February 20 2017 03:32PM
Photo Credit: Christian Bonin/TSGPhoto.com
Some days, a team will find a way to win a hockey game that they clearly deserved, yet you'll be unsure if any of the goals that they actually scored should've really happened.
Today, that was the Toronto Marlies. They burst out of the gate, poured on the offence and somehow managed to look borderline undeserving for their entire first wave of tallies, but picked up a well-deserved on the whole 4-2 victory over the Binghamton Senators.
February 20 2017 02:27PM
Auston Matthews scores his best goal yet, Connor Brown bags a pair, and Curtis McElhinney gets the shutout. Are you in?
February 20 2017 02:03PM
Photo Credit: Brad Penner/USA TODAY SPORTS
Just over a month ago, on January 17th, the Leafs looked to be in a strong position in the standings. They had just won four out of five games and were 7th in the Eastern Conference, one point back of sixth with four games in hand. The standings were tight, with four teams beneath the Leafs within one game of them, but based on the way the Leafs had been playing and the fact that they'd played fewer games than most of the conference, it seemed like the Leafs would be able to build on their recent success.
Instead, in the sixteen games since, Toronto has gone 6-7-3. The Leafs briefly fell to ninth in the conference after Saturday's loss to the Senators but have climbed back into a playoff spot after last night's win against the Hurricanes. However, with the surging Florida Panthers, suddenly hot New York Islanders, and climbing Buffalo Sabres all right in the mix behind them, the Leafs' recent struggles have understandably led to concerns among a fan base that was riding high only a month ago, as their strong position has slowly deteriorated. But how much concern should there really be? Is Toronto's play slipping, or is there something else that explains recent results. I decided to dig into the numbers a bit to find out.
February 20 2017 01:19PM
Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY SPORTS
Getting recognized for your hard work is a nice feeling. In a year where Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews and William Nylander have been getting all kinds of recognition, Nazem Kadri has been forgotten.
This is despite the center being well on his way to getting career highs in multiple categories. His offensive and defensive talent should be recognized with some of the best in the league.
For now, he will have to deal with being second star of the week in the NHL. His six points in four games are a fantastic mark. It looked like it was his turn to impress the rest of the hockey world.
February 20 2017 12:34PM
Photo Credit: Charles Leclaire/USA TODAY SPORTS
Pondering whether or not Mike Richards makes sense for the Leafs almost seems like an annual event, but I have no problem with bringing it up yet again.
With the trade deadline just over a week away, understandably there hasn't much talk about Toronto doing anything substantial. But when it comes to the bottom of the lineup, plenty of debate has come up over the fourth line in particular, and more specifically the play of Ben Smith.
As recently as this morning, Chris Johnston of Sportsnet talked about how Brian Boyle could be a target as a substantial upgrade in this regard, something we've covered here as well. But maybe there's a cheaper, easier route to go for the Leafs, a team that's likely cautious of its relatively early success and not keen to sell off any futures at this point.