William Nylander named rookie of the month for October

Ryan Hobart
November 01 2016 02:30PM

Today, Leaf rookie William Nylander was named Rookie of the Month by the NHL. He posted 11 points in just 9 games so far, and has looked stellar doing it. 

The announcement on theScore.

Read Article | Comments

Leafs Pre-Game report: October 25th, 2016 - Lightning @ Leafs

Ryan Hobart
October 25 2016 04:57PM

LIGHTNING (4-1-0) vs. MAPLE LEAFS (1-1-3)

7:30 PM ET - SN1, TVAS, SUN, NHL.TV

The Toronto Maple Leafs are hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at the Air Canada Centre. Puck drops at 7:30 for an exciting battle between a potential division winner, and a Leafs team on the rise.

Many questions surround the Leafs heading into this game, including the overuse of veteran defensemen, the shaky goaltender play (Leafs have the 6th worst 5v5 team sv%), and the potential unsustainability of their offense (Leafs have the 5th highest 5v5 team shooting%). The Leafs come into this game after yet another blown lead to the Chicago Blackhaws. The Lightning, on the other hand, beat the Ottawa Senators 4-1 after suffering their first loss of the season to the Colorado Avalanche.

Read Article | Comments

POSTGAME: Preseason domination for the Maple Leafs over the Sabres | 8-1 Leafs

Ryan Hobart
September 30 2016 07:40PM

USATSI_9578118
Photo Credit: Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY SPORTS

Following up a disappointing shootout loss in St. Catharines, the Leafs went into Buffalo tonight and ran up the score against a similarly built Sabres team. There's many indications that the Sabres and Leafs' common development paths will lead them to be strong rivals, but tonight's game left no real indication of that.

Originally, this was to be Auston Matthews' Leafs debut, but unfortunately that was pushed back. Instead, the Leafs ran with a group featuring William Nylander and Mitch Marner, along with a steady mix of veterans and prospects.

Read Article | Comments

#RITHAC: Gold Drafting and the Maple Leafs

Ryan Hobart
September 18 2016 08:38AM

Recently, an hockey analytics conference was held at Rochester Institute of Technology (known as RITHAC). There were multiple very interesting presentations by smart and interesting people among the analytics community, nice enough to share their smart-ness with the rest of us SMRT people.

I want to focus today on the presentation made by Micah Black McCurdy on Gold Drafting, an oft-debated model for how to determine draft order. Specifically, I want to look at how it would have affected the Leafs' past drafts.

You can view the presentation slides here, but to summarize: the idea is that draft order is determined by the number of points a team earns after they've been eliminated from the playoffs. This, in theory, removes the incentive to build an intentionally bad team, as that team will get eclipsed in "gold points" by teams that are bad by circumstance and are still trying. Some may remember it was a theory proposed by Shane Doan earlier in the 2015-16 season, but the idea had been floated around hockey communities certainly before that.

Read Article | Comments

The breakdown of Nylander > Marner

Ryan Hobart
September 04 2016 07:55AM

Recently, we finalized the rankings for our site's Top 20 Leafs Prospects. Review them from the top down here, starting with Auston Matthews. As you'll note, we had Mitch Marner at #2 and William Nylander at #3. I, however, did not.

My personal rankings had Nylander at 2 and Marner at 3 and I'd like to get into details as to why that is. I teased this analysis in my Nylander post so I apologize for taking this long to get it out here. I want to make absolutely sure that I'm aware the difference is very small. They're basically on the same pyramid tier. But I had to put one at 2 and this is why I made that Nylander.

Read Article | 44 Comments