December 27 2016 03:00PM
Canada's opening day 5-3 victory over Russia showed us a couple of things. For starters, this year's Team Canada has a real shot at competing. The team is structured well with a team-based approach in their systems and having all five players on the same page while on the ice. The game also displayed the immense skill that Canada possesses. Dylan Strome, Tyson Jost, Matthew Barzal and Pierre Luc Dubois, among others, have the traits to become dominant players for Canada.
While Canada did pull off a convincing victory over Russia, no indications have been made as to who will be the team's starting goaltender moving forward. Tonight, Connor Ingram will take the reigns from Connor Hart and start between the pipes as Canada faces off against Slovakia.
Puck drop is slated for 8pm ET and you can catch tonight's game and all the World Junior action on TSN.
December 27 2016 09:23AM
Over a large sample size, Corsi is one of the best measurements we have at the moment for team-level skill. While it's far from perfect, once you get 20 or 30 games into the season it does a pretty good job of predicting future goal scoring, and it's a pretty stable stat, less affected by randomness than most others. At the moment the Leafs are 12th in the NHL in score-adjusted Corsi with 52%. In fact, they're just .1% out of the top 10, so the Leafs are playing like a top 10 team in terms of shot attempts this season. That suggests the Leafs have been playing well at even strength this season.
However, their results have fluctuated quite a bit over the first three months of the season. Let's take a look at five-game rolling average of Corsi (this chart is not score-adjusted):
December 27 2016 09:06AM
There seems to be two type of Leaf fans these days.
One group of fans is patient, embracing the slow building process while also acknowledging the fine tuning that needs to take place over time, while the other group is more aggressive. Sparked by the play of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, Willie Nylander and the rest of the Leafs young core, these fans are ready for the Leafs to propel forward and start to contend in the short-term future.
Lots of bickering takes place between these two types of fans, but what's forgotten is that there are moves that can be made that could satisfy both types of fans. The Leafs need another top-four defender to add to their back end and they may want to explore the trade market to fill that void. How about a young up-and-comer that could grow with the Leafs young 'D' core, along with being able to contribute right away?
Who fits that criteria? Minnesota Wild defenceman Jonas Brodin sure does.
December 26 2016 10:00PM
After an exciting opening day of the 2017 WJHC, teams have already begun to differentiate themselves as dominant. Both USA and Sweden won by a score of 6-1 in their respective games, and Canada looked solid against Russia in their 5-3 victory.
Today was a pretty good day for Leafs prospects at the WJC. Carl Grundstrom had an exceptional game for Sweden, and Jeremy Bracco netted a single power play goal for the USA. Joseph Woll did not see a start today for the USA, and Martin Dzierkals and the Latvians struggled to defend against the Americans.
December 26 2016 08:56PM
In their first game of the tournament, Canada took on Russia in an energetic and high scoring round-robin rematch of the 2015 gold medal game.
Canada played a solid game, as Tyson Jost, Matt Barzal and Dylan Strome put on a show through 3 periods. The team seemed to be working well together, and their play saw a noticeable improvement as the game progressed.