Is This A Goal Scoring Competition? Phil Kessel's Defensive Game

A. Bates
March 21 2012 06:24PM

Not a Selke trophy

A lot has been made of Phil Kessel's defensive game, or lack thereof, this season. Phil has been labeled as being a soft player that plays poor defensive hockey. Generally the opinion on him is that he doesn't back check, floats around in the defensive zone and only focuses on the offensive side of his game.

Usually to win a hockey game one team must out shoot their opponent while limiting their shots against. However, this style of play doesn't work well when your goaltenders are letting 10% of shots into your net. This, unfortunately, is what the Leafs net-minders seem to be doing.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that Kessel is going to be up for any Selke awards soon but what I am going to tell you is that he is nowhere near as bad defensively as fans think he is, and I have some numbers to prove it.

Follow me over the jump for details.

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I don't know what this is

Ryan Fancey
March 20 2012 09:01PM

Coming off a 8-0 loss in Beantown the previous evening, I figured the Leafs would put Tank Nation in serious jeopardy on Tuesday night when the Islanders came to town. Not to worry, it's still full steam ahead on this bullet train to the bottom of the standings.

I'm not sure how much can be taken from this game. The Leafs somehow managed to follow up a 13-shot "performance" in Boston with a 14-shot output on home ice. Absolutely dreadful.

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NN Hockey Pool Update: March 20th Edition

Jonathan Willis
March 20 2012 10:04AM

Another week, another leader in the Nation Network Hockey Pool.

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Tuesday Morning Hockey Sense

Danny Gray
March 20 2012 05:35AM



Jay Rosehill pulled a muscle trying to solve this one. 

I don't even know what to say anymore. Despite the fact that every rational observer knew the Leafs season was over, people were still shocked they got steamrolled by a team with a five game winning streak against them. Every game has somehow turned into a referendum on Brian Burke's job building this team, which is a tad myopic.

I want no part in that, so here is some trivia for you.

Here are hockey related dates, which number finishes the sequence?


1995, 1994, 1979, 1968, 1996, ?


 First correct answer gets to feel a little better about themselves this morning. 

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Black and Bruined

Matt Stephen
March 19 2012 08:02PM

Editor's Note:  Photo courtesy of @MHCranberry 's interesting timeline. Apologies for the late note I forgot originally.

The odds were stacked against the Maple Leafs, having lost five of the six games in the season series. The Bruins had outscored them 28-10 before the puck dropped, but against all odds, they came out with two points against the reigning Stanley Cup champs pushing the winning streak to three.

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