Quantcast
Analysis

Analysis

In-depth analysis of the Toronto Maple Leafs from the Leading Leafs-centric website.

1

Brian Burke is not a superhero. He doesn't have magical powers that allow him to move faster than everyone else. He cannot use pure energy to forge amazing things out of nothing. He's a normal man trying to do a well-intentioned job - one for which he is eminently qualified - by using the significant earthly resources at his disposal to sort out justice in an incredibly dark, cynical, and complex environment. He's trying to build future positives from the smoldering pile of ash that was past tragedy. Brian Burke is Batman. Yeah, this post is a longwinded beast. And it...

Ben Scrivens

0

We had some Leafs news yesterday as Francois Allaire announced he isn't returning and we found out the extent of Joe Colborne's injury. When it comes to Colborne's injury, I'll say a few things quickly. Leafs management knew Joe was hurt in January, yet he played the rest of the year. To our knowledge, he didn't further damage himself further physically by doing so but he didn't play nearly as well as he was prior to the injury. To put it in perspective, Big Joe had 23 points in 22 games before hurting his hand, and only 16 in 43 after...

0

As the old saying goes, you have to learn how to walk before you can run. For a Leafs team that finished 25th out of 30 teams last year and has made few changes so far this summer, the Maple Leafs are still very much in that walking process. The big changes Leafs fans hoped for haven't quite come to fruition as of right now. The Leafs were one of the youngest teams in the NHL last year, crumbled down the stretch, and have to this point only made three noteworthy roster changes this summer by bringing in James van...

459

Here’s the shake. It’s the end of August, it’s been a couple of months since we’ve seen an NHL game played, and four months since we’ve seen the Leafs play. Topics are running thin, especially if you do not have an appetite for CBA articles and you recognize that roster building is on hold until the CBA plays out. What a great time to bring up primary vs. secondary assists. I come from a school of thought that not all assists are created equal; in fact, I’d be perfectly fine with one assist per goal, while everything else is +/-....

335

I plead guilty to writing far too many CBA posts in the past few weeks. This week I’m happily returning to a Leafs topic and looking at last season’s penalties. Finding who took a penalty and who drew a penalty can be found on behindthenet.ca, but I wanted to look at the penalties in specific situations. So I when through the 82 box scores from last season and put together this handy dandy spreadsheet for fans of pivot tables to enjoy. If you’d rather have the Executive Summary, you’ll find some interesting facts listed below. When the Leafs Fight? Last season the...

Brian Burke Fired

1102

When it comes to the Toronto Maple Leafs, one of the first things often mentioned is money. The team is, after all, the most valuable franchise in the league. With that in mind, it is always expected that they use that kind of financial power to the best of their abilities to put themselves ahead of other teams in the league. And due to that, Brian Burke's stance on cap circumventing contracts (the fact that he won't do them) is pissing a lot of fans off. Let's look at it. From the start, Brian Burke's comments have always been that he won't sign...

2304

It seems that a large percentage of Leafs Nation is completely convinced that the team they saw in February and March of the 2011-12 season is the true reflection of the roster's ability. Many have completely disregarded the 99-point pace the team played at for the entire 2011 calendar year and beyond, right up until February 6th of 2012. This skepticism is not undeserved. The team completely collapsed after that victory over the Oilers in early February that saw the Leafs three regulation wins ahead of the eventual Cup-winning Los Angeles Kings. What followed that victory was...

970

It seems like a fruitless endeavor to make full season predictions with the uncertainty of when the actual season does begin. Regardless, here we are. Under ideal circumstances, the season would start as per the current schedule and should both parties salvage a full season, we need to be ready. Every summer we get the McKeen's Hockey Yearbook together and about this time, I'm usually done with Leafs predictions. It's a summer tradition to post Leafs predictions here, and I wanted to continue the custom. With so little Leafs news, we need something to do besides gaming at www.partycasino.com (just in case.. remember,...

2012

The Toronto Maple Leafs have – even by their standards – had a very quiet offseason.  Since late May, GM Brian Burke has focused almost entirely on improving the forward corps for the 2012-2013 season with the signings of both Leo Komarov and Jay McClement; and trading for potential sell-low steal of the year, James van Riemsdyk.  The acquisitions have mostly been lauded as beneficial to the club, in particular for infusing some snarl, defense and skill into the beleaguered club’s front ranks. But it takes only the most cursory of sifting through tea leaves to discover that these moves,...

609

As we approach the dog days of hockey, more and more Leafs fans are coming to the conclusion that there's a strong chance we will see a James Reimer and Ben Scrivens goalie tandem to start the year. Barring a trade for Roberto Luongo (or a surprise move for another goalie), that's the duo the Leafs will start the season with. So with that, I decided to take a look at other AHL goalies over the years and how their numbers translated to the NHL. In a nutshell, Ben Scrivens led the AHL in goals against average this year while also...

1583

The Leafs have added some strength down the middle by signing Jay McClement to a two-year deal worth $3 million total. They were also able to agree to terms with Matt Frattin on a two-year deal that totals $1.7 million, while resigning Ryan Hamilton and Jussi Rynnas as well as adding Mike Kostka to the organization, too. It wasn't a banner day for the Leafs, but it was still an important one. Most notably, they finally added the third line center they've needed for quite some time and that has serious ramifications on the rest of the roster. Burke talked about it in...

676

NHL Free Agency was, originally, to be a major component of the Brian Burke 'rebuild' model - or 'retool,' whatever you want to call it - when the Maple Leafs' new GM arrived in Toronto. And despite perpetual inflation, it remains the surest and easiest avenue for a team to obtain top-quality players in their prime without sacrificing any organizational assets beyond cash. Factoring in the promises of a quick turnaround and transactions we shall not name, lest we incite debate involving high-end draft picks exchanged for promising young stars, free agency to the Brian Burke model becomes...well, not...

James Van Riemsdyk is finally a Toronto Maple Leaf.

837

While I had begun to sour somewhat on Schenn's potential last season, it was a little odd to wake up this morning and remember #2 was now a member of an organization not named the Toronto Maple Leafs. Schenn was celebrated as the first pillar of the Leafs' rebuild when Cliff Fletcher drafted him in 2008. Many a fan bought his jersey. Some said we had future captain material in Luke. Few would've predicted Schenn would be with a new organization before he turned 23. I'm not going to call Schenn's rookie season a mirage, but it was somewhat of a...

3091

The worst kept secret in all of hockey finally became a reality. Luke Schenn is now a Philadelphia Flyer, and James Van Riemsdyk is finally a Toronto Maple Leaf. JVR (whose name I'll probably never type in full again) was the second overall pick in the 2007 draft and has had a slow, but upwards, trend in his development since. After getting drafted he returned to New Hampshire, where he played college hockey, and threw up 40 points in 36 games along with 10 points in six world junior games. He ended that season playing some AHL games, but jumped straight...

2314

"We shoot for a top four group that has a high skill level, bottom two guys who look to do the plumbers work. Which are really important jobs on my teams." - Brian Burke At the risk of over analyzing a few sentences said nearly four years ago, this is a good starting point to quote when it comes to looking at the Leafs defense. It's really a very basic structure that doesn't require much of a break down. The interesting thing is that, when Brian Burke was with Anaheim, he actually had three elite defencemen at the time, a middling fourth...

86

Even if you whole-heartedly buy into the "take the best player available" theory when it comes to draft strategy, I think the odds are low the Leafs will be drafting a defenceman with their fifth overall draft selection in the 2012 Entry Draft in Pittsburgh. Say you truly believe organizational needs do not shape a draft team's particular assessment of "the best player available." I still can't see Everett's Ryan Murray getting past the Oilers or Islanders. I also don't think the Leafs would pass on the offensive talent available in the top five and draft Matthew Dumba or...

Randy Carlyle

346

Can we all agree right from the top that the hiring of Randy Carlyle signals the Leafs are back to following the top six, bottom six formula Brian Burke originally told us he would put into place? Can we also all agree that it's nice our General Manager and Head Coach are now on the same page, philosophically speaking? Okay, good. So what exactly is a top six, bottom six mold? A few years ago Pension Plan Puppets ran this piece, which explains how each line in this system is utilized. Essentially you have a top line, a shutdown line, a scoring...

Glenn Healy sees this in his dreams

369

2011-12 Season in Review: Top 6 Forwards | Bottom 6 Forwards | Defence | Goalies A new year, same as the old one. Goaltending has been a constant battle for the Leafs since the lockout. Last season, James Reimer gave some hope to a goaltending deprived fanbase only to have it be dashed away the very next year. The Leafs' goaltending in 2011-12 was atrocious and there's no getting around that. So in evaluating goalies, threads must be found that can indicate potential future improved play. Let's see if any of those threads can be found. Those are some Philadelphia numbers....

311

Last week's review focused on the Leafs' top 6 forwards, while the week before that saw us take a peek at the bottom 6's production. Now we'll switch our attention to the defence, which always seems so promising before the season starts and it crumbles to pieces. Again, we're only counting players that skated in at least 20 games for the Leafs, leaving us with seven players: Cody Franson, Jake Gardiner, Dion Phaneuf, John-Michael Liles, Carl Gunnarsson, Luke Schenn and Mike Komisarek. All things considered, the Leafs received a considerable amount of offence from their back end this season. With...

233

We're ecstatic to welcome Jon Steitzer to the MLHS blogging team. He formerly blogged at Bloguin's Leafs site Puckin' Eh and now runs his own blog Yakov Mironov. He's also a funny twitterer who can be followed here. With the introductions out of way, settle in for Jon's in-depth look at the long-term sustainability of Burke's team building. I wrote the bulk of the post you are about to read shortly before the deadline. It is a call for building a roster that is sustainable in the long term in exchange for some short term pain. It was originally...