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And what should the Leafs do with the polarizing young defenceman? The answer isn't an instantly-gratifying one: Continue to be patient. There is currently no bigger riddle or lightning rod on the Maple Leafs than the 24-year-old, recently-signed-long-term Jake Gardiner. When he broke into the NHL during the 2011-12 campaign, Gardiner was a breath of fresh air, adding a much-needed skill dynamic to the backend while logging 21:35 per game and notching 30 points on the season, good enough to lead all rookie defensemen. In the eight full seasons since the 2005 lockout, only 20 rookie defensemen have scored 30 or more points...

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The last three games have really highlighted the Leafs defensive woes, but the problem has been an ongoing one and a significant portion of the blame must be given to the Leafs top line. On Puckalytics.com, you can find what I call "Percent of Team" statistics, which are nothing more than the percentage of all events by the team that the player was on the ice for (only counting games in which he played in). So, for example, we can see that Ryan Suter leads the league with a %ofTeam TOI of 45.44% this season, which means Suter has been on...

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Nazem Kadri has faced enormous expectations ever since his name was called by then-Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke at the 2009 NHL entry draft. Most scouts had Kadri pegged as a prospective 2nd line center. In the eyes of the Toronto media, a player of his skillset and creativity brought about visions of what could possibly become the elusive first line center the Buds have coveted since the departure of Mats Sundin, one that would help resurrect the franchise and ultimately lead the team’s brigade towards success. In a crazed hockey market like Toronto, sky-high expectations are in the nature...

Toronto Maple Leafs - Recent Posts

Steve Spott, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

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Enjoy your day, ladies and gentleman. Leafs prospects Gauthier and Nylander face different tests at world juniors Drafted players by country for the 2015 World Juniors Florida Panthers coming off hot streak ahead of matchup against Leafs Rumors II: Hurricanes, Maple Leafs, Stars, Kings and Draisaitl David 'Shoaltsie' Shoalts: A Caledon man in the heart of Leafs Nation Nominations For Shaky Hunt Toronto Sports Media MSM Of The Year Moneyball for hockey: How Guelph's HockeyTech is changing the game

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From all of us here at MLHS, have a safe and happy holiday. Leafs Links: Anthony Petrielli: What Does the Future Hold for Jake Gardiner? (MLHS) Evan Dorey: Game 35 Scoring Chances: Leafs 4 vs. Stars 0 (MLHS) Jonas Siegel: New look duo (and Bernier) helps Leafs to victory in Big D (TSN) JP Nikota: Game Recap - Leafs Down  Stars 4-0 (PPP) MLHS: Randy Carlyle Post Game - Leafs 4 vs. Stars 0 (Video) Travis Yost: Maple Leafs in the abyss between contender and pretender (TSN) Michael Langlois: Maple Leafs head into break with a win over Dallas (VLM) Kevin McGran: Life on the road gives Leafs...

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And what should the Leafs do with the polarizing young defenceman? The answer isn't an instantly-gratifying one: Continue to be patient. There is currently no bigger riddle or lightning rod on the Maple Leafs than the 24-year-old, recently-signed-long-term Jake Gardiner. When he broke into the NHL during the 2011-12 campaign, Gardiner was a breath of fresh air, adding a much-needed skill dynamic to the backend while logging 21:35 per game and notching 30 points on the season, good enough to lead all rookie defensemen. In the eight full seasons since the 2005 lockout, only 20 rookie defensemen have scored 30 or more points...
video

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Head coach Randy Carlyle addresses media following the Leafs 4-0 win over the Stars on Tuesday night.

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With their long road trip in full swing, the Leafs got an important victory in their last pre-Christmas game, shutting out the Stars in Dallas. Toronto did well in the first half of the game, finishing the opening period even in chances and ahead 1-0, and then dominating the first 15 minutes of the second, carrying the play and earning two more goals. After that, Dallas controlled the game, getting the bulk of the chances and putting Toronto under pressure. This mostly came at the end of each period; Dallas out-chanced the Leafs by a 6-1 margin in the last...

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Two teams that can score but can't defend to save their lives will meet tonight in Texas prior to the NHL Christmas break. The Leafs are losers of three in a row while the Stars are surging with four straight victories, including a sweep through Western Canada. Dallas tightened up their defensive game versus Vancouver and Calgary, allowing just one goal between the two games, before giving up five to the Oilers and staging a huge comeback to win it in a shootout. They're last in the league in goals-against at 3.38/game. The Leafs haven't left Dallas with a win in their...

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Dallas is currently the worst defensive team in the NHL, averaging 3.38 goals against per game. The Leafs, still the league's highest scoring team, have a good opportunity tonight to bounce back after getting shutout in Chicago on Sunday. However, the Stars are surging (four in a row), and with the Leafs struggling defensively themselves, it's hard not to picture this going the way of a Texas shootout. https://twitter.com/mirtle/status/546856642999226369 Tuesday Links: David Johnson: Optimizing the Leafs Forward Lines (MLHS) Jonas Siegel: Leo Komarov won't be seen again until January at earliest (Twitter) Jonas Siegel: Carlyle's embracing analytics, Kessel's best year (TSN) TSN1050: Steve Spott on Kessel, Leafs' challenges playing...

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In the game day thread before the Carolina game, we talked about how, in March of 2014, the Leafs were on a red-hot streak that included wins over the Kings and Ducks right before they played a weaker Eastern Conference opponent (Washington), lost, and began a long losing streak. They had won a few games they shouldn’t have, and sure enough it caught up to them and then some; they went from the hottest team in the League to ice cold, and we all know how the season ended. The slump is only at three games at this point, the panic button...