One of the more interesting developments in the beginning of Maple Leafs training camp has been the notion of reuniting Joffrey Lupul with Phil Kessel, which would drop James van Riemsdyk down a line.
Would that idiot break up that line? You’re saying that . Or you’re going to say it if I do it.
- Randy Carlyle on changing up the top line
But should we? Let’s take a closer look at how JVR performed with Kessel this season, compared to how Lupul fared in the 2011-12 season.
There are a few things to keep in mind here when comparing the two:
The Leafs team...
This past off season, Maple Leafs management brought in two veteran defensemen to replace some combination of Paul Ranger, Carl Gunnarsson and John-Michael Liles/Tim Gleason, with the goal of giving the defense a new look and hopefully reducing the number of shots the Leafs give up.
This shouldn't be a difficult task, as last season the Leafs were easily the worst team in the NHL in shot attempt against rate. The question is: Are Robidas and Polak up for the task? Let's have a look.
In a recent post of mine at HockeyAnalysis.com, I looked at what I called CA60RelTM, which in long form can be...
Most fans had Randy Carlyle fired before the 2013-14 season ended. He wasn't.
Instead, Toronto's front office opted to extend the former Norris trophy winner. Quotables citing Carlyle's experience and Stanley Cup-winning pedigree have been bandied about as support. Even his detractors are unlikely to admit his retention immediately spells the end of this year's playoff hopes. But a failure to significantly overhaul his defensive system of the past two seasons is likely to do exactly that.
By now, you're all familiar with the infamous "swarm" tactic that the Leafs have employed (unsuccessfully) since the beginning of the 2012 season. Many recognize it as...
Yesterday the Leafs partook in their annual golf tournament and pre-camp media rounds, where Joffrey Lupul touched on a topic that has popped up throughout the summer—the Maple Leafs have gotten older.
I’m really excited with a lot of the guys we picked up. Robidas, Polak, Winnik . . . just a little bit of a veteran presence throughout the lineup is going to do a lot for us on and off the ice. The last couple of years we’ve been one of the youngest teams in the NHL and now we’ve added some more veterans, guys who have played in...
Thanks to a 4-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, the Maple Leafs are now 2-0 in preseason. While that means exactly nothing, especially given this was the exact same Flyers lineup playing its second night in a row, we did get our first looks at William Nylander (rookie tourney notwistanding), Mike Santorelli, Roman Polak and Henrik Tallinder.
With five regular NHL defencemen in the lineup, it was good to see the Leafs gave their goaltenders just 14 shots of work through two periods, although Antoine Bibeau needed a 13-save effort to preserve the shutout in the third. We'll have to see what he...
It’s our first look at William Nylander in NHL action and it’s just as we dreamed back in June – on a line with Phil Kessel.
Mike Santorelli will play between them in a nice opportunity in his first game as a Leaf. Hopefully looks good in the middle because the Leafs could use the additional options at center to be sure.
Five of the six D are NHL regulars, with the sixth being Viktor Loov, who is looking to build on a rookie camp showing that turned some heads.
The loveable #47 is back in Blue and White for the first time this...
Tuesday Night Lineup vs. Flyers
Game Review: Preseason Game #1, Maple Leafs 3 vs. Flyers 2 (SO)
Painstaking details on the preseason opener.
Elliotte Friedman: 30 Thoughts -- Summer training a growing concern
Re: The Swarm: "One of the keys, apparently, is the team will not “swarm” until the puck is stopped or the puck carrier under control. Last year, the swarm began beforehand, which led to breakdowns."
Jonas Siegel: Petri Kontiola gives the NHL one last shot
Not the best opening salvo, but it's early and he's got adjustments to make.
Toronto Star: Maple Leafs couldn't veto NHL expansion to GTA, Bettman says
"If you’re asking...
It was choppy (early)preseason hockey to be sure, but some players stood out for different reasons.
The Maple Leafs played a good first, were mostly snowed under in the second – falling behind 2-0 – but battled back on goals from Nazem Kadri and Tom Nilsson (set up beautifully by Kadri). David Booth was the lone goal scorer in the shootout.
- Expect Petri Kontiola to get lots of ice this preseason, or the coaching staff would be wise to give him lots anyway, because it's clear he is experiencing an adjustment, perhaps moreso than any of the other bubble forwards....