February 14 2017 11:41AM
Photo Credit: Twitter/David Alter (@dalter)
The New York Islanders are back in town to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. This time around, they're actually back in the playoff hunt, which isn't overly surprising to those who saw a team with a bad coach and a lot of time spent leading and said "hey, something has to give here".
Seeing them bounce back has been a fun story. But it's less fun when they get in your way, so here's what's going down tonight.
February 14 2017 09:59AM
Photo Credit: Raj Mehta/USA TODAY SPORTS
My apologies for slacking for the delay as this "January" update has now turned into a mid-February one. Well, happy Valentine's Day from me to you as I provide a monthly update of how good this team is.
It is now month five of the season, we're hitting the home stretch and it seems like the Leafs are fading. They're reeling of late winning just two of their last eight games. It hasn't been pretty. Fortunately, though, the team is still very much in the playoff hunt, even if it's getting much tighter lately. Fans are turning pessimistic, but the team is still in a decent spot. Much better than where I thought they'd be at the start of the season at least.
February 14 2017 09:57AM
Being a key cog in the Toronto Maple Leafs organization has it's perks and it's downsides.
The glamour of playing in Canada's hockey hotbed is enticing and exciting, but the fan pressure and media coverage can find ways to stir things up in the 6. In his first full NHL season, 20 year-old William Nylander is getting a taste of the rumour mill and it's rather surprising. Despite producing 36 points in 53 games (ranking him fourth in rookie scoring) Nylander finds himself involved in the centre of trade whispers that are being amplified via social media.
February 14 2017 07:00AM
This is a four-part series analyzing where each NHL teams stands heading into the trade deadline based on the context of each division, and the short- and long-term implications of buying or selling with the expansion draft around the corner.
The Pacific Division is completely wide open. Though San Jose appears to still be the cream of the crop, the Oilers have showed flashes of brilliance, and the Ducks and Kings have a track record of previous success. The Canucks and Flames are in a difficult situation determining whether to buy or sell, while the Coyotes have known for months that their season is over.
February 13 2017 04:32PM
Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY SPORTS
Shortly after I woke up this morning, I stumbled upon a tweet from Empirical Sports co-founder Michael Schuckers, referencing an analysis that he and a few peers had done years prior on the statistical value of a faceoff in the National Hockey League. Their finding was that you needed an approximate faceoff differential of 76.5 for your talents at the dot to be worth a goal differential of 1. They also broke it down into even strength and special teams, and into specific zones.
The final findings were summed up in this table: