It’s the end of the world in Leaf land, and yet, the mailman still has to do his job. Let’s get right to it with this week’s mailbag.
Why would Babcock not insert strength and experience in the lineup last night? Matt Martin instead of Andreas Johnsson? Connor Carrick for Travis McDermott?
— Go4it (@GoCSports) April 15, 2018
Looking back at the Bruins-Leafs series from 2013, the Bruins manhandled the Leafs in game 1 because the Leafs tried to beat the Bruins at their own game. The Leafs got away from that in game 2, played a faster game, beat them, and had a much more competitive series.
I look at it the same way this year. The Leafs are currently trying to beat the Bruins at their own game, when really they need to beat the Bruins with the Leafs game. Matt Martin is not a part of that game. Even Babcock has realized this, which is why we haven’t seen a lot of Martin these last few months. While putting him in would give the Leafs some more physicality, it wouldn’t help them. Johnsson gives the team more speed and skill, and the Leafs need that in their depth for when the Bergeron line isn’t on.
As for Carrick, I wholeheartedly agree he should be in the lineup, just in the place of Polak or Hainsey. Dermott has probably been the one defenseman this series that hasn’t made a play that has made me lose myself, so he definitely shouldn’t be the one that gets scratched.
Who’s going to step up and break both of pastrnak’s legs
— andrew diiorio (@andrew_diiorio) April 15, 2018
BAH GAWD, THAT’S ROMAN POLAK’S MUSIC!
Who are we kidding, Polak would run at Pastrnak, but Pastrnak would dodge it and deke out Polak, breaking Polak’s legs.
Is Tomas Plekanec bringing something to the club that i just can't see? Because right now it feels like he just showed up for a free Leafs jersey.
— Paul P (@deffromabove) April 15, 2018
Plekanec hasn’t been bad by any means since joining the Leafs, it just hasn’t really seemed like it since he hasn’t put up much offensively, and defensively he’s only been bad when he’s had Leo Komarov on his line. The Johnsson-Plekanec-Kapanen line was fantastic during the regular season, and who knows, maybe tonight he excels with Marner and Marleau on his wing.
Does your team realize its the playoffs n not preseason
— cory campanella (@ccamps19) April 15, 2018
I honestly don’t know at this point, cory.
Do you think Babcock’s tendency to not give his forward stars the same level of on-ice minutes that other coaches give would negatively impact a guy like John Tavares form wanting to sign here? It didn’t for Marleau, but he’s 38…
— Richard Hurley (@TheRGHurley) April 15, 2018
Maybe, but Tavares has always struck me as more of a team-first guy. I’d imagine that he would probably rather have a chance for the cup while playing in a lesser role than play a ton of minutes on a worse team.
Were the leafs that bad or the bruins that good? I’m going with a Leafs no show..
— Dave Abbott (@Ratty75) April 15, 2018
Both. The Bruins were the better team in the series, and they are playing at the capabilities of what we expected. However, it seems like everything that could go wrong, did go wrong for the Leafs. The Bergeron line hasn’t been shut down, the special teams have been a no-show, the offense has dried up, Freddy has been awful, and the defense has been worse than normal.
Part of this is that the Leafs have been playing badly, and letting the Bruins get in their head, while Babcock’s responses to this have yet to work.
The other part is that the Bruins are smart, identified the Leafs flaws early on, and have been exposing these flaws for the first two games. And again, Babcock hasn’t done much about it.
should I reclarify my stance on Nikita Zaitsev that you do not, under any circumstances, “gotta hand it to him”
— Boston Bruins Retire Bitch (@50_MissionCap) April 16, 2018
Game 1 Zaitsev, maybe not.
Game 2 Zaitsev, absolutely.
Should we scratch Zaitsev for game 3? #TMLTalk
— x-Tyman34 (@LeafsFan1634) April 16, 2018
Nope, because I’d rather they scratch Polak or Hainsey. Zaitsev’s been bad, but not the worst defenseman in this series.
Why has my power been out for 3 hours
— Cautiously Optimistic Leafs Fan (@BrandonM823) April 16, 2018
Hey man, don’t complain, the Leafs power has been out for a week.
— Andrew (@TurnipCannon) April 16, 2018
Why do I cheer for this team?
— Totally Offside (@Totally_Offside) April 16, 2018
Because it’s fun and completely normal to want to torture yourself day in and day out. Right? RIGHT?!
When will Babcock put uncle Leo and Plekanic on the top line with Matthews. Probably Thursday.
— BassAholics (@mikeharnden1) April 16, 2018
Nah, by Thursday Matthews will be a healthy scratch, and it will be Martin-Plekanec-Komarov on the top line.
Does Holl make the Leafs next year with a new contract? Who else might make the jump?
— Miles (@armysgt56) April 16, 2018
Considering that out of the Leafs current top six, only Polak is a UFA, and the Leafs have Borgman, Rosen, Nielsen, and Liljegren all waiting in the works, Holl would have to REALLY impress in training camp to make the jump.
Although, his goal per game average might help his case.
Why am I in a glass case of emotions?!
— Graeme Nishida (@graemenishida91) April 16, 2018
Because you love this team Graeme!
Why is Plekanec on the 2nd line?
— Matt Totaldude (@Grabbo1983) April 16, 2018
Do you want Bozak or Moore shutting down the Bergeron line?
How many goals will we lose by tonight?
— Mike Brierley (@Mike_Brierley84) April 16, 2018
Peter Chiarelli has a history of poor trades involving young stars. Did he just get lucky with the Phil Kessel trade? And if so, did that success unfairly boost his reputation as a competent GM?
— Kevin Banovic (@KevinBanovic) April 16, 2018
Yeah, he kinda lucked out with getting an elite center and an elite defenseman for an elite winger in that trade. Except he never used any of those players, so I still wouldn’t call it a win by any means. I’d say it was more his Cup win that got him his reputation, because he was always really bad at making trades. Let’s not forget, he gave the Leafs Joe Colbourne and a 1st for a past-his-prime Tomas Kaberle. Chiarelli was always bad, we just needed a bad team to realize he was.
sweep or gud pro sweep?
— KE19 (@KANEAS19) April 16, 2018
Neither, reverse sweep.
— x-Bandwagon Leafs Fan (@hockeyphreak) April 16, 2018
Well, you see, because we didn’t put Martin in the lineup, Nylander isn’t trying hard enough, Laine is better than Matthews, and Babcock needs to be fired.
Seriously though, why not the Buds? We’ve already lost the series apparently, but we still have a couple more games to play. Might as well win them!