Leafs Ice Time Game Situations

 This is going to be a short one, a fun little post focusing on the Leafs times in various game situations.

This was prompted as I was looking through the team Fenwick numbers to get an early gauge on the NHL (please take note of the small sample size and the nature of season post-lockout). Granted, it’s really early but I noticed a strange set of numbers for the Leafs when the game is tied and just wanted to take it a little further. 

The Leafs are ahead of Florida, Colorado and Columbus with the score tied 39.05% Fenwick – a measure of shots on goal and missed shots on goal on the opposition net, minus the same criteria on the players own net. This number, even early is uninspiring to say the least. I wanted to follow up and see just how long did they play with the game tied.

Over the first six games, the Leafs fired 15.55 SF/60, second last in the NHL with the goals against per 60 is in the middle of the pack at 2.7.

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The ice has tilted against them in this young season as those numbers would suggest, but then I noticed under goals for per 60 the Leafs had a 4.73 fifth overall. I found that an odd combination, which was more easily explainable since they’ve opened the scoring in four of their six games.

It’s early and the data will eventually normalize, but I wanted to see the breakdown of just how long did the Leafs play in each situation, up one goal, with the game tied, and how long after scoring the opening goal did they hold on to a 1-0 lead until the score changed.

I also had to explore the 62.07% Fenwick with the Leafs down two goals. (Ed note: this is common for many teams. The term is score effects)

Here’s how it breaks down thus far. I’ve included how much time was spent in each situation along with the percentage of time.

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The Fenwick down 2 goals is typical of a team applying more offensive pressure to get back into the game. The score effects here applies for 51 minutes, 14-% of the total playing time.

Opponent Game Tied Up 1 – 1st Gl Up 1 Gm Down2
Montréal 4:51 23:21 29:30
Buffalo 8:51 33:27
Pittsburgh 29:46 11:13
NY Islanders 13:30 6:27 10:57 15:25
NY Rangers 11:46 10:50 32:43 2:52
Buffalo 37:56 5:03 25:52
Total time 106:40 45:41 110:15 51:44
Percent of total 29.6 12.7 30.6 14.2
Fenwick 39.05 45.61 62.07

They’ve played seconds under 365 total minutes over six games, not really enough of a sample, but interesting in that these numbers conform to the way they have produced so far, falling apart against the New York teams before the second match up with the Sabres.

In the win over Pittsburgh, they spent the majority of time with the game tied and led for only a short time frame and trailed just over four minutes.

A similar pattern emerged in the 4-3 overtime thriller on the last second goal by Matt Frattin, trailing the Sabres for a little over one minute.

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The longest they’ve held a lead after opening the scoring was the 23 minutes in the season opener, spending 12% of their time with the opening goal lead. I didn’t differentiate here whether the opposition tied it like the Islanders, or if they extended the lead to two goals like against the Rangers.

Generally outplayed, it’s strange how they find themselves right in the thick of the playoff hunt, even this early.

Next up is a winnable game against the struggling Caps. Can they score the first goal for a fourth straight game? The Leafs are 2-2 when they do that, meanwhile, Washington is 1-2 when scored on first.

Enjoy the game.

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