My Beef with Paul Maurice

I have one major complaint with what I have seen from coach Paul Maurice this year. I don’t understand why he has Wellwood playing on Sundin’s wing. I really like Wellwood and he has oodles of skill but he is a puck posession and puck distribution guy much like Sundin. Both Sundin and Wellwood are guy you want to lead the rush. They aren’t a great fit for each other except on the PP. This leads into your Tucker comment. Tucker is a potential 30 goal scorer but he isn’t going to score 30 goals playing with Mike Peca and Chad Kilger. He needs to be put on a line with a playmaker like Sundin or Wellwood. You can make the same arguement for Steen who got stuck with Pohl and god knows who. If I were making the lines I would have Sundin as your #1 center with one of Tucker or Steen on one wing and have Wellwood as your second line center with the other of Tucker or Steen on the other wing. Then I have Peca as your shutdown center on the 3rd line. In my mind that would be a much better distribution of the limited offensive abilities the Leafs have as I think both Wellwood and Sundin have the ability to make the players around them better. It just makes sense to have them on different lines.

This article has 16 Comments

  1. I was watching part of last night’s game between Ottawa and Toronto. True, Paul Maurice, as Toronto’s new coach, is trying some things to get a good lineup. But apart from his efforts, the whole team wasn’t that strong offensively against Ottawa. They only scored one goal, on a Penalty Shot by Mats Sundin. Personally, I don’t think they should’ve called that a Penalty Shot; I felt that he got the puck off his stick just shortly before he got tripped up. I think that Toronto is one of those teams that’s trying to rebuild their franchise for the future.

    Also, David, are you still going to post your game predictions on this website?

  2. I hope to at some point but since my predictions are based on past results I won’t be posting them for at least a few weeks until we get some past results to work with. I also hope to get some time to try to improve it but it appears my time may be short as I am also trying to get my player ranking system developed and out.

  3. I forgot that your algorithm needs previous results to better predict the outcome of games. It has been so long, or so it seems. Just take your time. But I’ll still give my game predictions, which I’ll keep track of for the course of the entire year.

    Tampa Bay @ Atlanta — Atlanta
    Toronto @ Ottawa — Ottawa
    Washington @ NY Rangers — NY Rangers
    Philadelphia @ Pittsburgh — Philadelphia
    Vancouver @ Detroit — Vancouver
    Chicago @ Nashville — Nashville
    Colorado @ Minnesota — Minnesota
    Calgary @ Edmonton — Edmonton
    NY Islanders @ Phoenix — Phoenix
    St. Louis @ San Jose — San Jose

    San Jose, Nashville, and Philadelphia were the easiest for me to predict. I chose Vancouver because of a gut feeling. I think that if Luongo starts, Naslund and the Sedin’s can provide the offense Vancouver needs to win an important game against Detroit. The other games I think can go either way, so I’m hoping for at least 6-8 out of the 10 games on the slate tonight.

    Also, last night I predicted Carolina to beat Buffalo (didn’t happen), and Dallas to beat Colorado, as well as Ottawa to beat Toronto, both of which did happen. That makes me 2 for 3 so far through the 1st day of the season. Last year was unusual because I started on December 15. This year, it will be better because I’m starting from the very beginning of the season.

  4. hmm interesting comments. I have to disagree with you on this one David. I love Wellwood on Sundins line. Wellwood is one of the most gifted puck handlers thats ive seen in recent seasons. This kid has great hands and great eyes on the ice…he finds guys open when no one else see’s it. I think Sundin will score a lot of goals and Wellwood will rack up a ton of assists. Very smart line move by Maurice in my opinion.

    By the way: Im sitting writting this watching the Leaf game at Ottawa. It’s 5-0 Leafs midway thru the 3rd period……

    Sundin 1 goal, 1 assist so far
    Wellwood 3 assists so far
    Tucker 2 goals so far
    Kilger 2 goals so far
    Ponikarovski 1 goal so far

    Leafs have so far 2 5-5 goals, 2 power play goals and 1 short handed goal….all vs Ottawa, a supposed “power house” in the NHL.

    This is a sign of things to come from the Leafs… everyone who posts on this awesome site who bashes the Leafs and say they won’t do jack this season, you will all be eating your words!

    GO LEAFS GO!!!!

  5. wow…another assist for Wellwood…4 assists tonight. This kid is great! How can this kid not produce an insane amount of goals for Sundin?

  6. wow 6-0 final Leafs over the Sens in Ottawa. Raycroft was solid! I hope this silences critics. Yes, its only one game but if Toronto can dismantle Ottawa like this..wait to you see how they play weaker teams. Maurice is a genius!!!! Im pumped!

  7. “… everyone who posts on this awesome site who bashes the Leafs and say they won’t do jack this season, you will all be eating your words!”

    Probably has less to do with the Leafs, who are just a hockey team trying their best to win like every other team, and more to do with their fans, who post on hockey blogs every twenty minutes.

    Ah, I’m just kidding. Yeah, Toronto looked good tonight. I only caught snippets of the game because I’m out in Vancouver right now where CBC showed Vancouver-Detroit, but Gerber absolutely shat the bed and Ottawa looked completely out of synch. I think it’s great that there will be closer competition between those two teams – watching a washout by either team isn’t fun for anybody. Last season, during every one of those routs, I seem to remember friends and I in Ottawa leaving the bar by the second period because the third was a foregone conclusion. Better competition is good for everybody. Especially the bar owners in both cities.

    Good win tonight! Try not to let it go to your head. Toronto still has more critics than believers, and have a long way to go to prove to people that they can make the playoffs.

  8. Yes I agree with Mr. Hockey ! I think it’s a good conbination Wellwood on the side of Sundin and let’s not forget that Maurice said it in the begining that he will most likely try out a few different lines to see which one works the best ! The way he’s doing it is awesome he will probably playing a line for a few games and then making a change so he doesn’t have to judge over one game performance ! By the way Mr’ Hockey on the game you are talking about Sundin had no goal, “only” 2 assist ! And to David : Tucker do not play on the line with Peca or atleast not yet

  9. Andrew ya I know Sundin didnt have a goal last night, but thats alright. Im pumped for the Leafs this season i think they will do really well but even Sundin can’t score every single night (even tho we’d all like him to). My point is just that Wellwood with his work ethic, hands and eyes on the ice makes other players better around him. He’s only in his second year, great things to come from this kid. Very glad I took him in the CBC hockey pool. By the way, everywhere Wellwood has played in his career leading up to the NHL, the 2nd season in each level has always been his best by far…coinscience or more of the same to come this season????

  10. I’m a little bit surprised that Toronto was able to defeat Ottawa 6-0 on the road last night. They are gonna be a surprising team, but I still think they’re gonna miss out on the postseason.

  11. Quick Question: If a player shoots from the point and another player deflects it which player gets the shot on goal with the stats????

  12. The player who tipped the puck, assuming that player is on the same team as the guy shotting it from the point.

  13. Since I’m the only one on the West Coast who comes on this website regularly, and I’m the only Kings fan who comes on here, I was just wondering something. I watched the Kings first two games in Anaheim and against St. Louis. During those games, there’s been one player who’s really caught my eye. That guy is Slovenian rookie Anze Kopitar. In the game on Friday against Anaheim, he scored two goals. I attended the game last night, their home opener against St. Louis. Kopitar had three assists in last night’s game, giving him 5 points in his first two NHL games. He has really impressed me in those first two games. I was just wondering if you heard anything about him, and what do you think about his play in the first two games of his career?

  14. as a hab fan i originally wanted the habs to pick thsi kid. hes big, and super skilled and we needed a big center. it sucks cuz he is alreayd producing and we need a second line center. but i think i am happy with price in nets. hes gonna be a real keeper. and id much rather have a superstar in nets than at center. goalie is always mroe important.

    but back to kopitar, i love this kid. i always wanted him. and i was gonna pick him in my pool this year but i didnt do as much reading about the kings leading up to my pools. usually if i really want someone i would read up everything to see how the kid is progressing, how the preseason is, managements thoughts on his play, and his season role projection. had i known kopitar would have started off in a kings scoring line i owuld have DEFINATELY taken him. i know hes an offensive dynamo and the steal of the draft cuz he fell so low to the kings.

  15. Kopitar finished 7th on the Swedish Eliteserien club Sodertalje SK in scoring last season as an 18 year old with 8 goals and 12 assists in 47 games against men.

    The previous year (2004-05) he finished with 29 goals and 22 assists for 51 points in 32 games in the J20 league, which is a level below the Eliteserien. That tied him for the league lead, though he played 7 fewer games than the player he tied with.

    Basically he’s been compared to a young Jaromir Jagr due to his vision, positional play, and touch around the net. He needs to develop his strength on the puck, and work on the quickness of his first step but he should be a solid producer in the NHL for many years to come. Look forward to it, he might turn out to be as dominant as Malkin, Crosby, or Ovechkin.

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