Nozak: The Chemistry Chronicles

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
May 21 2013 01:54AM

(Tyler Bozak's realistic value to the Toronto Maple Leafs is a dead horse that I intend to beat until you assume it was cremated)

We're inching closer and closer to the start of another off-season, filled with unrestricted free agency, trades, and all of that fun stuff. Of course, there's a lot of debate as to what holes the Leafs need to fill and where they can use an upgrade, but the subject of expiring contracts is clear cut. Despite being rather good at what he does, playoff healthy scratches and decreased regular season minutes have many believing Clarke MacArthur's reign of terribly above average play is coming to an end. Colton Orr, Ryan Hamilton, Ryan O'Bryne, Mike Kostka, and Tim Connolly are all UFA's at the end of the year, but all of those players are easily replaceable at the NHL level. This leaves Tyler Bozak, the team's current first line centre, as the main focus before contracts expire.

As I think we're all perfectly aware of at this point, I don't particularly like the idea of keeping Bozak around. I don't feel that he's particularly productive, and I don't feel that his advantages at the draw make that much of a difference. Others have expressed similar concern with different approaches. But there's still a point that the average fan will bring up, and that's Bozak's chemistry with Phil Kessel, something I don't believe actually exists.

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Marlies Assignments And You!

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
May 14 2013 09:58PM

Something happened on Monday that I won't direclty mention, because the majority of you are showing signs of post-traumatic stress. But it's lead to the focus in Toronto hockey to go, at least for a bit, to the Marlies. They're in the second round against the Grand Rapids Griffins, and after suffering a 7-0 game 1 loss, rebounded to tie the series heading into Wednesday's game three. As it stands, the Marlies still appear to be favourites to win the series, but you know what could make them better? The return of some key players to push them over the top.

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The Morning After, and Beyond

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
May 14 2013 10:49AM

It's almost exactly like I imagined it to be.

An initial punch to the stomach at the hands of an inexperienced defenceman. Bad thoughts seeping through, until the very same guy takes your villainous feelings and turns them into heroism, tying the game and taking the lead. The young star forward, with the weight of the world on his shoulders, having the period of his life. Those intense final minutes, followed by four blares of that iconic goal horn, and "Zombie Nation" as the crowd cheers.

Exactly like I imagined it as a kid. Except I didn't really see the Boston Bruins taking Toronto's post-goal festivities and possibly giving millions of people in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond a severe case of PTSD.

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The Faceoff Myth

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
May 10 2013 01:10PM

While it doesn't have much to do with today's game, or this playoff series, or anything current really, the topic of Tyler Bozak and money he could potentially make was making the rounds again on Twitter this morning. Naturally, I'm left unamused by this, because the concept of Bozak cashing in on a large deal, particularly with Toronto, makes me want to run around in circles anticipating the apocalypse. Of course, while many share the sentiment, there are others who are okay with locking him up.

Some feel that letting Bozak go means investing in a big name, and that this year's crop isn't up to par. Some feel his familiarity with Phil Kessel is an asset. But a lot of the defenders of him will go all in on one aspect of his game: faceoff ability.

Bozak recieved a lot of praise this year for what he did inside the circle. He lead the Leafs in draw winning percentage, and finished tied for second in the NHL in faceoff wins. These are both important, right? Not quite. Let's look at some stats.

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Breaking Down A Scapegoat

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
May 09 2013 12:54PM

So, last night happened. We watched the Leafs play one of their most exciting and intense games in nearly a decade, and promptly fell into a state of wondering after David Krejci scored his third of the night to win the game for the Boston Bruins. Some wondered if the Leafs still have a chance in this series. Some wondered about the players wives and girlfriends. Some wondered if this was really what they were waiting for for nine years. Lastly, a lot of people wondered about how awesome it would be if the Leafs no longer had Dion Phaneuf. Wait, what?

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