State of the Leafs – Defense and Goaltending

Last week I took a look at the Leafs forwards, today I’ll take a look at their defense and goaltending.  As with the forwards, I’ll evaluate the defensemen using their 5v5 zone start adjusted HARO+, HARD+ and HART+ ratings but with goalies I will evaluate them using their 5v5 zone start adjusted HARD+ rating and save percentage.  I have included the past 5 individual seasons as well as the most recent 3 year rating and 5 year rating.  Personally, I like to use 3 year ratings as the best guide for player value as it gives a large sample size

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State of the Leafs – Forwards

With the Maple Leafs season having ended early once again a it is time to take an honest and unbiased look at what the team has and what the team needs to get to improve.  This will be a multi-post endeavour that will start with this post which will be a statistical evaluation of the Leafs forwards.  Included in each players evaluation is a table of their 5v5 zone start adjusted HARO+, HARD+ and HART+ ratings over the past 5 seasons (where available) as well as 3 and 5 year ratings.  These ratings provide an unbiased zone start, quality of teammate

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Thoughts on Burke press conference

Just listened to the Brian Burke press conference and I have to say it was a whole lot of nothing.  I’ll give Burke this summer to make some changes but based on that press conference I don’t have a lot of confidence in his assessment of the team. He talked a lot about how everything was fine with the club on February 6th before things unexpectedly fell apart.  Well, in reality it wasn’t that unexpected.  They had a good record from January 1st through February 6th but in that stretch only 6 of their 15 games were against teams that

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How things have changed…

As we approach the end of the 2011-12 NHL regular season there will be a lot of analysis and looking back at the past seasons for the Leafs and then looking forward to the off season and beyond but before I get into that, I wanted to reflect how Leaf fans were feeling just one short year ago. A good starting point for that reflection would be Michael Langlois’ “10 reasons why Leaf fans can feel either encouraged or discouraged” post.  Let’s take a look at some of the reasons for optimism Michael pointed out and how we might feel

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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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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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State of Brian Burke's Leafs

Brian Burke joined the Leafs in November of 2008.  When he joined the Leafs he insisted he has no interest in a 5 year rebuild and expected he could make the team competitive much sooner.  Let’s evaluate how Burke has done in his tenure as GM of the Maple Leafs. 2007-08 2011-12 GAA 3.08 (27th) 3.03 (27th) SV% 89.3 (29th) 90.1 (24th) GFA 2.74 (11th) 2.98 (6th) PP 17.8% (15th) 20.6% (4th) PK 78.0% (30th) 74.4% (30th) Points 83 (12th in east) 89 (projected, 9th) Their overall offense is slightly better but their defense is the same sad defense we

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History of Poor Defensive Teams making Playoffs

Not sure what led me to look into this but I took a look at poor defensive teams making the playoffs in the eastern conference.  Over the past 3 seasons there have been just 6 teams to make the playoffs in the eastern conference with goals against averages greater than 2.80.  They are: Tampa Bay Lightning (2010-11):  2.80 Ottawa Senators (2009-10): 2.80 Pittsburgh Penguins (2009-10):  2.82 Montreal Canadiens (2008-09): 2.88 Washington Capitals (2008-09):  2.89 Ottawa Senators (2007-08): 2.92 Over the past 4 seasons there have been a total of 26 teams with gaa’s above 2.80 and just 6 of those

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