March 07 2013 09:04PM
It was a rough night for the Nazem Kadri line and I'm trying to figure exactly why. I don't think it was because Kadri was roughed up along the Bruins bench late in the first period and Brad Marchand jabbed at him, because Kadri and Clarke MacArthur connected on a pretty goal early in the next period.
Then again, it was a rough night for a whole lot of Leafs. Not in the physical sense, but just in the sense that their early pressure on the Boston Bruins' net and Anton Khudobin got unrewarded, three defensive breakdowns cost the Leafs goals against and they ended up with a 4-2 loss at the Boston Gardens, their 8th straight defeat against one of the best teams in the East.
That said, it's not as bad as the scoreboard indicated. When the Leafs went down 3-1 late in the second, I got the impression that the Leafs deserved better. Recap below.
March 07 2013 03:55PM
That video is from the last time the Toronto Maple Leafs won against the Boston Bruins. That was back on March 31st… 2011 which amounts to a seven-game losing streak against the Northeast Division rivals. They've been out-scored 37-10 and shutout three times. In that span of time, Boston has been the best team in the Eastern Conference.
The Bruins, it can be argued, are the franchise the Leafs are trying to model themselves off of. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of what the Boston Bruins are. In traditionalist hockey quarters, they're a team that's thrived on thuggery and toughness. When you pay closer attention to how they've built their team, you find that each player addition comes as the way of a methodical decision-making process.
March 07 2013 02:07PM
Through 24 games we've tracked the Toronto Maple Leafs. They've taken 230 scoring chances in that span of time and the opponents have taken 236. The team is mostly around even, and considering they've spent a lot of time through the first half of the season ahead, the ice has been naturally tilted against them.
So that's the good news. I've tallied up the individual totals from each game that I post in the game recaps, fix any errors with the data, and adjust them per 20 minutes. Here is the data after 24 games:
March 07 2013 10:56AM
I wanna say it, but I can't say it. But you know what I'm thinkin', right?
March 06 2013 08:59PM
Photo via Abelimages/NHLInteractive via Getty
First the good news.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have won enough games during this percentage-driven run that they can go .500 from here on out and probably make the playoffs. The beauty of getting red-hot goaltenders at the start of a short season.
Now for the bad news.
Toronto got out-shot, out-played and out-chanced pretty bad against the Ottawa Senators, and even for fans who are watching this team without the blanket of a spreadsheet to form good and bad opinions about the hockey game, this is one they probably shouldn't have won. Ben Bishop looked out of sorts in the first period and didn't come up with any big stops. Opposite number James Reimer was excellent, with only Colin Greening's snack goal in the final two minutes marring his statistics in an otherwise fantastic performance.
More numbers and analysis below from the Leafs 5-4 win over the Sens…