Kukla's Korner

The Leafs Miss Kaberle

The Leafs’ emergence as a legitimate threat for the 8th Seed in the Eastern Conference has taken attention away from an area of great struggle.

The Powerplay.

Tomas Kaberle’s exit has created a huge void on the man advantage for Toronto. The Leafs have attempted to fill the void with Tim Brent because of his experience on the Powerplay with the Marlies. Ron Wilson has used Brett Lebda’s sudden resurgence on the unit as well. And Dion Phaneuf has played the best hockey of his Maple Leaf career since Kaberle’s exit.

But the Leafs do not have anyone that can run the Powerplay as well as Number 15.

Since Kaberle was traded on February 18th to the Boston Bruins, the Leafs have gone 5 for 38 with the man advantage - a conversion rate of 13.16%. Before Kaberle was traded, that conversion rate was 16.67%. That is a difference between ranking 29th and 20th in the NHL on the Powerplay.

Of the 5 opportunities that they have actually converted since the Kaberle trade have come in two games. In the 5 remaining games, they have gone 0 for 25 yet still gone 3-0-2. No team in today’s NHL can keep that up.

Of course, when the team is winning, no one notices.

Reimer and the Leafs’ overall improved play have cloaked their shortcomings every time the opposing team takes a penalty.

But unless the Leafs start converting those Powerplay opportunities, the playoffs are a pipe dream.

Filed in: | Live. Love. Leafs. | Permalink
 

Comments

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

hehe.. he said Brett Lebda.. hehehe

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/05/11 at 08:37 PM ET

Denver Wings's avatar

Has anyone trademarked the phrase “Brett Lebda’s sudden resurgence” yet?  Cuz if not…

Posted by Denver Wings on 03/05/11 at 08:48 PM ET

Avatar

The Leafs PP was terrible with Kaberle all season long.  The Bruins PP has been struggling since the arrival of Kabby (1 for 16 last time I checked).

Posted by Delayed Offside on 03/05/11 at 09:19 PM ET

mmuskrat's avatar

Brett Lebda is a waste of a locker space.

Posted by mmuskrat on 03/06/11 at 02:21 AM ET

Shiv's avatar

Has anyone trademarked the phrase “Brett Lebda’s sudden resurgence” yet?  Cuz if not…

LOL. I meant the Lebda and Brent comments with sarcasm guys. When you downgrade PP time from Kaberle to Brent/Lebda, the powerplay has to struggle.

Posted by Shiv from Toronto on 03/06/11 at 05:21 AM ET

Shiv's avatar

The Leafs PP was terrible with Kaberle all season long.  The Bruins PP has been struggling since the arrival of Kabby (1 for 16 last time I checked). [/]

Granted the Leafs PP has not been that great all season but losing Kaberle has made it much much worse. If you look at tonight’s game against the Hawks, the Leafs went 0 for 5 on the PP again. And they lost. They’ve been lucky that despite their lack of success on the PP, they have been winning. Tonight’s game shows exactly why that cannot be the case if they are to make the playoffs. They need to convert on the PP to get in. Losing Kaberle hurts them for that very reason.

Posted by Shiv from Toronto on 03/06/11 at 05:24 AM ET

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