If you aren't looking at every possible angle you can to succeed, then you aren't trying enough. Certainly, one would hope that isn't the case for a professional franchise with basically endless cash at its disposal - and fortunately, it appears the Toronto Maple Leafs are much smarter than that.
We're talking about a team that has jumped up from being a 46.4% corsi for team in 2014-15 to 51.3% this season under Mike Babcock. A nearly 5% increase in a stat that's a proxy for possession is absolutely insane, and really speaks to how the Leafs have reason to hope for a brighter future. Once the on-ice personnel are in place - well, watch out.
But corsi is the stat we're all used to in the blogosphere. Internally, you'd hope teams are doing more - and, via Colin Greening and Elliotte Friedman's 30 Thoughts, we get a further look into just what the Leafs are doing (#26):
Colin Greening told The Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle that he looks at the analytics provided by the club to its players. What kinds of things are talked about there? Under intense pressure, Greening gave a bit of a window: "Things like what kinds of plays I make after recovering the puck. Do I cycle it, do I pass it, do I make a play?" I told him I’d heard forcing a defender to switch also gets counted and his facial expression gave it away. Scotty Bowman used to do some similar stuff, such as counting who won what puck battles or who recovered dump-ins.
We're well into microstats here, but that's a really smart thing to keep track of. Getting the puck is important, but if he's just going to turn it right back over or go for an aimless spin around a zone, what good is it to have it? That level of detail can also be really good to helping younger players figure out what they need to work on.
And ha, the facial expression remark. On a sillier note: considering how quiet Lou Lamoriello likes to keep things, how much danger are Friedman and Greening in, now? Godspeed to the both of them - because this is really great stuff to learn. And while the on-ice results aren't there yet, the Leafs so far, at least, appear to be well on-track.