June 12 2013 08:29AM
Mock drafts are popular this time of year, and we’ve decided to do something a little different at the Nation this summer. Instead of presenting our picks, we’ll show consensus rankings and offer up scouting reports, than ask our readers to vote on the order they would select those players in.
We start with the top-10 selections.
June 11 2013 09:07PM
It's the Stanley Cup Final preview of the Steve Dangle Podcast. This week, we're going international! Adam calls into the show from Idaho, and Steve's "Joining the Rush" co-host and hockey writer Andrey Osadchenko joins the show to share his own thoughts on the playoffs, and Leo Komarov's departure back to the KHL.
June 11 2013 03:57PM
Blackhawks. Bruins. Here's what I think about the upcoming Stanley Cup Final.
June 11 2013 02:53PM
via Wikimedia Commons
Pension Plan Puppets have released their official list of things they would like to see the Leafs do between now and October, and seven of the wishes in some way have to do with the defence. Get a Top Four defenceman! Shore up the bottom pair! Buy-out Mike Komisarek!
The defence remains an issue. The Maple Leafs allowed 32.3 shot against per game last season. Quibble all you want about the "quality" of all those shots, but if you look at the stylistic comparable to the 2013 Toronto Maple Leafs, you wind up with the drastically out-shot Montreal Canadiens of 2002, who allowed 32.7 shots against per game. In 2003, they allowed a similar number of shots (31.7) but won six fewer games. Eventually, bad habits catch up and the Maple Leafs right now have a very thin defence.
So let's break it down.
June 10 2013 02:34PM
The Toronto Maple Leafs have a black cloud looming overhead. Phil Kessel is an unrestricted free agent next summer, meaning that he will, in July of 2014, be eligible to negotiate his services with any clubs in the NHL or elsewhere.
Good players are expensive, and good players are expensive for a reason. Getting one or two players under value contracts is a lot about what we do in the statistical corner of the blogosphere, but ultimately, the story of the game will be drawn to its superstars. When a team underperforms, there's a tendency to blame the veteran leadership group rather than the supporting core that simply wasn't built up from enough good players. Kessel and Dion Phaneuf are definitely aware of this quirk. Place Rick Nash on a team that people watched for the early part of his career in Columbus, and he'd have taken much more heat for failing to lead his team to regular playoff appearances or more victories.