Leafs Random Thoughts

Gus Katsaros
February 12 2013 09:54AM

I figured there would be plenty of James Reimer posts today, so I decided to string some thoughts together, on Phil Kessel and Nazem Kadri, Matt Frattin, James van Riemsdyk and the Leafs' powerplay.

Kessel and Kadri Should Watch Each Other

I think there’s a mutual learning opportunity by Phil Kessel and Nazem Kadri watching each other. Kadri attracts a lot of attention and often draws multiple players to him. This has forced him to learn to play in tight spaces and operate with little time. The ability to operate tight in traffic could rub off on Kessel who attracts such similar attention in a concept I put together in my post last week. Kessel’s passing ability gained momentum since the focus on scoring has lifted. Time to build on that.

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Leafs Sin Bin Totals

Gus Katsaros
February 07 2013 01:06PM

Penalties and power play opportunities have increased significantly. With the Leafs penalty kill falling into that familiar territory at the bottom, sitting 27th with a 71.9% rate, I wanted to look closer at what kinds of penalties were being called. 

Needless to say, the far and away penalty called is five for fighting, where the Leafs rank tied for second overall in the NHL.
This first graph breaks down the Leafs penalty by position. Of note, not one high sticking penalty - one of four teams (TB, EDM, TOR, NSH).
One stat that wasn’t amassed was called twice on Mikhail Grabovski, Grbovski - Delay of Game - faceoff violation. Tyler Bozak was called for Delay of Game – puck over glass.

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Slumpbusters: Phil Kessel Edition

Gus Katsaros
February 05 2013 10:22AM

I don’t have the video available for last night’s Leafs game, but a point was made by the Sportsnet crew about Phil Kessel, getting to the goal after the game that triggered a spark.

Doug Maclean referred to the ‘turn back’ the act of stopping short and turning back with the puck while attacking which I think is a good thing. I feel that’s what Kessel has to do break the funk, change it up to catch defenses of guard.

Exactly what Phil Kessel shouldn’t be trying to do right now is forcefully score goals.

Here’s why:

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Leafs Ice Time Game Situations

Gus Katsaros
January 31 2013 02:11PM

 This is going to be a short one, a fun little post focusing on the Leafs times in various game situations.

This was prompted as I was looking through the team Fenwick numbers to get an early gauge on the NHL (please take note of the small sample size and the nature of season post-lockout). Granted, it’s really early but I noticed a strange set of numbers for the Leafs when the game is tied and just wanted to take it a little further.  

The Leafs are ahead of Florida, Colorado and Columbus with the score tied 39.05% Fenwick – a measure of shots on goal and missed shots on goal on the opposition net, minus the same criteria on the players own net. This number, even early is uninspiring to say the least. I wanted to follow up and see just how long did they play with the game tied.

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Tracking Phil Kessel Shots on Goal

Gus Katsaros
January 29 2013 09:36AM

It’s finally reached the point where the chatter to trade Phil Kessel is getting so hot it’s lighting the kindling for the bon fire that’s coming. Forever maligned as a piece involved in a fateful trade, Kessel will burn his name into the annals of Leafs history, or scorch a path out of town.

There’s merit in trying to maximize asset value and get a decent return for a goal scoring threat, perhaps from a team with a need of scoring help and is willing to pay for it.

That’s also contingent on whether the Leafs are inclined to move him.

I don’t believe in the value of a player fluctuating such wide variation over short periods unless there is a fundamental change in the player’s makeup, a bad injury perhaps. Hockey personnel already have a vibrant profile of every NHL player knowing their skill sets and capabilities under the right circumstance.

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