Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
May 10 2013 01:10PM
While it doesn't have much to do with today's game, or this playoff series, or anything current really, the topic of Tyler Bozak and money he could potentially make was making the rounds again on Twitter this morning. Naturally, I'm left unamused by this, because the concept of Bozak cashing in on a large deal, particularly with Toronto, makes me want to run around in circles anticipating the apocalypse. Of course, while many share the sentiment, there are others who are okay with locking him up.
Some feel that letting Bozak go means investing in a big name, and that this year's crop isn't up to par. Some feel his familiarity with Phil Kessel is an asset. But a lot of the defenders of him will go all in on one aspect of his game: faceoff ability.
Bozak recieved a lot of praise this year for what he did inside the circle. He lead the Leafs in draw winning percentage, and finished tied for second in the NHL in faceoff wins. These are both important, right? Not quite. Let's look at some stats.
May 10 2013 01:06PM
I never really got behind the concept of "must-win" games. They're always trotted out for meaningless regular season games against teams fighting for the same spot in the standings.
Late in the season, I heard the term "must-win" trotted out for the Maple Leafs game at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers. The Leafs lost in a shootout but didn't drop in the standings, and held the five-seed to the end of the year.
Toronto didn't have a lot of "must-win" games this year though, even in the clichéd sense. For all the talk about how tight the standings would be in a short season, by the final week of the season it was pretty apparent who would land the low seeds in the East.
Tonight though, is a must-win game for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
May 09 2013 12:54PM
So, last night happened. We watched the Leafs play one of their most exciting and intense games in nearly a decade, and promptly fell into a state of wondering after David Krejci scored his third of the night to win the game for the Boston Bruins. Some wondered if the Leafs still have a chance in this series. Some wondered about the players wives and girlfriends. Some wondered if this was really what they were waiting for for nine years. Lastly, a lot of people wondered about how awesome it would be if the Leafs no longer had Dion Phaneuf. Wait, what?
May 09 2013 12:09PM
The Leafs are on the brink of elimination, and all anyone's talking about is a glare, AND THEY DIDN'T EVEN GET IT RIGHT! Figure it out!
May 09 2013 10:56AM
Photo via Claus Anderson/Getty via NHL Interactive
The first step I'm sure is making sure Mark Fraser is okay. He took an ugly puck off the face and bled his way to the hospital, where he was being checked for broken bones in his forehead.
It was an ugly scene, but there was something lighthearted about the way that Hockey Night's Craig Simpson suggested that the member of the ice crew who scraped the blood into James Reimer's net was somehow in the wrong.
Either way, we were left with a Maple Leafs rotation of five defencemen: Dion Phaneuf, Carl Gunnarsson, Cody Franson, Ryan O'Byrne, and Jake Gardiner, who played one hell of a game and filled Fraser's shoes defensively while providing offence.