January 09 2011 02:33PM
Scoring Chances for NHL Game Number 20598
January 09 2011 09:04AM
So, that was a pretty good way to begin a four-game, do-or-die road trip, right? Frankly, I can’t think of a better one. By blowing out the Atlanta Thrashers in Georgia, the Maple Leafs have shown they clearly understand the magnitude of this trip. As I have preached since the beginning of this season, this team has the talent to be a 2011 Stanley Cup Playoff team. But they do not often display the will and desire to make it so. They did on Friday in Atlanta.
January 07 2011 11:59AM
Last time the Thrasher and Leafs shared the ice, Atlanta hung 6 on Gustavsson forcing Wilson to pull him and give James Reimer his first taste of NHL ice. Reimer stopped all 14 shots he faced in the 3rd, and left us all hoping he'd get the next start. He didn't as Gustavsson got the next three straight starts (2 losses). That was finally enough for Wilson as Reimer then got the next two starts stopping 63 of 66 shots his faced for a .957 sv% over 7 periods of play. For those of you who are uneducated (read as: Oiler's fans), that really freaking good. Reimer deserved a win in that Boston game, but the team in front of him could only muster a single goal. Such has been the story for the Leafs this season, their engine never running on all cylinders. Take last night for instance. 5 goals against the Blues. 5 goals given up to the Blues. Thank goodness for Grabovski being dick nasty in the shootout, or else it would have been yet another loss for the Leafs where their offense and goaltending were not in sync.
The good news though is that it looks like, for the first time this season, they just might be. Over their last 10 games, the Leafs are averaging 3.1 goals a game which would be 6th best in the league had this been their pace all season. Better still, they haven't been shutout since December 2nd when they were on pace to break the all-time NHL shutout record of 16. Thank goodness we can stop referencing that terrible possibility. That's the silver lining, the big black cloud is this:
One interesting thing I noticed while doing all this was the Toronto Maple Leafs up by a single goal performance over the last 3 seasons. While they were middle of the pack 5v5 game tied (16th in 3 year 5v5 game tied save percentage), they were downright horrific when they got up a goal. They just couldn’t hold a lead. The three worst single season save percentages when up a goal were the 2009-10 Leafs, 2008-09 Leafs, and the 2007-08 Leafs so they were three for three there. - Hockey Analysis
January 07 2011 10:56AM
Remember that kid in your math class? The one who, in order to pass even the simplest test, had to work and work and work. You could almost see the sweat pouring down his forehead as he tried to solve for x in 17x + 4x2 + 14 = 329. And, if he was really lucky, he got a C+. He’s the Maple Leafs. Without every single piston firing, every player working their tail off, they aren’t going to win.
January 06 2011 12:11PM
The St. Louis Blues love playing in Toronto. In their last 10 games playing there, St. Louis has a record of 8-0-2. Ho boy. That's some bad juju tonight for the Leafs, something they've had too much of this season. Added to the bad vibes, it's the first time former Leafs Alex Steen and Carlo Colaiacovo, two former 1st rounders, make their return to the ACC after getting dealt two seasons ago for
Lee Stempniak a 4th and 7th pick in the 2010 NHL Draft.