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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Size Has No Impact On Faceoff Percentage: 2009-10 Data

Jonathan Willis
December 24 2010 10:36AM


A question that has come up a few times is whether big players tend to have an advantage when taking faceoffs. There is a certain logic to the idea that they do: after all, bigger, stronger players should be able to outmuscle their smaller counterparts in the faceoff circle.

The data, however, suggests something else entirely: that there is no advantage to being big when it comes to taking face-offs.

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The Word “Stress” – Meaningless For Professional Athletes?

Jonathan Willis
December 23 2010 05:16PM

Meandering around the internets the other day, I came across a compelling article by Steven Reiss, an Emeritus Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Ohio State University. It was his opening statement that caught my attention:

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