Thursday, May 28, 2015
Authors Posts by Joe Cino

Joe Cino

33 POSTS 0 COMMENTS

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Nick Kypreos has tweeted this little gem today:

#Leafs put Jeff Finger on #NHL waivers today.

This finally puts an end to the long period of speculation over the future of Jeff Finger. When he clears tomorrow, it will be interesting to see where he ends up playing. Renegotiating with another NHL team or even playing in Europe would perhaps be more entertaining to Finger but wouldn’t be the wise financial move as he’d have to opt out of his current contract by not reporting to the Marlies. While Wilson has been adamant that a return to the NHL this season isn’t an impossibility, it seems Finger will be left to lead a Marlies team that has started with a 0-2 record.

Where would you like to see Finger play?

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Here are tonight’s lines courtesy of Pension Plan Puppets:

Versteeg – Bozak – Kessel
MacArthur – Grabovski – Kulemin
Sjostrom – Brent – Armstrong
Orr – Zigomanis – Brown

Beauchemin – Phaneuf
Kaberle – Komisarek
Gunnarsson – Schenn

Giguere
Gustavsson

With the pre-season nearly finished, the Leafs roster is beginning to take shape for 2010-11. Similarly, the Marlies are starting to become more defined as major league cuts are shuffled down to the minor league club. What is not so clearly defined on the Marlies is their goaltending situation. There will be a ton of competition between the four goalies in the Leafs minor pro system to get starts this season and those that do will have to seize the opportunity. Let’s take a look:

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The Leafs won a game in the shootout. I’m as confused as you are. It was certainly an interesting one, going for 11 rounds before Colby Armstrong put Philadelphia out of their misery. Here are my game notes:

– The goaltending was great for the Leafs tonight, with Reimer in particular having a very strong performance. Both goals for Philly were flukey and both goalies played strong positional games. The shootout in particular was very impressive for Reimer, showing off his fast reflexes. Reimer is becoming a top goaltending prospect for the Leafs and his year with the Marlies should be very interesting.

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McKegg will be one to watch tonight

The Leafs face the Flyers tonight in London in what will surely be a physical endeavor. Paul Hendrick over at MapleLeafs.com has the lines for tonight’s game:

Forwards

Versteeg-Kadri-Armstrong

Caputi-Brent-Mueller

McKegg-Irwin-Boyce

Rosehill-Hanson-Brown

We’ve taken a look at the front end of the depth on the Marlies. Now it’s time to take a look at the back end. Defense is perhaps the strongest part of this year’s Marlies squad, mirroring the look of the Leafs in that respect. Let’s take a look:

Korbinian Holzer

Position: D

Bio: Holzer has more than just an awesome name. At age 22, Holzer has just come from an impressive DEL season in Germany, getting 22 points in 52 games. He has a sizable frame at 6’3” and 205 pounds and is not afraid to lay out a good check now and then. Holzer is likely the Leafs’ D prospect closest to earning a NHL spot, with a few games in place of injured players likely this season.

The speculation after the Matt Lashoff trade a few days back was that it was a precursor to another move for the Leafs. Sure enough, Clarke MacArthur was announced as the newest Maple Leaf. At a cap friendly $1.1 million, MacArthur is being paid like a 3rd liner. Burke has other things in mind, recently stating to the Toronto Star that MacArthur will spend “significant time” on the top two lines this coming season. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the kind of role we can expect from MacArthur. All stats not specifically referenced are borrowed from BehindtheNet.ca.

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He looks much better in this uniform

He looks much better in this uniform

No Leafs fan wants to be reminded of that most hated of Finnish goaltenders, Vesa Toskala. He was ushered into the organization as the next great goalie that would surely be the one to finally right this sinking ship. As any fan will tell you, this has been a disaster. In the nature of looking back at previous Leafs from yesteryear, I’m going to show you just how bad Toskala truly was. All stats not specifically referenced are borrowed from BehindtheNet.ca.

We’ll start by taking a look at Toskala’s season in 09-10. Toskala ended his tenure with Toronto with a record of 7-12-3, appearing in 26 games. His save percentage was a ghastly .874 and his GAA was a monumental 3.66. You don’t need to follow hockey closely at all to glance at these stats and understand why they are so bad. This was a far cry from his stats in 07-08, where he had a .904 save percentage and a 2.74 GAA. Even his rather subpar 08-09 season was better, when he had an .891 save percentage and a 3.26 GAA. Could the Leafs being in second last place in the league have something to do with his decreased stats?

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Brett Lebda
The newest addition to a strong Leafs blueline

Brett Lebda
The newest addition to a strong Leafs blueline

Brett Lebda has barely registered on the radar for Leafs fans and with good reason. This offseason is yet again centered solely on Tomas Kaberle, while Lebda toils away on the bottom pairing in many fans’ minds. Expectations are understandably low for Lebda, so it now becomes important to gauge proper expectations. All stats not specifically referenced are found on BehindtheNet.ca.

Lebda primarily played with two people in 2009-10. Those players are Jonathan Ericsson and Brad Stuart (courtesy of DobberHockey.com). Lebda registered the fewest points in the trio at 8, with Ericsson amassing 13 and Stuart putting up 20. Lebda’s -2 rating is by no means a good stat to have, but it is significantly better than Stuart’s -12 and Ericsson’s -15. So in looking at these basic stats, we find that Lebda is average defensively and sub-par offensively. However, do advanced statistics shed any more light on his overall play? Let’s find out.

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Colby Armstrong’s shiny new 3-year, $9,000,000 contract with the Maple Leafs has been the focus of much debate over the past month. Leaving the contract argument aside, it would be prudent to take a look at Armstrong’s advanced statistics in 2009-10, so that we might better gauge our expectations for the coming season. Thanks to BehindtheNet.ca for these fantastic statistics.

Quality of Competition (QoC) and Quality of Teammates (QoT) were very important stats when analyzing the potential impact that Kris Versteeg could have for the Maple Leafs. In Versteeg’s case, the QoT stat helped us understand his modest offensive numbers and how they might be improved in Toronto. However, they can tell a different story, namely that of defensive responsibility. Armstrong’s QoT was an astoundingly low -0.119. These stats are calculated with advanced +/- statistics being compared between their linemates throughout the season. As before, it is important to note the linemates Armstrong had to work with (courtesy of DobberHockey.com):

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    In my continuing statistical analysis of new and old Maple Leafs, I’ve decided to take a look at Matt Stajan in 2009-10. His play during his Leaf tenure was often a hot button discussion that somewhat divided the fan base. After all, he’s only 26 years old and he has scored over 50 points back to back now. Maybe Burke’s statisticians brought some of his more unknown negative characteristics to light, making the decision to move him a little easier. Thanks again to BehindtheNet.ca for having all of the forthcoming information readily available for the public.

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    Kris Versteeg has undoubtedly been the prize pick up for the Maple Leafs thus far this offseason. You’ve heard all the basics by now. He’s great in the dressing room, he plays all three forward positions, he produces under pressure and he’s a back-to-back 20 goal scorer. At age 24, these are all impressive qualities, but now the real question is: how he will fare in the Maple Leafs’ system?