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Category: Toronto-Maple-Leafs

Frederik Andersen Will Have To Be Good Again

from Raajan Aery of Sportsnet,

This off-season, the Leafs made no significant changes to their defensive corps. Other than the extra defensive help that should come from better depth down the middle, there is not much reason to expect Toronto’s skaters to be better in their own end.

If that holds true, the only other way the Leafs could prevent more pucks from going into the net is with better goaltending. In this article, we’ll dive into Frederik Andersen’s advanced metrics over the past two seasons and ask: Has Andersen hit a ceiling, or is there still room for him to improve?

Over the past two seasons, Andersen has played a total of 132 regular season games, an even 66 in each season. Over that time, he has faced more shots than any other NHL goaltender and the only goalie with more games played is Edmonton’s Cam Talbot.

Traditional statistics don’t always do a good job of evaluating how an individual goaltender impacts a team’s defence. Stats such as goals-against average and save percentage don’t tell you how much credit (or blame) should go to the skaters, and how much should go to the goalies.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: frederik+andersen

Pressure On The Leafs

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

There will be pressures and expectations at a level this franchise hasn’t known for half a century. Maybe ever considering the state of media and social media.

Can they be the Blackhawks or the Kings or the Penguins, winning early and on target with their star players? Can they be that model franchise?

Or will they have to play the long game, the way the Capitals managed: Washington lost in the years it was supposed to win and won in the year it was supposed to lose.

This is new here in Toronto. Brand new. The Maple Leafs are legitimate contenders. What they do with that, how they handle it, well, we’re about to find out.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Afternoon Line- Nazem Kadri

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nazem+kadri

All Auston Matthews

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

Will it bother you if people start referring to John Tavares as the No. 1 centre?

You guys can label us however you want.

What did you learn about yourself and the team in the playoffs last year?

It was a tough series. You learn a lot. The first year (against Washington), I don’t think anyone expected us even to win a game or to get there, and we did. The following year (against Boston), much higher expectations. But it shows how hard it is to not only win one round but to make it to the Stanley Cup finals. It’s not easy. We definitely want to put ourselves in a position to be back in the playoffs this year.

Is there something about Babcock you’d change if you could?

I don’t think I want to answer that question.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: auston+matthews

Opinions On The Toronto Maple Leafs

from Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic,

“Vegas has them as the favorite to win the Cup, I believe? And rightfully so,’’ said one rival Eastern Conference executive.

“I don’t necessarily agree with that,” countered another rival Eastern Conference exec when asked about the Leafs being the team to beat.

“I mean, they’re good, but they’ve also lost some guys,” he added. “They lost JVR (James van Riemsdyk), they lost (Leo) Komarov, guys that were good players for them. I know Tavares is good and they’ve got three good centres, but as a team they’re unproven, I would consider them a very good team but I wouldn’t put them at No. 1 to start the season, by any stretch.’’

It was quite a vast difference of opinion from the hockey people I heard from, which is why this season is going to be so damn interesting in Toronto.

“Everyone in Toronto thinks they will get the Cup so there’s that pressure,’’ said a Western Conference head coach. “They may have the three best centres in the league, but the same defence. And (Mike) Babcock must make them all buy in about ice time because Tavares won’t be getting 21 minutes a game.’’

more (paid sub.)

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Morning Line- Damien Cox

So as the Leafs are perceived as getting closer to the Cup, just as was the case in ’93 and ’01, only the sentiment in the city really remains the same. The methods being used are very different now, fitting the way the NHL and the hockey industry have changed. This is a cutting-edge franchise.

For the third time in a generation, the Leafs appear ready to take a serious charge at trying to win it all. Many things could get in the way. The actual run people have been waiting for could still be a few seasons away.

But it seems almost a certainty that some time soon, that run at the Cup is going to happen.

-Damien Cox of the Toronto Star where you can read more on the Leafs.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Toronto Maple Leafs Make Two Ground-Breaking Hires

from Lance Horby of the Toronto Sun,

Brendan Shanahan and Kyle Dubas are truly bringing the Maple Leafs into the 21st century.

Among a number of appointments in the player development and scouting departments announced Thursday morning were Canadian national women’s team star Hayley Wickenheiser’s hiring as assistant director of development and Noelle Needham as an amateur scout in the U.S. Midwest.

Wickenheiser will be working under Scott Pellerin, who was elevated to senior director of development on Thursday, as well as director Stephane Robidas.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hayley+wickenheiser, noelle+needham

Morning Line- Auston Matthews

I definitely think I can be better in a lot of areas. I worked a lot this summer on just straight-ahead speed, my stride mechanics. I worked with Barb (Underhill) a little bit when I was here during the summer and just kind of dialed in on that stuff and just the little things (like) creating separation on the ice. And working with Darryl is always fun, just because you work on so many different things that can translate into a game. So there’s tons of things that you can look back on and you want to improve on. For myself, like I want to have more assists than I have goals, and obviously that hasn’t been the case the last two years.

-Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Matthews did a Q & A with Jonas Siegel of The Athletic, so if a subscriber, there is much more.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: auston+matthews

A Summer Gathering Of Leafs

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

If the Maple Leafs want to stay together for two months of playoff hockey next  spring, why not get a head start this summer?

An unusually large group of them have been in town the past week for Nazem Kadri’s wedding and three separate player charity events. At least once they took advantage to skate with prized free agent catch John Tavares.

William Nylander flew in from Sweden, while Auston Matthews (Arizona) and Morgan Rielly (British Columbia) made rare July appearances and coupled with the higher concentration of GTA-based Leafs, the gatherings can’t hurt camaraderie.

“I was just talking to Morgan and it’s crazy how fast summer goes by,” said Zach Hyman, who hosted many present and former Leafs at his first annual charity classic golf tournament Monday at the Lebovic course in Aurora.

“We’re approaching August, then it’s one month until training camp and everything ramps up. You see your buddies more, everyone’s in town and you get excited.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Auston Matthews On A Few Topics

via TSN's YouTube page,

Auston Matthews discusses the addition of John Tavares and what he did to help persuade the centreman to pick Toronto. He also weighs in on the Leafs' captaincy and the meeting he had with Mike Babcock after the season.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: auston+matthews

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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