Photo: Claus Andersen/Getty Images
The Leafs have had a lot of positives to start this season, but the power play isn’t one of them.
Last year, Toronto’s power play was a team strength finishing tied for ninth with Colorado in the league clicking at 18.4% over 82 games. After eight games to start this season, the Leafs are currently converting 14.3% of their man advantages, which is 22nd in the league.
Training camp is set up with a scrimmage in one rink and drills going on in the other rink. The notes are about the scrimmages. Camp was split into three squads. The notes below are observations from the scrimmages.
Will we see Mac receive more awkward Kulemin embraces next season? (Photo Credit: DAVID DENOMA/REUTERS)
As usual, Brian Burke looks and sounds really confident. “Clarke MacArthur has arbitration rights and he may well file for arbitration. We’re fine if that’s what he chooses,” said Burke. “We have a lot of financial clout behind this team and we have a lot of cap space. We’re not worried about someone trying to take a player out of here through an offer sheet and we anticipate we’ll be able to re-sign all the players we want to re-sign.”
Considering how fond the management and coaching staff are of MacArthur,Â the fact his contract status remains an unsolved problem for the Leafs is somewhat surprising. On the other hand, him having a career year while being the league’s best bargain last season in Clarke’s mind could just as easily warrant a big pay day.
We could argue both sides equally. Clarke doesnâ€™t fit the bill of a greedy player. He clearly stated he wants to stay in Toronto, and showed heâ€™s a emotional, character player who played his heart out for the Leafs last season. On the other hand, we know how reluctant Burke is when it comes to giving significant salary increases to one year wonders. The differential between his second best season in the league and his career high last season is almost double in points; it’s no wonder this is a tough negotiation in which Burke is playing hardball.
This was the sixth and final Battle Of Ontario this season, and boy did the Leafs come out firing. Games against Ottawa are never easy (except when we beat them 5-0) and this one proved to be more difficult than it needed to be, but all in all, the run continues, and that’s really all that matters. Continue.
A character win when such a game was needed most to put a winning stamp on a great second part of the season.
Welcome to the St. Patrickâ€™s Day edition of the Game In 10. Four Leaf clovers may be lucky, but nothing is accomplished without effort. Continue for a Leafs game thatâ€™s more vanilla than Ice Ice Baby.
Update: Enroth will start for Buffalo per Elliotte Friedman; he was pulled after one period in his only appearance this season after conceding 3 goals on 12 shots against Boston on Wednesday. Here’s hoping for a repeat performance.
Tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs return home to host the Buffalo Sabres. After a thrilling come-from-behind shootout loss to the NHL’s offensive juggernauts – Washington Capitals – Toronto seems to be heading back into the right direction. The Buffalo Sabres, on the other hand, are sporting the league’s worst record and riding a three game losing streak. They are also coming off a loss against the Habs last night, so the Leafs certainly have an edge rest-wise heading into this one. The worry does remain that the Sabres have matched up really well against the Leafs in recent times (winning ten of their last eleven against the Buds), but these seem to be two different teams since the onset of the 2010-11 campaign.
It took the Leafs nearly 168 minutes to earn their first goal in three games in last night’s loss to the Ottawa Senators. It has been the story of the team in terms of points production as the club lost its fifth game in their last six outings. That said, the drive and scoring chances the team has created for themselves during that time made most of those games “close ones”. Tonight, with scoring hopefully back on their side, the .500 Leafs hope to erase their current three game losing streak by conquering the Capitals.
Day Two of on-ice participation is now in the books .. the sessions all had a purpose, as camp not only winds down, but clear decisions need to be made on who will remain with the main roster and who will be going to the Marlies or back to their original junior team.
A breakdown of the drills and more observations from the intra squad game after the jump.
Sunday Training Camp Day 2 practice
Teams A and B practiced with Team A on the main ice. (Breakdown of teams is here.
The drills weren’t very different from the previous days, they all focused on a real-game situation and the coaching staff made variations along the way.
Bring On Training Camp!
The Toronto Maple Leafs held their on-ice portion of training camp today. Players have been split into three squads to accommodate the 63 players invited to camp.
Among the contingent of fans outside the ice surface at the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence was a throng of media and of course, Leafs staff.