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[Recap] Leafs 1 v. Bruins 2: Minimum Effort, Minimum Return

Well, apparently Ghandi, while able to drive the British out of India, cannot inspire a group of professional hockey players to work hard enough to break the most passive of passive traps.

As much as I hate watching the Leafs play the Bruins (they are the only team on my list of teams that I will never again go see play live at the ACC) they do serve to remind the team of some of their flaws. Generally Toronto does not have problems generating offence. However, much of their offence is derived from peppering the net with shots, driving for rebounds, and creating chances off of the cycle. Against the Bruins this strategy is mostly mooted because the Bruins not only play a 1-4 trap (and that one man is at the redline) but they also collapse around the net which makes both getting shots on net and getting to rebounds exponentially tougher. Saturday night the Leafs had 12 shots blocked. Now, an interesting study would be to see if the Bruins block an above average number of shots for a Leafs' opponent and how they do compared to a league average and I might do the former but it would be good to see the latter done by someone like David Johnson at Hockey Analysis since they have created a better way than dashes on paper to compile statistics.

The Bruins defensive system also puts accurate shooting at a premium and that hurts a team like the Misfires. Toronto missed 18 shots Saturday night. In other words, the Leafs had 30 shots directed to the net that didn't make it compared to 26 that did. Again, the Leafs' generally miss a lot of shots but a look at how bad they are would be great.

Finally, the crowding means that the opposition needs to capitalize on their powerplay chances when there are two fewer legs getting in the way of shots. The Leafs responded by going 0-6 with 6 shots and even that is deceiving because at one point they were 0-3 with 2 shots on goal. Wholly unacceptable especially considering how soft Blake's goal was and how vulnerable Alex Auld looked.

Saturday's SPG winners were: Shot - Wellwood, Penalty - Kubina, Goal - Blake. Vote for player of the game but I am guessing that No One Worthy is going to expand his lead again. That also marks the end of another 10 game block so I'll have a results comparison up tomorrow hopefully along with a new feature and a dusting off of one that I started and then promptly forgot. Oh, and the Leafs play the Lightning tonight so I'll have a preview up.