Toronto Maple Leafs’ win, a 6-5 victory in OT, marks best start
for the franchise in 20 years (1993-1994 Toronto Maple Leafs).
Randy Carlyle and Dallas Eakins are probably going to want to forget this game; it was poorly played with more turnovers than we’ve seen in a while, complete 5-man defensive breakdowns, poor goaltending, no hitting, no commitment and/or sacrifice in the way of blocking shots or being hard on the puck.
On the other hand, it was river hockey at its stats-padding finest (or worse, in the case of Cody Franson & Morgan Rielly). They were on for a number of goals and were directly or partly responsible for them, though the forwards gave them no help and Bernier wasn’t at his sharpest. I can understand how this was a thrilling game for most fans as there were 11(!) goals scored in an era in the NHL when that isn’t seen very often, but there was more moaning on my side of things than cheering. Toronto has yet to play a complete game and that’s something that’s very encouraging considering their start to the season, but also frustrating to see no progress in playing the game properly. Early days, still.
- Leafs got off to a good start and controlled the play for the first 5 minutes of the game, but Ryan Smyth scored his 2nd of the year from Mark Arcobello at 5:21 with a nice deflection top-shelf on a shot/pass from the corner. A soft wrap by Rielly on the boards caused a juicy rebound that ended up in the back of the net.
- A beautiful goal short side, top-shelf from Nazem Kadri (2nd of the year) from Mason Raymond and Dion Phaneuf at 9:47. Kadri beaver-tapped a call for a pass from Raymond who sent a crisp pass down low for Kadri to bury at very hard angle, through a very small gap.
- You knew this game was just getting started—a power play for Toronto resulted in James van Riemsdyk potting his 4th of the year off a Cody Franson blast from the point on a setup from Dion Phaneuf. A scramble with 3 penalty killing Oilers on the half wall, battling for a loose puck was never going to end well with a wide open Phaneuf and Franson on the points. Phaneuf, to Franson, and a tip by JVR brings T.O. ahead.
- Toronto’s 3rd ranked penalty kill (94.4%) gets put to the test on an poorly called penalty on JVR for battling for body position that would have resulted in yet another 2-on-1. RNHs shot gets by Bernier with Hall providing net front presence. Clearly the pre-scout was to get traffic and get in the blue paint to get Bernier off his game—it worked. 2-2
- The 2nd period is a statistically very weak period dating back to last season for the Leafs and this game was no different. The Leafs arrive on the ice late and look unprepared.
- David Perron and Boyd Gordon started a rush in the neutral on a scrambled play and caught Bernier not knowing where the puck was and swimming in his crease. Easy tap in for Gordon. 3-2 Oilers.
- David Broll carries the puck through the neutral zone and gains the zone, stops up at the half-boards and kicks a back pass to Kadri who throws a no-look to Lupul for a beautiful and typically rush-attack goal, like Toronto is now known for. 3-3.
- This game has turned into a feast of turnovers and both teams are terrific in transition — a complete track meet of rush, shot, counter-attack for large spells in the 2nd period, mostly in Edmonton’s favour with the shots 17-4 (Edmonton with 4mins of PP time).
- Eberle scores. Rielly plays the 2-on-1 like a 2-on-2 and gives away the passing lane with no laydown and Eberle converts on a beautiful pass from Arcobello. The shot hit Bernier’s glove and I’m sure he’d want it back. 4-3 Edmonton
- JVR has kept his red-hot post-season play going into the early games of the 2013-2014 season and was a force all night. On a patient rush (surprise) started by Kessel, who got the puck deep to Bozak, Bozak passed to a wheeling JVR and he converted on a his wrap around that’s perfect with the shallower nets. 4-4 (Note: Bozak primary assist on a JVR goal. This is not a test.)
- Ryan Smyth gets another one on a play that was all Jordan Eberle, who played a great game. Arcobello hits a flat-out Eberle who sends in a perfect pass for a tap in for Smyth. 5-4 Edm.
- The game was nearly sealed for Edmonton on a Arcobello shot that Bernier absolutely ROBBED with a diving save.
- The game looked like it could be out of reach and, in fact, there was footage of platinum seat holders leaving. Enter: Joffrey Lupul. With 30 seconds left on the clock, and the extra attacker on the ice, Gardiner kept a clearing attempt in, got a quick shot off and Lupul picked it up and fired it under Dubynk’s pads to tie the game. The ACC’s roof blew off and it was a great sight to see.
- OT: RNH over handled the puck on in a 4 on 4 situation and Franson made him pay with a hard-but-fair shove from behind, picked up the loose puck and sent it away to Mason Raymond for a 3-on-1 with him, Franson and Bolland on a break. A 4-touch passing play with Raymond and Franson resulted in Bolland sinking the rebound for the OT winner. Meltdown complete.
I know Leaf fans get accused of thinking they’re the center of the hockey universe but that was the biggest goal of Dave Bolland’s career.
— Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown) October 13, 2013
Another point, somewhat off-topic: Don Cherry makes sure to feed fodder into the MSM’s manure spreader for articles to come about Morgan Rielly by calling him the best defenseman on the team. He got lit up badly this game and is far from the best defenseman, but his talent level is immense and his ceiling is high. I have no doubt, in due course, he will be the best defenseman on the team and easily one of the best in the league. Leave the kid develop and quit overselling his play on your HNIC soapbox. I think he’s being eased into the NHL perfectly and saying this sort of stuff does nothing but create huge distractions. He’ll be fielding questions from the media for the next week about that.
The Leafs are still looking to get a more complete game under their belt, but they are winning and putting points in the bank.
Game in 6
Torontot Maple Leafs vs. Edmonton Oilers Game Sheet (Oct. 12)
|Jonathan Bernier (4-1-0)||W||31||26||0.839||61:43|
|James van Riemsdyk||2||0||22:54||2||3||2||0||0||5||0||1||0|
Jesus people, hearing a lot of talk on Corsi, Wtf cares? Its a retarded stat, why can't we just watch a game and see who playes well and determine for ourselves who we like and don't like? Just like Jeff Oneil has said in the past, its a nothing stat..
Another thing, only mentioned in passing in the article above, but I think is a central element of successful Leaf hockey is hitting and fighting. I saw no hitting last night and obviously there was no fighting, despite the OIlers having Gazdic and Brown in the lineup. Leafs got drawn into playing western conference-style hockey IMO. Got lucky to win last night, but in future we need to get back to pounding teams on the boards and with the mitts off. Something to keep an eye on...
Since we're talking analytics again, here's a link explaining why I'm so frustrated -- there's a sentence in there that really highlights the problem: http://hockeymusing.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/the-frustration-of-a-hockey-fan-stuck-in-the-middle-of-not-really-wanting-to-be-right-or-wrong/
"The fight is no longer about improving the state of hockey, but a blood lust to be right on the margins of averages."
Just wanted to wish my MLHS family a very Happy Thanksgiving, great day to be a Leafer!........gotta get back to cooking....Later Guys.....GO LEAFS GO!!! :)
Not that I care what the mainstream media thinks/talks about, but Lupul isn't getting enough love for his play over the last year...16 goals in his last 22 regular season games, plus he was great in the playoffs...and he's damn good looking
Can someone give me a link so I can finally check out what this corsi and other stats are. I dont want anything that cant be explained to a 6 year old though, as I am short on time and need to fit it into my routine of sitting and video gaming soon
So here we are 6 games into the season. I am totally disappointed with the leafs and am questioning their heart and want to win. WTF? Do they not know their CORSI is so low? #Wah
This why Corsi can be such an interesting tool to use. You can hate it all you want, but it tells me that the Leafs have been a better possession team with Bernier in net.
Bernier: 49.3% Corsi Close
Reimer: 41.6% Corsi Close
No one can seem to explain why the numbers are so bewilderingly different, but I think it's because the Leafs are more rested when they got someone who can freeze the puck and buy them fifteen seconds of breathing room. In addition, the puck-handling.
@whalz Because sports betting is more poular than ever . Hockey like all sports is turning into a casino. Large money being made playing a mug's game.
@Dan39 Ya I know, once we took Kulemin out of the lineup there was a hole. Fraser is an obvious hole too and hopefully Clarkson will be just what he has to be, himself
@mORRganRielly A lot of truths in there.
@wendelsway1 Done my 2 dinners and paying for it this morning....have a great dinner and weekend!
@CanuckUKinToronto Bernier, Bolland. We haven't even gotten to 'unwrap' the Clarkson present.
@Hammertownleaffan They don't want to have him get injured before they can finish their stories...
@Zep2 Happy Thanksgiving....similar, except I've got the runs from a dirty bird I think....
@Dan39 Give me the link to the full version.
@Jordan29 I think the Leafs whole strategy this season is to disprove the predictive ability of Corsi.
@mORRganRielly Yes it is really a combination of rebound control and puck-handling. The puck-handling accures less in a game than soa, so it might be less substantial than his rebound control but I have the feeling we have better control of the puck after Bernier playing the puck. His rebound control really helps with getting fresh players out there, when we get better on the dot, we can capatalize even more on it. Might be interesting to see how it correlates with defensive face off percentages.
@mORRganRielly I suggested in an earlier blog, that the D would allow 5 shots less with Bernier in net
How would that stack up against Corsi
@Jordan29 @Dan39 True, we are missing some key catalysts. But I thought guys like Broll - even though he had an outstanding game for his skill set - should really have done more to set the tone. Orr, for his part, got some strong hits in, but I thought there were long periods where the team just wasn't hitting. Guys like RNH and Hall can't absorb much punishment, shame to not deliver it.
@newkb @Jordan29 Don't use that. Use @MLHS_Aaron's post. http://www.sportingcharts.com/articles/nhl/advanced-hockey-statistics-an-introduction.aspx
@Jordan29 @mORRganRielly @newkb @MLHS_Aaron Here's how it works in 'theory'. We have a finite number of minutes to play hockey. 60-65 minutes, right? So there's usually a set number of shots you can expect on average.
Since timing puck possession isn't really feasible, nor eventful, we need a proxy to determine what's happening on the ice. If you're giving up a high number of shots, you're probably going to give up a high number of goals more often than not. That's what Corsi mimics. It mimics possession time, but lives on the averages.
That's why I have been very very very careful not to use it exclusively and why no one should use it exclusively. It's just a tool, nothing more.
But it is kind of like saying... Player A has a 19% shooting percentage whereas the league average has 9% shooting percentage. Chances are, Player A won't be able to sustain that. So on average, he should regress.
That's why you need to watch the game too.
@mORRganRielly @TheCanucksnaphook @Jordan29 @Shift_Disturber1 I have no issue with fans who use fancy stats. I do have an issue with how some choose to use them to portray a coach ,management and a team as incompetent . Till some of the fancy stat people get beyond that its always going to be controversial
@mORRganRielly @TheCanucksnaphook @Shift_Disturber1 I will always agree that if you have stats to prove something and back it up, it will work in most situations. I have not even bothered to glance at stats like we talk about on this site EVER. But it will say, the leafs are making it so clear that theres more to hockey then stats. Like last night, it all boiled down to us having big time guys like Lupul (and luck) and having just one key save from Bernier.