Power Rankings – October 31, 2007

Here are the first power rankings of the season. For those unfamiliar with my power rankings, they are algorithm generated based on each teams records and their strength of schedule. If they have a great record but have played an easy schedule they might not be ranked as highly as you might think they should. Remember, it is still early in the season so these rankings are still quite dynamic and can change quickly if a team puts together a couple wins or losses in a row. Also be sure to check out each teams records against the top ten,

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Do Leafs give up lots of shots when they have leads?

Ninja posed an interesting question in the comments that I think deserves a post of its own. We both know the Leafs didn’t block shots last year as a general rule and still managed to be very good in the shots allowed category. This year, they seem to be giving up the body slightly more often, but the shots against are way up. The zone coverage is comparable to last year, except the forwards seem to be missing assignments or switches with more regularity. How do you reconcile these quasi-facts with the Leafs shots allowed averages of last year? I’m

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Just when you think you have seen everything…

The Toronto hockey media continues to amaze me. Today it is Howard Berger… Having compiled 17 points in 10 games (including a league-leading 11 assists), Sundin is tied atop the NHL scoring stats with fellow Swede Henrik Zetterberg of Detroit … Mats is almost 37 years old. He’s playing like a 27-year-old right now, but the lack of offensive support will turn him into a 57-year-old by February. Now they are complaining about the lack of scoring depth on a team with the 3rd best offense in the NHL (based on goals per game). The first thing worth mentioning is

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Update on Off Season Acquisitions

The table below lists most of the significant and not so significant off season acquisitions. So far the Flyers and Islanders have done quite well with their off season acquisitions while the Rangers and Oilers haven’t fared too well considering the money they spent. Although he didn’t change teams, I have included Vanek in the list because he was given an offer sheet. Player Team Games Goals Assists Points +/- PIM Mathieu Schneider Anaheim 0 0 0 0 0 0 Todd Bertuzzi Anaheim 7 1 1 2 -2 6 Todd White Atlanta 8 1 3 4 -1 6 Peter Schaefer

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This is what bugs me about Leaf media…

I am going to write more about the Leafs in another post probably later this week but for now let me continue my rants against the media: Today Mike Zeisberger writes: The Leafs are allowing an average of 35.33 shots per game, leaving them as one of the worst teams in the league in that category. Now, I don’t have a problem with that statement per se, but the problem I have with it is Zeisberger is using it as an example of the Leafs bad defense while a year ago he ignored the fact that the Leafs allowed the

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Can You Spend $15 Million on Two Forwards and Win?

The Dany Heatley signing by the Ottawa Senators yesterday had me asking that exact question. It is expected that the Senators are going to desperately try to sign Jason Spezza to a long term contract as well and it is probably safe to assume that he will earn somewhere between $7 and $7.5 million bringing the total for the Spezza-Heatley duo to close to $15 million. So the question is, if you spend that much on two forwards, can you build a good enough team to win the Stanley Cup? It is an interesting question that I think Ottawa GM

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Raycroft vs Toskala

I am sickened by what seems to be an outrage on behalf of Leaf media and fans (and others) at Maurice for starting Andrew Raycroft. It sickens me because it seems to be a media made goalie controversy that if anyone had a clue would realize that Raycroft was the likely starter. Ever since the trade was made Maurice and JFJ said that Toskala was brought in to help Raycroft and that Raycroft was still the starter. Now, that may have been some posturing and in the long run they expect/hope Toskala will take over the #1 role, but they

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Inside the Numbers: Leafs vs Sens

In honour of the start of the new season and another Leaf-Sens rivalry game, here are some interesting, maybe surprising, stats related to the Leafs-Sens rivalry (mostly ammo for Leaf fans) Leafs top 6 forwards: Sundin, Blake, Antropov, Tucker, Wellwood, Ponikarovsky Sens top 6 forwards: Heatley, Spezza, Alfredsson, Fisher, Vermette, Kelly (based on points last year, not projected lineup) Goals scored by Leafs top 6 last year: 142 in 386 games or 0.37 goals per game Goals scored by Sens top 6 last year: 169 in 453 games or 0.37 goals per game Next 3 forwards: Stajan, Steen, Pohl: 103

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The Self Destructing NHL Part II

A couple months ago I wrote about how the NHL was on the path to self destruction. Well, a couple of news items have come out this past week to reconfirm that thought. 1. TSN is reporting that the sale of the Nashville Predators is on the verge of collapsing because the owners have requested more ‘subsidies’ from local and state governments and it appears unlikely they will get them. This comes on the heels of a story from James Mirtle that the team is well below the ticket sale level required (14,000) to receive revenue sharing from the league

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