February 02 2013 12:35PM
Any Leaf fan disparaging Dion Phaneuf or Phil Kessel's apparent struggles as a problem of effort should probably heed the words from then-defending Stanley Cup champion general manager Stan Bowman. Bowman was talking to the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics conference about his teams' efforts attempting to more properly gauge player value:
Stan Bowman [discussed] a system the Blackhawks used when Bowman joined the hockey operations department. It was a simple tool to chart out the coach’s player rating for a player over the course of a game on a scale of 1-to-5.
Well, Bowman pointed out, the ratings provided by the coach, tallied up after every game, never matched reality. A coach’s subjective bias, he explained, benefit the third line players and the players who were closer to replacement level. Those players ratings were “unfairly propped up because the expectations for that player are much lower.”
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
February 01 2013 09:32PM
Remember when the Toronto Marlies had incredible depth in all positions, and were winning and scoring goals at will, along with having little to no trouble preventing them? Well, they're still capable of doing those things, but with so many players gone, it's not going to come anywhere near as easy as it was earlier in the year. Going into tonight, the Marlies had won 11 straight games against the Rochester Americans. That streak would end, as Toronto fell to the Sabres affiliate 5-1.
January 31 2013 11:02PM
No goals from Kessel? No problem!
January 31 2013 09:23PM
James Van Riemsdyk celebrates his first period power-play goal in Thursday night's Leafs win over Washington.
Photo Credit: Claus Andersen/Getty Images
Going into the third period of Thursday night's 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals, the Maple Leafs were at a distinct disadvantage. Beyond the one goal deficit and some shaky goaltending from James Reimer, the Leafs also had to conted with what I suspect might be a hex that someone (or something) has placed on Phil Kessel.
It wasn't easy, nor was it necessrily pretty (Nazem Kadri's cross crease feed to Matt Frattin aside), but the Leafs managed to throtle the Washington Capitals in the third period in a come from behind regulation win.
Gamer and chance data after the jump.
January 31 2013 02:21PM
Tonight marks the 23rd time Phil Kessel has played a game with the Toronto Maple Leafs while on a six-game scoreless skid. If history is any indication, there's no worse chance that Kessel will score in this game than any other on the schedule.
Welcome to the wild world of shooting percentages and slumps.
Kessel has taken a lot of heat for his start. Damien Cox has already traded him in his fantasy world, suggesting the only asset worth holding onto for the future is their first round pick this year. That means he's already given up on not only Kessel, but also Mikhail Grabovski, Nazem Kadri, and even Morgan Rielly.