Doubting the men in charge

Blake Murphy
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.)

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LEAFS POSTGAME - A reversal of fortunes in 2-1 loss to Colorado

Blake Murphy
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.

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Who should play with Kessel and Bozak?

Blake Murphy
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?

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How The Leafs Have Shifted Asset Allocation for 2013-14

Blake Murphy
July 31 2013 11:37AM

As you may have heard ad nausem throughout the offseason, the Toronto Maple Leafs have made some interesting decisions with respect to salary cap management for the 2013-14 season. With many of their best value deals coming up for raises by way of the restricted free agency process, the Leafs now find themselves short on bargain deals that helped them find success without just out-spending other teams.

This summer, though, Dave Nonis hasn't been tight with the purse strings - he bought out Mikhail Grabovski and Mike Komisarek, he opened up the cheque book for Tyler Bozak and David Clarkson, and he's had RFAs receive more than the anticipated amount.

All of that adds up to leave the Leafs in a precarious cap situation, with just under $5M left to sign both Nazem Kadri and Cody Franson (spoiler: not happening). So, with a different cap situation and a few changes to the roster, I wanted to look at how the Leafs have shifted their allocation of assets.

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Explaining the Grabovski-Bozak "Stats" Debate in Shinny Hockey Terms

Blake Murphy
July 06 2013 09:22AM

First thing’s first: Mikhail Grabovski is an absolute gem. Whether or not you think it’s appropriate, you have to laugh at the crazy rant Grabo went on to Jonas Siegel after he was bought out on Thursday. Can’t say I blame him, or that he was wrong on any of those points.

There has been some discussion on Twitter and via articles as to whether Grabovski was a good player, a victim of circumstance and underappreciated or a guy blown up by #fancystats who just couldn't get the job done. It hasn’t been a back and forth so much as people restating their opinion over and over again, with analytically minded people (or people who watch the games at both ends of the ice) thinking this move is asinine and some main stream media people and Bozak fanboys supporting it. There are people in between those poles but those extremes yell the loudest.

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