Lupul’s always been this good.

A lot has been made about Joffrey Lupul’s “career year” this year and some Leaf fans are even suggesting that now is the time to trade him while his value is at an all-time high.  While it is true that he is on pace for career high in goals and points I would like to suggest that this is not because he is having a ‘career year’ but that he is being given greater opportunity.  He has always been this good and there is no reason to expect that he cannot repeat this years performance next season. When I analyze

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Who Can the Leafs Beat?

I wanted to take a look at the Leafs record against various other types of teams so I took a variety of stats and looked at their records against the top 10 teams, the middle 10 teams and the bottom 10 teams in that stat.  Here is what I found. Top 10 Middle 10 Bottom 10 Top 10 Middle 10 Bottom 10 GAA 5-9-2 11-10-4 13-9-1 61.5 85.3 96.3 GFA 5-14-1 13-6-4 11-8-2 45.1 107.0 93.7 GFA/GAA 6-11-2 7-11-4 16-6-1 60.4 67.1 117.7 SOG/Game 6-13-2 11-10-3 12-5-2 54.7 85.4 125.2 SOG Ag/Game 10-6-4 10-10-0 9-12-2 98.4 82.0 71.3 SOG/SOGAg 5-8-5

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Burke should have started rebuilding yesterday

I was somewhat disappointed in the lack of Maple Leaf moves made during yesterday’s trade deadline.  Not because Burke didn’t trade for anyone who can help us make the playoffs this year (though I though a trade for Ben Bishop would have been a useful gamble both short and long term) but because he didn’t do more to set up this team for the long term.  From my perspective this team is unlikely to make the playoffs this season and even if they do there is little chance they will win a round.  Their defense and goaltending is bad at

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Just how bad is Jack Johnson?

The Columbus Blue Jackets have traded Jeff Carter to the Los Angeles Kings for Jack Johnson and a first round pick.  When Johnson signed his current 7 year, $30.5M contract I wrote how I thought the Kings would regret the contract.  Now I think the Blue Jackets will. Just how bad is Jack Johnson?  Well, lets take a look at the Kings defensemen’s goals against per 20 minutes of zone start adjusted 5v5 close ice time over the past 2 3/4 seasons. Defenseman 11-12 GA20 Defenseman 10-11 GA20 Defenseman 09-10 GA20 Martinez 0.471 Martinez 0.465 Harrold 0.418 Voynov 0.473 Greene

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Post Lockout Team Save Percentages

Looking at this chart, I think only Lightning fans can sympathize with the torture that Leaf fans have suffered through with regards to their goaltending, but at least the Lightning have made the playoffs a few times and even had some success. Update:  For interest sake, here are the post lockout shooting percentages and PDO (shooting percentage + save percentage).    

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Downie trade good for Stastny/Duchene?

Steve Downie was traded from the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Colorado Avalanche today for Kyle Quincey (who was later shipped to Detroit).  I featured Downie in a post I wrote on the weekend about mixing toughness with skill and how having a big, physical winger can make a skilled center more productive, especially a smaller skilled center.  Downie did this with Stamkos, St. Louis and to a lesser extent with Lecavalier.  The beneficiary of Downie’s toughness in Colorado will be either Paul Stastny or Matt Duchene. Until last years trade deadline Stastny played with another big, physical winger named

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Zone Starts: Why We Shouldn't Care

There was a twitter conversation between Gabe Desjardins and David Staples last night in which Gabe suggested that Daniel Sedin’s heavy offensive zone start bias resulted in an additional 7-9 points that he would not have gotten if his zone starts were more evenly split between offensive and defensive zone.  When I saw this I immediately though that seemed like a really high number so I decided to take a look though the play by play sheets and see how many of Daniel Sedin’s even strength points came from a faceoff in the offensive zone.  Of all of Daniel Sedin’s

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Mixing in toughness with skill.

The other day at Pension Plan Puppets there was a discussion about the merit so Steve Downie and whether the Leafs should go after him if Tampa made him available.   In it I brought up the fact that when Steven Stamkos or Martin St. Louis or Vincent Lecavalier play with Downie their offensive numbers increase, sometimes dramatically.  The following table shows each players goals for per 20 minutes of ice time in 5v5 zone-start adjusted situations with and without Steve Downie on the ice with them. Teammate With Without % Impr. 2011-12 Stamkos 1.481 1.19 24.5% St. Louis 1.441

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What is Rick Nash?

So word has come out over the last day that Rick Nash is, at least on some level, available in a trade from the Blue Jackets.  So, the question is, who is Rick Nash and would you want him on your team? Nash has been a Blue Jacket from the day he was drafted first overall in 2002.  He has played 648 regular season games and has scored 277 goals and 527 points.  Since the lockout he is 10th in goals (only Ovechkin, Kovalchuk, Heatley, Iginla, Staal, Lecavalier, Marleau, Vanek and Hossa) and 25 in points.  He has a pair

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Defenders effect on Save %

It has been shown on numerous occasions that players can influence their own teams on-ice shooting percentage be that through their talents or their style of play.  An example is the PDO vs Luck article I posted the other day.  In that article there is a table that clearly shows that shooting percentage varies across players and that players who are given more ice time (presumably because they are better players) have higher shooting percentages.  The same was not true for on-ice save percentage though.  On-ice save percentages were not ‘stratified’ according to ice time. That study looked at forwards and I

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