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An Introduction To SQL Using Hockey Stats

While hockey statistics work is often done with languages like R or Python that require a reasonable amount of programming knowledge to take advantage of, there are simpler tools that can be used to accomplish many tasks.  I still use spreadsheets for a significant chunk of the stats work I do.  However, managing data in…

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6 Potentially Under-valued UFA Forwards

In the summer before the 2014-15 season, the Toronto Maple Leafs did a great job of targeting potentially under-valued free agent forwards and signing them to low-cost, short-term contracts.  Players like PA Parenteau and Brad Boyes had fallen out of favour with their old teams, but had a history of putting up solid numbers and…

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Should the Leafs bring back Cody Franson?

At the moment the Toronto Maple Leafs are pretty thin on right-shooting defencemen.  Nikita Zaitsev and Connor Carrick are the only two right-shot D in the organization who seem likely to make the opening night roster at the moment.  The team could simply run a roster that’s heavy on left-shots, perhaps with a bottom pairing…

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Is Matt Martin Actually Good Defensively?

I think it’s fair to say that Matt Martin has been a polarising figure in Toronto this season.  Unsurprisingly, the divide mostly seems to be between traditionalists who see Martin as a player who performs a valuable role protecting the Leafs younger stars versus more statistically-inclined fans who see Martin is a low-scoring player whose…

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Forward Matchups In The First Round

One of the questions that’s of interest heading into any playoff series is how the two head coaches are going to strategise in order to maximise their chances of winning.  This obviously happens in the regular season too, but since a playoff series typically lasts several games against the same team, it gives coaches more…

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Morgan Rielly, Jake Gardiner, and the Importance of Quality of Competition

The topic of how significantly Morgan Rielly is affected by quality of competition has been making the rounds recently.  Rielly’s possession statistics this year have not been especially strong, as he’s currently just barely breaking even in terms of shot attempt ratio, 4th best on the team after Jake Gardiner, Connor Carrick, and Martin Marincin. …

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Toronto’s Trio Of Top Rookies Is Historically Unique

You’ve probably heard by now that the Toronto Maple Leafs have an unusually talented crop of rookies.  As of Monday night the Leafs had three of the four highest scoring rookies in the NHL, as well as three more in the top 15.  But as much as the Leafs rookies have been talked about, I…

A Look Back At The Trades Of Dave Nonis

Embed from Getty Images With the 2016-17 trade deadline fast approaching, I thought it might be fun to take a trip down memory lane for a retrospective on the trades of the previous management regime.  Dave Nonis was General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs for two and a half seasons, covering three trade deadlines. …

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Digging Into Toronto’s Recent Struggles

Photo Credit: Brad Penner/USA TODAY SPORTS Just over a month ago, on January 17th, the Leafs looked to be in a strong position in the standings.  They had just won four out of five games and were 7th in the Eastern Conference, one point back of sixth with four games in hand.  The standings were tight,…

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Examining the Neutral Zone play of the Leafs’ defence corps

Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY SPORTS Many of us who write about hockey from a statistical standpoint are fond of using Corsi, otherwise known as shot attempt ratio, to describe the general flow of play when various players or teams are on the ice.  The idea is that a team with a ratio above 50%…