A Different Kind Of Numbers Problem

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
July 13 2013 09:10AM


Before I get into this post, let me start with one thing - if you're looking for a critical post about David Clarkson as a player for the Devils, or a potential player for the Leafs, this isn't it. If you're looking for somebody to break down how crazy the contract is, you'll want to read literally every other post written on a Maple Leafs site for the past week instead. 

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Randy Carlyle's effect on Tyler Bozak's possession statistics

Cam Charron
July 12 2013 01:30PM

I guess there's some room to be fair to Tyler Bozak. Tyler Dellow's been going through some zone faceoff data (I got my hands on some Leafs-specific zone data that I'll be rolling out this weekend) and it seems like Randy Carlyle's teams in particular are quite poor at puck possession. Dellow's been doing some great work at his website showing how the system can contribute to poor possession rates for top forwards. There's some indication that's been happening with Bozak.

Now, my opinions on Bozie are well-documented, but if you looked at his statistics relative to his own team, I think his collapse in shots for and against metrics aren't isolated on the Toronto Maple Leafs. The problem is that he's a key player in a system that's designed to give up shots on goal. While Randy Carlyle won a Stanley Cup, his Anaheim teams after that were never dominant again, and he missed the playoffs twice in the four years at the end of his term if you count 2012 as a year that the Ducks would have missed. They were 7-13-4 at the time.

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Know a Writer: James Mirtle

Steve Dangle
July 12 2013 10:10AM

Media has never been more accessible. Once an article, video, or sound bite goes online, it is immediately available for the entire world to consume, debate, and scrutinize. The hockey world is no different.

Writers and reporters make a living off of interviewing hockey players and executives. I wanted to switch things up, and interview the reporters instead.

I asked around, and the first volunteer was James Mirtle of the Globe & Mail. Here’s my interview with a man who covers the Leafs’ beat, and is one of the tallest sports writers going.

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Your monthly "who won the Phil Kessel trade" update

Cam Charron
July 12 2013 08:25AM

The Boston Bruins will have a different-looking first line next season, mostly because it's very unlikely that Jaromir Jagr will be back with the team.

In all seriousness, Hall of Fame writer Kevin Paul Dupont went online to talk about an "updated" version of the Phil Kessel trade, as if it hasn't been long enough that the hockey community as a whole can just move on. Really, it's been four seasons with Kessel in Toronto now and pretty much the only thing that hurt the Leafs is that the three players Boston used with the three picks in the trade were spent on good Ontario boys Tyler Seguin, Dougie Hamilton and Jared Knight. One of those draft picks is a regular NHLer right now, and zero of them play regularly for the Bruins.

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Carl Gunnarsson joins Mark Fraser in electing salary arbitration

Cam Charron
July 11 2013 01:06PM

The NHLPA released of 21 names of players that elected salary arbitration over last weekend. On the list is Mark Fraser (but we knew that already) and Carl Gunnarsson. Gunnarsson is a much more important piece to the Toronto Maple Leafs than Fraser, and I don't expect those two parties to make it to arbitration and will likely settle for something longer term.

Many people noted that Karl Alzner's 4-year, $11.2-million deal that was signed earlier this week (which averages out to $2.8-million) was positive for the Leafs. Gunnarsson and Alzner are good comparable players. Despite Alzner's junior hockey reputation, he's sort of established himself as a one-way defenceman, much like Gunnarsson, concentrating on the less expensive but just as valuable defensive aspects of the game.

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