July 19 2012 04:48AM
Tomas Vokoun, not a Toronto Maple Leaf
One of the most worrying things about cheering for an NHL team is the feeling that, out of nowhere, the organization will make a horrific trade, handicapping the team's future for minimal return. That's not exactly the case in Toronto, as it was a series of moves made by the two previous regimes that left Brian Burke in a tight spot, none that really concentrated on prospects or the league heading to a salary cap system. JP Nikota looked at that in some detail yesterday.
Overpaying for players is a pretty sensitive issue for the Leafs and their fans. Particularly when their star player was brought over for a fairly expensive price tag, the last thing this team needs is to pay the premium the Vancouver Canucks want for Roberto Luongo or another goaltender and have them disappoint in Toronto because you really can't predict goaltending.
But this morning we'll do just that. I want to look a bit at recent goalie movement, as well as the price and success of bringing a goalie to a new team.
July 18 2012 06:40AM
In our brief search to find the "identity" of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Danny, JP and Ryan posted yesterday about the desire of Torontonians to cheer for a tough, blue-collar team reminiscient of Conn Smythe's desires back during the good ol' days. Today, Andrew Bates, Steve Dangle, Matt Wright and Cam Charron all offer their takes on what it means to be a Toronto Maple Leaf.
If we were to talk about the Maple Leafs "identity" in the John Ferguson Jr. / Brian Burke era, after wiping away tears, we would all come up with the same word: Losers. That's not to say that any of the players were losers, just that when they were put together on the ice they, as a group, formed a loser. Now, losers is a fairly PG word for what the Leafs have been since the lockout and we would like to call them worse names but it's not exactly an identity.
July 16 2012 08:23PM
Hearing the Leafs have put in an offer to G Jonathan Bernier.— Andi Petrillo (@andipHNIC) July 17, 2012
Via CBC's Andi Petrillo.
It isn't much to go on, but it appears as if Brian Burke thinks the price may be right for the Leafs to acquire Los Angeles Kings' backup and former first-round draft pick Jonathan Bernier.
Bernier, of course, has played just 48 NHL games in his career, posting a save percentage of .910 and an even strength save percentage of .913. The NHL average over that span is .921.
July 16 2012 10:54AM
So our fact-finder Rob Pettapiece over at NHL Numbers has written a post about AHL goaltenders. Using a tested and true baseball method of looking at how these goalies did against NHL competition, we can come up with a much better metric than simply "save percentage" for evaluating how they played.
Of course, like most goaltenders, there's still little predictive value, but in the case of Ben Scrivens, say, is there a better goalie than we initially thought? Do we have a goaltender who fared better against NHL competition with the Marlies than he did against AHL competition?
In June, I wrote that Scrivens had the fourth best save percentage among AHL goaltenders who faced more than 1500 shots over the last two seasons.
July 16 2012 06:18AM
The only thing we have to fear is Fehr himself
There's already some absurdist alarmist sentiment when dealing with the NHL's initial proposal to the NHLPA, details of which were leaked Friday night.
The good news for hockey fans is that, unlike the lockout of 2004-05, the NHL's one major demand, a salary cap, was considered a non-starter for the PA. The season was missed, the PA suffered some leadership changes, and they reluctantly agreed to a deal that was a clear winner for the league at the time.
Fast-forward seven years, and the real big issue is how to split a $3 billion pie.