October 31, 2016
October is wrapping up, and my last article of the month will be a weekly mailbag post that won’t exactly re-invent the wheel. There are no NHL games tonight, so with that in mind, here is some stuff from the past month that I particularly enjoyed writing and hope you’ll enjoy going back to read.
On Penalty Differential and the Leafs
I haven’t gone back to this one yet to see who have been Toronto’s best penalty-drawing players this season (the sample should preferably be a bit bigger first), but the beginning acts as a good primer on the benefits of worrying about penalty differential.
Rich and Matt: A Tale of Two Fourth-Liners
Matt Martin’s been about what he was expected to be for the Leafs this season and Rich Clune is doing the same for the Marlies, but with people already talking about kids being NHL ready with nowhere to jump to, it really does bring the contract responsibility part of this back into question.
Why I Believe in Frank Corrado
Just get him into a game, I swear.
Believing in Connor Carrick, the Crown Jewel of this rebuild’s seminal trade
Carrick has looked very good in some difficult minutes so far this season. Not overly surprising, though; he’s been waiting for his chance for a bit now.
On the “Kid vs. Vet” tiebreaker, and things to consider while doing it
I actually thought Babcock would lean to his veterans here, at least as far as forwards did, but sure enough, Greening, Laich, and Michalek are all hanging out on the Marlies now.
The Leafs are at the Jays game and I have many questions
This one is more of a goofball post, but it was still entertaining to write.
Maple Leafs claim Seth Griffith off waivers from Bruins
A breaking news post by nature, but a lot of info on Griffith, who I think will prove to be a great claim by the blue and white.
The Night Toronto Turned a New Leaf
Sure, the Leafs have lost 6 of 8 games since, but things are still looking up, on the whole, and that was a very special night as far as setting the tone of the franchise moving forward.
Andreas Johnsson answers health concerns with huge weekend
I was initially very worried about his concussion when it happened in May, and to see him make noise on the scoresheet right away was fantastic.
Making sense of what happened yesterday
A breakdown of Toronto’s 4-0 collapse to the Jets a few weeks back, including a decent primer on Score Effects, which played a big role in many of the collapses that the team faced in the first few games.
William Nylander’s time will not come, for it is already here
It’s become more apparent by the day that Nylander is a special, special talent already. At the 9-game mark, he’s up to 11 points on the season.
The Leafs need to get Frederik Andersen out of the net right now
In this case, it’s looking like my conclusion fell flat; Andersen was solid in the two appearances that followed. Maybe he’s finally coming around from whatever was bugging him. But the backing behind the final statement is still worth the read.
Mitch Marner’s skillset is too big to worry about him being small
Marner has been getting the least fanfare of the “Big 3”, probably because he plays on a less important line. But he’s already looking like a stellar player himself.
Re-Imagining the Leafs’ defensive struggles
From just a couple of hours ago, I went into the misconceptions about the Leafs being a poor defensive team, and how the TV “eye test” can be deceiving, short and long term.