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.
Predictions are based on the lineup as it appears below.
.. a few notes:
A lot of noise over utilizing Nazem Kadri, Joe Colborne or newly-acquired James Van Riemsdyk down the middle. Noise .. that’s all it is.
I think that Clarke MacArthur is a placeholder for Kadri who likely slips into that spot, if not this season, then in 2013-14. I don’t think Kadri spends any time in the AHL, and has that 3rd line RW spot in a dogfight with Frattin as direct competition.
Tyler Bozak becomes the default #1 center. Yeah, yeah, Tim Connolly, I know, but I think that he’ll likely spend more time in the press box that in uniform. Bozak at least displays a willingness to the defensive game that Connolly doesn’t offer and the offensive skills that earned a 2-yr audition in Toronto aren’t there. Connolly doesn’t beat Grabovski for the 2nd line center spot, and McClement is almost entrenched at the 3rd line.
That leaves Steckel and Connolly to alternate in the lineup. I have no doubt Connolly gets a little bit of time as a top line center once again, but not enough to make a viable contribution to the lineup. There’s also interchangeability with Matthew Lombardi.
Ideally, I would like to see a JvR, Bozak and Kessel unit, even as an experiment.
Matt Frattin has balanced defensive awareness and trigger skills to pull off a 4th line role, especially with Kadri ahead of him on the depth charts.
I don—t think Leo Komarov will make enough of an impact to win a roster spot out of camp. Expectations are he starts the season with the Marlies and works his way from there.
On defense the #6 and #7 are interchangeable, and that’s Komisarek and Holzer. Should the Leafs be lucky enough to be able to unload Komisarek, Holzer can fill that spot.
Wouldn’t be surprised to see a Komisarek-Gardiner pairing to start the season.
I’ve tried to get the amount of games as close to the number of season games . There are 984 games played by 12 forwards in a season and 492 by six defensemen for a total of 1476 games. Predictions took into account 1450 games, ending up 26 short, although there’s a good chance those are taken by call ups and injury replacements.
Totals ended up giving the Leafs 235 goals in 2012-13, up from 227 the season before. The breakdown is 203 goals from forwards and 32 from the blueline, down from the 38 goals in 2011-12.
It’s no surprise Phil Kessel leads the way once again, both in goals and in points. I gave him 35 goals, but I’m under the impression it will be a more difficult 35, than 11-12.
Predictions below. I’ve also posted 2011-12 final results for comparisons.
|James van Riemsdyk||78||23||21||44|
2011-12 End of Season Results