him next year.

Well, considering that a lot of Boston fans seem convinced that their team is going to win the Cup, it’s going to suck for them when they get swept by Toronto in the first round.

Very stupid and very dumb and very trash.

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