What, exactly, have the changes over the summer meant for the Leafs offense? The Leafs finished tied for 26th last season in goals scored. Will they be able to improve upon their 214 goal output? Depending on how many players step up their game, yes. But I don't think it will be significant. More after the jump.
First of all, I'm not getting into any crazy advanced stats here. This isn't meant to be that in depth. Obviously, if someone wants to take it to the next level, have at it. So here's what I did. I compiled a list of the current Leafs roster for the upcoming season, including their games played and goal totals.
Here's what it looks like:
(Note: This is my estimate of what the opening night roster could look like.)
Next, I extrapolated each player's goal total over a full 82 games.
|Player||GP||G||G per 82|
As you can see, a full season from someone like Bozak has a significant impact on the team's GF. However, this bit tells us more. First, this team would have finished dead last in the NHL in goals forced last season. In fact, it would have been the worst offensive output by a team since the lockout. I realize this technique isn't perfect, and the results may have looked different with new players in a new system, new linemates, etc. But for the most part, that's speculation. Either way, this team would probably have scored fewer goals than the 214 the Leafs put up last season.
Now I'm going to be optimistic:
I think the Leafs can improve on their goal scoring by at least 10% next season. That of course, assumes the all 18 skaters stay healthy for an entire 82 games. Not every player will score an extra 10% mind you, but I think it will average out. That means instead of scoring 190 goals, the Leafs score 209. Kessel sniffs 40, Versteeg 25, Bozak and Kulemin 20.
Now, I know some of you are a little more optimistic than others, so I ran the totals for a 20% increase in scoring as well. At that level, the Leafs could potentially have five twenty goal scorers.
Here's what the final numbers look like:
|Player||GP||G||G per 82||G with 10% ^||G with 20% ^|
(I don't think I did, but let me know if I skewed these or something)
A 10% increase in goal output still leaves the Leafs in the bottom three of the Eastern Conference. A 20% increase puts them in the top seven. Quite the difference.
If you like Chemmy and think the Leafs average a SV% around .910 and average shots faced per game is 29.8 (as it was last year), then the Leafs should allow something around 221 goals next year. That puts the Buds around 5th in the Eastern Conference. If the Leafs don't improve their goal scoring, or a long term injury were to happen to say, Phil Kessel, the Leafs won't come close to the playoffs. If the Leafs escape major injury and get that 10% boost in scoring, they have a chance.
Conclusion: If the Leafs aren't going to make a move for a top-6 forward, they have to improve their scoring output by, at least, 10%. And any significant injury to Phil Kessel will scuttle our season.
One more thing. This is one of the reasons I think Kadri needs to be on this team. Even if he only scores 15 goals, it could be the difference in playoffs or no playoffs. It's that touch & go right now.