from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
- Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas is facing none of the similar pressures that counterpart Ken Holland must be facing in Edmonton, with the Oilers fighting once again to find their way. Holland has to do something — and fast. Dubas has time on his side and considerable cap space available, with the possibility that Jake Muzzin won’t play again this year or possibly any year. Dubas has time; Holland may not have that/
- There are no deep-and-dark theories here as to why Canadian teams don’t win the Stanley Cup. Look at the rosters across Canada right now. Is Vancouver good enough? Is Calgary? Is Edmonton? Is Winnipeg? Is Ottawa? Is Montreal? Is Toronto? Maybe the Leafs, on paper, have enough. But year after year, the teams aren’t good enough. Is that geography or is that just circumstance and mediocre management that prevents Canadian parades?
- Nine of the top-10 scorers in the NHL were first-round draft picks. The one who wasn’t, goal-scoring leader Jason Robertson, selected 39th in the 2017 draft by Dallas. Six picks before Robertson was chosen, Colorado took defenceman Conor Timmins, the latest Leafs pickup. The best pick in that draft, Cale Makar, taken fourth by the Avalanche.
- Most years 20 to 30 players manage that. This year there are 61 players scoring at a point-per-game pace and another 15 players one point away from that. To date, seven defencemen are scoring more than a point per game, the crazy number belonging to the resurgent Erik Karlsson, scoring at 110-point pace.