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  • Jeremy Ian

    Ok, Steve, here’re a few numbers: McClement, ZERO sog last night when the Leafs needed SOME (is that a number?) goals. (Just keeping it simple) McClement was not just the most played center, he was the most played forward.

    I agree the defense needs tweaking, zone exits tactics are embarrassing, and so forth — but when do we get to make the basic decision-making accountable?

    There’s something fundamentally wrong going on.

  • DiePerkse

    “but when do we get to make the basic decision-making accountable?”

    Why do we keep putting it on the players? Why not the guy who goes into a defensive shell when we’re losing, and plays his “shutdown” centre the most? Why not the guy who consistently puts out Colton Orr and co. when we’re losing, who couldn’t have tied the game last night if every shot he took was a goal? Why not the guy who let his assistant coach draw up a plan to dump the puck in while 6-on-4 with an empty net (against Pittsburgh) and immediately got scored on?

    • Jeremy Ian

      That’s my point — it’s not McClement, otherwise a useful part of this puzzling puzzle, who unilaterally hops the boards to play almost 20 minutes.

      In any other organization, the decision-maker at ice level starts to take responsibility.

      It’s the role of the players to play; it’s the role of the coach to strategize, plan, and react to the other side’s strategy. One thing to give these players credit for: they have not balked (yet). Maybe not much glory in that. But many of the fundamental mistakes are not because the players are bereft of skills or unmotivated fat cats (why do some fat cats play well and others not?). I see more confusion out there than lassitude.

  • DiePerkse

    Since the defense cannot get worse(I hope that doesnt kill me or the leafs later me saying that), here’s some numbers

    14G 18A 32P 33GP for TJ Brennan, currently wasting time on the Marlies

    Call him up already. Yes he needs defensive work, but, is nothing else, leafs might be able to outscore them.

  • My numbers are 3 and 4. They relate to Bernier.

    Bernier often plays at a very high level, but he doesn’t seem to have the ability to play well for long stretches. He can’t seem to win 4 in a row and he seems to play better with 3 or less consecutive games.

    This might be part of the reason why Bernier hasn’t yet become a starting goaltender, despite his save percentage, age and draft pedigree. Bernier hasn’t won 4 games in a row this season.

    That second goal killed the Leafs. Up to that point the Leafs weren’t bad. I think they were actually outshooting the Rangers. That goal goes in and I think the team say to themselves Bernier is having another one of those nights when he is letting in some bad goals and from that point on the Leafs mailed it in.

    Look at Bernier’s save% in his game log for this season

    5th game .839
    9th game .886
    15th game .857
    17th game .896
    18th game .897
    20th game .895
    21th game .870
    23rd game .893
    30th game .844

    The only time Bernier plays well for a long stretch is his 9th to 14th game and his 23rd to 29th game. In each of those runs he gets some time off. During the 9th to 14th game run for Bernier, Reimer comes in and gets 5 starts. In the 23rd to 29th game run, Reimer gets 3 starts and there is the Christmas break with 3 days off on December 24, 25, 26. After a nice break, Bernier posts 3 wins.

    Carlyle needs to resist the temptation of playing Bernier too much. The Leafs goaltending tandem will be much more effective if Carlyle regularly gives Reimer a start.

  • When do pitchers and catchers report?

    I’m at a loss. I bleed blue and white but this is getting to be so frustrating. You want numbers how about these?

    The core of the Maple Leafs Phanuef, Kessel, JVR, Clarkson, Bozak, Lupul are on contracts of 4 years or greater. The core are individually all very good hockey players. Other than Clarkson, no one is wildly over paid, so we could say the contracts are in line with the league. Given that trades are so very, very rare in todays NHL did we just lock up an individually good core that together is a recipe for mediocrity? Something is wrong here and I hope like hell they figure it out because the way things are trending, it could be a lottery pick for the Maple Leafs this year.

  • I think the most striking stat is that, out of their 43 games, so far, in only 9 have they had a positive Fenwick Close %.

    PHI – Oct. 2
    BOS – Nov. 9
    BUF – Nov. 15*
    BUF – Nov. 16*
    NSH – Nov. 21
    MTL – Nov. 30
    LA – Dec. 11*
    FLA – Dec. 17
    BUF – Dec. 27*

    However, in only 4 of those games (those highlighted with an *asterisk*), did they have around a 60% or higher Fenwick Close, while in the others, they only marginally outplayed their opponents (~50%).

    Let’s do some math, shall we?
    9/43 games with a positive Fenwick Close = 20.9%
    4/43 games with a “good” Fenwick Close = 9.3%


    On a game per game basis, the Leafs have only had 4 games (9.3%) in which they have outplayed their opponent, and only ONE of those 4 games was against a team not named the Buffalow Sabres.

    This should be shocking to fans who understand what this means.

  • Mason from NC

    Steve, I’ve watched each episode of the last 4 seasons. This is your best.

    It’s perfectly the combination of “here’s what we know,” “what do we want to know,” and “please don’t be afraid of numbers.”

    The statsphobia (just go with it) reminds me of when sudoku puzzles started getting really trendy. There’d always be the people looking on, never participating, claiming “I’m just not a numbers person.” IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ARITHMETIC. IT’S PATTERNS(Z).

  • Jeremy Ian

    Maybe some more numbers? How about J – M Liles on the ice for 7 of Carolina’s last 9 goals; a plus/minus of five in 3 games…. Didn’t he used to keep our press box warm?

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