I thought about what picture to use for this post for a while. Maybe something from the Winter Classic? Maybe something of Henrik Lundqvist looking dapper?
No. It’s the second half of the season. The Winter Classic is in the past. It’s all about the standings now.
While Boston (56 points), Tampa Bay (54), and Montreal (52) sit perched in the Atlantic’s three playoff spots, the Leafs sit in the top wild card spot in the east with 47 points. More importantly, there’s a plethora of teams lurking behind the Leafs waiting to pounce, the Rangers being one of them. You’ll notice I excluded Buffalo from the chart because… C’mon.
|Corsi Close %||51.7 (12th)||42.7% (29th)|
|5v5 GF/60||1.68 (26th)||2.19 (16th)|
|5v5 GA/60||2.34 (19th)||2.09 (12th)|
|PDO||97.8 (28th)||102.1 (4th)|
|5v4 GF/60||6.57 (11th)||7.48 (6th)|
|5v4 SF/60||55.3 (10th)||56.2 (7th)|
|4v5 GA/60||5.41 (9th)||6.37 (18th)|
|4v5 SA/60||48.1 (8th)||63.2 (27th)|
Let’s talk about PDO, kids!
PDO is an "advanced" stat that helps calculate luck.
"WHAT?!?! HOW DO YOU CALCULATE LUCK, BLOGGER NERD?!?!?"
OK, obviously you can’t really calculate luck. Luck is luck. You can’t predict the puck taking a weird bounce like Finland’s 1-0 goal against Canada. You can’t predict that time Phaneuf took a wild slap shot that went in off of Grabovski’s head against the Flyers a few years ago (actually, that one kind of makes perfect sense). Luck is what it is, and hey, sometimes you make your own luck. But here’s what PDO is…
Add up your team’s save percentage with your team’s shooting percentage. Boom. PDO.
The Leafs have one of the league’s highest PDO’s while the Rangers have one of the lowest. Basically, the Leafs score on a high percentage of their shots, and stop a high percentage of shots against. The Rangers? Not so much.
What’s key to note about PDO is more often than not, the Hockey Gods have a way of evening it out.
MAPLE LEAFS LINEUP
James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel
Mason Raymond – Nazem Kadri – Joffrey Lupul
Nik Kulemin – Jay McClement – David Clarkson
Jerry D’Amigo – Peter Holland – Colt Knorr
Carl Gunnarsson – Dion Phaneuf
Cody Franson – Jake Gardiner
Morgan Rielly – Paul Ranger
The Leafs’ lineup remains unchanged from the Winter Classic. Tim Gleason won’t make his Leafs debut until Tuesday according to Paul Hendrick.
Chris Kreider – Derek Stepan – Rick Nash
Carl Hagelin – Brad Richards – Mats Zuccarello
Benoit Pouliot – Derek Brassard – Ryan Callahan
Brian Boyle – Dominic Moore – Derek Dorsett
Ryan McDonagh – Dan Girardi (future Leaf)
Marc Staal – Anton Stralman (former Leaf)
John Moore – Conor Allen
I’m just kidding about "future Leaf" Dan Girardi. A lot of fans have been saying the Leafs should go after him this upcoming offseason. They’re also saying the Leafs should trade for Rangers defenceman Michael Del Zotto. Everyone’s saying everything. It’s the Leafs.
It’ll be Jonathan Bernier going for the Leafs, and rookie sensation Cam Talbot going for the Rangers. Talbot is 8-3-0 with two shutouts and a .936 save percentage. Who knows how many starts he’ll actually get this season, but those are numbers worthy of Calder consideration for rookie of the year.
As for Bernier, I’ve already read some Reimer supporters grumpy about the decision. If you’ve ever watched my videos, you know I love Reimer, but Bernier was a star in the Winter Classic. I’d like Reimer to get more starts overall for sure, but I have no problem with Bernier getting this one. The Leafs have had plenty of time this week, so it’s not like they need to rest him, either.
The Rangers and Leafs battle at 7:00pm Eastern on CBC.