February 14 2013 09:14PM
Photo: Gregg Forwerck via NHLInteractive
The Toronto Maple Leafs certainly didn't play like a plus-possession team tonight.
Nor did they play like a team belonging in the National Hockey League. Up against a team short two top-four defencemen in Tim Gleason and Joni Pitkanen, the Leafs failed to generate any sort of significant play in the offensive zone against a backup goaltender. They let both of the Carolina Hurricanes' top lines walk all over them, and the Leafs' two best defensive centres were a combined minus-8 in scoring chance differential.
Not one you'd totally want to relive. Carolina won its third straight and broke Toronto's four-game winning streak with a 3-1 win. But let's just say you did want to relive, and at least know which Leafs players to cuss out at during tomorrow's call-in shows?
February 14 2013 11:06AM
Just because it's an obscure stat category…
|8 Others Tied at||7|
The eight tied for fifth place on this list with seven drawn penalties? Carl Hagelin, Erik Karlsson, John Tavares, Alex Ovechkin, Patrice Bergeron, Evgeni Malkin, Jeff Skinner and Nazem Kadri.
February 13 2013 11:53AM
News struck today that Matt Frattin is out at least a week with an MCL issue. That's not a typo, where we've accidentally placed Frattin's name in place of James Reimer's; Frattin, who has been a pleasant surprise on the third line. Somebody made the joke that seeing the Leafs' at the top of the standings made them weak-kneed,
(No takers on the bet I was willing to make on this post. I'm still open to making it.)
He's second on the team with seven goals, behind just James van Riemsdyk. While nobody should expect his pace to continue, since Frattin is shooting the puck in the net at an absurd 38.9% rate. The highest rate in Leafs history (minimum 40 games and 100 shots) is 22.6% set by Gary Roberts in 2004. Shooting rates don't that just don't last, and, from looking at the years in the link above, gee there was some bad goaltending in the 1980s.
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
February 13 2013 12:16AM
The best part of Tuesday night’s game? I don’t have to mention the Hamilton Bulldogs until October. “OKAY JEFF, WE GET IT, YOU HATE THE SCHEDULE. Stop opening your posts with it!” you may say. On one hand, you’re right. On the other hand, we’re over half way into the season, and the Toronto Marlies have faced the Habs affiliate in 26% of their games. Include preseason, and it goes to 29%. One in every less than four games. For five months. Considering how these two teams like to get at each other, I have no idea how nobody’s been killed. Back to the point – tonight was the last game, Toronto really needs to start putting points on the board to stay in the playoff chase, and they did the opposite of that, losing a close one.
February 12 2013 01:30PM
Eventually "mild" is going to have to be struck from the Maple Leafs' employees lexicon:
Injury update: James Reimer sustained a mild (MCL) knee strain & is expected to be out for a minimum of one week #Leafs— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) February 12, 2013
That's the update on James Reimer from the team. Reimer of course left the Leafs game against the Flyers last night after appearing to tweak his knee moving right to left in the crease. This is good news if you take the Maple Leafs at their word, but given the setbacks for Jake Gardiner earlier in the season, the "minimum of one week" may be stretching a definition.