November 28 2016 03:27PM
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA TODAY SPORTS
If you're a believer that even the most objective, soulless attempts at building something special will come with familiar feeling narratives and storylines, you have to know what's coming. There's obviously no tangible guarantee, but even in regards to an organization of newfound silence, everything about the speculation connects the Leafs to Dougie Hamilton makes sense.
November 28 2016 11:55AM
This stretch of so few games is good for the sake of the team getting rest, but boring as heck for the sake of watching the most entertaining and actually good hockey team alive (TM). While we wait for Tuesday, I reached into the mailbag and grabbed some questions to respond to.
November 27 2016 06:42PM
The Leafs tame the Holtbeast, the young guns come out to play, and the birth of #Kadri4Selke.
LET'S DO THIS!
November 27 2016 10:17AM
It's typically in the couple weeks leading up to the trade deadline where we start getting wind of which pro scouts or other front office executives are traveling around and making appearances at games where "available" players might be. I'm not sure if I've ever noticed it starting this early in a season, but with some notable names being kicked around the trade rumour mill, like Evander Kane and Dougie Hamilton for example, it's probably not surprising a lot of teams are making the rounds. And it isn't just scouts.
For the Leafs and Flames, who seemed to have a bit of a connection last season without anything materializing, it looks as though there could have something brewing again. But what could be on the table?
November 27 2016 08:12AM
The Toronto Maple Leafs powerplay was confounding in Mike Babcock's first season as head coach of the team. They were 3rd in the NHL in shot attempt rate at 5v4, at 103.6 attempts per 60 minutes. Even more impressive, they were 1st in scoring chance rate, at 28.7 scoring chances per 60 minutes, a good ways ahead of 2nd place San Jose, who fired 26.3 SCF/60. And yet, despite all those opportunities, the Leafs struggled to score powerplay goals. They finished 29th in the NHL in powerplay success rate and were 3rd last in S%.
This year the story is markedly different. The team has fallen to 23rd in the league in shot attempts, generating 84.5 CF/60, an 18% decrease in shot volume. Scoring chances paint a slightly rosier picture. The Leafs SC/60 at 5v4 is 11th in the league, with 24.3 SC/60 representing a drop of 15%. But the Leafs are much more successful on the powerplay this year, with a 9th ranked powerplay that's scoring on nearly 2% more of its shots.
What explains the difference between the Leafs powerplay in these two seasons?