It's not unfair to say that the Leafs have been lucky to come away with seven points in their first four games. By most accounts, the Leafs were atrocious in the first period of last night's game, and were pretty sleepy in the first half of the third period, as well - a Jekyll and Hyde performance that we've seen in each of the first four Leafs games.
Certainly, Toronto's team passing last night was something approaching a crime against humanity, and Cody Franson's failure to pick up David Jones on the OT goal is deserving of capitol punishment. Oh what? We're only four games in, you say? Ah, well, then. We'll be grateful for the point and move on.
Thankfully, James Mirtle's even-handed writing style helps stem the tears with a consoling note (following his game recap) about Mike Komisarek, which I think is an interesting talking point:
One of the bigger surprises in the early portion of the Leafs season has been the arrival of defenceman Mike Komisarek as a dependable option for the coaching staff.
A train wreck on many nights last season, Komisarek again logged another 16 minutes on Monday and looks far fleeter on his skates after dropping 15-plus pounds in the off-season.
Here's hoping Komi finds his game this season and we can unload that contract.
Jump for your links.
Why We Undervalue Defensive Contributions
Over at The Leafs Nation, Danny Gray elaborates.
Flaws apparent but Kulemin helps save a point for the Leafs
Michael Langlois weighs in on last night's game.
Other Hockey Links:
NHL Shot Quality 2009-10
This is actually an old article that is just starting to get some wider attention now. I saw this last season while I was putting together my Leafs Shot Location study, and it's definitely worth a read. By Ken Krzywicki at Hockey Analytics.
A Look at Shot Quality
This is also an older article that was posted over at Arctic Ice Hockey, by shuckers. He's got some beautiful graphs in here, and recently got some attention from Justin Bourne.
Interview With Eric Lindros [Fixed Link]
"I know it sounds ridiculous but sometimes the worst person to ask is the person who is concussed. I mean, you know when you’re flat out out. I remember being in Pittsburgh thinking that I was traded in the showers because I thought that we were playing at home, and these were not the showers we had at the First Union Center. It varies from situation to situation." A nice interview, from Justin Johnson at The Hockey Writers.
Winnipeg Jets Net First Win in the Sequel, 2 to 1 Over the Penguins
I link this only because it means the heat is no longer on the Leafs to lose to the Jets for Winnipeg's first win in their re-franchised history. I will say though, that if you didn't catch any of this game, you missed a fun one. From Bettman's Nightmare at Arctic Ice Hockey.