Steve Lansky
December 29 2010 11:43AM

As a highly touted forward, when you play seventeen consecutive NHL games without scoring a single goal, something’s gotta give. In a related story, Nazem Kadri has been returned to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL. His time with the big club has been, to completely understate it, disappointing. But this hiccup in his career has little to do with Kadri’s actual play. As it is with every single player who skates in an NHL game, it’s about the person. His temperament. His character and his effort. And his perceived ability (or dwindling lack thereof) to become a top-line NHLer.

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Post-Lockout "Average" Goaltending

December 29 2010 07:48AM

Looking at save percentages I wanted to get a feeling for what an average goaltender can do post lockout. A lot of people think anything above .900 is fine for a goaltender but Craig Anderson's .900 puts him in 37th place among goaltenders that NHL.com lists. Their list is for goaltenders who have made or on pace to make enough starts to qualify for the Vezina among other things, for the most part it weeds out guys who have played only one game.

So if there are 36 other goaltenders stopping more pucks than he is that implies that six teams have better backups than Craig Anderson. If we wanted "average" (but really median) goaltending we'd look at 15th place which is currently held by Semyon Varlamov and his .919 SV%.

Just as .900 seems low for today's NHL .919 seems pretty high to ask for average. One of my readers at Pension Plan Puppets asked a great question last night; what if we ignore single seasons and look at data for multiple years? What's the average then?

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Leafs vs Hurricanes - Game #2 of Losers Bracket Week

December 28 2010 09:06AM

Whereas the week prior was West Coast Waffle Week, let this upcoming stretch of games be known as Loser Bracket Week. Including the win over the league worst New Jersey Devils in front of a crowd of dozens on Sunday, the Leafs have four straight games against teams currently out of the playoffs picture. New Jersey, Carolina, Columbus, Ottawa. What was the opposite of the Yankee's Murderer's Row back in the 20's? Regardless this stretch of teams that can be called anything but elite would be a great time for the Leafs to pull their asses out of their heads and get on that 63 points in 48 games pace they'll need to reach the playoffs. Or it could be just the opportunity they need to drop 3 of 4 "easy" ones forcing Burke to make good on his "make a trade for Wilson's sake" promise, thus setting this team back yet another year. For the love of all that is holy, please win these games.

Tonight, the Buds will get their best opportunity on the week to get one as the Hurricanes find themselves losers of 3 straight with only 5 goals to show for their "effort". Leading the way as always for Carolina is captain Eric Staal who leads the team in goals (16) and points (34). Last year's surprise 30 goal scorer Jussi Jokinen has regressed to the mean this season and is on pace for only 15. Ouch. However rookie Jeff Skinner has helped pick up the slack with 8 goals and 17 assists, giving him a tie for the rookie scoring race along with Logan Couture. He'll be centering Carolina's 2nd line tonight and should be lined up across from the Kadri-Bozak-Kessel line for most of the line. I haven't heard much about Skinner's defensive game so hopefully that means it's lacking and the KBK line can finally get something going tonight.

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Steve Lansky
December 27 2010 01:51PM

The Christmas break is over so, after 34 games, the time is now for your Toronto Maple Leafs. Although some Poindexter with a calculator will likely try and prove me wrong, if the Leafs are going to make a bold move up the standings, it will have to be in over the next 16 games. Typically, teams, who make major in-season standings’ improvements, do it before Game 50. Right now, the club sits ten points out of the 8th playoff spot. That’s not very far…but the move must start now.

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Game #34 Scoring Chances: TOR @ NJD, Dec. 26/10 (4-1 Win)

Slava Duris
December 27 2010 10:38AM

Scoring Chances for NHL Game Number 20520

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