Monday Mailbag: Auston’s fan club in town edition

Another week, another mailbag.

Before the Leafs take on the Arizona Coyotes in just a few short hours, here are some words about the Boys in Blue:

Well, they lost 6-0 to the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs! So they must be bad!
They have a -23 goal differential and are ahead of only the Panthers and the Sabres in the division, two teams overwhelming laughed at for failures to build a competitive team in the offseason.

They’re quite bad, and have a lot of issues.

We’d list them all, but we’d run out of space.

Roman Polak? Maybe if you’re lucky, you can just grab the real one.

Ah, some real questions!

Josh Leivo’s signing… probably doesn’t mean much in terms of a trade. It is, after all, only a one-year extension, and he’s still more an extra forward than anything else.

I wouldn’t really buy into any of the “LEIVO SIGNED JVR/BOZAK/LEO is immediately gone, because a) he’s struggling to get into the lineup as is b) that would mean the Leafs were probably trading for a defenceman… or a worse forward than any of those players on a long-term deal. If it’s a lateral move, it’s probably not the one the Leafs are making.

Expect a trade in the future, but right now… the Leafs are probably just mostly who they are right now. Leivo, despite his new deal, still sits in the press box for now.

Before we get to this question, let’s ask one of our own:

Are the Leafs playing poorly over the last ten games? Winning six games in a row can cloud your judgement, and we’ve definitely fallen victim to the “The Leafs are the best” mindset a few times without recognizing that hey, this team has flawed.

One of which Over the last ten games, we’re looking at a team that’s been outshot 272-342.

However, as it’s been on the power play, their 5v5 shot location this year has been totally ridiculous. In this chart from hockeyviz.com illustrates, the Leafs get into the prime location in front of the net (the red) at a rate much better than, well, almost everyone. Instead of two shots from the point, they’ll do their best to work it in for one shot from down low.

Going ahead in games sometimes has something to do with it, as they’ve been getting leads in their past ten games.

It’s worrisome, slightly, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the Leafs are playing poorly. Their overall percentages are trending well, and they’re still a net positive in expected goals (xG), a stat which takes into account shot locations.

If there’s one thing Toronto does right, it’s upsetting people for simply existing. The CFL, while exciting, is a hilariously flawed league that allows a team that didn’t even win more than 50% of its games to win one playoff game (at home), and then compete for a championship the next weekend. That’s enough to get angry over to inspire a whole country.

The Montreal Canadiens on the other hand, are just a bad hockey team who lost to a good hockey team.

Western Canada wins the salt battle on this one.

7. Next question. Hope you get a good payout.

Negative 7.

See you tonight!