March 15 2013 12:45PM
The bad news, as pointed out by James Mirtle, is that Tyler Bozak is averaging more than three minutes a game more than Mikhail Grabovski this season. That can mean that Randy Carlyle actually-factually thinks Bozak is a better player than Grabovski.
Worse, as I've seemed to notice, it seems as if Grabovski has been held to such a low number based on a statistic. Like has been pointed out to me many times before in comment sections, you can't build a team based on a spreadsheet, whether it's Corsi, Offensive Zone Start %… or face-off percentage.
March 15 2013 12:28PM
Leafs lose a 3-1 heartbreaker...
March 15 2013 12:05PM
With Joffrey Lupul set to return to lineup, TOR opens up spot by trading David Steckel to ANA for minor leaguer Ryan Lasch and 7th rd pick.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 15, 2013
Not a huge shock. Toronto needed to open up a roster spot for the impending return of Joffrey Lupul, and the success of Jay McClement made Dave Steckel a redundancy.
In return the Leafs get a minor leaguer and a low pick. The good news is that Toronto get Lupul back and everybody else is shoved down the depth chart. The bad news is that the organization is committed to bad hockey players playing on the fourth line wing. Steckel had filled in on the fourth line when injuries forced Jay McClement to play on Mikhail Grabovski's wing, but never played the wing position himself alongside McClement.
March 14 2013 08:36PM
Excellent photo via Abelimages and NHL Interactive via Getty
Most of the times I've written a game recap this season, I've taken to this space to write how, despite the victory, the Leafs played the game with underlying problems. Those don't go over well.
Nobody, when the team is winning, wants to read about the team not doing enough to win, or not winning the right way, or winning in a way that they shouldn't keep winning.
Thursday night it was the reverse. The Toronto Maple Leafs played well enough to win against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Their first two periods, they played the best game defensively I've seen all season, limiting the Penguins shots, scoring chances, and preventing every Penguins line that didn't have Sidney Crosby on it from establishing itself in the offensive zone. Tyler Bozak put the Leafs ahead on a pretty goal set up by a pretty pass from Cody Franson who got the puck on a pretty bit of patience from Phil Kessel. That wasn't enough. For the second straight game, the Penguins scored three goals in the final 8 minutes, and won the game 3-1.
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
March 14 2013 03:23PM
The Toronto Maple Leafs have made a minor trade today, sending forward Nicolas Deschamps to the Washington Capitals in exchange for defenceman Kevin Marshall. Normally, one shouldn't look too much into what amounts to a minor league trade, but there's a lot of factors that have me wondering if there's more roster shuffling to come for Toronto, at both the NHL and AHL levels. But first off, a bit of background on what's changing hands.