Joffrey Lupul sees "too much of Chara for his own good"

Cam Charron
August 17 2012 06:45AM

The Leafs Nation is lucky enough to be partnered with NHL Numbers, a website that analyzes hockey through objective numbers and tries to clear roadblocks and hurdles for the rest of us. The goal? Providing us with a better understanding of the hockey players and teams we love so much and pay so much to watch.

This can mean anything for us, how effective players were, to what kind of competition they were playing against, even to how many penalties they took and drew. The NHL doesn't record everything on its website, but it does record several events and who was on the ice: goals, missed shots, hits, takeaways, you can pretty much decipher, if you use all the available information, exactly what happened when any given player was out on the ice.

And this brings us to quality of competition.

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Leafs add grit to alumni game roster

Cam Charron
August 16 2012 10:32AM

There's talk of a lockout shutting down the early part of the season, but since the Winter Classic acts as the unofficial kick-off to the NHL's romp in mainstream American sports discussion, I doubt the league would prolong the work stoppage to force a cancellation of their major January 1 event.

Sure, the NHL has the right to cancel the game, but we're told that's standard legal proceedings, protecting the league against weather and Acts of God, such as an injury to Jimmy Howard forcing the Red Wings to start Jonas Gustavsson in net.

But that's not the main attraction yet. The alumni game, which has had a bunch of people speculating whether or not Dave Keon will mend fences with the Leafs and show up, got an infusion of grit for the game. The team announced today, as per James Mirtle, that Tie Domi, Brad May and Tiger Williams will represent the Leafs.

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Which first-line centres were available?

Cam Charron
August 15 2012 10:12AM

One of the major concerns about Brian Burke's tenure thus far in Toronto is his inability to find a first line centreman for Phil Kessel, and, to a lesser extend, Joffrey Lupul. (This is ignoring that Burke already has a first-line centre in Mikhail Grabovski, but I think recent history has shown that you can't go too far without two good guys down the middle. There's still that need.)

I've looked at it before and if there is a concern about the Leafs not having a goaltender, it's because they missed out on Kari Lehtonen, Craig Anderson and Jose Theodore, and possibly even Jaroslav Halak. Using the same sort of analysis, are there centremen that have been moved in Burke's tenure that were both attainable and good enough to be on Toronto's first line?

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Martin Lapointe and NHL player salaries

JP Nikota
August 15 2012 07:49AM

"Everybody but the people who run teams base performance on how many points you get [or] how many goals. Well, we don't. If he gets goals, that helps, but you have to look at the overall contribution to the team. Martin [Lapointe]'s a character person. He comes to play every night. He came from a winning program. And we needed at his position."

- Harry Sinden

The above quote tells us a lot about how the NHL's financial situation got to be where it is today.

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Leafs Nation round table - Should a goalie be Burke's priority?

Cam Charron
August 14 2012 02:58PM

This may be an extended offseason, so to break up the time, some of the writers on TLN are exchanging emails to each other, discussing the Toronto Maple Leafs and NHL hockey as whole. Today's topic is whether or not the Leafs ought to make it a priority to acquire a goaltender, or if they ought to focus on building the roster first.

From: Cam Charron
To: JP Nikota, Ryan Fancey
Subj: Priorities

I mostly want to ask JP this question because we had a mini-discussion in a comment thread earlier this week about the Leafs' priorities. I think the priority for Brian Burke ought to be to acquire another defenceman, but JP suggested that they need a goalie.

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