The evaluation period might not be over, but the reality has hit Leafs Nation.
This team is not very good, and it needs a face lift. Not a face lift to the bottom six this time, but to the top players on the team.
The real question, though, is who is going to do it?
The Leafs have nine players making at least $3M as a capped-out, lottery team, and current-GM Dave Nonis signed every one of those deals save for the JVR contract, which is easily the best bang-for-the-buck deal the team has locked in. Talk around town...
The other day, over at my hockey analytics blog, I wrote an article on the relationship between Possession/Corsi (CF%) and Shooting Percentage (Sh%) in 5v5 close situations.
I figured I'd piggy back on that analysis a little and take a look at the Leafs over the past three and a half seasons spanning the Randy Carlyle era.
In my HockeyAnalysis.com article, I showed that, while some elite level teams or truly bad teams can break the trend, there is generally a strong negative correlation between a teams CF% and shooting percentage. Recall that CF% stands for Corsi For Percentage, which is the percentage...
When Peter Horacek was hired in the summer, it was a reasonably safe bet that at some point the man who served as interim head coach of the Florida Panthers last season would be doing so again for the Toronto Maple Leafs this season.
While many Leafs fans dream of the Mike Babcocks and Todd McLellans of the world, Horachek is the guy in charge right now and he is a possibility to be the guy long term. In Shanahan’s presser he said, “Peter will be one of the options that we will consider.” It might be a good thing...
I originally intended this to be a look back after 41 games, but recent events made it much more sensible to use 40 games as a cut-off. Come April, there should be some interesting comparisons between Carlyle's coaching era and Peter Horachek's.
For background, my methodology is listed as part of my first post at MLHS. There's also been some very nice work done on scoring chances recently at war-on-ice.com. Those numbers usually don't agree with mine, and I'm a little hesitant on them because of how poor some of the shot location data can be from rink to rink. In...
Projected Marlies lines:
Marlies Head Coach Gord Dineen on Nylander's debut:
Anthony Petrielli: Leafs Notebook -- January 22 (Maple Leafs Hot Stove)
If the Leafs keep Nonis, they will do so with the hopes that he can help clean up his own mess, but the last two summers are an indication it is time for a change.
Elliotte Friedman: 30 Thoughts -- Points 4-9 on the Maple Leafs (Sportsnet.ca)
Phaneuf has a big ticket, and the Maple Leafs will need to get creative in dealing with it, but he could fit where he’s not expected to carry the load. I’d expect Shanahan and...
The 21st place Maple Leafs (2-8-0 in their last 10) are in Kanata to take on the Senators (4-4-2) in a meaningless game between two rivals.
A tank battle for the ages; the Toronto Maple Leafs are now in a position where the team, as currently constructed, has had a fork put in it by fans and media. What's left is a poorly constructed roster that is going to need an overhaul. Ottawa, who have the lowest payroll in the league, are just ahead of Toronto.
Reimer is 8-1-0 vs Ottawa.
Maple Leafs Projected Lines
James van Riemsdyk - Nazem Kadri - Phil...
Jokes aside, there's two teams that all Leafs fans, whether motivated by playoffs or draft picks, unequivocally must cheer for their team to beat -- The Sens and the Habs.
Yesterday's Leafs lines, sans Bozak (missed practice due to personal reasons):
Corey Pronman: William Nylander the best prospect outside the NHL (TSN 1050)
ESPN NHL Prospects Writer Corey Pronman joins Mike Hogan and Jeremy Taggart to discuss William Nylander's rank among the world's top prospects and more.
Sportsnet Staff: Struggling Maple Leafs recall Josh Leivo, Stuart Percy (Sportsnet.ca)
The Leafs have recalled forward Josh Leivo and defenceman Stuart Percy from the Toronto Marlies, and reassigned...
The Maple Leafs return home to host the Hurricanes after a miserable trip down South.
"I think everybody knows that is a dangerous lineup and those are dangerous players and at any point they can break out," McClement said. "You have to be aware of them at all times no matter what has gone on for them in the last little while. That's probably even more motivation for them, so we have to make sure we take care of the puck. They are quick in transition and that is when they get most of their chances, so we have to...