April 16 2013 11:21AM
"This hug is for penalty killers only, Phil. You don't even go here."
The penalty kill for the Toronto Maple Leafs was beyond awful last night against New Jersey. The Maple Leafs allowed six scoring chances, five of them resulting in difficult stops for James Reimer. He saved his best ones for last.
What was amazing about the awful performance for the penalty kill was that it's rare that the Leafs had given up such a large number of scoring chances when down a man. This season, the penalty kill's problems have been beyond fixed. We have enough data in the sample to be able to suggest that there's really something to what Scott Gordon has done with the penalty kill. There's no more fronting. The squad is getting legitimate pressure on the points and (though I have no data to back this up) it seems they're stingier on allowing zone entries.
April 16 2013 10:47AM
Love for Boston.
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
April 16 2013 10:33AM
The cool thing about the Toronto Maple Leafs doing so well is unlike the typical listing of the scapegoats, we get to hear the reasons for the Leafs success. Some are reasonable (Jay McClement and both Goalies), some are great but sample sizes leave you weary (Nazem Kadri, Joffrey Lupul), and some are just plain wrong (Tyler Bozak, Colton Orr, Frazer McLaren, anything to do with Randy Carlyle and line matching). But in all of these, two guys are left unmentioned. Which is odd, because realistically, these two are the franchise players, and when the team goes cold, they’re first to blame.
Dion Phaneuf is one, and I’ll touch on him in a little while. But today, let’s talk about Phil Kessel. Amidst all the hype that the forward core is getting, few are talking about the fact that their best forward may be having the best year of his career.
April 15 2013 08:39PM
Photo via Graig Abel/NHL Interactive
This wasn't a Monet. This wasn't even a Picasso. If I was an eight year old and painted this, my parents probably wouldn't pin it to the fridge. I doubt they would even if I were an only child.
It's not that there's just some secret batch of numbers that exists in the Internet's reservoir of miscellaneous data that shows the Toronto Maple Leafs got out-played by the New Jersey Devils. Joe Bowen and Greg Millen knew it. The fans at the Air Canada Centre chanting James Reimer's name all night knew it. Everybody on Twitter knew it. Toronto got out-chanced and out-shot and miraculously, won.
It was 2-0 Monday night over the New Jersey Devils. With a single more point, or a single point dropped by the Winnipeg Jets, the Toronto Maple Leafs will clinch a playoff spot.
April 15 2013 02:13PM
It's a difficult afternoon to concentrate on hockey, so this New Jersey Devils/Toronto Maple Leafs "preview" post will just be a few numbers and line combinations rather than any pontificating spiel about roster decisions or optimization.