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One of the major reasons that the Leafs have been struggling is because their special teams have...

One of the major reasons that the Leafs have been struggling is because their special teams have been atrocious. Their failure has been one of the more damning results of the Ron Wilson era. In this post I detailed the importance of the powerplay and penalty kill. A strong performance there can mask weaknesses at even strength. In some cases it has been enough to get mediocre 5-on-5 teams into the playoffs. The frustrating thing is that last year the Leafs were good enough at evens to be able to take advantage. Instead, the team put up the worst PP+PK mark since the lockout. This year they are well on their way to smashing that record. Last year's mark meant that special teams gave up 32 more goals than they scored. That represents about six wins or about twelve points or a jump in the standings to 22nd. So rather than hearing about Tyler Seguin's play with the contending Boston Bruins we might be hearing about Mikael Granlund's play in Finland.

That's me previewing tonight's matchup against the Canucks at LeafsNation. The special teams have spent three years torpedoing the Leafs' seasons. Is Kadri the answer to the powerplay woes? All we can do right now is hope. p.s. this is all of the preview you're getting today. Head over there and comment.

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