Toronto Maple Leafs

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Isles Are Stranded Without A Home

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?

Franson Deserves Promotion

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...

JVR benefits from net presence

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:


1 – 33-feet

2 – 9.5-feet

3 – 6.5-feet

4 – 19.4-feet

5 – 10-feet

6 – 9.5-feet

7 &ndas...

Phaneuf's slump won't last

 

Dion Phaneuf is off to a slow start, registering a single assist in his first eight games, but there are several factors to consider when evaluating the captain’s game.

One of the most noticeable differences this season is Phaneuf’s ice-time—25:17 TOI/G last season to 27:53—, which may be excessive, but it is by no means the reason for his early season struggles. ...

License to Kill: New York Islanders

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.

Stay afloat.

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.

Kadri deserves shot on top line

 

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...

Will the Flames buy out Matt Stajan?

With the NHL and PA agreeing to accelerate the compliance buy out rule allowing each team to buy out one player before Saturday, are Matt Stajan's days in Calgary over?

I think it's a no brainer, but then again I've been wrong before.

Leafs Require Clear Direction

With news of Brian Burke’s dismissal fully digested, the watchful gaze of the hockey world turn on newly-appointed general manager Dave Nonis and the direction of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Since his hiring in 2008, Burke had opted for a fast-track rebuild in an attempt to stockpile prospects and draft picks while competing for the playoffs every season. Evidently, his plan was foiled by missing the post-season four years in a row, and the Leafs don’t have an elite batch of prospects to show for it.

I’d be amiss, however, not to acknowledge the decent core and (to a lesser extent) prospect pool Burke has managed to assemble.

Nazem Kadri, Morgan Rielly and...