Over the past week I have been hard at work on a piece that examines what needs to be done to transform the Leafs into team with the potential to seriously contend and have prolonged success. While that wonâ€™t be available to read for a little while, it did get me thinking about the impact of the coaching change from Ron Wilson to Randy Carlyle.
Wilson had much more a free-wheeling, push the puck forward approach, and while he attempted to promote himself as a coach with a 200 foot coaching style, there seemed to be a consistent lack of defensive responsibility coupled with lacklustre positional play.
Randy Carlyle, much like every other coach in the league, also preaches a 200-foot game, but with tighter defensive systems, and increased responsibility for forwards. At the very least we will be seeing fewer neutral zone cross ice passes, and thereâ€™s a possibility that someone might cover the point when a defenseman pinches.
In the previous three seasons under Ron Wilson the Leafs have not dipped below 229 goals per season,. In the same time in Anaheim, Randy Carlyle has put up nearly identical numbers, but with arguably a more talented top six group.
Here is a quick table looking at the difference between the Leafs last season compared to just the games they played under Randy Carlyle (All numbers from Hockey-Reference.com)
Essentially an across the board decline, which isnâ€™t unexpected when the season goals for average was 2.82 and the time spent under Carlyle was 2.22.
What is also interesting is that the one area that consistently saw increases was the defensemen goals per game average. It’s a small sample size, but we can assume that Carlyle will be using the point more when on the attack.
In the spirit of the predictions from Gus Katsaros, I thought Iâ€™d run the Carlyle goals and points per game numbers against 82 games to see what their totals would look like under Carlyle.
There are a few things worth noting first.
- An 18 game sample under a new coach doesnâ€™t mean too much, but in some cases points to who may have a harder time adjusting to the new style
- I have removed all players who only had a couple of games under Carlyle. The lowest game total included is Nik Kulemin at 6 games, and given his unfortunate season last year heâ€™ll be a wild card on all point prediction posts.
- I lied, I included Joffrey Lupul who only played 2 games under Carlyle in Toronto, but I used his goals and point per game numbers from his last season in Anaheim under Carlyle.
- Presumably swapping in James van Riemsdyk and Jay McClement for Matthew Lombardi and Jay Rosehill gives you a team that can put up similar goal totals to the what the Leafs finished with last season.
|82 Game Projection|
So now that youâ€™ve seen the table itâ€™s worth recognizing that itâ€™s unlikely that Clarke MacArthur will have such a poor goal output, and Cody Franson will probably get an assist or two at some point as well. What may be somewhat encouraging is that both Matt Frattin and Jake Gardiner thrived under Carlyle in their short exposure.
The Leafs still havenâ€™t fully adjusted to a Carlyle system, however. In fact the Leafs goals against spiked from 3.21 to 3.55 in the final 18 games. Some of that does fall on goaltending, and both Reimer and Scrivens fared better than Gustavsson and Rynnas.
Now some links…
Forwards and NHLE- 2012 Draft
Scott Reynolds at NHL Numbers takes a look at the 2012 Draft NHL Equivalencies. While I remain unsold on the metric for predicting what a player could do in the NHL, I think it has a lot of value in standardizing point production across several leagues. Connor Brown has the highest NHLE of the Leafs Draftees, and heâ€™s listed at 37
PPPâ€™s Top 25 Under 25- Going Forward
The Pension Plan Puppets crew is preparing to count down the top 25 Leafs players/prospects under 25 and are beginning the series by looking at bubble forwards. Â [Defense and Goaltenders][Hired Goons][Previous rankings]
Leafsâ€™ Mike Brown started his Movember prep really, really early
Itâ€™s the slow part of summer when Puck Daddy is doing stories about Mike Brownâ€™s facial hair, but here we are.
Great Obscure Moments In Leafs History
A brilliant piece by Down Goes Brown.
Is any Maple Leaf good enough to win a big-time individual trophy?
Michael at Vintage Leaf Memories ponders this question. My lazy answer, thereâ€™s only one trophy that matters. My snarky answer, the MSM hates the Leafs and theyâ€™re the ones who do the voting.
Leafs may not be done yet, but some of their competition has certainly gotten better this off-season
Another one from Vintage Leaf Memories, this one looking at what teams have been bulking up in the East.
What is the Point of This CBA Exactly?
Curt S at Blue Chip Prospects looks at some of the contentious points proposed in the new CBA.
Team Canada 2012
If Olympic Hockey were to be played today who would be on Team Canada? Itâ€™s hard to argue against this roster, but P.K. Subban swapped out for Mike Green is the one easy change to spot. The Team USA roster is here.
How Many Fingers Am I Holding Up?
Hope in the Big Smoke thinks concussions account for the Leafs season going off the rails. They certainly didnâ€™t help.