October 17 2013 10:19AM
We're seven games into the season and I feel that for the most part, we've avoided the dreaded "Morgan Rielly Question". To simplify Article 9.1 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, an 18- or 19-year-old player that is eligible to return to junior hockey can have his entry level contract extended by a year if he doesn't play 10 games at the pro level.
At this point, you worry less about "burning" the year off of the ELC, since Rielly has played enough games at the NHL level that he'll probably surpass the 9-game limit once he gets recalled to the Marlies once his junior season is over (EDIT - @birky points out that only NHL games count here). It becomes a developmental question, whether you think that the benefits of having Rielly on your team now surpass the benefits of having Rielly on your team next year after a year of dominating the Western Hockey League.
October 16 2013 02:37PM
This post from Phil Birnbaum yesterday is well worth a read. It's interesting and while I disagree, I think it's important that data-driven people look for reasons why the Toronto Maple Leafs won so many games last season despite being out-shot.
At 6-1 to start the season, it's going to take more than theories, charts, and graphs to show people that what the Maple Leafs accomplished last season was unsustainable. I will point out that the things driving the Leafs to victories last season, chiefly a high 5-on-5 shooting percentage rate, aren't the same things driving their success this season.
It turns out that seven games is far to little to judge a hockey team's successes and failures, but let's delve into the Birnbaum argument anyway.
October 16 2013 12:25PM
Hey - a win's a win, right?
October 15 2013 08:33PM
OH MAN!! NEW PODCAST!!! YAAAWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The guys talk about Mason Raymond's awesomeness, the Oilers' suckage, and trouble with pooping. Also Dave Bolland.
October 15 2013 08:14PM
The Toronto Maple Leafs won another one Tuesday night, 4-1 over the Minnesota Wild. Hard to know where to start with this one, but good for Mason Raymond and Phil Kessel. Towards the end of the game, with the Minnesota net empty and the Leafs up by 3-1, Raymond gained the zone and chipped a puck towards the net. Kessel, who gets criticized time and time again in Toronto for not being a good teammate and for scoring too many goals in October, let the puck go in without touching it.
Good for Raymond, who was ostracized in Vancouver and chased out of town for not scoring enough. He had just 35 goals over parts of the last three seasons after scoring 25 in 2009-2010, and already has his fourth on the year with that empty net goal. I don't know if an empty net goal is going to do anything for Raymond's confidence, but if that goal is the difference between 14 and 15 on the year or 19 and 20, that could mean an extra hundred thousand dollars for Raymond in negotiating his next deal. He took a chance on the Maple Leafs more than the Maple Leafs took a chance on him and so far, he's arguably been the team's best player.
Oh yeah. The Leafs got out-shot 38-14 and won. They've been known to do that lately.