None of us have been very big on Colton Orr, often referred as HodORR, or Fraser McLaren (now known as FML). There's also been a lot of discussion of fights, or 'the code' is actually a deterrent or not. With some valid points on the topic being raised.
Neither player of these players are really doing much for the Leafs this season.
According to: http://www.hockeyfights.com/players/1236/fightcard/reg2014 FML is 3-4 this season when he's fighting. His shotgun assailant, Colton Orr is 1-4-1 in fights this season according to the same site.
Yuck. For fighters, those are awful numbers. Obviously what happened to Parros earlier this year has been a moment of reflection on fighting for Carlyle. Yes, I also understand their minutes are limited to 2.30 a night.
The only Leaf who actually has a successful fight record in this area is Mark Fraser. He's got a 3-1 record. Unfortunately, Mark Fraser doesn't win at much of anything else...
To protect the innocent, we won't talk about PDO numbers for these players, but we all know they're awful.
The Leafs definitely need scoring from other lines if they wish to continue to rise in the standings.
So what are the options? To me, they're obvious:
-Keep Carter Ashton on the team. He's ready for regulation NHL play. He's not a slouch. Great along the boards, has shown he does have some skill and some moves. He does occasionally fight, but that not really his M.O., and shouldn't be. But, he can definitely play. He's buried in the roster, though unfortunately.
-Keep Troy Bodie on the roster. Also hasn't been much of a liability this year. Not a heavy-weight, but will fight. But he can definitely play.
-Play Jerry D'Amigo. D'Amigo a former RPI player isn't dumb. In fact, he's been good for most of the time we've seen him play. He really excels at drawing penalties. He's also quite decent on the PK. He has good speed. I have no idea why Carlyle sent him down, other than maybe to save his contract.
I understand the Leafs have to keep McClement in the lineup. But he's not a 12 or 16 minute player, clearly.
So, roll a 4th line of Bodie/Ashton, McClement, D'Amigo/Bodie. Play to your team's 'skill' strengths. Make them play more than 2 minutes a game. Don't keep wearing out the 1st and 2nd lines. The Olympics will further strain Kessel and JVR, and probably Nik Kulemin.
I also don't have any problem with Peter Holland, who's been just fine when given minutes. Of course, the picture becomes more muddy once Dave Bolland and David Clarkson return to the lineup. But I guess the Leafs are playing shinny with his conditional 2nd round pick in limiting his minutes and play as well.
The conspiracy theorist in me thinks Kulemin won't remain a Leaf because of the emergence of these players, and future cap issues. For clarification, I don't have a problem with Kulemin at all. I'd like to see more of him. But my belief is he'll be a victim of trade bait later this year. Resigning him in the off-season is going to be a Kabuki dance without question, even with the cap inflating. But that's a discussion for another time.
I suspect though, Carlyle wil continue doing what he does best, which is: mORR with less.