Ben Smith, and the Value of Penalty Kill Faceoffs

Ryan Hobart
November 12 2016 09:13AM

The Maple Leafs are currently faced with a problem we knew they would have from the start of the season: they just have too many forwards. If you had told me they'd claim two more on waivers to add to that mix, I would have said you were crazy, but here we are with Ben Smith and Seth Griffith added into the mix.

The Leafs chose to re-waive Seth Griffith, and I'm not going to get into why that itself was dumb. Instead, I want to focus on the addition of Ben Smith, and investigate what kind of effect he is having.

I have a two-part disclaimer for this post. First, if you don't like math at all, you probably won't enjoy this piece. Second, I am doing that thing where I already have a conclusion in my mind before I analyze the math, which is bad form, so I apologize for that.

Are you ready to dig into it?

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POSTGAME: Leafs get Corsi Clubbered | Leafs 0 - 7 Kings

Ryan Hobart
November 08 2016 08:07PM

The game between two of the league's strongest possession teams went down on this Tuesday night game. Surely this would be a litmus test on whether the Leafs' have been dominating possession by preying on weak opponents (Buffalo and Vancouver recently) or if the success has been genuine.

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POSTGAME: Leafs take it in overtime | Leafs 3 - 2 Oilers

Ryan Hobart
November 01 2016 08:23PM

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Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY SPORTS

The Oilers were visiting the Air Canada Center tonight for Connor McDavid's first game in his hometown of Toronto. 

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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.

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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.

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