AGENT ZERO wrote:How long do you guys think it takes Babcock to move Kadri onto the second unit pp? You just know he hates the idea of his top 3 centres playing on one pp and will make a change the moment they go cold.
I don't think he does this. Kadri leads the entire league in PP goals/60 over the last two seasons, and is perfect where he is currently slotted in that unit.
IMO that unit will prove to be very lethal very quickly and Babs won't mess with it.
This excerpt from Justin Bourne of The Athletic sums up my thoughts on this:
This topic has already been beaten to death, but let me throw my hat in the ring: I think Babcock made some promises to Auston Matthews this summer during their meeting in Arizona about powerplay time, because it is a little strange that you’d have one of the game’s best goal scorers eating up the tail-end seconds of your powerplays. You could see how Matthews would be annoyed by that, even with the other unit having success.
I think they probably made some promises to John Tavares as part of the pitch to get him to Toronto.
Nazem Kadri’s been their leading PP goal scorer. Mitch Marner’s not going anywhere, he’s a wizard in that flank spot.
All of this is to say that the Leafs kind of painted themselves in a corner, and they have to at least try this unit, even if the staff doesn’t love it. I just think it’s going to create too many headaches. First off, one of those C’s is almost certainly going to have just played the shift before the powerplay starts, meaning one guy is gassed before the puck drops. Then we know the issue after the powerplay, when you’re going to be throwing out your fourth line against (likely) the other team’s best players, unless you want to throw one of those three C’s back on the ice after about 30 seconds rest. In sum, I don’t think Babs is going to enjoy it – his lines will be jumbled for minutes of game play after every powerplay.
I’ll be looking for a window where they don’t score for about three games, and Mike uses that as the catalyst to “try something different.” You can hear him now: “Well, everyone told me how great they were gonna be, but if you don’t score, you don’t get to just keep going over the boards. We’re gonna try something different and see if we can’t score a couple.”