If Justin Holl is the Leafs worst defenseman (he isn’t) then Toronto is in great shape

One of the best practices in Toronto is ignoring anything that comes out of Steve Simmons’ mouth. At worst it’s going to make you stupider, at best you’re giving attention to someone who should be fading away into obscurity. Press conferences are a different beast though, and if he actually gets called on to ask a question, we all have to suffer. That’s what happened after Game Four.

“Sheldon, why would you start your worst defenceman in a building you know was going to be this loud..?””Who was our worst defenceman?””Justin Holl.””That’s your opinion, I guess.” pic.twitter.com/KJMWA0B7u2
— Adam Laskaris (@adam_la2karis) May 9, 2022

So here we are, dissecting what we should actually think of Justin Holl. A player who once again sparks the hated eye test vs. stats debate, but a player who deserves the due diligence of having his performance examined after a pretty bold take.
Let’s start with the here and now of it, and look at the Leafs defensemen in the playoffs. It’s a small sample and Rasmus Sandin hasn’t even had a chance to factor into this conversation yet, but let’s assume some recency bias and look at who the Leafs worst defenseman might be.

So with the worst being highlighted in yellow and the best is highlighted in blue, we can see that Holl’s only shortcoming seems to be the lack of playing time. That also could point to him being sheltered and that’s going to skew his numbers a bit, but Toronto also utilizes him on the penalty kill, so there’s that too. Interestingly, Holl has been on the ice for the fewest expected goals against them and h …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

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