Shakes McQueen's Comments

Posted Saturday February 22, 2014, About: Isles GM is fuming
The part Garth Snow leaves out, is that the players collectively bargain with the league (aka THE OWNERS) to get the right to go to the Olympics, and the league uses it as a bargaining chip, like anything else they want, to get concessions from the players.

I feel bad for Islanders fans, but that's about it.
Posted Friday May 17, 2013, About: Carlyle haunted by Game 7 regrets
Unsurprising. This is the same city that burned itself to the ground after they lost the Cup final.
Posted Friday May 17, 2013, About: Carlyle haunted by Game 7 regrets
I haven't watched a hockey game since the Leafs game 7 loss. I'm sure I'll come back eventually, but that loss was too much to take.

Most Leafs fans I suspect went into this series, and even game 7, saying that if we lose, it's not the end of the world - we made great strides towards regaining the respect the Maple Leafs had lost the past decade, and were just happy to be back in the post season. Unfortunately the way that game went, was pretty much the ONE scenario in which all of that positivity would melt away into abject depression.

All I can do is hope that, as a young team, this collapse taught them a serious less going forward. Never take your foot off a team's neck in game 7 -- even if you're up by three goals. You can't play prevent defense for and entire period and expect to win.

On the plus side? How about Kessel in that series? And Gardiner? And Reimer was an absolute showstopper in a couple of those games. We will be back next year.
Posted Monday December 17, 2012, About: Yankees interested in Angels' Vernon Wells
As a Blue Jays fan, I just want to say how great it is to be reading about the Yankees potentially trading for Vernon Wells. Absolutely hilarious.

The guy is freaking awful. He was before we even traded him to the Angels, and he has only gotten worse. I don't know what the Angels were thinking, taking him off our hands. If he wants to go and be terrible for a division rival - all the better for us.
Posted Monday December 17, 2012, About: Mets, Jays now discussing R.A. Dickey mega-deal
The ironing is delicious.

Anyway, I think this move should solidify the Jays as AL East favourites for at least 2013, so long as they don't suffer another injury plague like they had in 2012 (at one point they were playing 1/9th of their starting lineup, and 1/5th of their rotation).

I expect the AL East this season to likely be a battle between the Jays and Rays, with the Yankees a few games off the pace, and the Sox/Orioles bringing up the rear. The O's have done nothing to improve their team so far this off-season, and can't be expected to have such incredible luck in one-run games for two years running. And who knows what the deal with the Sox is.
Posted Sunday December 16, 2012, About: Mets, Jays in serious talks about R.A. Dickey deal
Your information is out of date - Drabek is shelved for TJ surgery for a while, and at this point is on the fringes of our rotation picture. He's been horribly inconsistent in his major league starts, and that was BEFORE the TJ surgery.

In all honesty, Hutchison has been more impressive than Drabek. Of course, he's laid up for TJ surgery as well, from our nightmare 2012 injury plague.

It's a good thing we've made these two deals to acquire pitching, because our rotation was kind of in tatters without them.
Posted Sunday December 16, 2012, About: Blue Jays boast loaded rotation with R.A. Dickey
I hope his 2012 season was just some sort of bizarre blip in his career, and not the norm going forward. Guy was freaking terrible. Went from being our Ace, to potentially fifth in our rotation in 2013, if the Dickey deal gets done.

And if he does drop that far in the rotation, how is he going to feel about it...
Posted Sunday December 16, 2012, About: Blue Jays boast loaded rotation with R.A. Dickey
As opposed to the 2 time World Champion Toronto Blue Jays? (And within the last 20 years, no less!)

As a Jays fan, I love an underdog (and hate the Yankees), but the Mets have just become kind of a joke. I think they need a change in ownership to rejuvenate them, much like the Dodgers did.
Posted Thursday February 16, 2012, About: Bruins stuck with middling roster?
What state is that? The Raptors are hopeless, but the Leafs seem to be finally picking up the pieces post-lockout. They aren't quite there yet, but a return to the playoffs is an important first step.

And the Jays are doing just fine. Rated as having one of the top 2-3 farm systems in the league, and starting to see dividends from that renewed commitment to scouting and drafting. And it seems like most baseball writers can't stop saying enough about how smart Alex Anthopoulos has been in remaking the team.

Neither team has returned to prominence yet, but the "state" of both seems to be relatively drama-free, and reasonably good right now. They aren't JFJ's Leafs, or Ricciardi's Blue Jays any more.
Posted Friday December 16, 2011, About: Report: Darvish's highest bidder revealed
You're right. We should just not even bother signing pitchers any more. Good grief man.
Posted Friday December 02, 2011, About: Hurricanes GM has a warning for Kaberle
Oh, and equally important, yet receiving no press in Toronto or elsewhere, is the re-emergence of Dion Phaneuf into some semblance of what he used to be in Calgary - on pace for 58 points, playing responsible defence, and currently a neutral +/- despite averaging over 25 minutes a game against top lines.

- Scott
Posted Friday December 02, 2011, About: Hurricanes GM has a warning for Kaberle
Is this what arguing on this website has been reduced to? Playing gotcha with pretty unremarkable plus/minus statistics from a single game?

Boston outplayed my team last night, though the actual game was far closer than the 6-3 score line would indicate. It was a very back and forth affair for over two periods. Boston have had the Leafs' number so far this season - it happens. Losing to the reigning Cup winners who are on a white hot streak is nothing to lose your mind over.

Kessel is playing like a different man so far this season - one who legitimately plays a two-way game, and his stats are reflecting that. Joffrey Lupul and Jake Gardiner are looking like the steals of the century, in that trade for Francois Beauchemin. Tim Connolly has been good, when he's actually healthy. The team is actually in the difficult position of having lots of youngsters deserving ice time, and not enough slots to go around. And we are remaining competitive in the playoff race, despite not having our starting goaltender for what? Over a month now?

Things are legitimately looking up for the Leafs right now. The shrewd Beauchemin and Kaberle trades have paid off in spades, the result of the Kessel trade is looking a lot better these days (though probably still a net loss for us in the long run), and we are actually fun to watch this season.

Boston are a great team. The Leafs aren't too shabby right now either.

- Scott
Posted Saturday April 02, 2011, About: Leafs now have Miller's number
Ahh, the familiar anti-Leafs tropes.

Leafs have played exceedingly well since January, mostly due to the emergence of James Reimer. And most importantly, they've played well with the pressure on - they've been in a dogfight for the 8th seed for about two months now, and have come up aces most nights. It hasn't been the familiar trend where they play well after they've essentially been mathematically eliminated from contention.

And this is despite trading two of their defencemen with big minutes.

Frankly, I've been impressed with their ability to finally start consistently taking it to teams who have had their number in a big way the past few years, such as the Sabres and Bruins.

The big question is whether they can carry this over into next season, which hinges mostly on whether Reimer is the next Tim Thomas, or the next Jim Carey.

- Scott
Posted Thursday March 17, 2011, About: Burke gives a few colleagues an earful
Do I need to point out how this has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion, or what Burke said?

- Scott
Posted Wednesday March 16, 2011, About: Burke gives a few colleagues an earful
Yeah, being a Leafs fan inevitably puts me at odds with most other hockey fans a lot of the time, haha.

But really, I can't believe anyone would really defend Lemieux or Molson here. Where was Mario's indignance at the state of the game, when Cooke drove his elbow into Savard's head? Strangely, I don't remember hearing a peep from him.

Where were the Molsons, and Air Canada, and VIA Rail, during all of the injury-causing hits right up to the one that injured a player on the team they own/directly sponsor?

- Scott
Posted Wednesday March 16, 2011, About: Burke gives a few colleagues an earful
His opinion was actually that he didn't agree with the owners going to the press first, instead of letting the BoG deal with it

I will put up the disclaimer that I am a Leafs fan, but I mostly agreed with Burke's view.

Molson and Lemieux conveniently only began to care about these issues after it directly affected their teams. If Lemieux was really concerned with cheap headshots in the game, he certainly wouldn't be doling out a paycheck to Matt Cooke - possibly the most reviled player in the game right now.

Montreal loses a player to a reasonably clean hit that was unfortunately into the stanchion, and suddenly the Canadiens owners, and their sponsors, are writing open letters about the "violence" of the game. It's all just naked self-interest.

- Scott
Posted Wednesday December 22, 2010, About: Can Gustavsson handle No. 1 status?
I think Gustavsson is good enough to be an NHL #1. The problem is that he hasn't been give the chance to prove it yet. Gustavsson had a hot hand a couple of weeks ago while Giguere was out of the lineup, and when Jiggy came back, they immediately put him back in the starter's role.

The point of this season should be to slowly transition Gustavsson to the starter role, as Jiggy's contract is up after this season. But instead of doing that, Ron Wilson has simply been rotating them, and giving Giguere the lions share of the starts. I don't get the point of that.

On the plus side, even if Gustavsson doesn't pan out, the Leafs actually do have a pretty deep bench of goaltending prospects - Reimer (who looked the best during camp), Rynnas, and Scrivens all look like they've got good stuff.

It's the lack of flow in the offensive player pipeline that worries me. Aside from Kadri and arguably D'Amigo, there isn't much there that's projected to be top six material.

- Scott
Posted Wednesday December 22, 2010, About: Play halted in Toronto by hail of waffles
The oft-repeated trope that the Leafs haven't been any good since 1967 needs to end. They haven't won a Cup since 1967 - that doesn't mean there hasn't been some pretty good teams in the intervening years.

Particularly in the 90's, and even the early 00's, there were some good Leafs teams that went as far as the conference final.

If Cups are the only thing that defines a team as good or "relevant", then the Vancouver Canucks (for example) have been irrelevant for their entire existence. Of course, that isn't true at all, and the Canucks have been a really good team for a while now.

- Scott
Posted Wednesday December 22, 2010, About: Play halted in Toronto by hail of waffles
Colby Armstrong did get somewhat overpaid, though that's the nature of the free agent market every year. Guys get overpaid.

Phaneuf's big money contract wasn't negotiated by the Leafs, and they gave up relative peanuts to get him.

Giguere's contract also wasn't negotiated by the Leafs, and this is his last year of the deal - not next year. He's off the books at the conclusion of this season, and we recoup his cap hit. Plus the deal to get him was more than equitable, when you consider we traded Jason Blake and his horrible contract to Anaheim in the deal.

Jeff Finger's deal is a joke, but he is now buried in the minors, with little to no chance of being called back up (the Leafs wouldn't dare risk someone taking him on re-entry waivers). And his ludicrous contract offer was made by Cliff Fletcher, not Burke.

Leaving us with the $1m we are paying for Darcy Tucker's contract buyout. Not a great, thing, but not really a huge deal.

Burke has made some poor-value signings, I have to agree. Beauchemin and Komisarek look to be really expensive busts so far, though they were considered to be reasonably good signings at the time, at only a slightly above-expected price.

I think BB's real error has been not understanding that in the cap era, you have to get good value out of your signings. The Leafs don't have any major salary albatrosses, aside from arguably Phaneuf, but they also only have a player or two delivering dividends above their pay-grade. That is untenable for a team that wants to compete.

Even a guy like Schenn, who is having a much improved year, counts for $3.75m against the cap this season, because of performance incentives and bonuses he earned last season.

No Brian Burke signings have met or exceeded expectations, with the exception of maybe Gustavsson (whose stats have been torpedoed by poor play in front of him).

- Scott
Posted Saturday October 09, 2010, About: Giguere makes case as franchise goalie
"Biased Toronto T&R"? Giguere played a good game, and the Toronto media said as much. The "on pace to win 82 games" thing is pretty clearly tongue in cheek. Get a grip.

- Scott
Posted Thursday August 12, 2010, About: Komisarek on the mend and happy to be pre-camping
I agree. A lot of Leafs fans got on Komi's case quickly because he was such a bumbling mess at the beginning of the season, but I felt he was starting to calm down and get his head right, around the time he elected to shut down for the season.

He openly admits that he felt a lot of pressure in being one of the new, expensive team acquisitions, and tried to do too much in proving himself. Seems to be a lot more happy and stress free now though, and with the limelight focused on Armstrong and Versteeg now (at least so far), hopefully he can get back to being a good player.

I expect the Leafs' defense to be vastly improved this season. The question will be whether that's enough to get us into the post-season, because I'm still not convinced our offense is good enough.

- Scott

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