The Toronto Maple Leafs have only played three games in this shortened NHL season, however I have a few statistical pieces I would like to share.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are 4-20 on the power play. An interesting stat that sticks out from this 4-20 leads me to believe the power play needs more Nazem Kadri. While at regular strength the young Maple Leaf is finding it hard to get to the net and generate chances. Kadri with a lowly five shots on net, has scored his only two goals of the season so far on the power play. It would be fair to say watching Kadri play over the last season, he likes the open ice. The man advantage allows him some more mobility towards the net. With his small stature of 6 feet and 188 pounds his ability to drive into the slot seems to get foiled more often than not during even strength chances.
Open ice seems to favor Mike Kostka early in this season as he has tallied all three of his assists while having the man advantage. Puck movement from the top of the blue line is important in freeing up space for shooting lanes, however it looks like Kostka would rather pass the puck than shoot. Toronto Maple Leafs fans will all nod in unison as this puck moving defenseman sounds too familiar. Thomas Kaberle anyone?
If the Toronto Maple Leafs can stay disciplined as a team, more five on three power play chances should come, much like they did in the first three games. However it seems that more work will be needed on puck movement with a two-man advantage to capitalize more often.
It is way too early to start looking at which of the two goaltenders is ready for the number one slot. In fact you might find many teams not really looking for a true number one starter with as many back to back games in the shortened season. Time will tell in this regards, will the Toronto Maple Leafs have a certified starting goaltender in either Ben Scrivens or James Reimer?
One thing for sure in the first three games is simply; goals against sit at only five. This is a team that was ready to give up five goals a game nearing the end of the 2012 NHL regular season. The system that Toronto Maple Leaf coach Randy Carlyle has implemented has been that of positioning in the defensive zone with quick board help to clear pucks above the face off circles. This has worked in the first three games and leads to more offensive rushes for the blue and white.
This defensive posturing and semi decent goal tending has landed them with a start that I can say has impressed me some early in the 2013 NHL season.
Do you have any numbers that have impressed you with regards to the Toronto Maple Leafs? Post thoughts and predictions or wacky stats here in the Toronto Maple Leafs Fighting For Stanley Forum.
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