Leafs Chances of Winning the Cup, UFA Options and D Options Going Forward

Hey everybody, with everything going so well in Leafland, I thought I would take this piece and talk about, or answer your questions regarding the Leafs, or any team, or even my views on mac and cheese or hot dogs. Also, it’s nice to see a lot of the anger on Twitter has died down. A least for now.

So without screwing around here, let’s start with my first question.

Well, I really tried not to be biased about this one. I really did. But then I said fuck it, I can’t help myself. It has to be the Leafs right?

Then I remembered the Jets. The Jets have a really good team but we’ll have to see how Hellebuyck holds up in the playoffs. I can see THEM making a deep run this year.

Before this year, I would have thought the Oilers but all of a sudden they had a ton of problems. They’re stinking up the joint on a nightly basis with the odd game where they look really good. Without really watching what goes with the team on a daily basis, my thought is they need to allow Chiarelli to hire one more coach.(Yes I know they’ve had several coaching changes already) If it doesn’t turn around, then Chiarelli needs to go. having said that I realize that Chiarelli has made a bunch of bad trades, sot here’s that. It’s such a mess.

Second best chance is the Leafs. I don’t think they will do it this year by any means. I’m not even sure they’ll get past the first round the way that the Lightning and the Bruins are playing.

What are they missing? They’re missing one more good centre to play at the number 2 or 3 spot. As for defense, I’m not convinced they have to trade for a number 1 like the MSM will tell you, but their corps will mature and be much better in a year or two. Now if Doughty becomes available, I revisit that.

In two years the D corps could easily be:

Rielly-Liljegren

Dermott-Zaitsev

Gardiner- Borgman

The Sens and Habs really need to rebuild. The Sens have more good pieces already so maybe build around that. Then again, all you hear lately is that they are in sell mode, so who knows. Another mess as far as I’m concerned. So in short, Habs and Sens are messes. (tries not to repeat that too often even though it sounds so good to my ears.)

The Flames seem to be up and down. They are on fire one week (no pun intended) and then they’re in a slump the next. The Canucks have some really good young pieces already in the system, so I would say in 4/5 years they should be pretty good.

So after that long winded answer, the Jets followed by the Leafs, Oilers, Flames, Canucks, and finally Sens/Habs.

This is a yes or no question so I will go with YES. No subjectivity allowed for the referees.

My hope is that they keep him at least for this year. He could prove to be handy in the playoffs. Let’s say they play the Bruins in the first round. If they find that they’re getting pushed around, then they insert Martin in the lineup and see if that helps then go from there. The way Tampa and Boston are playing right now, I’ll be surprised if the Leafs get past the first round. Also, the rule enforcement has changed so much this year, I’m curious to see if they FINALLY follow through in the playoffs.

First of all Jillian, thank you for having the confidence in me to predict this. 🙂 If you saw my bracket last year, you may want to bet AGAINST what I say here.

East                                                                                   West

Lightning vs Pittsburgh                                               Nashville vs Vegas

I’m fairly confident that the Bolts will meet the Preds in the final. BUT, there are so many upsets in the NHL playoffs, I wouldn’t put any money on it.

Great question, and depending who you talk to , you would get a lot of different answers. I heard Ray Ferraro say on radio that Gudbranson really isn’t any better than Polak, so I wouldn’t bother there. If McDonagh is available and the ask doesn’t include one of the three main kids, I seriously consider it. Other targets that I would have are Hjarlmarsson from the Coyotes or Tanev from the Canucks (although I read he was recently injured). Of course, like everything, it depends what the other team is looking for.

I’ll just insert this here. It’s not a great answer because I’m so torn on this.

I haven’t heard anyone say this in a while so I thought I would include it.

How long is Hyman’s contract? Hyman will play with Matthews at least that long.

Freddy has 3 more years after this and then he’ll still be relatively young as far as goalies go, so I stick with Freddie for now. If a prospect comes out of nowhere, then you reconsider it.

The following question came from a protected account.

Despite rumblings that the are trying to win the Cup now, I’m convinced they are positioning themselves for an earnest run next yr (especially with so much cap space opening up). Which summer FA signing(s) push us over the top? Doughty? Karlsson? Tavares? Thornton?

Well, Doughty and Karlsson aren’t UFA this year although their teams can speak to them about contracts. Sign and trades are possible, but rarely happen. I think Thornton is too much of a risk unless he takes very little money, which I doubt would happen. I think they will take a run at Tavares if he’s available. But so will a bunch of other teams. Tavares, would be a great addition and then you could trade another asset to upgrade on D.

So imagine this forward lineup (day dreaming a bit OK maybe a lot)

Hyman-Matthews-Nylander

Marleau-Tavares-Marner

Grundstrom-Kadri-Brown

Johnsson-Altonen-Kapanen

The second line could be the first line.

 

Thanks for reading and thanks for all your questions. Personally I really like this format and it leads to hockey talk afterward.

Cousin Eddie @mydogsnots #GoLeafsGo

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