Maple Leafs Mid-Season Report Card (Grade our Leafs yourself)
I was reading an article on CBC in which a reporter listed the Leafs players and gave them a grade from A+ to F. I'm not here to debate Brophy's grades because we all have our own opinions but it gave me the idea to make this thread. So list off the Leafs players, grade them to this point in the season and give a short reasoning why you graded them there. Let discussions begin afterwards! I'll post mine shortly.
Tyler Bozak- Bozak's been injured off and on this season but has proven the top line works better with him on it despite his offensive short comings. His faceoff ability and above average defensive presence of mind lets his two much more talented wingers thrive offensively. B
Phil Kessel- Per usual.. streaky scoring, won't win many if any battles on the boards and can be soft as mush at times. But continues to play at a point per game clip, continues to be a game breaker and is on pace for his first 40 goal season barring any prolonged goalless streaks. Has shown a willingness to back check I haven't seen before this season and it started in the playoffs last year. End of the day it's the same ol same ol with Kessel and I'll take that any day of the week. B+
JVR- On pace for a career year. Finally grew the nuts to stand infront of the net and his two way game has come a long way under Carlyle. Probably the guy that's impressed me the most this season and was rewarded with his first invite to the Olympic Games. A
Joffrey Lupul- Same ol same ol with Lupul. Either hurt or suspended, consistently cannot stay in the line up. When in the line up shows his importance. Fan favorite and has turned into a solid leader. B-
Nazem Kadri- Sophomore slump fits the description here. Playing through his first 82 game season ever. Continues to make silly mistakes that we can hopefully attribute to age not stupidity. There may be some of us on here that would go 7-3 against him in 10 draws. Still a young player with high upside but has a lot more to give this season regardless. C
Mason Raymond- For 1 million bucks after a pro-tryout contract he has exceeded all expectations. A fixture in our top 6 and producing respectable points. We've gotten everything and them some out of Raymond up till this point. No complaints. B+
David Clarkson- 2 suspensions, referees hate the guy due to constant talking to the point where he'd need to be shot to draw us a penalty. Offensive game leaves a lot to be desired. Lately has seemed to fit in well with McClement and Kulemin and seems to be coming around. But up till this point of the season just not pretty. His nor anybody elses contracts affect my grading just to get that out of the way. D
Jay McClement- The PK was through the roof at the start of the season but as can be expected fell hard when the team went into it's swoon last month. Still plays against every teams top line and leads the league in short handed ice time. When Bozak was gone he was counted on to take the majority of the important draws for this team. Offence isn't something we look for in McClement and I think he's just been solid again. B
Nikolai Kulemin- Minus the fact he doesn't play centre just read my explanation of McClement because it's ditto for Kulemin. This guy is great at forcing turnovers and like McClement always understands which side of the puck to be on. Gonna miss this guy next year. B
Peter Holland- Small sample size has looked great. Good shot and a two way game I was surprised to see. Doesn't deserve to be on the 4th line at the moment. Victim of a #'s game and Bolland is still out. All in all I think he's been damn good for us stepping up when our centre ice position was dinged up. B+
Jerry D'Amigo- Small sample size again but he works hard, gets in on the forecheck and looks like he could be a very good bottom 6 player. He may not of played enough to garner an accurate grade but I'll do my best. C Only because of a very small sample size.
Colton Orr- Goon so he gets a C
Fraser McClaren- C
Trevor Smith- Admirable work when called up but nothing special. C
Troy Bodie- Only reason he's on the team is because he's nailing the CEO's daughter but has turned out to be a hard worker. Still no spot on the roster for him in all likelihood when Bolland returns. C+
Dave Bolland- I should give him an imcomplete because of the small sample size but he was argueably our best forward before he got hurt. We need this guy back as we all saw how important a piece he can be. He and Bozak are our two most trusted forwards in the eyes of the coaching staff. *A Has to be a * beside that grade though for obvious reasons.
Dion Phaneuf- Defensive game has improved drastically this season. Might be a reason for a slight decline in offensive production but I'll take the defensive improvement over that all day for a guy who plays those tough minutes. He's just impressed me this year. Still prone to some head scratching mistakes due to too much playing time. B+
Carl Gunnarson- No offence but that's to be expected and not why he's in the line up. Ideally not a 1st pairing defencemen but has plugged in admirably. Can eat minutes and is a steady soldier yet again. B-
Jake Gardiner- Hot and cold. Some nights plays himself into HUGE minutes and looks like a future top pairing D man. Some nights you wish you could send him to the press box half way through the 1st period. Inconsistant year. C
Cody Franson- Leads the D in points again this season. Has went from being criticized for not being physical enough to being one of the if not the most physical D man on the back end. Prone to getting burned on the outside but his skating seems to come along each of the last two seasons. B
Morgan Reilly- Couldn't get into the line up at the start of the year consistently but watching the game the odd time from the press box can't hurt a 19 year old. His play made Liles expendable and is now a fixture in the line up. Wait till we see this kid in 3 years. B Generous maybe but for a 19 year old... you get it.
Paul Ranger- Coming along lately but not enough to garner a great grade at the midway point of the season. Obvious signs of rust coming into his first NHL season in years. Not the most steady guy back there and the fan base has been expectedly vocal. C-
Mark Fraser- Plain and simple not the same player he was a year ago. Very, very evident. D
Jonathan Bernier- Has let in 1 or 2 Toskala-ish goals this season but that's null and void considering the rest of the body of work. Has seemed to pull away in the race to become #1 which doesn't shock me. He's calm, he controls rebounds and has a sharp glove hand. The more shots he gets it seems the better he plays. He's been nothing but impressive and teamed up with Reimer is the only reason we're in the playoff race right now. A No brainer.
James Reimer- Hasn't played as well as Bernier lately but has been great for us this year. Again one of the reasons we're in the playoffs come today. We'll be seeing more of Reims. He's been solid. B+
Tyler Bozak - B+ Has played great when healthy, our best faceoff man.
Phil Kessel - B- This one's low because I expected that this might be the year Phil avoids the cold streak and hits the 45-50 goal mark. He just ended one of his streaks and that may be in part to Kadri but I wish he could be consistent.
JVR- A Again like you said, on pace for a career year.
Joffrey Lupul - B Has flashes of brilliance but aside from Holland, his linemates haven't done him much good.
Nazem Kadri- C Looks like his rookie year again and might get lambasted soon enough.
Mason Raymond- A+ Cheap and on pace for a career year, if we trade him and get a decent return at the deadline, Nonis looks like a genius
David Clarkson- D- He's been better lately, but got off to a super rough start.
Jay McClement- C- He looks a lot more like a 4th liner this year than last. problem is that he's had to play up because of injuries which may effect his efficiency on the PK playing so many more even strength minutes.
Nikolai Kulemin - B+ Hardest worker on the team bar none, and if he got rewarded with some time on the second PP unit, could easily be one of our top scorers with his cannon.
Peter Holland- A he plays great two way game and is extremely creative as well. Really should be our second line center right now and the fact that we got him for Jesse Blacker makes it that much more awesome!
Jerry D'Amigo- B When he does play he's been pretty effective, also responsible defensively and on PK.
Colton Orr- F He's been way too soft this year.
Fraser McClaren- F Same as Orr
Trevor Smith- B Pleasant surprise
Troy Bodie- F+ slightly better than Orr and McClaren
Dave Bolland- A He was great early on and a big part of the 10-4 start.
Dion Phaneuf- A Stepped up the defensive game while playing a lot smarter at both ends.
Carl Gunnarson- B Just solid, you never notice him for the right reasons.
Jake Gardiner-C+ Might just be one of those slow starters, really looking forward to playoffs!
Cody Franson- B+ Leads the D in points but hits as well, much better all round game.
Morgan Rielly- A+ Sat at the start a lot even though he was clearly better than some guys. For a 19 year old offensive guy I will take the -10 to start since the strength and defensive side will improve over time, can't teach some of the skill we've seen.
Paul Ranger- F Looked great in preseason but has made way too many mistakes to warrant the playing time he's getting.
Mark Fraser- C Not given a fair shot in my opinion. Injuries have cost him his job for no apparent reason, is definitely better than Ranger.
Jonathan Bernier- A Has played great most of the time, but if he could avoid those brain fart goals he could be one of the best!
James Reimer- A- Has had a much shorter leash than Bernier it seems but has had a few games where they just score too many, too early and make him look really bad.
Overall team grade: B-
Last edited by JaysLeafs98; 01-03-2014 at 05:46 PM.
Tyler Bozak - A, when healthy he's been great. PPG pace is all i ask for from him and he's doing it. Plus the defense is solid
Phil Kessel - A, has actaully been less streak this year IIRC and it shows. Currently on pace to hit 39 goals and 74 points which is a good year from Kessel. Considering he just ended a 6-game goalless streak i think he'll catch fire for a bit soon and up that projection.
JVR- A, looking like a star to me. 60 point pace and 30 goals plus he's being that big force in front of the net Kessel needs. He's showing us a glimpse of his future self here.
Joffrey Lupul - B, times when he looks amazing and is a catalyst but then his stupidity gets him injured or suspended.
Nazem Kadri- B, on pace for about 45 points and 20 goals. Those are totals we were dying for from our 2 top centres and both are achieving that this year.
Mason Raymond- A+ Cheap and highly effective
David Clarkson- B, I like his impact away from scoring. I'm doing him a favour and ignoring the contract because i can tell he's still getting his groove back.
Jay McClement- C, pk is at 78% which is not all his fault but we all know it's his only really big impact on our team. To see it failing reflects badly on him as well as the fact his has 5 points and hasn't stood out 5on5 like last year.
Nikolai Kulemin - B+, my fav player. Love his hustle. Points or no points the guy still has that defensive game.
Peter Holland- C+, .5 PPG but this rook is going to have to keep it up to get a better grade from me.
Jerry D'Amigo- A, big fan. I hoped he would get a chance this year and now i hope he sticks.
Colton Orr- C, don't know how to grade him but i have respect for him.
Fraser McClaren- C, Ditto
Trevor Smith- C+, great addition. Good/cheap replacement if we let go of a bottom-6er this year
Troy Bodie- C+, same as Orr and MacLaren but he worked his way on the team even with them up here. Says a lot about his hustle. He's really been a good force some games.
Dave Bolland- A+, can't wait for him to get healthy. A+ because the team looked a lot better with him that without him
Dion Phaneuf- A+, nothing needs to be said from me about him.
Carl Gunnarson- B+, props for playing above his head. Gunn show has my utmost respect
Jake Gardiner- B+, quietly having a great season in my book. 21:30 TOI a night and hasn't been detrimental to the team defense that much from what i see.
Cody Franson- B+ Same as Gardiner but puts up more points and has been slightly worse defensively.
Morgan Rielly- A+, i remember when i said he was physically ready for the NHL and he's made me look very good. Needs to improve defensively but he seems to really be a shot in the arm for the team almost every night. Very exciting player.
Paul Ranger- D, I still believe but it's not looking good for Ranger. With Gleason coming in i suspect Ranger will be sent down very soon. Stats aren't terrible and i'm sure the rust isn't off yet but it seems like every night he's the guys at fault for a goal.
Mark Fraser- D, over achieved last year with the help of Franson. I didn't expect much from him this year and that's what he's doing.
Jonathan Bernier- A+, my pick for goalie of the future. His stick handling earns him the edge of Reimer
James Reimer- A, almost .5 more goals allowed per game than Bernier which should be awful but that's just how well both are playing right now. Scary to think the #'s these guys would have if they didn't have a terrible defensive team in front of them.
Overall team grade: C, underachieving in my book. This team should be in the playoffs and not fighting for the last spot.
Forgot my team grade. I'll shoot B-. I'd give a C if we weren't in one of the wildcard spots. But because of a crap load of suspensions and injuries to be in a playoff spot mid season warrants atleast a B- from me.