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Only Shanahan can fire Babcock, and maybe that’s okay

If the Leafs continue to sputter over the next month or so (they’re currently 12th in the conference standings by points-percentage), Mike Babcock is going to be fired. Before Christmas, after, it doesn’t really matter; If this Toronto team just claws along with two wins here, two losses there, Babcock is going to be replaced by…

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Embracing the ambiguity in hockey analysis

Person 1: “Cody Ceci is bad. He shouldn’t even be in the NHL.” Person 2: “I don’t know. I mean, maybe you’re right. He has been on some really poor Sens teams though.” Person 1: “Nope, he’s terrible. The numbers say he’s always been getting crushed in shot-attempt share, and he’s 26 now. He is…

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We don’t need to write off Liljegren to write in Sandin

In case you haven’t heard, Rasmus Sandin is a Toronto Maple Leaf. In what became easily the biggest story of camp these last two weeks and stretching back over the last year, the 2018 first-rounder shot up the organization like a rocket to nab a NHL roster spot and will make his debut a couple…

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The many potential looks of the Leafs’ top powerplay unit

The Leafs are going to do a few things differently this season, so you can go ahead and make peace with that. The roster has had its fair share of turnover, but tactically we can expect to see some new things as well. Out are assistant coaches DJ Smith and Jim Hiller, in are Paul…

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Is the Leafs’ analytics department being left in the dust?

For those who might be unfamiliar with the story, here is a quick rundown of how the Leafs came to put together their analytics department when Kyle Dubas was hired in 2014: In that summer, Toronto hired Cam Charron (then-editor of this very website), Rob Pettapiece, and Darryl Metcalfe to create a small group of…

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A Marner bridge deal to make us all happy

The restricted free agent dominoes haven’t quite started to fall just yet, but with the signing of Blue Jackets’ defenceman Zach Werenski this morning, the talk of comparable value is sure to take off again for the next couple days, especially with training camps opening this week. Given Werenski is a blue-liner, his signing doesn’t…