FTB Thursday: Murray’s return looms

Yesterday was practice day for the Leafs:

Calle Järnkrok was sick and out, and I can’t find the tweet, so you’ll have to trust me, but Keefe said Murray could play this weekend. Nothing certain yet.

And now I’m going to introduce you to my Twitter list of hockey accounts.

Are we sure it’s not just Thatcher Demko? You can’t pay enough to watch this, but it looks like a goalie to me. (That’s after two periods, so who knows what the end result was.)

It looks like Matts Murray’s matchup dream is fading.

Marty Biron is doing the review, so depending on how you feel about him, you’ll enjoy this video. My thoughts are blah, blah save % out of context, blah, blah. I don’t disagree with his conclusion, just the stupid use of an almost worthless statistic.

Raise your shoulders. I mean, it’s not like they can take Karlsson’s number away.

Stupid rookie move. If you’re going to do it, do it to someone important.

The reason I find this funny is the sheer number of times people have told me that Mike Reilly is a guy the Leafs should have.

So I didn’t read that. I did what I always do and figured it out myself. I did this for the Senses the other morning, and Micah McCurdy posted the same thing that I lost half an hour figuring out an hour later. Procrastinate more, that is the lesson.

Here is the answer on Calgary:

The Flams have excellent PP (Nazturally) and their PK is stellar. Their defense is decent and their offense is the LA Kings standard of 10 years ago where they shoot massive amounts from the point, and it all ends up being useless. It’s the kind of wank you all think the Leafs do when Matthews doesn’t score, but for real.

So I looked at the Leafs the same way, like I didn’t know anything about them, and came to this conclusion: their PP should scare people – just as they should legitimately be alarmed if they take a penalty. The PK is fine (and if the results aren’t there, it’s the keeper). Their defense is okay and their offense isn’t bad, but it’s a pale copy of their usual. The shot is not strongly concentrated around the net, it is biased to the left side and is too lukewarm. So there are too many outside problems, but nothing like the Flames.

I stopped pretending I never paid attention and looked at some individual numbers, and here are the problem players, weighted for ice time: Mitch Marner, Michael Bunting, Nick Robertson, Pierre Engvall, Calle Järnkrok. JT, William Nylander and Alex Kerfoot are all better than last year, and Auston Matthews posted numbers so close to last year in shot rate, ixG and Corsi on ice, it’s is hilarious. He is exactly himself everywhere but sh%.

So “the problem” if you want to boil off the flavor of this stew and find one major problem: The Leafs don’t have the puck as much as they should, and that limits the volume of the last six on shot. And since they’re not as skilled as the top six, they won’t get any goals unless they get more zone time. This is mainly seen in the fact that no one replaces the performance of Ilya Mikheyev.

This has been a “it’s too early, but” analysis episode.

Breaking news:

Maybe they can claim Zaitsev and Rielly. In fact, that would be hilarious. And then Zaitsev wins Norris’ top pair while Letang plays his offside. Because that’s how the Penguins do things.

On that happy note: Happy Thursday everyone.

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