June 20 2012 07:13AM
Dustin Penner is one option Brian Burke should consider carefully. (Photo from Getty Images)
In 2011-12 the Toronto Maple Leafs managed to rank 10th in the league in Goals For. If I told you that the Leafs' current set of top-six forwards were likely to put together a very similar goal total next year, would you be surprised? Skeptical, even?
Although Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul both saw themselves the beneficiaries of some puck luck this past season, I've got a few numbers that suggest it won't be such a steep dropoff. The table below shows how many goals we might expect from each of the Leafs' top six forwards based on last year's shot totals and their average shooting percentage:
Admittedly, this is a very rough predictive tool, but if the Leafs' lost a grand total of 5 goals from their top six from this year to last year, it would only drop them from 10th to 11th overall in scoring. This begs the question: do the Leafs even need another top-six winger?
June 07 2012 11:27PM
Last night, the Toronto Marlies lost game 3 of the Calder Cup Finals in a way that could make just about anyone's heart break. Heck, even Habs or Sens fans would be upset with this, if they actually had hearts or souls to break. Jon Cooper, the head coach of the Norfolk Admirals, had this to say in his post-game press conference:
"I'm sick to my stomach for Scrivens. That was a tough break for the kid. But I'd obviously rather go in our favour instead of theirs."
In ovetime, on a shoot-in that was clearly offside, the puck took an odd bounce off a stanchion, and careened into an empty net, while playoff hero Ben Scrivens was out of his cage, waiting to corral the puck for his defenders. Check out the Game In Six here.
Jump for more.
June 06 2012 11:04PM
Although Toronto's top line produced well this year, most educated Leafs fans are well aware that Joffrey Lupul is due for a big regression next season, and Phil Kessel for a bit of one, as well. While things were great were those two were scoring, Tyler Bozak, God bless him, just isn't deserving of his current rank in the lineup, and isn't fit to carry the mail when Lupul and/or Kessel falter. Heck, he isn't fit to do so even when Lupul and Kessel are producing.
It's news to almost no one: the Leafs need a number one 'C'.
June 03 2012 08:07PM
Usually, as the NHL playoffs wind down, Leafs-related news tends to dry up. Fortunately for us, the Toronto Marlies have stepped up to fill the void, and are now in the finals for the Calder Cup, giving us several storylines to follow.
Follow me over the jump for Marlies chatter and more.
May 28 2012 08:57PM
It's not as though I was a reluctant convert to advanced statistics.
Heck, I've tried to come up with one or two of my own.
But I can't help but notice how antithetical advanced statistics are to traditional hockey player ideologies.
When thinking about hockey, I actually completely separate the logic I use to analyze the game from that which would govern my actions on the ice or as a part of a team. Perhaps it's unusual - even simplistic - to perceive things as such a neat-and-tidy binary, but I can't see any way of synthesizing these two paradigms. There is no String Theory solution to reconcile all this.