Kyle Dubas’ tenure has been one of patience, loyalty, and vision, and that’s pissed a lot of people off

Kyle Dubas’ tenure has been one of patience, loyalty, and vision, and that’s pissed a lot of people off

This post is born of a somewhat regular conversation I seem to be having with other Leafs and with other hockey fans, and that’s how do you feel about Kyle Dubas? I don’t think it’s something that’s a straight forward answer for me, or a lot of Leafs fans at this point, so as we head into what could be the most critical days of his time as GM, I felt like rambling on the subject to the point my brain is exhausted.
When it comes to coaches and general managers it seems like there is a finite amount of time that you will be loved. There was a time when Leafs fans were over the moon about Brian Burke. He made big promises, he had recently won a Stanley Cup, and he presented himself as a straight shooter. That didn’t last. There was a time when Leafs fans thought that by bringing in Mike Babcock that we had landed the greatest coach in hockey. He had Stanley Cup and Olympic credentials. He was going to get the Leafs back on track, and to some extent that’s true, but then not much more and …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

NHL Playoff Projections! — Staturday Weekly Column #16

Today’s staturday post will be a quick and early look at how different models are rating teams’ playoff chances around the NHL, with a necessary focus on the Canadian North division where our beloved Toronto Maple Leafs play.
HockeyViz
The first model I’ll show you is Micah Blake McCurdy’s “Magnus 4” model, which is available on his website, hockeyviz.com (which is for subscribers only, which I highly recommend), or through periodic updates on his Twitter page. I’ll use the most recent Twitter updates so that everyone is on the same level here.
The first way to look at playoff projections is to look at points projections. The Magnus 4 model calculates a team’s projected points in the standings regularly, so this chart shows the changes in those projections over the last 2 weeks.

We can see that Toronto has been on a downward trend recently, both in results and in Magnus 4’s estimation of how those results might continue. The tail end of the trend does buck up significantly though, so Thursday’s win over the Jets apparently showed Magnus 4 something it liked.
The chart above also shows the expected points cutoff for each division as to …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Page 6ix Wednesday, March 17th: Gord Miller fans stand up!

I want to make this entire post about Gord Miller taking on Barstool, but I suppose there are other things I can discuss from this past week in hockey, too. If I have to. So we’ll get to Gord shortly. First – let’s take a look at what else happened around the hockey world this week, though it won’t be anywhere near as fun!
Leafs Lads
Remember Saturday’s Leafs game against the Jets? It sucked, and was awful. But at the end of the game when the Leafs took a ridiculous penalty, coach Sheldon Keefe went off! We had not yet seen Keefe unleashed, but now we have. I am weirdly good at reading lips, so below I translate exactly what it was Sheldon yelled that got him an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty:

“Graham. GRAHAM. That happens 50 times a game! That happens 50 times a game and you fucking call it now? Fuck you, Graham!” https://t.co/1jyk7ddIf8
— Mer (@MerOutLoud) March 14, 2021

Meanwhile, the tweet below is fake and Sheldon was not fined, but I honestly would not have minded if he was:

Leafs’ coach Sheldon Keefe fined $25,000. https://t.co/MdVJWrueMJ pic.twitter.com/h6yPE9Tx70
— …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs made it onto TMZ and we don’t know how to feel about it

TMZ tweeted a post this morning that caught Leafs fans by surprise – because it was about our team! That’s right, the major Hollywood gossip site featured the Wayne Simmonds vs. Jordie Benn fight from last night’s game. Even better – they tweeted it from their main account and not only their sports account.

NHL’s Wayne Simmonds Wrecks Opponent In Epic On-Ice Fight, 13 Straight Haymakers! https://t.co/UXLgwW42Gv
— TMZ (@TMZ) February 5, 2021

Does this mean we’ve made it?
In case you missed it, check out the fight below. We’d say Wayne won that one pretty cleanly, but Benn held his own for a while. It’s been some time since we’ve seen a fight like this in a Leafs game, and so long as everyone is a willing participant (which, clearly, they were here), fights like this one can be really fun. Take a look, and don’t forget to read the post-game recap for a full account of the Leafs 7-3 win.

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Rumour Dump: The Blue Jays are in on Tomoyuki Sugano, Jake Odorizzi, and Jackie Bradley Jr.

We’re at a point now where it seems absurd to post about Blue Jays-related interest rumours individually, so I’m going to dump the most recent three names into one post. Today, we have Tomoyuki Sugano, Jake Odorizzi, and Jackie Bradley Jr.! 

Tomoyuki Sugano… 
Sugano is one of the big names from Japan on the free-agent market this winter. He was officially posted by the Yomiuri Giants last week and will be available to Major League teams until Jan. 7. The Blue Jays, along with the Texas Rangers, San Diego Padres, and Boston Red Sox are teams who have reportedly shown interest in signing him.
Given this year’s fairly weak market for starting pitching, Sugano picked the right time to make the move over to North America. Trevor Bauer, the reigning National League Cy Young winner, is clearly the top arm on the free-agent market, but it gets shallow fairly quickly after that.
Sugano is coming off an excellent season for Yomiuri in which he posted a 1.97 ERA over the course of 20 starts with nice peripherals (8.6 strikeouts per nine and and 1.6 walks per nine). He’s a two-time winner of the Sawamura Award (Japan’s Cy Young) and turned 31 …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Staturday Weekly Column #2: Where do we start? Advanced Stats Primer, Part 2

Last week, in the inaugural post of my new weekly column, we looked at some stats and resources that cover the basics of what we can call “advanced stats” or “analytics” in hockey. To recap:

Corsi (CF%) measures how many shot attempts (shots, misses, blocked shots) there are while a player is on the ice
Production (points) can be measured in a number of different ways
Expected Goals (xGF%) is similar to Corsi, but it weighs the shot attempts based on how good they were, usually based just on where the shot was taken
Shot attempt models like Corsi and Expected Goals have a reasonably good correlation with future wins, so that’s why they’re important

In this post, I’m going to branch out a little further from these base values and talk about the loads of other stats that are available for the NHL.
The beauty of publicly available data is that it takes a ton of grass roots effort to make it happen. Please consider donating to the creators of these tools so that you can support them, and so that you can access them too. Patreon links for the creators will be in their specific …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Some bold predictions for the Leafs heading into a busy week

As we kick off a post about bold predictions, it seems necessary to dump some very cold water on our expectations for this week. While it seems the Leafs are likely to make a move of significant substance, it is probably going to be that one move and maybe some accompanying filler. Nothing we heard from Dubas on Monday alludes to him scorching the earth and trading the core. While there seems to be an understanding that the Leafs can find money, finding money for Pietrangelo still seems like an uphill battle, and to some extent it seems we’ve all accepted that and downgraded our hopes.
Still with a 1st round draft pick in play, and seemingly at least one more roster player having to be moved no matter what, opening it up to the TLN contributors on what comes next seems like a good idea, and frankly our predictions are as good as anyone else’s.
Nick Richard (@_nickrichard)
Kyle Dubas trades up in the first round
Dubas’ strategy of trading down during the draft to recoup additional picks is well documented. He was making the calls when the Leafs traded down twice, out of the first round …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

We’re Still Here, Asking For More From the NHL

24 days ago, I wrote this post about what white fans and members of the media could do to demand more from the NHL and its players on the subject of Black Lives Matter.
Today, we’re asking the same questions.
After yesterday’s historic events in the NBA and later the MLB, hockey fans wondered how the NHL would respond. The answer was: they wouldn’t. Not in any meaningful way.
Before I go any further, I urge you to read this open letter to the NHL by Matthew Henriques. And then read this great post from Omar over at Pension Plan Puppets.
As white fans, we aren’t the conveners here. We aren’t the leaders, or the ones starting the conversation. But we are the ones who have to carry it. Who have to shoulder the burden, and do the heavy lifting. Yes, still. Yesterday, today, tomorrow. Our privilege necessitates it.
In my post a few weeks ago I encouraged fans to put pressure on the media to ask the important questions of white hockey players and coaches. We did, and it worked. The media are asking. But the answers are disappointing.

Here’s @ …

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Author: MerOutLoud / The Leafs Nation

Is Laurence Gilman a potential fit for the Coyotes job?

For once when asking a question in the header of a post, the answer isn’t no. Unfortunately Leafs fans probably should want the answer to be no, as keeping Laurence Gilman is likely the better outcome for the Leafs.
Yesterday it was announced that John Chayka has left the Coyotes organization. An interesting story unto itself, summarized well by Craig Morgan:
The reasons for that termination are in dispute, however. One NHL source said Saturday that during the NHL season’s pause, Chayka asked the Coyotes for permission to pursue another “another professional opportunity” that was not with another team and had sought his release from the organization about six weeks ago.
But another source said Sunday that this account is not true, and that stance was later corroborated by another league source.
“John Chayka is a liar and a quitter,” the source said.
Getting away from the tire fire that continues to be the Arizona Coyotes, I found myself again looking for the all important “How does this affect the Leafs?” angle, and that has presented itself in the case that can be made for Gilman as the potential replacement …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

What to expect from Cody Ceci this summer

Let’s get the obvious joke out of the way first, and answer the post title with “not much.” Good we’ve covered that off. It’s not going to stop the hilarious replies on social media, but we’ve officially acknowledged you and we can move on.
The reality of the year for Cody Ceci is that is was always doomed to failure. He was the necessary return for the Leafs unloading the Nikita Zaitsev contract and at best people accepted him as a necessity of that. Of course Ceci didn’t win any new fans when Mike Babcock insisted on using him on the top pairing with Morgan Rielly and played him in situations beyond his ability with a partner who didn’t really give him much defensive zone support.
Under Keefe is was a different story for Ceci, and playing roles and situations more fitting of his abilities with partners that made sense for him resulted in a bit of a rebound. And now heading into the playoffs were the defensive defenseman legend takes shape, perhaps we can now expect more from Ceci. I’m kidding, this is …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation