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From the Branches: Last place in the league

With only 4 points the Leafs are in the basement of the NHL's standings - and it's not the fun kind of basement.

Kadri is channelling Bobby Orr here.
Kadri is channelling Bobby Orr here.
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

10 games into the season the Leafs are tied for last place in the league with 4 points. Sure, technically, Columbus has a lower ranking because they have played 12 games, but the draft lottery is 70 games away so I don't care right now.

I recall many having a feeling that this season would be bad, but not this bad. Whether it was Babcock dragging the team kicking and screaming to wins, or some unexpected offensive star putting up big numbers, there were supposed to be much worse teams out there than The Leafs (though the Ducks sure weren't one of them).

Goaltending immediately comes to mind as a surprise. Bernier is down to a 0.899 sv%; Reimer, on a small sample size, is at 0.876. Those are last place numbers. They have both let in a lot of stinkers.

We knew the offence would shrivel up without Kessel, but did you expect it would be this bad? Only nine goals in the past six games and Leo Komarov leading the team with four this season?

There are some signs of hope when you dive into the stats. War On Ice says even strength team CF close is 55.3, which is 5th in the league.

Did I read the mood wrong? Are the Leafs as bad as you thought they would be? Do you think the stats say they are better than the win column indicates, and they will inevitably bounce back? There is a poll below.

Recap: Pens 4, Leafs 0 - Pension Plan Puppets

Leafs’ offence missing for Kessel’s return - Toronto Star

Last Night's Other Games

The battle of Alberta played out in Edmonton last night and the Oilers lost in a very Oilers way. With the game tied at 9 seconds left in the third period the Flames' Michael Frolik scored from BEHIND Cam Talbot, who didn't quite seal the post. It was Frolik's third of the night.

The DoPS is reportedly looking at this hit.

Columbus lost again. How long until Jarmo Kekäläinen is fired?

Devils Steal One from the Islanders in a 3-2 Shootout - All About The Jersey
The New Jersey Devils got the treat of a shootout win over the New York Islanders.

Niemi, Demers and Fourth Line Step Up to Down Sharks - Defending Big D
Dallas got production from some unexpected places tonight, but is any member of this team truly an "unexpected" source for goals nowadays?

Predators 3, Kings 4 (OT): Kings Ruin Halloween, Preds Pick Up A Point - On the Forecheck
The Predators lose an overtime game for the 2nd consecutive Saturday, this time to the L.A. Kings.

Wings Do Good Things! Detroit 5 Ottawa 3 - Winging It In Motown
After a horrific 1-5-1 stretch, the Wings finally found their game.

Lightning unable to find offense again in loss to Bruins - Raw Charge
The Lightning's scoring woes continued, as they managed just one goal in a 3-1 loss against the Bruins.

Capitals vs. Panthers Recap: Caps Clip Cats in OT, 2-1 - Japers' Rink
An equalizer by Beagle and a 3-on-3 winner by the hottest hand in DC gives the Caps two points on the road.

Call the Copp, Jets Win - Arctic Ice Hockey
The Jets went into Columbus and beat the Blue Jackets 3-2.

Wild Vs. Blues Recap: Oh Captain, Our Captain - St. Louis Game Time
David Backes finished what he started. Blues win 3-2.

Calgary Flames visit Edmonton Oilers, Game Recap - Matchsticks and Gasoline
T.J. Brodie nets his first of the season, Michael Frolik earns first professional hat trick, and the Battle of Alberta lives on.

Other News

How Grantland Died
The 40-odd remaining writers and editors at the sports and culture website found out virtually when everyone else did.

Faceoff Stories - Kukla's Korner
An amazing little story about Mike Modano and an NHL referee that Paul Kukla found buried in the Minnesota Star Tribune.

Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition - Toronto Sports Media Blog
A sort of mini-war broke out between Rogers and Bell personalities this week after Alex Anthopolous's contract was not renewed by the Blue Jays. A bunch of rich people with no self-awareness decided to take pot-shots at each other, lobbing words like "shills" and "spin-doctors" across the airwaves like grenades. It is all very amusing. Mike in Boston does his usual excellent job of recapping it.

The results are in!

With a plurality of the vote, Raisin Glosettes are officially determined to be the worst Halloween candy. If this were like a real Canadian election they would now have majority rule over Halloween or something.