Game Preview: Maple Leafs v. Lightning

Pension Plan Puppets
November 30 2010 11:28AM

 
 

 

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Record

8-11-3, 19 points

13-8-3, 29 points

PP %

15.2%, 21st

23.4%, 5th

PK %

73.1%, 29th

87.5%, 3rd

Goals For

48

73

Goals Against

61

78

Tonight the Toronto Maple Leafs host the Tampa Bay Lightning. As has often been the case since the lockout, the Lightning are a horrible hockey team at the most basic level: Five-on-Five. During the game's most commom state, the Lightning are among the bottom five teams. Their GF/GA ratio is 0.77. Compare that with a team everyone agrees is terrible, the Leafs, who stand at 0.89. Why are the Lightning doing so much better than the Leafs? Simple: Special Teams.

Someone on this site once remarked that Powerplay Success Means Nothing. He was rightly laughed off the site and...what's that? *checks the site* crap. Well, his myopic view of special teams was corrected with some simple research that highlighted the importance of special teams. A good team will have a powerplay plus penalty kill mark of 100. The Lightning stand at 110.9 which is how they have managed to overcome their atrocious even strength play. The Leafs' 88.3% is on its way to setting a post-lockout standard for special teams' futility.

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Outhustled, Outmuscled, and Outthought

Pension Plan Puppets
November 29 2010 10:55AM

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As you can see by the scoreline, Friday night's Leafs-Sabres game was still very much in the balance with just under ten minutes left in the game. Francois Beauchemin was about to waltz into the offensive zone with some speed. Then he decided to make a play the Leafs had made a few times in the third which was to dump the puck back to a trailer who was coming up ice at full tilt. In this case it was Phil Kessel and unfortunately he missed the puck.

You wouldn't think that there was much danger in this play as Kadri is ahead of his man, the other two Sabres are far behind the play, Beauchemin is turning with Patrick Kaleta and Phil Kessel is closest to the puck. Let's see how things went wrong. 

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TOO MUCH GLARE FOR THESE LEAFS

Steve Lansky
November 29 2010 09:40AM

I have a theory. I keep coming back to it then summarily dismissing it. But, today, I can’t dismiss it. It’s a small theory about why the Toronto Maple Leafs continue to struggle year after year after year. Call me crazy, but what if the players on the team simply can’t stand playing in such a hockey-mad city – but, deep down, they don’t know it?

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Leafs' Scoring Chances through Nov. 27/10, by Individual

Slava Duris
November 29 2010 09:39AM

We've gone by the first quarter pole of the regular season, so I thought now would be a good time to see where the Maple Leafs stand as far as scoring chances go. To get the gist of how chances are counted, see my first post at LeafsNation. We'll be looking over player statistics in each game state: Even-Strength, Power-Play, and Penalty-Kill. Two-man advantages are unaccounted for in the data.

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Game #22: Toronto @ Ottawa, Nov. 27/10 (3-0 Loss)

Slava Duris
November 27 2010 08:18PM

Scoring Chances for NHL Game Number 20337

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