January 20 2011 02:42PM
Scoring Chances for NHL Game Number 20693
As is often the case with these blowout games, the final scoring chance tally is a lot closer than the result on the scoreboard. This doesn't mean that the Leafs didn't put out an uninspired effort, but I think it was partly a case of a porous defence giving up some quality chances, and moreso a goalie who was way off his game. Although the Leafs defence can make life difficult for their goalies, it is my opinion that Gustavsson can make things just as hard for his D (and I'd posted on twitter several days ago that when Gustavsson is is net, the Leafs have been outchanced handily at even strength on the year... but with Giguere or Reimer in net, they come out ahead of their opposition). See the first Gaborik goal where "the Monster" flopped all over the place instead of just squaring up to the shooter. Sure that goal came following a Beauchemin up-the-middle giveaway, but Gustavsson needs to be lot more poised, like Giguere and Reimer.
January 20 2011 11:34AM
I'm not a gambler. I've been to Vegas, but never sat down at a table or put a dime into a slot machine. I watch a lot of sports, but have never placed a bet on a game ever. Just not something I'm interested in doing. Now that doesn't mean that I don't understand sports betting. Spreads, handicaps, over/unders I understand the in and outs of making a buck on sports. So imagine the surprised look on my face when I heard that the Maple Leafs were the favorite in tonight's matchup with the 5th place Anaheim Ducks. How is that even possible? Have the Vegas oddsmakers lost their mind? Yes, yes they have and here's why in handy dandy list form.
1) Anaheim is 8-2-0 over their last 10 games and have won 2 in a row.
2) The trio of Perry-Getzlaf-Ryan. Perry is on pace for a 90 point season. Getzlaf and Ryan for 70. They're pretty good.
3) Calder Trophy winner Teemu Selanne. He's ageless and over a PPG pace at the age of 40. Oh yeah he's pretty nasty on the power play as well.
4) Speaking of the Ducks' powerplay, the Leafs penalty kill is 26th in the league with a dismal 77.5 success rate.
5) Former Duck J.S. Giguere is starting in net for the Leafs. His season has been atrocious with him posting a .898 save %. Also, I'm pretty sure his old team of 9 seasons knows exactly where to shoot on him.
Follow me after the jump for reasons 6 thru 10.
January 20 2011 09:34AM
What a stink bomb! Last night’s game at Madison Square Garden was, by far, the Leafs’ worst effort of the season. I honestly think that if the Rangers had truly wanted to score a dozen goals, they could have. Since my head-scratching finger is exhausted, I am going to refrain from trying to figure out why the Leafs would perform this way. But I do know blowouts can have two kinds of effects on teams. They can fracture or they can galvanize.
January 19 2011 11:18AM
Ever been to Madison Square Garden's? For all the talk of it being sport's most hallowed grounds, the "World's Greatest Arena", etc.... boy is it ever a giant pit. It's easily the worst NHL arena I've ever been to, and I've seen games at Joe Louis and the Nassau Coliseum. The entrances and exits are too few, too confusing, and painted in 1990's "cool" green and pink which matches the horrific seat colors of purple and turquoise blue. It makes me want to barf. The concourses are barely wide enough for 6 people to walk shoulder to shoulder. The food stations are too few and crowded. And good luck trying to find a bathroom. I'm convinced they don't exist. The only thing present at 7th and 32nd that sucks more than the arena, is the on-ice product delivered by the resident team.
December 29th, 2010. That's the last time the Rangers scored more than 2 goals in a game. It was against the worst team in hockey, the New Jersey Devils, and the Rangers only managed to put 3 onto the board. That was 10 games ago. Miraculously, or perhaps because they employ one of the best goaltenders in the league, the Rangers won 5 of those games and added a loser point against Tampa Bay to emerge from that span with nearly as many points, 11, as goals scored, 12. That's impressively atrocious and proof to the fact that the New York Rangers are incapable of playing exciting hockey. At the beginning of the 2008-09 season, I saw the Leafs play the Rangers at MSG and it was hands down the worst godawful hockey game I've ever watched live. It was a game that ended 0-0 after regulation and OT and saw Freddy Sjostrom of all people mercifully score the only goal in the shootout to lift the Rangers to a 1-0 win. I wanted to hang myself out of boredom.
January 17 2011 08:25AM
Recognize the guy in the picture? Didn't think so. Maple Leafs’ fans love to think of themselves as the best and most savvy in the world. What they are, in fact, is the least tolerant. Ask Dion Phaneuf. He can tell you all about it. Larry Murphy could probably shed a little light as well. In Phaneuf’s case, since he came back from a wicked leg injury on December 9th v. Philadelphia, the castigation has been ramped up a notch each game, it seems. And, while thinking of Phaneuf’s plight, I thought about a former NHL defenceman who reminds me a lot of Phaneuf – Barry Beck. Some of you might have just said, “Ya, Barry Beck, that's who that is.” But the majority probably don’t have a clue. Read on.