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What’s been driving the Leafs’ improvements on the PK?

Back in September I wrote about the one area I was concerned about in regards to the Leafs heading into the season: the penalty kill. For those of you who, understandably, refuse to consume two of my posts in one sitting, the Leafs gave up a tonne of shots at 4v5 and the only reason…

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Stop playing Roman Polak over Connor Carrick. Please.

Leafs practice D Rielly-Hainsey Gardiner-Carrick Borgman-ZaitsevPolak — Mark Masters (@markhmasters) October 31, 2017 Thank goodness. Last year’s re-signing of Roman Polak didn’t make sense to me, as he’s always been bad. Over the three seasons prior, Polak’s teams simply performed much worse with him on the ice at 5v5 than they did with him on…

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Game tape: Leafs vs. Habs goal breakdowns

Five games into the season the Leafs are 4-1-0 and have scored 26 goals in those five games. That is good. It’s also an extremely limited sample size, so it would be silly to draw any strong conclusions from data at this point. Due to this, I’m going to stray from my usual statistically inclined…

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The Leafs need to make some changes to their penalty kill

The Leafs’ special teams play was a huge reason they squeaked into the playoffs in ’16/17 and we should expect the powerplay to be among the league’s best again this season. The penalty kill, though, is not quite as inspiring. At first glance, the Leafs were 11th in goals against per hour on the penalty…

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Projecting Auston Matthews’ 2017-18 point totals

Recently here at TLN, Brock Seguin predicted Auston Matthews would once again hit the 40 goal mark next season (he even gave him an extra goal for good measure) while adding nine assists to last year’s total of 29. This would result in Matthews adding ten points to last year’s total of 69, which, in…

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TLN Top Prospect Rankings 2017: #4 Jeremy Bracco

I would like to make it public knowledge that I fleeced Adam Laskaris by trading him the rights to JD Greenway’s prospect rankings piece and one GIF of JD Greenway for the right to the Jeremy Bracco piece. Don’t let him tell you that he was just doing me a favour because I don’t check…

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TLN Top Prospect Rankings 2017: #12 Andreas Borgman

Coming in right in front of the other recently signed, early 20s defenceman who we know nothing about (Calle Rosen) is Andreas Borgman! As is the case with Rosen, it’s really hard to tell what Borgman projects to be. At 22, Borgman is an older prospect and is approaching the age in which hockey players…

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Ron Hainsey is an upgrade

Morgan Rielly’s new defence partner is a much different player than his partner from last season. I don’t know if Ron Hainsey is significantly better or worse than Nikita Zaitsev, but they’re certainly different players stylistically. Zaitsev is a 25-year-old RHD who just finished his first NHL season in which he played almost all of…

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TLN Top Ten Plays: Morgan Rielly

For the second edition of TLN Top Ten Plays, I have the pleasure of covering Morgan Rielly. Shouts to Mr. Maxwell who is a trooper for finding ten semi-decent plays by Matt Hunwick! As was the case with the Hunwick piece, all videos are courtesy of Goal Leafs Goal. 10. Goal that got called off…

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GIFs: Morgan Rielly

It’s time for some more GIFs, folks! Today is Morgan Rielly day. Wheeling around the offensive zone The play begins with Rielly making a pass to Tyler Bozak at the top of the crease, but Bozak’s stick is tied up by Jack Johnson. Good thing Rielly swung around the other side of the net, though,…

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How did the Leafs’ powerplay perform in 2016-17?

Tyler Dellow of the Athletic recently wrote a piece about the fall of the San Jose Sharks once potent powerplay¬†which contained some interesting Leaf related information. It’s not surprising to see one of the Leafs powerplay units showing up in second place in terms of goal rate, as they were second in the entire NHL…

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TLN Good Boy Profile: Hoagie

Welcome to the inaugural edition of The Leafs Nation’s good boy/girl profiles! Since it’s the dog days of summer, we’ve decided to bring you a new good dog profile every day in August. The obvious place to start is with Hoagie, Connor Carrick and his (new) fiance Lexi Solofra’s adorable French Bulldog. Hoagie is a…