February 07 2011 12:57PM
Someone dumb once said "Goaltending in overrated." However tonight, he couldn't be anymore correct. The Thrashers and Maple Leafs have met twice before this season and scored a combined 21 goals. The first game was a 6-3 win for the team from Hotlanta and the second a 9-3 drubbing by the Leafs. Even more impressive that seeing 10.5 goals a game? The fact that Toronto scored 7 of their 12 goals against Atlanta while on the powerplay, going a combined 7 for 11. To put that into a little perspective, without the two Atlanta games the Leafs season long PP% falls from 17.1% to 14.5%. Thank you Atlanta. Since that 9-3 game however, the Leafs PP has only gone 4 for 36, good for an 11.1% conversion rate and just god awful. Their PP is absolutely brutal to watch. It’s like a game of rod hockey where you only think to move the guy with the puck and leave the other 4 players motionless on the ice. Yet somehow this remedial strategy seems to work against the Thrashers, too bad we only play them 4 times a year then.
More on this game after the jump.
February 03 2011 12:02PM
11 days ago, the Leafs suffered a loss to Carolina by the score of 6 to 4. Tim Brent was all that is man with a 3 point night including 2 goals but even he wasn't enough to secure victory in Tobacco Town. This would end up being the first of two occasions that week in which the Leafs found themselves on the losing end. That Friday night, Hurricane captain Eric Staal passed over Phil Kessel with his last pick in the All-Star Fantasy Draft thus making Toronto's favorite awkward son the last pick in the draft. Sure Phil got a car for his troubles but that did little to disguise the great disrepsect perpetrated by Staal.
Merry, merry was not the 28th of January; the day Phil Kessel was picked last of the lot.
I see no reason, why the Eric Staal treason, should ever be forgot.
Some will say that losing the All-Star Game was karma for picking Kessel last, but I personally know karma and she has not yet been satiated. And no, Staal's Hurricanes dropping their first game after the ASG break and the Leafs winning their's is still not enough.
Follow me after the jump for more revenge against the evil Hurricanes.
February 01 2011 11:24AM
Tuesday night game? Check.
At the ACC? Check.
Against a South East opponent? Check.
Leafs guranteed to lose tonight? ...............
Had this been last season, that last question would have most certainly gotten a check but the numbers after 49 games this year suggest that Tuesday is just another day of the week and no longer warrants excessive fear. In the 2009-10 season the Leafs played 17 games on a Tuesday night, the majority of those coming against South Eastern Division opponents. Their record in those games? A horrible 5-11-1. Maybe they were too preoccupied with the latest episode of NCIS to focus on the games? This season however, it looks like Ron Wilson bought every member a TiVO because so far the Leafs are 4-3-1 on Tuesday night games. (Side note: 2 of those losses and the OT loss are all to Tampa Bay.) Tuesday is no longer the most feared day of the week for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Follow me after the jump for most "insight" into tonight's game.
January 20 2011 11:34AM
I'm not a gambler. I've been to Vegas, but never sat down at a table or put a dime into a slot machine. I watch a lot of sports, but have never placed a bet on a game ever. Just not something I'm interested in doing. Now that doesn't mean that I don't understand sports betting. Spreads, handicaps, over/unders I understand the in and outs of making a buck on sports. So imagine the surprised look on my face when I heard that the Maple Leafs were the favorite in tonight's matchup with the 5th place Anaheim Ducks. How is that even possible? Have the Vegas oddsmakers lost their mind? Yes, yes they have and here's why in handy dandy list form.
1) Anaheim is 8-2-0 over their last 10 games and have won 2 in a row.
2) The trio of Perry-Getzlaf-Ryan. Perry is on pace for a 90 point season. Getzlaf and Ryan for 70. They're pretty good.
3) Calder Trophy winner Teemu Selanne. He's ageless and over a PPG pace at the age of 40. Oh yeah he's pretty nasty on the power play as well.
4) Speaking of the Ducks' powerplay, the Leafs penalty kill is 26th in the league with a dismal 77.5 success rate.
5) Former Duck J.S. Giguere is starting in net for the Leafs. His season has been atrocious with him posting a .898 save %. Also, I'm pretty sure his old team of 9 seasons knows exactly where to shoot on him.
Follow me after the jump for reasons 6 thru 10.
January 19 2011 11:18AM
Ever been to Madison Square Garden's? For all the talk of it being sport's most hallowed grounds, the "World's Greatest Arena", etc.... boy is it ever a giant pit. It's easily the worst NHL arena I've ever been to, and I've seen games at Joe Louis and the Nassau Coliseum. The entrances and exits are too few, too confusing, and painted in 1990's "cool" green and pink which matches the horrific seat colors of purple and turquoise blue. It makes me want to barf. The concourses are barely wide enough for 6 people to walk shoulder to shoulder. The food stations are too few and crowded. And good luck trying to find a bathroom. I'm convinced they don't exist. The only thing present at 7th and 32nd that sucks more than the arena, is the on-ice product delivered by the resident team.
December 29th, 2010. That's the last time the Rangers scored more than 2 goals in a game. It was against the worst team in hockey, the New Jersey Devils, and the Rangers only managed to put 3 onto the board. That was 10 games ago. Miraculously, or perhaps because they employ one of the best goaltenders in the league, the Rangers won 5 of those games and added a loser point against Tampa Bay to emerge from that span with nearly as many points, 11, as goals scored, 12. That's impressively atrocious and proof to the fact that the New York Rangers are incapable of playing exciting hockey. At the beginning of the 2008-09 season, I saw the Leafs play the Rangers at MSG and it was hands down the worst godawful hockey game I've ever watched live. It was a game that ended 0-0 after regulation and OT and saw Freddy Sjostrom of all people mercifully score the only goal in the shootout to lift the Rangers to a 1-0 win. I wanted to hang myself out of boredom.