September 26 2012 02:49PM
Today on Twitter there was an informal discussion, as is wont to happen on that particular medium, about the fourth Leafs' defenceman on the penalty kill. Ryan wrote about Komisarek earlier today, while I broke down a Pittsburgh zone entry that paints Komisarek in a bad light. Here's the rest of the entry, and some added thoughts and afternoon links:
September 26 2012 11:30AM
I wanted to look a little bit at how Toronto's penalty killing can improve with the arrival of Jay McClement, so I took to watching a pair of games to see how the Maple Leafs reacted against one of the better powerplay teams in the league, Pittsburgh, versus a team that had some shorthanded success against them in, coincidentally, the Colorado Avalanche.
The Avalanche, McClement's former employers, had twice the success against the Pittsburgh powerplay as Toronto did, despite playing just as much shorthanded time against them as the Leafs in just two games versus four.
September 26 2012 06:58AM
The Leafs are coming up on the final two years of the thorn that's been stinging their side since 2009.
Mike Komisarek's salary dips in 2012-13 to $3.5M, which saves the Leafs $2M compared to last season in actual cash. We've now entered (or will enter, when hockey starts) that window where a lot of people believed he could be dumped to a floor team who won't mind paying him $3.5M and taking on the extra cap dollars along with it.
That idea was thrown around for a while, but fizzled out quite quickly.
September 25 2012 08:48PM
If you're anyting like Detroit Red Wings' Senior VP of Barnyard Operations, Jim Devellano, it's sometimes hard to tell elite hockey players apart from the rest of the herd. But never fear, the handy chart above should help you out if you ever get into a pinch.
Now, far be it from me to judge a Lester Patrick Trophy winner like Jimmy Devellano, but the cattle comment was a bit over the top. If there's anything I've learned over the years, it's that you don't poke the bear. You lure it with some bait, and then shoot it while it's not looking.
Wait. No. Not only is that the wrong analogy, it's the wrong animal.
We're talking barnyard animals today, especially those that make up the NHL's pecking order...
September 25 2012 03:03PM
Today I went and picked up Jonathan Gatehouse's new book The Instigator that chronicles Gary Bettman's rise as the most powerful man in hockey. Yet to make my way through it, but I found an interesting passage pertaining to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
We knew that Toronto made an hour-long pitch to Brad Richards, the headline free agent of the 2011 class, but there's a section in this book, looking at Richards' courting, that goes slightly more into detail: