Chicago Blackhawks @ Toronto Maple Leafs
07:00 PM at Scotiabank Arena
Watch on: TNT, TVAS, SN

The Leafs last game was at home on February 11 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, which Toronto lost by a score of 4-3. The Leafs have a record of 32-14-8 so far.

The Chicago Blackhawks last played an away game on February 14 against the Montréal Canadiens. The Blackhawks lost by a score of 4-0, and their current league record is 16-31-5.


Toronto vs Chicago

66.7 - 5thPoints % - Ranking35.6 - 31st
3.352 - 8thGoals/Game - Ranking2.404 - 32nd
2.667 - 6thGoals Against/Game - Ranking3.615 - 28th
25.4 - 4thPower Play% - Ranking18.0 - 26th
80.2 - 15thPenalty Kill% - Ranking75.6 - 24th
10.5 - 8thTeam Sh% - Ranking9 - 27th
0.908 - 10thTeam Sv% - Ranking0.892 - 25th
William Nylander - 29Most Goals (NST)Jonathan Toews, Max Domi, Taylor Raddysh - 14
Mitchell Marner - 64Most Points (NST)Patrick Kane, Max Domi - 35
Michael Bunting - 66Most PIM (NST)Max Domi - 60
Morgan Rielly - 22.63TOI Leader (NST)Seth Jones - 24.64

They’re bad at everything. But since it’s Chicago and the trade deadline is two weeks and two days away, I want to complain about Jake McCabe. Buried in the Chris Johnston story (that had a zone starts chart in it like it’s 2007 again) was a comment about why teams think McCabe is doing well on a terrible team. He has an even GF% on a team that is all negative without him. Yes, indeed, his claim to fame is on-ice goals for and against as a WOWY.

The concept of a WOWY (with or without you) is that, instead of just looking at a player’s on-ice results, you should contextualize that with what the team does when he isn’t on the ice. Here’s the big problem that’s always existed with the WOWY. If you use it on the top line or top pair, you are comparing this player the coach thinks is good to all the players he thinks are less good. If you use it on a fourth liner, you can prove your presupposition that he’s bad, terrible, no good and should be waived.

The fatal flaw in a WOWY was always obvious, and the response was always: I know it’s not the be-all and end-all, but it tells me what I want to hear so...

I used to pay attention to them, and then I stopped. More advanced metrics that take on-ice results and weight them for all the contributing factors to a player’s performance (teammates, competition, shift starts [in that order with teammates towering over all the others in importance]) are in essence a WOWY. Just one that tries to account for the thing that makes a base WOWY extremely useless at anything but telling you how far the distance is between playing with Connor McDavid and a fourth liner.

If I use Evolving Hockey’s RAPM skater numbers, McCabe looks like the best player on the team. But the forwards he plays with a lot are also clustered right with him, and one of them is Max Domi.

What the numbers really tell us is that McCabe, Domi and Taylor Raddysh function well, particularly when they also play with Connor Murphy. You can say that the other way too, Murphy plays well with McCabe. But the idea that you can really translate that into “he’s really good now, that surgery was a total success” is absolute nonsense. The bar to be the best player on Chicago is pretty low, and even McCabe et al have P. Kane and Phillip Kurashev dragging them down a lot of the time.

If the lines from the Montréal game hold, and they really play McCabe with Seth Jones (who is dreadful) we will get to see how he does dragging that anchor.


Last Game (02/14) via Daily Faceoff

Andreas Athanasiou - Max Domi - Patrick Kane
Philipp Kurashev - Tyler Johnson - Taylor Raddysh
Reese Johnson - Jason Dickinson - Colin Blackwell
Boris Katchouk - Sam Lafferty - MacKenzie Entwistle

Jake McCabe - Seth Jones
Jack Johnson - Connor Murphy
Caleb Jones - Ian Mitchell

Petr Mrazek - likely starter
Jaxson Sauber


Sheldon Keefe is starting to play defenceman hunger games, and today is Justin Holl’s chance to sit and think about what he’s done.

Assuming Auston Matthews is back, the lines should be:


Michael Bunting - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Alex Kerfoot - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Pierre Engvall - David Kämpf - Calle Järnkrok
Zach Aston-Reese - Pontus Holmberg - Joey Anderson

Morgan Rielly - TJ Brodie
Mark Giordano - Timothy Liljegren
Rasmus Sandin - Conor Timmins

Ilya Samsonov
Joe Woll

The Game

The discourse, oh the discourse! We almost need a new bingo card. Just count how many times they mention Patrick Kane, though, that will take all your time not spent mashing the mute button.

By the way, I think a long look at Taylor Raddysh is in order. He is a very interesting player having a very good year on a very cheap contract.

That’s it, go Leafs go, win this one please.