Two minutes with Leafs prospect Morgan Rielly

Cam Charron
November 16 2012 10:31AM

After Game Six of the Subway Super Series in Victoria, I got a chance to talk to Morgan Rielly for a couple of minutes. For my article on Team Canada's defensive prospects at the World Juniors (including where Rielly stands), click here .

What would you say is the main reason for there being so many good defencemen in your age group?

That's hard to say. I think every team these days is in a hunt to have a good two-way defenceman, there's a whole group of them playing right now in pro hockey with Kris Letang and whatnot. I think there's a whole lot of great blue liners in our league and our age group and I'd say that's great for hockey.

How old were you when you made the switch to defence and who was your primary influence?

I was in atom and all the way up until atom I was kind of all over the map, and I had a chat with my Dad and he told me that if I played 'D' I'd have a whole lot more ice time and so after that we made the switch and haven't really looked back. He's taught me a whole lot about the position and the game as well. I think I've come a long way from atom.

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Study: If the Leafs had a good game, how did they play in the next game?

Cam Charron
November 15 2012 01:57PM

Gus has done some good work looking at 10-game segments for the Toronto Maple Leafs this season, and I wanted to quickly look at momentum, specifically, whether the Leafs' performance over one 10-game segment makes much of a difference compared to the next segment.

It can also be applied to games as well. What is the Leafs record, for example, coming off of a win as opposed to coming off of a loss? Well, in the most recent season, the Leafs were 14-16-5 off a win, and 20-21-5 after a loss. Not enough evidence there to make you think that the team gets into a groove or starts playing with confidence or momentum.

Look at it this way: Flip a coin 20 times. If the coin lands on "heads" four times in a row, does "heads" have all the momentum? Regardless of the last flip, there's always a 50-50 chance the coin will hit heads or tails. In hockey, the coin is weighted, and it's been weighted against the Leafs for quite some time now.

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UPDATE: Leo Komarov heading back to Russia

Ryan Fancey
November 15 2012 10:15AM

 

After only a few weeks with the Toronto Marlies, Leo Komarov is taking his hockey bag and going home. Well, going back to his old KHL club at least: Dynamo Moscow.

The Finnish forward signed with the Leafs this summer, but with no end to the lockout in sight, I guess he figured he'd rather suit up in the KHL over plugging away with the Marlies for the year. I'd probably do the same.

From RIA Novosti:

"When the NHL lockout struck in mid-September, Komarov decided to stay in the North America to play for the AHL affiliate team the Toronto Marlies, and notched up seven points in 11 games.

But now the 25-year-old player wants to return to Russia.

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Joffrey Lupul makes his KHL debut and Nicklas Backstrom nets a hat trick

Steve Dangle
November 14 2012 08:06PM

The KHL returns from a 9-day break with 22 teams playing in 11 games. Joffrey Lupul makes his KHL debut with Avtomobilist, Malkin stacks the pads (what?), Ovechkin return much to the delight of Nicklas Backstrom, and more.

Enjoy!

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Stuart Percy on the Subway Super Series

Steve Dangle
November 14 2012 12:04PM

 Stuart Percy - Leafs first round pick and captain of the OHL's Mississauga Steelheads (who recently cracked the CHL's Top 10 rankings) - talks to Aly Munro after Team OHL's 2-1 victory over Team Russia in Game 4 of the Subway Super Series. Watch for the interview, stay for the mangled smile. Truculence!

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