*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%:
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...
Any Islanders fan that has been at the Coliseum in the past couple of years will be able to support everything I am about to say.
It takes more than a house to make a home and the 2013 NHL season on Long Island continues to prove that.
Somehow, someway fans of every other team get their hands on boat loads of tickets creating an environment that wipes out home ice advantage.
This epidemic has been obvious in almost every home game this year. Every team from near and far, will fill the Nassau Coliseum with their loyalties and jerseys. The Devils, Flyers, Bruins and Leafs have all taken over the Coliseum recently.
How embarrassing was it for fans to watch hats rain from the ceiling when Toronto's Kadri netted his third goal to complete a hat trick on Thursday?
Cody Franson is finally being recognized as a capable offensive defenseman for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
But how high is the 25-year-old’s ceiling and how can Randy Carlyle utilize him? Let’s take a closer look at the underlying statistics.
Franson currently averages 12:49 even-strength ice-time per game with 2:50 on the PP (and 27 seconds on the penalty kill). He’s logged a total of 196:49 minutes of ES ice-time, and has produced an impressive 8 points 5-on-5 (1 goal, 7 assists—4 were primary assists). That’s a lot of points for the ice-time he receives. In fact, his points/60 rate is 2.44, which ranks him first among NHL defensemen. To put that i...
If James van Riemsdyk’s current projections are any indication, Brian Burke’s swan song may be a coup for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The 23-year-old has eight goals and 10 points in 13 games thus far and has provided a net-front presence that’s been lacking on the Leafs for a while. Consider that the average distance of JVR’s goals is 14.9-feet (three came from rebounds in front of the net). If you’re curious, here are the distances of each goal he’s scored so far this season:
With seven games in the books, Islander fans are left feeling oddly confident and pleasantly surprised with the team's success to begin their season. With a tough road trip that traveled through the cities of Toronto, Boston, Winnipeg, Pittsburgh and New Jersey, the Islanders return home accomplishing what they had intended to do.
One of the most refreshing commentary about this team is that they are in every game. Yes, it is still early but they have not looked over matched and they had opportunities to win every game they've played in this year.
Nazem Kadri has finally made his mark on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
With Randy Carlyle proclaiming he is “trying to get Kadri more ice-time,” it could be a matter of time before Tyler Bozak is slotted as the third-line centre with Kadri in-between Joffrey Lupul and Phil Kessel.
But let’s make one thing clear: Kadri is likely not a first-line centre. Is the potential there? Sure, but he’s probably more effective on the second-line. But alas, the Leafs have an abundance of holes to address, and a top line centre is one of them.
Unfortunately for general manager Dave Nonis, it’s not as simple going out into the trade market and grabb...