After reading the article on MLHS about the importance of winning one goal games I decided to take a look at how the Leafs have faired in the overtime and shootout this season. This is my first attempt at a Fanpost, be gentle.
I knew that the results were not going to be pretty, and they aren't. However it's also important to note that it could be a lot worse.
Here is a quick, unscientific look at the Leafs overtime record this season.
The Leafs have required an extra period and shootout twelve times this season which is somewhere in the middle relative to the rest of the league. (nhl.com doesn't rank teams by overtime appearances) Boston is tops with 21 games requiring an extra frame, their record is 10-11. Vancouver has the least overtime appearances with only 7 with a record of 5-2.
Toronto's record in overtime and the shootout 1-11. Let that soak in. 1-11 even the Oilers have managed to win 5 games in overtime or the shootout this season.
The Leaf's are so bad in overtime that their sole victory can be directly attributed to Rally Helmets. They might as well not even show up after the 3rd period.
The teams directly ahead of us in the standings all have at least 5 overtime victories. (CAR 5, FlA 6, and NYI with an incredible 12) If we managed to keep pace we'd have 5 extra points and in less danger of finishing within the bottom 5.
Despite their terrible record, it could be worse.
Of the 12 overtime appearances the Leafs have made this season 6 came after the Leafs were trailing after two periods. The Leafs are tied with the Wings for the league lead in that regard. (We're #1!)
Without those comeback losses the Leafs would be dead last in the league.
Moral Victories and Comeback Losses are the only thing keeping us out of the basement at this point.
This begs the question of whether or not our terrible overtime record can be attributed to a lack of offence or the least clutch goaltending know to man.
The stats that I looked at do not answer that question, nor do I feel qualified to. The only relevant stat is that 6 of the Leafs overtime losses were in games in which they outshot their opponents. (Tied for first in that stat as well)
This seems to reflect a lack of defence and clutch goaltending. However this is countered by the fact that they only have 2 overtime losses when leading after 2 periods.
The reason why the Leafs are so terrible in overtime and the shootout is open for debate. Their inability to play more than 3 periods of hockey is not.
All stats from on nhl.com