Nothing will change the perception of a team's management more, especially the coaches, than competent goaltending. James Reimer, since January 1st, has provided the Maple Leafs with the kind of goaltending we could only have dreamed of at the beginning of the season:
|2010 - James Reimer||31||1731||17||8||73||2.53||944||871||.923||3|
His late emergence will just go down as another "what if?" in Leafland to go along with "what if someone had poisoned Stafford Smythe's hooch before he drank away his father's legacy" or "what if Toronto drivers were quicker to recognize Harold Ballard crossing the street?". But that's neither here nor there.
Today's Noon Number looks at one area where James Reimer cannot save Ron Wilson: special teams. Specifically, it's the amount of powerplay goals that the Maple Leafs have scored this year which was good enough for the 14th most in the league. A quick look at the team's powerplay rank (25th - 15.7%) shows that a large reason for why the Leafs have scored so many goals is that they've drawn a lot of powerplays (3rd - 305).
So far this year, there have been an average of 47 goals scored on 262 opportunities. If the Leafs had scored at that rate they would have picked up 55 goals. The extra seven goals would represent about two points. Not a huge deal but it's one more area that the team will need to improve upon next year. One of the surprising things is that since January 1st, when the Leafs have collected amongst the most points in the league, their powerplay has gone just 22-155 (14.2%). It says a lot about Columbus, Florida, and Edmonton's powerplay that a full season at that level would only leave them as the fourth worst powerplay in the league.