More than just a game, more than just a bylaw

Jeff Veillette
July 16 2016 09:25AM

Photo Credit: Andrew McHenry / @Andrewmcsnap

This isn't Leafs news, but it's a local hockey-related story nonetheless. Yesterday, Toronto city council voted 35-2 to lift a decades-old bylaw against street hockey and basketball which gave the city ability to give steep tickets to those who played sports on its roads.

Now, the straw that broke the camels back is admittedly pretty dumb. They chose to lift the ban rather than issue tickets to a large group of families, walking distance away from me, actually, who set up portable basketball nets in the streets in front of their driveways (can't have the ball hit the Lexus) and never move them off, even at night. Given that the adjustment still says no to playing between 8 PM and 9 AM, though, we'll probably see those people rolling their nets back after sunset.

But let me tell you a personal story about why this has me excited.

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TLN Roundtable: Summer School Grades

Jeff Veillette
July 15 2016 03:41PM


The offseason isn't over yet, but it's most crucial and active month has passed. Since many outlets have begun to give out their grades to various teams across the NHL, we've decided to throw our hats into the mix by grading the Toronto Maple Leafs. Here's what we've come up with:

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Leafs re-sign Garret Sparks to one-year contract

Jeff Veillette
July 15 2016 11:12AM

Photo Credit: Christian Bonin/

It looks like the Toronto Maple Leafs have one fewer restricted free agent to worry about, as the team has agreed to terms with goaltender Garret Sparks for the 2016/17 season.

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Looking At The Leafs Through The Eyes Of Game Score

Dom Luszczyszyn
July 15 2016 09:00AM

The best and worst games played by a Leaf last season were both by Jonathan Bernier. They were played within eight days of each other. On December 29, Bernier let in six goals on 15 shots (and got pulled) against the Islanders in a 6-3 loss. On January 6th, he stopped all 39 shots he faced against the Ducks in a 4-0 Leafs win.

The first game earned a Game Score of -3.6 – one of the worst for any player all season – while the other was worth 3.9. For most of the year he was above water, but it was a roller coaster of highs and lows for Bernier. That one week was the apex.

You’re probably wondering what Game Score is at this point. It’s a stat I stole from basketball that attempts to measure a player’s performance in a single game using every basic stat we hold near and dear to our hearts: goals, assists, shots, blocks, faceoffs, penalties, and 5-on-5 on-ice differentials for Corsi and Goals. You can read more about it here.

What I wanted to do with this post was take a basic look at the Leafs 2015-16 season through the lens of this new stat, as well as look at some historic games played – well, historic in the BehindTheNet era, at least.

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You never played the game

Ryan Hobart
July 15 2016 07:00AM

The last few years have seen NHL teams make many analytics hires. Tyler Dellow, Eric Tulsky, and Darryl Metcalf to name a few. A couple days ago, the Montreal Canadiens went backwards and made an analytics firing, letting go of their recently hired analyst Matt Pfeffer

Pfeffer released a statement regarding what happened, so I won't make any speculation further than that.

Regarding the incident, NHL television analyst and former professional goaltender Corey Hirsch had this to say:

Here we get to see a sharp distinction between the thought process of players-turned-analysts and analysts who were more... organically grown. In the latter, I'm referring to those who are more statistics-inspired hockey people. Surely, you've heard the argument "you've never played the game, you don't know what you're talking about" or something of the like. Maybe you've even made that argument. Well, Matt Pfeffer never played the game, and yet the Canadiens, at one time, believed he did know what he was talking about.

Nevertheless, I want to point out that Hirsch clearly has a different point of view than the analytical people would. I'm not here to make fun of him for that, or call him ignorant. I think what he's saying makes sense.

It's wrong, but it makes sense.

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