January 21 2014 10:18AM
In this post: A hot sports taco.
For all their talk of sample size, it was the Corsi Mob who lacked the patience to see this thing through.
Against all doubt and snark to the contrary, the Toronto Maple Leafs have now won five straight games for the first time in seven years and look every bit the team they were in October, when they set the league ablaze. Low and behold, the Leafs are now firmly back in a playoff spot, where anyone watching the games knew they’d end up.
It turns out that a slump can be just that, and a few unlucky bounces aren’t indicative of a team tuning the coach out. Everything’s just fine, even if Fenwick says otherwise.
January 15 2014 09:26AM
Phil Kessel is an incredible offensive talent.
Now that I’ve blown your mind with that hyper-obvious statement, we can continue.
Kessel is great. He’s tallied 45 points in 48 games (though he is just coming off a nine-point, 15-game stretch) and since he joined the Leafs in 2009, only 19 players have more points and only four have more goals. And he’s done that largely without the benefit of what people would agree is a first line center, playing 2,770 of his 4,265 even strength minutes with Tyler Bozak (and less than 415 minutes with any other pivot).
When Bozak was extended this offseason, the crux of the argument against him was that playing with Kessel inflated his numbers, which is undeniable (current piping-hot-streak notwtihstanding, I guess). But I’ve become curious of late just how important Kessel is in bringing up the play of his teammates.
January 13 2014 09:17AM
Toronto Maple Leafs fans appear to have hit a tipping point, and the vitriol and social media over the past few games has gotten extreme.
It's not difficult to see why - after a hot start, the Leafs have been the worst team in the NHL, full stop, since the beginning of November. Just five regulation wins and 29 points in the past 34 games, and now the Leafs find themselves barely hanging on to ninth in the Eastern Conference.
The playoffs seemed a foregone conclusion early, and those who supported the team's offseason moves appeared vindicated. The season certainly isn't lost with 36 games still to play, but the playoffs now seem like an "if things break right" proposition.
What follows is a look at some of the Twitter criticism of two key players, Dave Nonis and Randy Carlyle, and will at times contain offensive language (from respondents, not myself).
(Note: This was written before Sunday's game but has been slightly edited since. Despite a win that saw New Jersey lose more than Toronto win [their shootout record, woof], I think many of the feelings will remain the same.)
October 08 2013 08:33PM
There was plenty of talk in the offseason about how the Toronto Maple Leafs' possession statistics weren't sustainable and that the Leafs, constantly being outshot and out-attempted, were due for some regression if they didn't change their style of play.
However, regression doesn't mean "you were lucky before, now you'll be unlucky." Instead, you simply assume things will return to a more normal-ish state of affairs.
On Tuesday, though, the Leafs got a taste of their own medicine, out-attempting Colorado in a game that it felt like they had more control of, only to run into a hot goalie in Semyon Varlamov. The Leafs fell 2-1 to Colorado, seeing their perfect record fall to 3-1-0 while the impressive young Avalanche move to 3-0-0.
August 11 2013 11:19AM
Like it or not, there's a strong chance that the Toronto Maple Leafs enter 2013-14 with Tyler Bozak manning the pivot on the top line alongside Phil Kessel. The Leafs Nation has beaten to death why that's not the optimal situation, but it's high time the focus turns to making the best out of a bad situation.
So, if Bozak and Kessel are on the top unit, who should be the winger alongside them?