FanPost

26 Days of Scoring: The Leafs After Dion

Big glove tap to birky for his piece, "What do you think this is...", to Chemmy for his "pythagorean chart", and to '67sound for some "possible line combinations."

There are a lot of question marks about this young team, but one of the biggest has to be: "will we score enough goals?" I was a little split how to answer this question, as I think we can all agree that the 09-10 Toronto Maple Leafs just aren't the same as the 2010-11 Leafs will be. We obviously won't be getting goals from Stajan, Hagman, or Blake, and the increased roles to kids like Kulemin, BOZAK, and newcomers like Phaneuf mean that last year's numbers probably aren't a great indicator for the year to come. 

So this post focuses on what kind of play we saw from the Leafs in the only era we care about now: A.D. Sometimes mistranslated as Anno Domini, it really means "After Dion." We'll be looking at who was scoring goals in the 26 games after 2 February 2010 and more importantly, the rate at which we were scoring

The first thing I want to get out of the way is the big disclaimer: THIS IS A VERY, VERY SMALL SAMPLE SIZE. I'll have a couple notes on the painfully obvious individuals who've been hurt or benefited by this, but please recognize that this isn't gospel. Moving on...

The objective was to figure out how efficient our skaters were scoring in the 26 games A.D. I decided to pull ATOI and scoring information from the last 26 games to figure out the scoring rates of players per sixty minutes of TOI (obviously only for players who would be on this team in the foreseeable future)...

Player

Age

GP A.D.

Goals

Assists

Points

ATOI

g/60

a/60

p/60

Beauchemin

29

26

1

3

4

25:36

0.09

0.27

0.36

BOZAK, Tyler

23

26

7

14

21

20:16

0.80

1.59

2.39

Caputi, Luca

21

19

1

5

6

14:37

0.22

1.08

1.30

Finger, Jeff*

30

39

2

8

10

13:47

0.22

0.89

1.12

Grabovski

26

17

3

7

10

17:25

0.61

1.42

2.03

Gunnarsson

23

26

2

6

8

21:43

0.21

0.64

0.85

Hanson

23

25

2

4

6

13:58

0.34

0.69

1.03

Kaberle

31

26

2

4

6

20:58

0.22

0.44

0.66

Kessel, Phil

22

26

13

9

22

19:26

1.54

1.07

2.61

Komisarek*

28

34

0

4

4

19:56

0.00

0.35

0.35

Kulemin

23

26

6

10

16

18:45

0.74

1.23

1.97

Mitchell, John

25

26

3

9

12

15:48

0.44

1.31

1.75

Orr, Colton

27

26

2

0

2

06:55

0.67

0.00

0.67

Phaneuf, Dion

24

26

2

8

10

26:21

0.18

0.70

0.88

Schenn, Luke

20

26

3

5

8

19:48

0.35

0.58

0.93

Sjostrom

26

19

2

3

5

13:41

0.46

0.69

1.15

Kaberle*

31

82

7

42

49

22:21

0.23

1.38

1.60

(My only two notes for the above graph is that Colton Orr was greatly benefited by his two goals, and he just isn't a more efficient goal scorer than Grabbo. I've also included Kaberle's annual output just to highlight how far below his season average he was playing in his last 26 games, though I'll use his A.D. numbers going forward.)

Then we're looking to account for the offensive output of our imports: Versteeg, Armstrong, Lebda, and Mike Brown. Since A.D. makes no difference in their play, I used their full season totals. I think it's important to note, though, that Versteeg and Lebda will likely see softer roles 

IMPORTS

 

Age

GP

G

A

P

ATOI

G/60

A/60

P/60

Armstrong*

27

79

15

14

29

14:48

0.77

0.72

1.49

Versteeg, Kris*

23

79

20

24

44

15:44

0.97

1.16

2.12

Brown, Mike*

24

75

6

1

7

08:21

0.57

0.10

0.67

Lebda, Brett*

28

63

1

7

8

14:59

0.06

0.44

0.51

Then we've got that pesky second scoring line's left wing slot. I'm assuming that there won't be some trade for any bonafide NHLer between now and opening day, so we'll be tossing in one of a couple contenders, scheduled to battle it out for the last scoring forward slot. Further in this post, I'll use Caputi's name, simply because - as he has the most experience in the NHL of these new kids - he seems most likely to get the slot in my mind, but it could just as easily be any of the other current minor-leaguers who have a break out year.

EQUIVALENCIES

Age 

"FOREIGN" STATS

NHL EQUIVS

TRANSLATED PPG

Irwin, Brayden

22

39

15

19

34

 0.41

13

16

29

0.16

0.20

0.36

Kadri, Nazem

19

56

35

58

93

 0.3

15

25

41

0.19

0.31

0.50

D'Amigo, Jerry

19

35

10

24

34

 0.41

10

23

33

0.12

0.28

0.40

Mueller, Marcel

22

53

24

32

56

 0.52

19

26

45

0.24

0.31

0.55

Caputi, Luca

21

54

23

24

47

 0.44

15

16

31

0.19

0.20

0.38

Brent, Tim

25

33

13

15

2

 0.44

14

16

31

0.17

0.20

0.37

So we've got the expected scoring rates per player per game (please note: per game, not per 60 minutes, because ATOI info wasn't available). Now to put everyone into a realistic ATOI for the whole season. I'll be using lines based on '67sound's piece, suggesting that our first scoring line will lead ice time, followed by the first checking line, second scoring, and second checking. We'll divy up ice time accordingly, and figure out average goals per game for each line (G/GP/line) and the team's total goals per game.

G/GP/line

Forwards

0.975

Kulemin-BOZAK-Kessel

(19 mpg)

80

0.501

Sjostrom-Mitchell-Armstrong

(18 mpg)

41

0.507

Caputi-Grabovski-Versteeg

(17 mpg)

42

0.159

Brown-Hanson-Orr

(6 mpg)

13

Defense

0.111

Beauch-Phaneuf

(25 mpg)

9

0.073

Kaberle-Komisarek

(20 mpg)

6

0.141

Gunnarsson-Schenn

(15 mpg)

12

2.466

GPG

G/82:

202

Now I don't have any interesting numbers regarding our defense, except for, again, the performance in the last 26 games. We allowed 68 goals in 26 games, averaging 2.62 GA/GP, which rates out to 214 GA over the course of a season.

So coming in at 202 GF and 214 GA, we can use Chemmy's Pythagorean Chart, to see a painful truth: The fun hockey we were all watching last year A.D. was still not a playoff team. It's an 84-86 point team, which last year was good enough for about 10th place in the East, a playoff bubble bubble, if you will. 

So what do we need to make the playoffs? Hopefully Gustavsson's development means we'll be able to cut down those GA a little more, but if we're going to make the playoffs on 214 GA, we'll need 220-225 goals minimum.

This means, above all else, the young kids to going to need to show some steady development. 11 of our skaters (including the Competition slot) are 25 and below, and these players are going to need to make up a big part of the next 20 goals. Kessel needs to be flirting with 40. Versteeg needs to be flirting with 30, and to do that, he'll really have to take advantage of both the new linemates and the softer competition.

And we need someone to clearly, definitively win the Competition Slot. Caputi's scoring rate over the last 26 games puts him at 5 goals over the whole season based on 17 minutes of ice time. Totally unacceptable if he's going to be playing a role on the one truly sheltered forward line we can afford to have. I'm excited for preseason based on the Competition Slot alone.

It's been mentioned, but our offensive defensemen really need to wake up. Phaneuf's 0.18 g/60 is in part because he was eating up minutes, but it's also because he wasn't putting the puck in the net. He'll need to be another source of goals going forward. I think this also reinforces that Kaberle needs to look more like Kaberle. Over the whole year, he posted 1.38 assists per sixty minutes of ice time. Over the last 26 gp? Just 0.44. Kaberle needs to find whatever he lost in the middle of last year, and needs to learn how to apply his game to this new forward corps.

And lastly, what we all know: The power play needs to get better. This data includes the PP info from the last 26 games (since I didn't distinguish PK, PP, or ES time), and another couple goals on the PP could really help to make up the 20-30 goals we need.

I've made an excel sheet to do all this, and it's available on Google Docs here, if you'd like to pull down a copy. Click "File," then "Download as". 

PensionPlanPuppets.com is a fan community that allows members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Toronto Maple Leafs and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editor of PensionPlanPuppets.com.

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