Toronto ends their home heavy schedule this Saturday (to make way for the World Juniors at the ACC) and begins a 7 game road trip starting Sunday vs the Chicago Blackhawks.
The red-hot Anaheim Ducks are in town tonight to take on the red-hot Maple Leafs, in what could be a great matchup.
Much has been made about the Maple Leafs possession woes this season. While being abhorrent last year, they are making ground on becoming a better possession team through better personnel and, most importantly, through better systemic process and tactics.
During a Saturday morning chat, Mike Babcock was asked about the...
Audio: Dave Nonis on Leafs Lunch, Dave Nonis with Jeff Blair (TSN, Sportsnet)
Anthony Petrielli: Why the first line needs to be broken up, Kadri’s nice season & more (MLHS)
David Johnson: JVR, PDO, and the Leafs Defence (MLHS)
Evan Dorey: Game #30 Scoring Chances: Leafs 4 vs. Kings 3 (MLHS)
Jonas Siegel: Leafs cap whirlwind month by defeating Cup champs (TSN)
Michael Traikos: Maple Leafs benefitting from the evolution of Nazem Kadri (National Post)
Thomas Drance: Maple Leafs' William Nylander guilty of water bottle cruelty (The Score)
Kyle Cicerella: Leaf prospect Connor Brown playing above his rookie status (Kyle The Reporter)
Michael Langlois: On a...
With a minute left in the second period against the Los Angeles Kings, a familiar sight for Toronto Maple Leaf fans was taking place as their top line was on the ice and hemmed in their own zone. The Kings would score that shift—albeit a weak goal—against the Leafs three worst possession players at that time in the game (James van Riemsdyk was the highest at 22CF%).
On their first shift of the third period, they got scored on again. For the night, they were the three worst possession forwards on the team. They also combined for two goals for.
Toronto Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis' current assessment of his club: "I think we have a good team, and not a great team. Great teams can have nights off and still win. That's not our group. We need to compete and execute if we're gonna have success."
Through the first half of this game, the Leafs looked in great shape, especially given it was the second half of a back-to-back; they had a 2-0 lead, and were roughly even with the defending Stanley Cup champions in chances.
They seemed to hit a wall late in the second, though, as the Kings generated six straight chances, including two goals. That continued in the third, with Los Angeles going into the lead, and it seemed like that might be it for Toronto's hopes in this game. However, instead of folding, the Maple Leafs showed some great resilience, as they...
Last night's game ended about an hour ago, so maybe the Leafs will pick up right where they left off.
Considering the Kings didn't play yesterday, you're not expecting much out of this one from the Leafs perspective. Points are a bonus.
The world champions are off to a relatively slow start to the season, something they're familiar with from over the years, due to middling offensive production. Tyler Toffoli is their leading scorer with 23 points and is the only King with more than 20 points on the season. They've been particularly poor on the road, where they're just 4-6-4...
Ice hockey and poker: two seemingly contrasting activities at opposite ends of the sporting spectrum. On one side you've got a game that involves steel blades, flaring tempers and some high octane action. At the other, you've got a group of people trying to stay as still as possible while praying that their opponents fold.
On the surface, the crossover between ice hockey and poker seems non-existent. However, when you take the time to peel back some layers, you start to notice that there are actually a lot of similarities between the two games. In fact, the connection between hockey...
With the chance to flip Wednesday night’s script, the Maple Leafs showed some killer instinct by outplaying a tired Wings team.
Even a hot goalie in Petr Mrazek couldn’t replicate James Reimer's herculean midweek effort, however, unable to keep his team hanging around in this one as the Leafs, now the highest scoring team on a per game basis through 29 games, showed off their scoring depth by attacking the Wings relentlessly from the second period onward especially.
The first period was split fairly evenly, with the Leafs carrying the play for the first half and the Wings coming to life in...
Over the last couple of seasons, these types of games from the Leafs have been rare; they were the better team and carried the play against Detroit.
This season, they've been much more common, a testament to the improved depth and better possession play Toronto has had so far. The Leafs came out strong, having the better of the first half of the opening frame, but Detroit got back into it, levelling the score and finishing the period near even on chances. Unsurprisingly, Toronto had a great second period, as they've done all year, doubling up the Wings in chances,...
The Maple Leafs look to bounce back after a bad game against the Red Wings, where they were dominated and were lucky to steal a victory.
After being thoroughly outplayed Wednesday vs. Detroit, it will be interesting to see a rested Maple Leaf team play a tired Detroit team, who lost in a shootout vs. Florida last night. There was a fair bit of consternation regarding the Maple Leafs' effort on Wednesday, and while it didn't appear to be from a lack of effort, they were certainly late on most plays, for the balance of the evening—a lot of that having to do...
MLHS Leaf Links
Kyle Dubas with Jeff Blair
Game Review: Game #28, Toronto Maple Leafs 2 vs. Detroit Red Wings 1 (SO)
Game 28 Scoring Chances: Maple Leafs 2 vs. Red Wings 1 (SO)
Game Review: Game #27, Toronto Maple Leafs 4 vs. Calgary Flames 1
Game 27 Scoring Chances: Maple Leafs 4 vs. Flames 1
Leafs Notebook – December 8
Maple Leafs likely to miss playoffs, hockey analytics suggest - The Star
Mirtle: Reimer should get chance to help the Leafs – or someone else - Mirtle, G&M
Mirtle: Dubas stresses Leafs need to focus on ‘process,’ not points 26 - Mirtle, G&M
Dreger: Leafs still...
The Leafs deserved to lose this game 4 or 5 to 1.
Enter James Reimer.
In somewhat of a thrown-to-the-wolves situation, low on game reps and playing in a back to back against a scorching hot Detroit team, Reimer responded to adversity as he often has in his time in Blue and White – admirably.
By the possession numbers, this is the third-worst margin a team has been outplayed by in 419 NHL games so far this season. It’s not like the Leafs were leading early, either. They owned just 26% of possession while trailing or tied for the full 65 minutes,...
The Toronto Maple Leafs had one of the worst chance performances I've seen, almost as bad as the game that Buffalo played against them in October.
Toronto were out-chanced 19-3 at ES after two periods, and had absolutely no business being in the game at all, let alone being down by just one. For that, they had to thank the excellent performance of James Reimer, who held off Detroit's challenges. They also had a strong penalty killing game, which has become a regular occurrence. The third period was better, and Toronto managed to get level through Kessel, but even then...
The Toronto Maple Leafs (6-3-1 in their last 10) are in Detroit to take on the Red Wings (8-2-0). Detroit has been one of the hottest team's in the League since they were defeated by Toronto 4-1 in their last outing.
"A good team, obviously playing well, lots of offensive punch, so we're going to have our hands full. They're good. If you look at the analytics part they're no good, but when you look at coaching and winning games, they're good" - Mike BabcockDetroit is rolling right now and with the return of Pavel Datsyuk, they've added an elite two-way player...
If you're Randy Carlyle, in terms of process, you're probably only really happy with the middle 20 minutes in this game (and of course Jonathan Bernier's performance).
That sounds bizarre after a 4-1 win, but there were two empty netters, and Calgary had the shot attempt edge at even strength from start to finish, opening up a gap of 77-51 by the end of the game due to score effects.
Toronto was fortunate to come out with a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes, outplayed by a slight edge in the opening period, but did follow that up with a good second...