Zone matching, and how the Leafs are mis-using Grabovski and Bozak

Cam Charron
February 27 2013 12:11PM

The Vancouver Canucks shutting down Manny Malhotra is a more notable move than a lot of people made it out to be. Malhotra became a whole new kind of defensive centre than the NHL had previously seen, a centreman that took a lot of face-offs in the defensive zone, and nearly exclusively in the defensive zone. 

Malhotra wasn't like the "checking lines" of the past, who would match up against dedicated opponents and prevent a singular line from scoring. What the Canucks started to do in 2011 after signing Manny Malhotra was pretty radical. I mention this on the Leafs Nation blog not because I suggest the Leafs should get involved with the strategy, but because they already are, and they're probably doing it wrong.

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Toronto Marlies Makeshift PDO

Gus Katsaros
February 26 2013 01:45PM

A great disadvantage of doing statistical analysis on leagues outside of the NHL is utter lack of detailed information available to further enhance analysis. Cam, among others – have made this point.

Something as easy as PDO can be tracked to quantify momentum, however, the American Hockey league doesn’t differentiate shots on game sheets on special teams or at even strength.

At least, not publicly, which is a shame. I would assume teams do this on an individual club basis, but that is proprietary and I can understand why any data is kept under lock and key. I won’t let this degenerate into a rant on circumstances beyond my control, instead  I tried to maximize the available data with a little rejigging.

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LFR6 - Game 20 - Naz can pazz

Steve Dangle
February 26 2013 11:31AM

Nazem Kadri putting up points and I'm speaking Russian. This season is way different than last season.

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Leafs Prospect Update: February 26th, 2013

Justin Fisher
February 26 2013 07:30AM

Tony Cameranesi (Photo: WCHA)

Tony Cameranesi had an assist in Minnesota Duluth’s 5-3 loss to cross-campus rivals Minnesota on Friday night, and went pointless in Saturday’s 2-2 tie.

It’s fair to say that Cameranesi is playing through a little bit of a slump. The UMD Bulldogs are mired in a nine-game winless streak, during which Cameranesi has managed only two goals and two assists. Four points in nine games isn’t awful, but it should be noted that prior to this stretch Cameranesi had 22 points in 23 games.

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Maple Leafs lull Flyers to sleep: win game in third period - Game recap

Cam Charron
February 25 2013 09:26PM

(Photo by Paul Bereswill/NHLInteractive)

I don't want to say the first two periods of the Maple Leafs and Flyers game was really boring, but at one point during the second I forgot which team was shooting at which end. I couldn't tell whether it was incompetent passing, a reluctance to enter the zone with possession for either team or slow ice.

It's not that shots were being kept to the outside through much of this game. What little shots there were came from the inside from good shooters. The shots after the second period were 15-14 for the Flyers. The scoring chances were 6-5 for the Leafs. The only moments of interest were thanks to misadventures on the part of Ilya Bryzgalov and Ben Scrivens.

Thankfully, the game got a caffeine jolt for the start of the third. Luckily for Toronto, they got much of the rush, against most odds. They came away with a 4-2 win with an empty net goal, thanks to another excellent performance from Nazem Kadri and Mikhail Grabovski.

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