Category Archives: leafs

kessel and bozak part 2

Part One if you missed it.

Where I last left off, Tyler Bozak was on pace for 75 points this season. But huge on-ice shooting percentage coupled with a low amount of games will mean some crazy short term numbers. Regression is likely. And soon.

What the last post essentially did was show that Tyler Bozak has been on a hot streak all year. Every player goes through them, but most have cold streaks too. Bozak hasn’t had any. That’s luck in and of itself.

What I didn’t mention in depth in the last post, but most of you will remember, is that Bozak was injured for about a third of the year. He was gone from games 12-23 and 29-40.

The Leafs record with Bozak is 24-15-5. A 99 point pace.

Without him it’s 12-9-3. A 92 point-pace, with only six of those wins coming in regulation.

The 92 point pace is still likely a playoff spot, but 99 is more than likely home-ice advantage in the first round. Do the Leafs win more with Bozak in the lineup, or is this just a coincidence. It’s very likely the latter. You probably remember the gigantic swing of 28 games in the middle of the season where the Leafs were completely inept. Bozak was gone for all but five games in the middle of that (where the Leafs went 0-3-2).

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kessel and bozak part 1

Phil Kessel and Tyler Bozak have had a monster-year for the Leafs.

Kessel’s stat line reads 34-39-73 in 68 games played. It’s a pace of 41-47-88, career highs across the board for Kessel. It’s a similar story for Bozak who’s played less games due to injury with 44 games, but still has a line of 15-25-40. It’s insane production for Bozak whose career high before this was 47 points in 2011-2012. Bozak needed 73 games to get there that year. If he were to continue this pace, he would only need 52 games to get there. And over a whole season, this kind of pace would be worth 28 goals and 47 assists to give Bozak 75 points.

And that’s sort of the key right there: “if he were to continue at this pace.” Because at this pace, Bozak’s numbers look great. He looks like the first line centre that the Leafs have needed since Sundin left. The problem is Bozak has never really scored at this pace before. Until this year, Bozak topped out at around a 50 point centre, which isn’t bad (unless you consider the fact he played between two point-per-game wingers over the past three years) but isn’t anything to write home about.

Continue reading kessel and bozak part 1

leafs season preview 2013-2014

Training camp for the Leafs begins today and that means the season is starting very soon. Last season ended in a not very good way to be honest, some of us are still recovering. How will this season play out? Well it depends what stage you’re in in terms of being a Leafs fan.

There are two stages of being a Leafs fan.

There’s the stage that happens early on in Leafs fandom where there is sheer optimism before every signing, trade, draft pick, game and season.

vesa
A lot of players score from 192 feet away, don’t worry Vesa.

“Everything will be fine, just wait and see!”

“Front office knows what they’re doing!”

“Vesa Toskala is a great goalie just watch!”

This stage can last anywhere from two years to an entire lifetime depending on the sanity of the person. The best way to categorize this section of fans is “hey, there’s always next year.”

Then there’s the other side. The dark side of being a Leafs fan. The side where you come to realize that this team is probably cursed. This is the pessimistic side, the side where only bad things can and will happen to the Leafs because that’s just how it is. Every move is scrutinized because of the understanding that the front office is and always will be inept.

“Three game winning streak, wow can’t wait until December where we lose eight straight…”

“That shot from outside the blueline looks harmless… nevermind”

“4-1 lead in the third? I wonder how we blow this one…”

And really, if you’ve been a Leafs fan long enough, that third quote will probably jump out at you because it’s probably all you thought about during the Meltdown in Beantown.

I bring this up because this season can really go either way for the Leafs. The turnover during the offseason was massive and largely questionable. It’s as if there was a massive overreaction to the way the Leafs played for one period rather than how they played from Games 2-6, but I digress.

With all the people moving out this year, and all the fresh faces, this is a team that is hard to predict. Especially since they were an extremely lucky team in a lockout shortened season. Did the Leafs get better over the offseason and become contenders? Or did they become a worse team based on what they lost to free agency and buyouts. Here’s both sides:

Continue reading leafs season preview 2013-2014

leafs 2013 season recap

Where do I begin?

I mean, I could have told you a lot of unbelievable things on January 1st.

“We’re going to have a hockey season!”

“OMGZ NO WAY!”

“The Leafs make the playoffs!”

“Ummm yeah sure, maybe as the eighth seed, maybe…”

“As the fifth seed!”

*laughter*

“We play the Bruins!”

“So you lost in three right?” *louder laughter*

“Well we were down 3-1…”

“No surprises here. Hey,you guys got one at least!”

“But then we took them to seven games!”

*almost dies due to laughter*

“The game goes to OT!”

*is literally dead at this point*

Continue reading leafs 2013 season recap

is phil kessel a franchise player?

Let’s talk about Phil Kessel.

Phil Kessel is fat.

Phil Kessel is lazy.

Phil Kessel is not a winner.

Phil Kessel is not a leader.

Phil Kessel is a complimentary piece.

Phil Kessel is not a franchise player.

This is essentially what the media wants you to believe is wrong with Phil Kessel and ultimately Brian Burke’s tenure as General Manager, which just ended today.

Most people will single out Brian Burke’s downfall to being the Phil Kessel trade. They’re not wrong to have that opinion. Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton look like tremendous pieces. Hamilton will be a solid defenceman and Tyler Seguin is on his way to likely being a franchise player. But does that discredit what Kessel has done so far? Does what Boston received in the trade in anyway even matter? There are some trades with winners, and some with losers. This trade saw both the Leafs and Bruins receive great players. At the moment, the best player in that trade is Phil Kessel. Will that always be the case; we don’t know for sure. But a General Manager needs to give value to get value and in my opinion, Brian Burke got a whole lot of value with Phil Kessel.

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