*This article was originally published at thehockeywriters.com/mapleleafscentral
If the underlying statistics are any indication, the Toronto Maple Leafs may soon crash back down to Earth.
The Maple Leafs have had difficulties this season limiting their opponents’ shots against, ranking 28th in the National Hockey League in shots for percentage at even strength. Moreover, their Fenwick for percentage (the accumulation of saves, goals and missed shots) at even-strength ranks 29th.
The league standings of the 2011-12 season can attest to the importance of puck possession as the top ten teams generally had a strong FF%:
There really was not much to say after the Isles were blown out 6-1 last night by the Pittsburgh Penguins. But there is a glaring stat that can be taken away from this loss. Over the past two seasons, the Islanders have only won consecutive back-to-back games once (Photo Credit: theseoduke/Flickr).
There have been a total of 28 back-to-back games from the start of the 2011-2012 season to the last two games played this past Saturday and Sunday. Of those 28, the Islanders only pair of wins that came two days in a row included a 3-2 victory in Boston on March 3, 2012 and a 1-0 win at home versus New Jersey on March 4, 2012.
The Isles overall back-to-back record in the 2012 season was 8-10-2-2. Presently, they are 3-3-0-0 in back to back games. However, they have yet to win the second game of a back-to-back pairing this year and only accomplished that task five of 11 times last season.
That tweet is from the Toronto Star’s Kevin McGran on Mar. 8 after Ryan Getzlaf re-signed with the Anaheim Ducks on an eight-year contract extension. It’s also a representation of the misconception that Tyler Bozak is a capable first-line centre.
It should be noted from the outset that Bozak is not to blame. It’s not his fault he’s been miscast as a top line player, and one certainly can’t fault him for doing his best in a role beyond his capabilities. There are enough underlying statistics to prove that Bozak is probably better-suited on the third-line (which we’ll get to), but it e...
Now 5-9-0 in games against the current playoff set, acrimoniously booed off the Wells Fargo Center ice after a sadsack performance against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, the Philadelphia Flyers find themselves at a crux. Are they a playoff team?
Is this team, that needs to be bailed out by magical timeouts on a daily basis, that can only play 20 minutes on any given night, that cannot get the big save when they need it, a playoff team?
The decision remains optional, but recent history suggests that the use of visors on hockey helmets should be mandatory.
Simply put, the eyes are the most important part of a hockey player, and they must be protected.
Last night in a game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Rangers, a Kimmo Timonen slap shot deflected off of a Flyer stick and straight up into the face of Rangers defenseman Marc Staal. Staal was left in a pool of his own blood on the ice, holding his right eye.
Staal left the game immediately after being hit directly in the eye, and is out indefinitely. According to a tweet by Nick Kypreos, the injury is not believed to be career-threatening.
(Pictured: A trainer tends to Rangers defenseman Marc Staal after getting hit in the right eye by a puck Tuesday night. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
It took a dramatic finish, but the New York Islanders finally won a game on home ice during a Sunday matinee game, defeating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in the shootout.
The Islanders got on the board early in the game when Brad Boyes scored his fifth of the year, beating Robin Lehner glove side under the crossbar. The play started when Matt Moulson received a pass from Mark Streit at the Senators blue line and fed Boyes the puck as he was flying up the slot.
Not long after Boyes' goal, Matt Martin was found banging bodies all over the ice. In fact Martin had 6 hits in just over 3 minutes of play during the first period. Senators enforcer Chris Neil took exception to Martin's physical play and challenged him to a fight, but Martin ignored his request and continued to take out Senators along the wall.
He finished with 11 hits on the night. Coming into the game, Martin was just one shy of tying Buffalo Sabres forward Steve Ott for the league lead of 94 hits.
Kevin Maher of News12 sent out a few tweets today that quoted recently demoted Islanders goaltender, Rick DiPietro. The tweets immediately spread like wildfire over the Twitter-verse and have prompted a response from Isles GM Garth Snow (Photo Credit: xjowell/Flickr).
Maher's tweets read as follows:
@KMaherNews12 DiPietro told me Isles waiving him felt like, "they ripped my heart out, stabbed it, set it on fire and flushed it down the toilet."
DiPietro also apparently made another comment that without his wife's support over the years, that he would have "driven into a tree." Reports from Arthur Staple, Katie Strang, and TSN have added that DP elaborated on the subject and said that he has never actually contemplated suicide and does not look at the topic as a laughing matter.
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The New York Islanders announced today that they have placed goaltender Rick DiPietro on waivers to be sent down to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and has no intent of calling him back up to the NHL this season.
Islanders fans very well may be seeing the beginning to the end of the Rick DiPietro era.
This doesn't exactly come to many as a surprise since DiPietro has clearly not played up to the standards of an NHL caliber goaltender. Despite only performing in the back-up role, Rick has earned a 4.09 GAA and a .855 save percentage with an 0-3-0 record (Photo Credit: 5of7/Flickr).