Tuesday Morning Links:
Anthony Petrielli: Shanahan took flack in the summer, but not selling low and finding bargain UFAs is a good start + Leafs Notebook (MLHS)
Pierre LeBrun: Cap projected somewhere between $72 and 74 million for next season (ESPN)
Lance Hornby: Leafs prepare for Burkie bowl vs Calgary Flames (Canoe)
Jonas Siegel and Mark Masters: Leafs Week touches on Kessel's health, Bernier as number 1, much more (TSN)
Stephen Whyno: Las Vegas given green light by NHL to gauge expansion interest (Globe & Mail)
James Mirtle: Most Canadian NHL teams surprising with good seasons (Globe & Mail)
Michael Traikos: Leo Komarov still experiencing headaches after hard hit from...
Couple of good tests coming up this week for the Leafs: First, the hard-working upstart Calgary Flames come to town on Tuesday before a divisional home and home with the surging Detroit Red Wings (8-2 in last 10) on Wednesday and Saturday.
Monday Morning Links:
Kyle Cicerella: Marlies experimenting with Tyler Biggs at center (Kyle The Reporter)
ICYMI: Leafs have made some changes to their player development department (David Alter)
Jonas Siegel: Bernier gets groove back as Leafs storm past Vancouver (TSN)
Bar Down: Phaneuf and Kessel rematch in ping pong (TSN)
Michael Traikos: Phil Kessel may have image of laziness, but he's made of iron...
Games like these are tough to judge (i.e. tough to write about).
There’s the game that saw the Leafs build a 4-0 lead over one of the League's best teams (particularly on the road) through 27 games. Then, there’s the game that transpired in the final 35 minutes wherein the Leafs were outshot 34-16 and were lucky (two posts in the span of five seconds on the penalty kill with the score at 4-2) not to find themselves in a one-goal game with a healthy amount of time left on the clock.
The Leafs’ first 25 minutes were excellent. The Canucks have...
A stiff test awaits the Maple Leafs in this all-Canadian matchup on Hockey Night in Canada.
Vancouver is off to a great start (fourth in the League) and their underlying numbers suggest their first-quarter success is far from luck based. The Canucks are 18-7-1 despite ranking 26th in save percentage at five on five as Ryan Miller has run hot and cold for them this season. They're a top 5 team in shot generation and 9th in Fenwick For. Their shooting percentage at 5v5 is middle of the pack, giving them a PDO that ranks 26th in the League. Arguably the Canucks have...
A decrepit and depleted Devils squad trotting into the Air Canada Centre with the Leafs on a roll? A classic trap game that ended in a 5-3 loss for the home team.
The state of the Devils coming into this one was almost comical. Elias, Jagr and Larsson injured. Schneider set to play 80 games this season. Dainus Zubrus mistakenly laying the body on Damien Brunner. It's likely these thoughts were also humouring the de facto top line in Toronto as Kessel, Bozak and JVR never truly got into this game.
With Bozak and co. hemmed into their own end 4...
Toronto had a bad start against a short-handed Devils team, falling behind 8-4 in ES Chances, and 1-0 on the scoreboard.
However, they seemed to recover after that, finishing the first period level in ES chances, and twice managed to tie the game up in the second. They struggled in the third, though, with the Devils managing to defend well, and opening up a three goal lead. Toronto had one strong ES shift in the third, but other than that generated little in their attempt to chase down the lead.
The ES numbers ended up close, but the Leafs losing...
The struggling New Jersey Devils are in Toronto
to take on the warm-getting-warmer Maple Leafs.
“They’re playing with confidence, a lot of speed, a lot of depth. I think they’ve won four or five in a row,” DeBoer noted. “But it wasn’t that long ago that they were sitting where we are, lacking some wins and second-guessing themselves. “I think they’re a good example of how quickly this can turn around once you get it going the other way. - Devils Head Coach, Peter DeBoer”
The key for the Maple Leafs in this game will be avoiding falling into the trap of...
Get your Wednesday night links:
Game Review: Game #24, Toronto Maple Leafs 5 vs. Dallas Stars 3
Review, shot location chart, possession chart, Maple Leaf player notes and boxscore
Game in 12: Leafs 5, Stars 3
Game minute compressed Leafs/Stars "Game in 12"
Game 24 Scoring Chances: Maple Leafs 5 vs. Stars 3
Evan Dorey with Leafs/Stars scoring chances (and cumulative scoring chances on the season)
Randy Carlyle Post Game: Leafs 5 vs. Stars 3
Randy talkin' hockey.
Peter Horachek – Sportsnet 590
Horachek talking about the process of transforming the Leafs into a defensively minded club.
Leafs Notebook – December 2
Anthony Petrielli with his weekly Leafs Notebook talking Franson and...
The high-scoring Maple Leafs won a game over a reeling opponent in mostly-convincing fashion, extending their points streak to five games and improving their record to a solid 13-8-2.
The way Dallas is playing has to be close to giving Lindy Ruff a coronary: Cheating for offense, undisciplined, losing a lot of their puck battles, heavily offense-first, and passive defensively and through neutral ice. There is a lot of skill on that roster, but they’re not playing anything close to sound hockey; more than a few people on Twitter remarked on their similarity to the 2013-14 Maple Leafs. They won’t...
The Leafs started December with another strong performance, which was similar to their game against the Capitals.
The first period was even in chances at ES, but the Leafs took the lead with a pair of goals, including a very early one from the on-fire Tyler Bozak. A good second period, which has become a consistent thing for the Leafs, saw them extend the lead to 4-1, and they held on in the third for the win.
The game was pretty much even at ES, but the Leafs were vastly superior on special teams, really limiting the Stars power-play, despite Dallas...
For the disappointing -- relative to off-season hype -- Dallas Stars, the key to victory has been quieting/limiting Seguin, Spezza and Benn. After that, the Stars have been dealing with a pretty big drop off in terms of production up front.
"I think he's a great player," Seguin said of Kessel. "I'm still a bit of a Leafs fan at heart. I grew up watching the Leafs and loving them. Obviously he's their top guy. He's a great player. It's weird how it all worked out, how I could have been there. But I think we've both moved on from that." - Tyler...
Stephen Burtch: Playing hardball with Franson will cost Leafs (Sportsnet)
Rob Longley: Frederik Gauthier invited to Team Canada selection camp (Toronto Sun)
Micheal Traikos: Assistant coach Steve Spott having positive influence on David Clarkson (National Post)
Ed Dermit: Maple Leafs have small but promising group of prospects at the junior level (Hockey's Future)
Michael Traikos: Leo Komarov a question mark for game versus Stars (National Post)
Lance Hornby: 'Tell everyone I'm fine,' Komarov misses practice (Toronto Sun)
Mark Zwolinski: Trevor Smith making decision tough on Maple Leafs (Toronto Star)
Draglikepull: How many points will Tyler Bozak score this season? (Pension Plan Puppets)
Michael Langlois: Maple Leafs...
In the summer, I wrote about Bozak's statistically-improved 2013-14 season.
In that post, I observed that Bozak had significantly improved his 5v5 offensive production last season, and in particular his assist rates, while noting that his power play production had been relatively unchanged. Here is my concluding paragraph from that post:
It is difficult to know from the statistics whether Bozak took a step forward in his development or changed his style of play last season to become a more important member of his line, but he appears to have been. Of course, one season does not make a trend so it will be...
In the battle of the middling teams, Washington (10-8-4) is in Toronto to take on a Maple Leaf squad (11-8-3) looking to build on three solid games (2 wins & 1 OT loss).
The Leafs are 5-3-2 in their last 10, while Washington is 6-3-1 in their last ten. Washington is on the second half of a back-to-back, coming off a win against the New York Islanders.
Friend of the site, RMNB, writes in their keys to the game "don't play down to them", which is somewhat misleading; while their underlying numbers have improved, the Capitals still haven't proven to be anything to write home...