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 7th fewest shots against in the NHL and still claimed that the Leafs defense was bad. The real story here with regards to the shots against totals is whether the Leafs defense overachieved for 82 games last year or are they dramatically underachieving for the first 9 games of this year. One could, and probably should, conclude that this is a good defensive team that is currently playing poor defensive hockey. But I guess that is either too difficult of a concept for members of the hockey media or doesn’t sell enough newspapers for their liking.

This article has 6 Comments

  1. I’m going to take this opportunity to pile on. Damien Cox contributed this little idiocy in his blog:

    Boston is a tough, tough media town, and these two teams get most of the attention, the same type of attention that goes to high-profile teams in other markets – say, Toronto and the Maple Leafs – and is used as an excuse as to why those teams aren’t successful.

    The Boston media, or more specifically, the newspaper writers, hounded Ted Williams for years and years. It’s an unrelenting media pressure that Boston applies, yet the Pats and Bosox seem to flourish within it.

    So the next time you hear a Leaf player talk about how tough it is to play hockey in a city like Toronto, remember how Boston’s baseball and football clubs deal with it and recognize such baloney for what it is.

    Basically he’s saying teams CAN succeed in a horrible media environment, therefore horrible media environments don’t do any damage by reporting inaccuracies and generally treating teams like garbage for no reason.

    That’s like arguing that stabbing people doesn’t always kill them, and sometimes people who have been stabbed go on to lead meaningful productive lives… ergo, stabbing people is ok.

    Thanks Damien… you idiot.

  2. haha great comparison steve. damien cox is quite the idiot. wth his stupid studs and duds. TSN has some real bad reporters. they should just let onrait, mckenzie and duthie run the entire program. the rest of their staff is either OK or just plain ignorant.

    now on to the leafs defence. maybe the reason theyre getting scored on and alloweing so many shots is because maurice has them playing more offensive, hence the fac theyre tops in the league in goals for. no one on the leafs is playing defence.

    and on a side note i want to add that mccabe is horrible defensively. he is the equivalent of souray, with more creativity in the offensive zone. as long as toronto keeps using himin important defensive situations, they’ll keep getting scored on.

  3. I would imagine that this won’t get posted like most of my other comments but I couldn’t resist.

    DJ: You said that the Leafs are a good defensive team playing bad defensive hockey. Put the stats aside for a minute and watch the games, the Leafs are confused and a complete mess in their own zone. We aren’t talking about a team that is consistently getting beat of the rush, we are talking about a team that can’t get the puck out of their own zone after a faceoff. This is not because they are selling out on the rush, it is because they are a terrible defensive team. This is either bad coaching or players that just don’t care about working in their own end.

  4. Your other comments probably didn’t get posted because you were name calling or rude in some other way. That is not allowed here. You are free to disagree with me but not get rude or obnoxious about it and resort to name calling.

    Now for your comment. I watch the games. They look horrible and are playing horrible defensive hockey. I said that in my post. But, this is more or less the same team that played good defensive hockey for much of last year. Right now they are playing bad defensive hockeyb but are they really a bad defensive team or just one playing like one.

  5. David,

    I asked you about this over at Mirtle’s joint, and I’m still curious about it.

    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 starting to think the Leafs didn’t allow alot of shots because other teams weren’t desperately peppering the puck at the Leafs’ net because the Leafs were rarely in the lead. Other teams could afford to take their foot off the gas, and I think this is partially responsible for the shots-allowed statistic.

    Please share your thoughts on the subject, and I look forward to hearing what you have to say on this in the coming weeks as the season starts to really take shape.

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