A "meaningful gulf" in the quality of centremen

Cam Charron
August 20 2012 08:33AM

I've been blogging about the Leafs for a short time, and after watching maybe about 40 games last season and looking at all the data available, there are fewer things on this world I am more sure about than "Mikhail Grabovski is the #1 centreman on this team".

This doesn't mean the Leafs need to look at more options to get a better second-line centreman. In fact, that ought to be their second priority behind another top-three defenceman. Unfortunately, with so many quality players locked into long contracts with their current clubs, pickings are slim.

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Michael Sauer still hasn't recovered from Phaneuf hit

Cam Charron
August 19 2012 09:38AM

Original source via Toronto Star

"Phaneuf takes it around back of the net, flipping it up around the boards, doesn't get it ou—OH HO! WHAT A HIT! OH DID HE GET HIM!" —Joe Bowen

This hit was from a game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Rangers back in December. The image above doesn't make it look like Dion Phaneuf caught Sauer in the head, and the video (posted after the jump) is a little bit lower resolution than the image, but confirms that the check was legal.

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Toronto Maple Leafs 2012-13 annual: The burden of expectation

Cam Charron
August 18 2012 11:20AM

The Toronto Maple Leafs aren't the worst franchise in Toronto—Toronto FC, the Argonauts, the Raptors all deserve parts of the title. I would suggest though that neither sports franchise represents the worst overall product in the city. That would be the streetcars, a totally inefficient use of city space. Streetcars confine themselves to one lane and it's in the middle of the street. During rush hour periods, the streets in downtown Toronto are an awful mess due to the city's reluctance to introduce revolutionary technology such as buses.

And, hey, poll many Torontonians, and if you asked them whether they'd keep the streetcars or the Maple Leafs, most would say the Maple Leafs.

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NHL 13 ratings released: Grabovski listed as first-line C

Cam Charron
August 17 2012 09:00AM

Puck Daddy today released all of the ratings for EA's NHL 13 players. This allows us to go through it and look at the painful omissions and errors that Electronic Arts managed, such as Marc-André Fleury being ranked as an 87.

From a Leafs perspective, though, the numbers look pretty spot-on when comparing to players on the team. Mikhail Grabovski is listed, rightfully so, as the best centreman on the team, although poor Jay McClement was hilariously omitted by the Vancouver-based company, jealous that they could not sign McClement as their own.

Also, Jay Rosehill carries a rating higher than his shoe size. That's probably a typo, or he has real big feet.

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Joffrey Lupul sees "too much of Chara for his own good"

Cam Charron
August 17 2012 06:45AM

The Leafs Nation is lucky enough to be partnered with NHL Numbers, a website that analyzes hockey through objective numbers and tries to clear roadblocks and hurdles for the rest of us. The goal? Providing us with a better understanding of the hockey players and teams we love so much and pay so much to watch.

This can mean anything for us, how effective players were, to what kind of competition they were playing against, even to how many penalties they took and drew. The NHL doesn't record everything on its website, but it does record several events and who was on the ice: goals, missed shots, hits, takeaways, you can pretty much decipher, if you use all the available information, exactly what happened when any given player was out on the ice.

And this brings us to quality of competition.

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