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Overtime

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Whichever way you cut it, the Leafs endured a torrid season that no statistical tinkering can mend. Regardless, if there is one thing most opposing NHL fans can agree on it’s the increasing need for an overhaul in the leagues points’ structure and the farcical awarding of points in the overall standings.

Where once every game had two points at stake, either by means of two for the win or split after an OT tie, the inclusion of an extra point for teams losing in OT or, more prevalently, after the shootout, has spawned an lopsided points structure that favours teams and coaches who adopt an cautious approach toward the end of regulation time that is the polar opposite of what was originally intended.

10

We will do an extended Torontosaurus Rex after preparing for the playoffs is over, later on in the week. But since the regular season is over, it’s time for some numbers. It’s also interesting to note how the two teams Flyers and Rangers with the lowest amount of shootout games with six, decided their playoff fates with a shootout.

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    Leafs NationLine-up Note: Tim Brent has been recalled from the Marlies and will feature tonight. He has recorded 26 points in 35 games this season, third on the team among active Marlies. Caputi or Primeau will sit according to AM640′s Jonas Siegel.

    The planets have aligned and the gods of hockey have shined their countenance upon the Leafs. Considering of course the various permutations that have to yet play out, it could still end up for nought at the close of play Sunday night. But after a favourable series of results, Toronto now has the chance to topple the Montreal Canadiens wavering playoff aspirations and boy do they owe the fans a blistering performance to give the Leafs faithful some tangible highlight from a season resplendent in lows.

      53

      The Dallas Stars have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs for over a week now, but the season wasn’t quite over for Mike Modano. Last night, in the last home game of the season, the Stars played host to the Anaheim Ducks in a game that will be remembered by Stars fans for a very long time.

        13

        The Torontosaurus Rex for Week 23 is fitting and also notoriously absent from the only Leafs extra time loss in the last seven overtime/shootout games. In that loss, the Maple Leafs and Penguins tied a dubious NHL record, one night after the Leafs/Rangers surpassed 100 overtime games in the NHL this season.

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          The most common complaint I hear from fans, media and even some hockey people revolves around the point system and the three point game.

          Having done extensive point system analysis, alerted of a record shootout pace and declining overtimes, coupled with a scoring dip to the lowest goals-per-game average since prior to the lockout, a conclusion seems to come simple enough.

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            (On the road … so here is a quick thread for tonight’s action.)

            The Toronto Maple Leafs (21-33-12), who are coming off a hard-fought overtime win over the Boston Bruins, are host to the Tampa Bay Lightning (27-27-11), tonight at 7pm.

            The Leafs, who are all but officially out of the playoff race, are playing for jobs next season. To that end, the young players on the roster have put together a string of impressive efforts, and if their resilient play continues, few players will anonymously refer to them as an “AHL team”.

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              KULEMIN with the game winner, and that’s all folks!!! Leafs win 4-3 in a thrilling overtime victory!

              Now, wasn’t that an appropriate Torontosaurus Rex?!

              That was the Leafs first OT victory of the season. (1-9)

              ******
              It feels like a spring day, almost like a playoff date.
              This isn’t a playoff game by any stretch .. There are some interesting scenarios playing out even before puck drop.

              Here’s the game thread … you can also follow along on Twitter, @KatsHockey

              This is the first game At home for newest Leaf, Luca Caputi (Now with his first goal as a Leaf!!).

              This is the first game after the devastating hit my Matt Cooke taking out Savard.

              This is the first game At home that will not feature Alex Ponikarovsky as a Leaf.

              This is the first game in which Phil Kessel scores his first point as a Leaf against his former club (maybe) … (Yes! After a change in scoring on the second goal, he got his first assist versus his old team)

              The Leafs have given up powerplay markers in consecutive games after going five games without letting in a power play goal.

              Despite being one season removed from having won the Vezina Trophy this is the second consecutive start for Tim Thomas I the last games.

              And the Puck has dropped .. I’ll be refreshing about every 10-15 minutes

              Look, I’m not saying I’m a good luck charm, but I attend the game in the press box and a whole lot of good happens .. Caputi’s first as a Bud, Kessel registering his first assist .. Just call me lucky Kats.

              End of Regulation 3-3

                528

                Canada’s Men’s Hockey team has met its first challenge in the 2010 Olympics. Team Switzerland came in to upset Canada the same way they did 4 years ago with a 2-0 victory in Turin. Martin Brodeur’s 21 saves in the 3-2 win were not as impressive as his clutch saves in the shootout.

                  70

                  The Toronto Maple Leafs just can’t seem to do anything right. The Maple Leafs surrendered another lead in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Maple Leafs fell to 1-10 in games decided beyond regulation and more specifically, 0-8 in overtime.

                  Some surprisingly good special teams had the Leafs ahead 2-1 late in the third, but a couple of 4-on-3 power-plays stemming from bad penalties resulted in the tying and winning goals for the Lightning.

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                    The Toronto Maple Leafs were amongst leaders in 2009 for all the wrong categories. The Buds were the most scored upon team in 2009, playing an NHL leading 13 overtime games (2-11) record, and NHL trailing overtime winning percentage (.154).

                    Broken down after the jump is how the Leafs fared in the calendar year 2009.

                    Best Wishes for a Happy New Year to everyone!

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                      Did the neutral zone trap morph into the shootout? The pre-lockout reason for altering the rules, transfigured into the shootout as teams play for the shootout more this season. If trends are any indication, perhaps the two memes have a direct correlation.

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                        This latest edition of Stick Work with Fab&Kats, features the co-hosts, expanding on the winning means nothing blog in an expanded forum.

                        Fab and I pick our Torontosaurus Rex. Fab goes the conventional route, while I pick a defenseman … It’s an abreviated, yet content-rich edition.

                        StickWork

                        Download (right-click to save-as)

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                        I’ll be posting at FAN590 and Prime Time Sports personality, Bob McCown’s site Fadoo.ca moving forward in addition to MLHS.

                        My first post consisted of more point system analysis, looking at how post-expansion increases in tied games precipitated the implementation of overtime in the early 1980′s. It needed tweaking once again and then once again in the late 1990′s, and then fully eliminated with the final implementation of the shootout.

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                          Even though the Maple Leafs season is officially over, it doesn’t mean that there’s no playoff hockey here in Toronto. The Marlies just started their Round 1 series of the AHL playoffs last night against the #1 ranked Manitoba Moose.

                            12

                            With Files from Gil Brown

                            The current point system is most equitable for playoff races in January and individual franchise marketing, beginning as early as midseason.

                            Part of the logic behind Detroit Red Wing’s GM Ken Holland’s proposal, shot down in GM meetings in Naples, Florida in March, to change the season ending tie-breaking measures from Wins, to Regulation Wins is incentive for teams to get the job done in 60-minutes.

                            It’s about motivation, from puck drop in October through to April. But the current point system has greater connotations for marketing games, ticket sales and shaping the playoff race, the biggest issues for owners.

                              81

                              Remember the way back in the day when the “Can’t Beat Cujo” signs filled the ACC on those passionate, rambunctious (always wanted to use this word) Saturday nights? Well tonight, we got a brief glimpse of the glory days as Joseph turned in a magnificient performance down the stretch to steal a point away from Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.