No games for three days makes for very little in Maple Leafs land development. There’s Komisarek’s laughable trade request, there’s Frattin’s potential return to the lineup this week, and there’s still the question of why isn’t Gardiner on the Maple Leafs, but for the most part all of it is nothing more than a waiting game. Instead, I’m going to look at the most basic of stats (goals and assists) and how the first line forwards are doing in those categories.

The Numbers

38% – That’s the percentage of game winning goals scored by the first line this season. Kessel and van Riemsdyk both have two, and Bozak one. The team leader for game winners is Frattin with 3.

2 – That’s the number of primary assists that Bozak has this season (both on Kessel goals). Bozak is tied for 9th on the Leafs in primary assists. Yes, that’s right, the first line centre has fewer primary assists than Mike Kostka. Kessel and Kadri are tied for first on the Leafs with 10 primary assists each.

33% – When it comes to what period the first line scores in the first line is consistent. They’ve accounted for 33% of the Leafs goals in each period.

1 – There has only been one powerplay goal that wasn’t scored by, or assisted on by one of the Leafs first liners.

3 – When the game is tied both James van Riemsdyk and Phil Kessel have given the Leafs the lead three times, tied for best on the Leafs with Frattin. Tyler Bozak has scored 80% of his goals when the Leafs already have the lead.

76% – That’s the percentage of the first line’s goals scored on the road. Kessel still hasn’t scored at home, Bozak has one, and even van Riemsdyk has two thirds of his goals away from the ACC.

1stBozak and van Riemsdyk are tied for first on the Leafs in goals scored within the division. Kessel only has one goal within the division.

8 – To make up for his lack of goals within the division, Kessel has 8 points against division competition. That’s good enough for first on the Leafs.

So there are the most basic of stats for the top line. What seems clear is that Bozak is out of his league as a playmaker despite still finding a way to score. It’s also become clear that Kessel is just as good a passer as he is a shooter, and his ability to feed Lupul last season wasn’t a fluke, as van Riemsdyk has benefited just as much as Lupul did.

Monday Morning Links…

How the Maple Leafs’ (and Carlyle’s) ‘experiment’ year can end well….
Michael at Vintage Leaf Memories takes a look at what Carlyle needs to do to silence critics.

Komisarek requests a trade
Birky at PPP takes a look at the trade we all hope happens.

Injured Leaf Matt Frattin cleared for contact at practice (Star)
It’s hard not to be excited about how the Leafs top nine looks after his return.

Leafs’ Lupul Practices for first time since injury (Sportsnet)
Since there was a Frattin update, why not have a Lupul one, too?

Tampa Bay Lightning, and Florida Panthers coping with NHL realignment travel nightmares (Puck Daddy)
Why do these franchises still exist?

Surprisingly I had difficulty finding a truly horrible Kessel proposal in the 15 minutes I looked, so instead here’s one that I’m not willing to label as horrible but it’s still one that I wouldn’t want to do.

NHL Numbers Predictive Power Rankings
Woohoo! The Leafs make the playoffs! Boo! They’d face Boston in the first round.

Previous articleNoon Mashup: Never Satisfied
Next articleMike Brown traded; good problems await Leafs
Founded in 2008, Maple Leafs Hotstove (MLHS) has grown to be the most visited independent team-focused hockey website online (Quantcast). Independently owned and operated, MLHS provides thorough and wide-ranging content, varying from news, opinion and analysis, to pre-game and long-form game reviews, and a weekly feature piece entitled "Leafs Notebook." MLHS has been cited by: ESPN, Sports Illustrated, CBC News, USA Today, Fox Sports, Yahoo! Sports, NBC Sports, TSN, Sportsnet, Grantland, CTV News, CBSSports, The Globe & Mail, The National Post, The Toronto Star, The Toronto Sun, Global News, Huffington Post, and many more.