To what extent have the Leafs missed Tyler Bozak?

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Tyler Bozak didn’t make his return to game action at the behest of team doctors on Saturday night. The worry with Bozak is that his hamstring issue may be a nagging one for him this season, given he wanted to play despite the doctor’s orders and was limping around the practice rink the day before.

In any event, we’ll find out as the day progresses if Bozak will play his first game since exactly a month ago today against the same opponent he sustained the injury, the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Update:

 

Since that October 25 injury, his usual running mates James van Riemsdyk and Phil Kessel have been playing less minutes and producing less consistently:

 JvR TOI/gKessel TOI/gJvR Points Per GameKessel Points Per Game
Before Bozak Injury21:07:4620:17:161.0 (9 in 9)1.09 (12 in 11)
After Bozak Injury19:15:2117:50:100.58 (7 in 12)0.75 (9 in 12)

The reality is that the problem is far more complicated than to arrive at a simple “Bozak’s gone” causation.

The intimation here is not that Tyler Bozak is the team’s vastly underappreciated number one center who is doing thankless work away from the puck that allows Kessel and JvR to produce at optimal levels. The fact of the matter is that Kessel’s production history is better without than with Tyler Bozak.

His absence has, however, contributed to throwing the lineup out of whack and a reduction in JvR and Kessel’s minutes.

Indeed, this is perhaps more accurately labeled a “Leafs obliterated down the middle” issue, of which Bozak is a part, as opposed to exclusively a “Bozak’s out” issue.

When Bozak first went down, Kadri jumped onto the top line and Kessel, JvR and Nazem combined for a whopping 15 points over three games against the Penguins, Oilers and Flames. Once Dave Bolland went down to injury in the Vancouver game, the struggles for the duo began. In order to try to balance the lineup, Carlyle shifted JvR to center and bumped Naz down a spot. The JvR at center experiment saw JvR-Kessel duo amass a total of one point, a Kessel goal on the powerplay, over the four games. Also in the mix was a three-game suspension to Kadri.

Are those time on ice numbers different if Bolland was available? Without a doubt. Kadri could have kept on centering Kessel and JvR without the need for change. And when Kadri was suspended, Bolland would have been centering the top line without much issue, as Carlyle trusts Bolland a great deal.

But we’re also aware that Carlyle trusts Bozak to center the team’s dynamic offensive duo, and Kessel and JvR’s minutes and production are down at least in part due to his absence. Even if it’s just for the penalty kill and getting the top line back to its familiar set up and ice time, the Leafs could use #42 back in the lineup.

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    Well, one silver lining is Phil’s had dinner waiting every evening.

  • BERNYAY

    A fair look at the situation.
    I still hope he’s back tonight, as a non Bozak fan.

  • phaneufoundlander

    ingy56 lol….awesome

  • phaneufoundlander

    @BERNYAY 4.2 Million per still blows my mind

  • TheGroobster

    http://mapleleafs.nhl.com/v2/ext/live/

    Was this the game liles got smoked?

  • vinoa

    phaneufoundlander UFA price. Is Clarkson really worth a 7 year contract? Cost of the salary cap era.

  • Great Dane

    Alec, I believe that it should be split in different buckets:
    With Kadri, Bolland
    WithJVR at center

    My gut feeling is that Kadri, Bolland improves production, JVR at center was not a hit and worse than without Bozak and Holland. Holland or Bozak would be about the same production from JVR and Kessel

  • Mind Bomb

    vinoa phaneufoundlander Yes Vinoa, very much so, Clarkson is worth every penny :) He has points in 4 of his last 5, hits, fights, forechecks like mad, excellent possesion player. 
    IMHO

  • Great Dane

    vinoa phaneufoundlander not in pure production, but he adds other dimensions.

  • vinoa

    Great Dane  I dunno. Holland hasn’t looked completely out of place with JVR n Kessel. Seems to at least have some top end skill unlike Bozak.

  • Great Dane

    vinoa I wouldn’t disagree just too few games to certain of that conclusion. But watching the games he seems more at ease with the speed of game that JVR and Kessel play than Bozak

  • rustynail

    Mind Bomb vinoa phaneufoundlander he is for this season, how about in 5 years?

  • vinoa

    Shift_Disturber1 vinoa phaneufoundlander I heard we actually got him for less $$ but the term was the negotiating point. Any truth to that?

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Great Dane Sample size is quite small on all of the other possibilities. The reality is that Bozak was Kessel and JvR’s consistent centerman before the injury, so it seemed worth comparing the situation with and without him.
    There are a number of qualifiers though, as you say, which I broke down in the text.
    15 points between the three of Kessel, JvR and Kadri over 3 games after Bozak’s injury. 
    Then came Bolland’s injury.
    JvR at center yielded basically no production.

  • deedrag

    Shift_Disturber1 I agree Shift. It seems Bolland was more versatile.

  • vinoa

    Shift_Disturber1 Still no updates on his return?

  • rustynail

    vinoa Shift_Disturber1 won;t be for a while yet

  • Burtonboy

    Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhh Bozie . Fuck the haters lol   ( shit disturber time )

  • Mind Bomb

    rustynail Mind Bomb vinoa phaneufoundlander  Morning Rusty, I guess the answer will lie in the result, If we win a Cup in the next 5 years, then yes. If not well then maybe not, The thing is, if you never take the shot, you never win either. I can not fault nonis for identifying a player that will help us win and going and getting him, Time will tell if it works, but sitting back and running a frattin cheaper is not increasing your odds on winning.

  • vinoa

    Burtonboy

  • rustynail

    Mind Bomb rustynail vinoa phaneufoundlander  more to the point that you overpay for decent UFA’s

  • deedrag

    What are the chances of us getting PK Subban? I’d trade Bozak and say Franson for PK.

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    deedrag Ugh. Screw that bitch…he’s fine where he is.

  • Mind Bomb

    vinoa Burtonboy Hhaha vinoa

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/Proteautypehttps://twitter.com/Proteautype/status/404988057381638144
    Forbes announces their new NHL team valuations. Leafs tops at $1.15 billion. They were at $4.25 billion before Rob Ford wore their jersey.

  • Great Dane

    Alec Brownscombe
    Just a small addition.
    I look at EV production:

    Bozak has played 176 minutes with a production of 3 points.  Avg. time per point 58 minutes.

    Holland has played 55 minutes with a production of 1 point.    Avg time per point 55 minutes.

    Small sample size but, it seems strange that a player who as played with JVR and Kessel for at least 50 games (Kessel a lot more) don’t have better production than that of player who has played only 4 games with them at EV.

  • deedrag

    ingy56 deedrag I think he’s the pesky type we need to go with Clarkson and company.

  • vinoa

    ingy56 deedrag If we want to increase shots from the d we should consider it. Franson hasn’t looked too great lately. I thought he would be lights out in a contract year.

  • deedrag

    ingy56 He’d definitely help Dion with the d time.

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    deedrag ingy56 Montreal rarely trades with Toronto for one thing and secondly I get the feeling Soupcan isn’t well liked by his own teammates. Not something we need here. Also, I seriously doubt Montreal has any interest in trading him .

  • lieffan

    He’s an NHL calibre centerman?
    Yep, we could use him.

  • wendelsway1

    Good Game Day Morning, Gents…….a great day to be a Leafer and for a big Leafs win…..GO LEAFS GO!!!!

  • phaneufoundlander

    deedrag They can keep that POS, I hate that slew footin, spitting, cheap shot artist,  coward, puck giveaway turtling coward with a passion…

  • deedrag

    ingy56 deedrag But he delivers nice hits which is a plus.

  • Loric76

    https://twitter.com/mirtlehttps://twitter.com/mirtle/status/404988520017580032
    Forbes Business of Hockey annual series is out. They say the Leafs are now valued at $1.15-billion, up 15% from a year ago.

  • Loric76

    https://twitter.com/mirtlehttps://twitter.com/mirtle/status/404988949765955585
    Forbes says that “every Canadian franchise ranks among the top 16 in the league” in terms of value. Average NHL team now worth $413-million.

  • deedrag

    phaneufoundlander deedrag He’s from TO so I would think he would give more playing here?

  • Mind Bomb

    rustynail Mind Bomb vinoa phaneufoundlander Well there is that, Armstrong, Connolly, Komi, it can only go up from here :)

  • phaneufoundlander

    deedrag ingy56 He’s a coward, doesn’t back up his antics and attacks Lupul before Loops gets his bucket off…what a puke
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LNfBqPlp-0&feature=player_detailpage#t=61

  • vinoa

    ingy56 deedrag That’s cause PK can’t figure out how to behave like a smurf. Bring the good ol’ Ontario boy home!

  • sharkbabysitter

    deedrag we’d need to trade a lot more than that to get subban.

  • deedrag

    phaneufoundlander I’d love a line of Lupul, Clarkson, Kadri, Reilly and Subban. that’s just got allstar line written all over it.

  • phaneufoundlander

    deedrag phaneufoundlander He’s still a puke and is hated by several of his own teammates, he’s a mouth piece , we don’t need a cancer like that…we are cohesive group and he would just f it up

  • Burtonboy

    Loric76 46% increase from last yr . WOW

  • vinoa

    phaneufoundlander deedrag ingy56 Come on they were both engaged. Not like he pulled an Emery.

  • deedrag

    phaneufoundlander deedrag That’s perfect for us cause he’ll really nail the smurfs when we play them LOL.

  • Loric76

    Burtonboy Loric76 yep it’s nuts

  • Burtonboy

    Loric76 Burtonboy God knows what that cap will be in a couple of yrs

  • Loric76

    Burtonboy Loric76 Kessel’s deal will look like peanuts soon

  • phaneufoundlander

    Mind Bomb vinoa phaneufoundlander dam right Bomber….love him to pieces…heart and soul guy…just wait playoff time….he’ll earn his pay and more…we’ve been missing piss and vinegar like this since Tucker got bought out