January 06 2015 02:06PM
Carlyle's tactics have long been a sticking point for many fans causing a pretty big divide between the compete and calculus crowd, but as the losses piled up the divide became noticeably smaller as even those that shouted "He won a Cup!" from the rooftops couldn't deny that the process just wasn't working.
Yes, this team is still on pace for 95 points, but they certainly aren't playing like one that belongs in the playoffs and their most recent losing skid has only amplified the problems that beget this team. Night after night the Leafs get dominated by literally any team, and night after night there's no explanation.
Mind boggling, right?
December 17 2014 12:30PM
It's the same story, different year it seems. Night after night, the Leafs get out-shot, out-played, out-possessed, but almost never outscored. The Leafs are currently on a 10-1-1 streak right now playing some very good teams in the process and beating them handily to boot. But they haven't played all that great, they've just been scoring by the boatloads while the goaltenders bail them out.
The truth is, this happens to every team, even bad ones. Buffalo was on a 10-3-0 tear before last night and for a while Calgary seemed destined for the playoffs with an Avalanche-like season. But the smoke and mirrors of PDO-fueled play almost never lasts, and surely any Leafs fan (painfully) knows that by now.
At the same time, it's obviously a bit curious that this sort of thing happens to the Leafs every single year, like clockwork. The rule of thumb is that all teams' PDO will regress towards 100, but there always exceptions to the rule.
December 16 2014 03:35PM
It's the marquee Tuesday match-up that everyone's been waiting patiently for as the Leafs take on their longtime rivals: the Anaheim "no longer mighty" Ducks. The stakes are high tonight as the winner gets to keep their magic beans capable of powering their sky-high PDO's, while the loser's will get nothing except the mumps.
The last time these two played was back on March 10, a game the Leafs won 3-1 to push their record to 35-23-8. A playoff berth was all but certain afterwards I'm assuming (I have a regressive memory disorder that completely blacked out anything that happened from March 16 to April 13, so I'm actually not sure, but I mean 78 points in 66 games? Even the Leafs couldn't blow that, right?)
November 27 2014 04:15PM
Playoffs? This team?
Yes, this team. They’re in the position right now and some people don’t seem to believe it or even understand how. The Leafs are not as bad as most people make them out to be after every loss and is better than last year’s version.
In the summer I developed a pretty simple algorithm for playoff success that combines possession, special teams and goals (methodology here) which I talked about in a post that looked at why the Leafs are nowhere close to contending for the Cup.
Basically, they’ve been really bad in the past, but we already knew that right? This year is their best mark ever, and there’s reason to believe they can continue at that level of play.
November 26 2014 11:52AM
The Leafs play the Penguins tonight (pictured above) and I spent an alarming amount of time looking for the right penguin photo to start this off. What can I say, penguins are cute as hell and you can get lost in the internet easily if you're looking at penguins, which is actually an analogy for tonight's game.
The Penguins are, in my opinion at least, the best team in the league, and if the Leafs get caught watching them (like they tend to do with good teams) they'll look lost on the ice. Playing Pittsburgh at home is going to be a challenge for the high-flying Leafs who have won two straight. It's also the annual father's trip, so congrats to them for getting a free trip to Pittsburgh on a Wednesday. I bet they're stoked. Hopefully the dads don't go home disappointed.