A note on Mikhail Grabovski's production

Cam Charron
March 11 2013 03:25PM

For the second time, a Toronto Star writer has completely ignored the fact that Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin play on a checking line—and almost exclusively in a checking role—when trying to analyze the scoring of those two players. In Boston, Kevin McGran tweeted out a poorly-formed thought indicating that Grabovski was invisble, a period before Grabovski and Jay McClement hooked up for the 3-2 goal that brought the Maple Leafs back into the game.

Grabovski in that game took six of his 11 draws against Patrice Bergeron. Media members can accept that Randy Carlyle plays a hard matching style, where he likes to pair up a centreman against a centreman for the course of the game. Grabovski, Toronto's best two-way player, along with Nik Kulemin and Jay McClement frequently get the opposition's top line, even on the road.

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Why does the first line have a lousy scoring chance differential?

Cam Charron
March 11 2013 10:44AM

Phil Kessel sometimes does take shifts that go on a bit too long.

In the third period Saturday night, during a frantic bit of action, two Toronto Maple Leafs players were caught on the ice at the end of their shifts: Phil Kessel and Mark Fraser. Since the Leafs were skating broadcast right to left, Mark Fraser as a left side defenceman was slightly further away from the bench than his partner Mike Kostka, who got off for Dion Phaneuf. No excuse for Phil Kessel, who plays a bit of a rover position, but is generally expected to be a right winger for the Leafs.

Still, Kessel stayed on the ice even after Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk had gone off. Streaking through centre, he used his speed to get around Penguins forward Craig Adams and made a subtle outlet to Nazem Kadri who had come on the ice. Kadri moved the puck in over the line with possession, halted just enough to stall Penguins shutdown man Paul Martin and find Kessel, who had burst into the slot.

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Marlies Win 4-1 Over Peoria

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
March 10 2013 05:10PM

You know what they about the journey from the AHL to the NHL, you're trying to trade a bus ride to P- NO! That's it. This horse isn't just dead, with today's game, we've now hit the point of decomposition. I'm pretty sure that if anyone brings it up to Dallas Eakins again, he's going to telepathically throw the person into a wall. That may be pushing it, so on to the point - the Toronto Marlies took on the Peoria Rivermen today, desperate for a rebound from their loss to Abbotsford. Despite a lot of key scratches, the Marlies handily beat their opponents 4-1.

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LFR6 - Game 26 - Crosby Kaputs Comeback

Steve Dangle
March 10 2013 02:42PM


The Leafs come up short, but they fought back hard to earn the point. For the team that appears to have everything, what are the Pittsburgh Penguins missing?

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Leafs battle back to earn a point against Penguins - Recap

Cam Charron
March 09 2013 09:21PM

Photo via Abelimages/NHLInteractive via Getty

A few thoughts before I look at some aspects of Toronto's 5-4 loss against Pittsburgh. Don't call it a "loss", really. Toronto came back and got a late goal from Phil Kessel to tie it up. After a nail-biting overtime session that was pretty inconsequential, James Neal and Sidney Crosby scored in the shootout as Tyler Bozak and Nazem Kadri missed.

But, a few thoughts...

When the National Hockey League came out of the season-long lockout they started showing games on NBC on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Watching out-of-market games is always fun, and in addition to the weekly CBC games, we got the TSN ones and then NBC on weekends. They'd always bring in some good talent from TSN, guys like Chris Cuthbert and Gord Miller I remember calling games, which was pretty cool.

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