Saturday, February 07, 2009


Friday Baseball Standings: Saturday morning edition

The Kings and Preds are, unbelievably, hanging in. LA's last 6 include road wins at MIN, COL, WSH, and OTT, and a home win over CHI. Only blemish is the game at MTL where the Habs tied it with 2 minutes left and took the lead with 30 seconds left. Nashville also has 5 wins in their last 6, including 3 on the road. The only team looking really bad right now is Phoenix, whom the hockey gods have finally forsaken for a stretch.

On the other side, Pittsburgh is still in trouble. Also, the Leafs:

The TSN panel discussed a question a week or two ago, which was, "How many years until the Leafs make the playoffs?" Someone guessed next year; I think Bob McKenzie said three years.

But do you realize that given merely awful goaltending this year, they'd be right on the bubble? The Leafs goalies have allowed 182 goals on 1463 shots, for a team SV% of 0.876. If that SV% was 0.895 -- which is in the "terrible, worst in the league" range -- they'd have allowed 28 fewer goals, which "rule-of-thumb"-wise is worth about 10 points. If the Leafs' SV% was up at a below-par 0.905, that'd be another 15 fewer goals allowed, and another 5 points earned. That is, they'd be bunched in there with the Habs, Rags, and Sabres.

Yes, the team bears some responsibility for the 0.876%. But their team D can't possibly be that bad. They are 6th in the league in Shots Against per Game (28.2), and 30th in Goals Against. They need more stops. And if they had been getting them this season, they'd be in a playoff spot right now.

Flames Game Day! Ducks @ Flames, 100PM MT, PPV.

With the Flames having lost 3 straight, and with the Ducks needing a win to salvage anything from this 3-game road trip, and with the two teams being who they are, I expect this game to be a chippy brawly one. Which in turn means that the PP/PK will be a big factor.

Eh, dunno. Say, Calgary 4 (Iginla x2, Giordano, Moss) Anaheim 3 (Getzlaf x2, Pahlsson). Go Flames.


Good call on the Leafs.

They've been plagued with bad goaltending for the last three years now.

As best I can tell, they're essentially an average (or even slightly above average) team, only with terrible, terrible netminding (or below average netminding with terrible luck -- I can't tell which).

Having watched all of the Leafs-Habs games from 2007-08 and this year, it's plainly apparent to me that the difference between the two teams is primarily -- if not entirely -- attributable to goaltending. Hell, you could even argue that, goaltending aside, the Leafs have been the better of the two clubs this year. Many will disagree, of course, but that's just my take on it.

I know people love to harp on the fact that the Leafs suck, but I think this is just another example of how the average fan's perception of the game is unduly coloured by results, rather than performance. A shame, really.

As best I can tell, they're essentially an average

You wouldn't know that from the incessant howls of TO media. It's as if this team were the inaugural edition of the Ottawa Senators.

Also: hello!

Nice job by the Oilers today. Christ.

Should be a great playofff race!

Ooh, I'll take that Conan key. I love the smell of dying MMO in the morning; it smells like necrosis.

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