November 28 2013 02:57AM
"Score effects" is the term used by hockey analysts to explain why teams that are behind by a goal tend to out-shoot the opposition. You may notice in the third period, often a team will rally but come up just shy. I'll point to examples last night, such as Carolina, leading 4-1 into the third period against New Jersey, were out-shot 9-3 and held on for a 4-3 win. Winnipeg, up 3-1, were out-shot 10-7 and won 3-2. Phoenix was up 2-0, was out-shot 14-11 and won 3-1.
Not to say this happens every game, but comebacks happen. We don't know why, but in almost any sport, the trailing team generates some artificial momentum and does better.
That doesn't explain what's up with the Toronto Maple Leafs when they attempt to hold a lead. Nevermind getting out-shot 19-0 by the Penguins in the third period and overtime after being up 5-3 going into the final 20, the last time the Leafs held a lead going into the third, against the Islanders, they were out-shot 17-10. (I incorrectly wrote that the Leafs had been out-shot 36-4 in third periods their last two times going in with leads in a comment on the postgame thread. It's really 36-10. Misread something).
November 27 2013 09:23PM
On this episode, the guys talk about the massive Rogers deal, the Olympics, Steve's brother John Tavares, and Gary Roberts.
November 27 2013 08:44PM
The Leafs and the Penguins, two dominant QMJHL (apparently?) franchises, met up at Consol Energy Centre Wednesday night for the drunkest game of the season. Despite throwing everything at Jonathan Bernier in the second half of the game, the Pittsburgh Penguins could not skate away with a regulation victory. Despite scoring five goals on 24 shots, chasing the starting goaltender and scoring on the first shot the backup faced, the Maple Leafs couldn't hang on in the end.
There's some wonky strategy employed by Randy Carlyle in the way he defends leads. Again, Toronto didn't get a shot in the final 25:04 of the game, yet skate out of Pittsburgh with a point, falling 6-5 in a shootout.
November 27 2013 03:03PM
(Photo via Panini America)
November 27 2013 11:15AM
As an early Christmas present, the Maple Leafs get to hit the hardest part of the schedule. Between now and the time Santa comes around, Toronto gets to play 15 games in 27 days, including four back-to-backs, five against current Western Conference playoff teams, and every other Eastern Conference playoff team except for Washington. If the margin for error was thin before, it's even thinner now. The Leafs have been banking points in November for precisely this purpose, this three-week stretch that could make or break the team's playoff fortunes.
It all starts tonight in Pittsburgh. After conceding six against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday, James Reimer won't get a chance against a team he's done pretty well against. Don't sweat it. Like I've said many, many times before, don't pay too much attention to a goalie's numbers in a small sample of games against a particular team.
But the grind begins tonight, and this is the type of stretch where Randy Carlyle is going to be glad he has two goalies. Both will get an ample chance to prove themselves in the next three weeks.