The Extra 2% Continued: A Response to A Response

Dom Luszczyszyn
November 26 2016 01:47PM

Earlier this week I wrote a piece about improvements that can be made at the margins of a hockey team. The basic premise was that fourth lines and third pairs move the needle much more than most think and based on my model, a switch from Ben Smith, Roman Polak, and Matt Hunwick to Peter Holland, Martin Marincin, and Frank Corrado is the difference between 89 and 93 points, at least by my model.

Today, David Johnson aka @hockeyanalysis on Twitter offered a different perspective to the piece, citing the Leafs defensive issues as the team's biggest problem and showing that removing the three players I pointed out as issues would be a further detriment to the team's defensive woes. That is 100 percent an argument I can get behind, after all, the role of those three is to play defence so they should be better at it.

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Fourth Lines, Third Pairs and The Extra 2%

Dom Luszczyszyn
November 24 2016 01:14PM

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Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY SPORTS

Back in the summer of 2013, before hockey analytics really became a part of the mainstream lexicon, there was an article posted on Yahoo on Kyle Dubas. I'll never forget the lead to that article:

"One of the first things Kyle Dubas did when he became the general manager of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds was buy everybody in the office a copy of Jonah Keri's The Extra 2%, a book that chronicles the overhaul by two Wall Street analysts of the Tampa Bay Rays, turning them from a laughingstock of baseball to a perennial contender in the American League East Division."

As it turns out, the guy who wrote the piece on the "not-so-secret" use of analytics by the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds was a former TLN Managing Editor, a guy who's now employed by the Leafs: Cam Charron. Funny how that ends up working out.

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Leafs Postgame: Hurricanes Blow Leafs Away

Dom Luszczyszyn
November 22 2016 08:16PM

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Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY SPORTS

The Leafs fell 2-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes tonight and if that surprised you, I'm not sure what to tell you. Midweek game? Check. Sunbelt team? Check. Former Leaf scores winner? Check. This game was as traditional as you'll see this year from the Leafs. Let's recap what happened and where it all went wrong.

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LGD: Return Of A Leafs Legend

Dom Luszczyszyn
November 17 2016 09:30AM

The Leafs welcome back a storied member of their past tonight at the Air Canada Centre, as Seth Griffith returns for his first game against his former team. There will be many spirited battles as life-long friends become on-ice foes, and it should be a hard fought affair. As is tradition among all former marginal Leafs, Griffith will score at least one goal tonight – perhaps more – but whether it'll be enough to beat Toronto is something we'll have to wait and see.

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How Good Are The Leafs: October Edition

Dom Luszczyszyn
November 10 2016 08:10AM

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Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY SPORTS

One of the biggest topics of discussion among Leafs fans after the first month of the season is centred around just how good this team is.

There's many out there who remember last year's futility and think this year will be more of the same, especially with that defence. It'll be a while before they compete.

There are others who think this team can be competitive this season but ultimately don't have the talent or depth to make it to the post-season. Maybe next year, but it could be close.

Then there are the optimists that are hell bent on the fact that #TheLeafsAreActuallyGood and the pain is over. Playoffs could come as soon as this season.

How good are they really?

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