November 21 2015 09:37AM
The Leafs have played 10 games in October, and 10 in November. In October they had just one win and picked up 4 of a possible 20 points. In November they've so far won 6 games and have picked up 14 of a possible 20 points. So, they're trending in the right direction...right? Well, not so fast. The Leafs are picking up a lot more points this month than they were last month, which is a good thing, but the way that they've been picking up those points is troubling. Whereas in October the team was playing well but finding a way to lose, the team is now putting in some really mundane performances but finding a way to win. In other words, yes they've done a complete 180 this month as far as how many points they're picking up in the standings. But they've also done a complete 180 as far as their puck possession game is concerned, as well as how good the goaltending they've been getting is. In short, while the team is getting better end results, the way they're getting those results isn't good for their long-term success. Yep, I'll say it: the Leafs need to go back to the way they were playing before.
November 20 2015 09:24PM
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Another win, another two points in the standings. It's no big deal anymore, as the Leafs have gone 6-2-2 in their last 10 games after a 2-1 shootout win over the Carolina Hurricanes tonight. Not to sound like one of those mathletes, but Toronto now sits only three points out of a wildcard spot.
Have the Leafs mastered Babcock's system? Has the organization found itself a true, number one goaltender? Is this a playoff team?
I mean, no... no... and no. None of that. But you're still probably enjoying this little run if you're not a card-carrying member of Tank Nation.
November 20 2015 06:42PM
Photo Credit: Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports
Toronto Maple Leafs winger Byron Froese, 24, has quickly ingratiated himself to Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock with a hard-nosed style of play.
In the second period of Toronto's game against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night, the hardness of Froese's nose got a stiff test when he was hit cleanly by Hurricanes forward Brad Malone and fell awkwardly, slamming his face hard against the ice.
November 20 2015 02:06PM
Just days ago, TSN's Bob McKenzie let it be known that it's doubtful two of the Toronto Maple Leafs' top prospects - William Nylander and Kasperi Kapanen - would be released for the World Junior Championships next month.
It's easy to forget that both players are even still eligible for the tournament, considering they're already contributing at the AHL level - but is it smart to hold them back from this one-or-twice-or-thrice in a lifetime experience? Does either player benefit from attending? Does it hurt their development to 'drop down' and play against lesser competition for a few weeks? We asked our esteemed Roundtable...
November 20 2015 12:00PM
The Leafs have gotten at least a point in 7 of their 9 games in November largely thanks to the play of James Reimer, who now has a 6-2-3 record on the season and a .930 save percentage. Reimer and the Leafs will look to continue their run tonight when they face off against the Hurricanes in Carolina.