Thursday, March 08, 2007

It's the PK Stupid

Three somewhat related thoughts about the Leafs...

1. David Johnson over at Hockey Analysis has a must read post suggesting that the Leafs really aren't that bad a team, that in fact it's shoddy goaltending that's hurting this club. He correctly points out that the Leafs much maligned D (oh, I've heaped my share text their way - guilty as charged) has done a great job limiting shots (8th overall in the NHL - same as the Devils). On the other side of the blue line, the Leafs are top 10 in scoring.

2. Further to Johnson's post, I'd love to know how much of the Leafs penalty killing woes are attributable to the poor goaltending. As the sporting cliche goes, your goalie is the most important penalty killer. The Leafs are 26th in the PK and 27th in SHG. When you consider they've taken the 7th most penalties in the league, no good can come from this.

3. With the Leafs woes between the pipes and on the PK, the Perrault deal appears curious at best and a total waste of resources at worst.

Perrault played 13 minutes in his first two games, just six minutes against Washington and only 10 against the Sens. (Considering the Leafs had 8 PPs, why is it this face-off specialist only saw about two minutes on the ice with the extra man?)

MLSE coughed up some nice defensive depth in Brendan Bell (the 2003 CHL defenceman of the year and CHL first-team all-star) and a second round pick in a great draft year (2008) for a guy who's logging about 10 minutes a night who doesn't kill penalties and as far as I know can't play net. I'm ok with the sacrificing those two resources, but when you examine the return and when you look at what this club still needs, the opportunity cost is staggering.


  1. I've been arguing the same thing since the trade deadline. Perreault does not help them where they are weak. They will not make the playoffs because of weak goaltending and Perreault will walk when the season is done because he is looking fot too much money. So I agree, what a waste of resources.

  2. Part of the PK problem is that they constantly have breakdowns that allow great chances against. Last night's goals featured a tap in, a deflected shot, and another where the sen was allowed to stand in front of Raycroft unopposed.

    5 on 5 it was a pretty even game but the special teams are just killing the Leafs.

  3. Pseudonym - I worry that sometimes I go on a bit too much about JFJ, but Perrault is just one more move by MLSE that I cannot understand.

    PPP - Specialty teams are just one more part of the Leafs' thoroughly erratic play. Is there anything they've been consistently good at this year? If someone told me the final score in tonight's game against the Sens was 12-2, I'd have to ask which team came out on top...

  4. I totally agree. Monsters one game completely lost the next. Once in my life I want a team like the 60 win, Stanley Cup winning Red Wings of the 90s where you could go into each game expecting (and receiving) a win.

  5. The Yanic move is indeed puzzling; a knee-jerk reaction to a single game loss. And when we all later learn the dude is damaged goods, I'm thinking WTF!?!?!? Atleast he had that awesome SO goal, and the breakaway goal. Other than that, I haven't even noticed him.

  6. I have noticed his faceoffs, that goal, and the shootout. Good contributions so far but when did this bum shoulder pop up? I was shocked to hear Perreault was a scratch at the game and woke up Sunday to hear about this 'knowledge' that 'everyone' had about the bum shoulder. That was a crappy way to wake up.

  7. I was actually thinking of doing a post on MLSE knowingly trading for an injured player, but I thought I've sorta piled-on JFJ enough already this year. I also didn't think the injury was bad enough for Perrault to be MIA.

    I knew about the injury as as it was posted at roto world and I do believe it was referenced at the incomparable hockey recap.