Leafs season from Holl

It brings me no joy to report that a one time ECHL reclamation project turned top four defenseman has taken a tour for the worse. I was an early adopter of Justin Holl fandom and it seemed like Mike Babcock would rob us of a good time. Sheldon Keefe gave Holl his opportunity and for one glorious season alongside Jake Muzzin it looked like the good times were never going to end.
Last season was a step back from Holl. The fact that Muzzin also took a step back or was absent due to injury often meant straining what could be achieved by Holl, but he still looked like a capable bottom pairing defenseman who was just being asked to punch above his weight class and fill in on the second pairing due to injuries. This year… well this year has been a mess.
Season
GP
TOI/GP
CA/60
CF%
GA/60
GF%
xGA/60
xG%
HDCA/60
HDCF%
PDO
20192020
68
15.92
54.76
51.80
2.44
51.65
2.30
53.00
10.97
51.71
0.998
20202021
55
17.60
53.13
49.85
2.54
53.93
2.11
54.51
9.30
55.49
1.010
20212022
69
16.90
54.17
52.22
2.73
51.82
2.37
54.69
10.19
57.33
1.003
20222023
9
16.61
58.21
50.51
2.41
40.00
3.07
43.83
16.46
35.94
0.969
Most notably with Holl’s numbers you can see the spikes in shot attempts against, especially those in high danger areas, and as a result there has been a significant impact on the expected goals against, which tell an interesting story compared to the goals against. It truly could be a lot worse, but the low GF% also speaks to the Leafs not producing offensively with Holl on the ice either. That’s a definite red flag for a defensemen the Leafs have needed to deploy in their top four due to Liljegren’s injury to start the season.

(red dots mean negative for/against differentials and all data is sourced from Natural Stat Trick)
Holl has struggled in the majority of his games this season. He had a strong outing against Washington, and statistically it wasn’t a bad night against San Jose, although the eye test would certainly disagree with the numbers, as Sheldon Keefe had to address Holl’s performance following the game…

Sheldon Keefe on Holl: “Justin likes really direct & honest feedback. We’ve given him that. Certainly, a little more direct here today because it’s been snowballing …” pic.twitter.com/BNsGoRnaaX
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) October 28, 2022

Last night did not help Holl’s cause and while the reality is he’s safe fo …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs have acquired Matt Murray from the Senators

Over 24 hours after the initial report from Elliotte Friedman, the Matt Murray trade is now official.

TRADE: We have acquired goaltender Matt Murray & two draft picks from Ottawa in exchange for future considerations. #LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 12, 2022

The Leafs also acquired a third-round pick in 2023 and a seventh-round pick in 2024 in exchange for future consideration. Ottawa will be retaining 25% of his salary for the final two years, bringing his cap hit to roughly $4.68 million.
This comes mere days after the Leafs made the move to dump Petr Mrazek’s salary cap in Chicago while Jack Campbell appears all but likely to be hitting the open market on Wednesday (with reports suggesting that he will likely be joining the Oilers).
Murray is coming off a bit of a bounceback campaign statistically speaking as he recorded a .906 SV% and a 3.05 GAA despite going 5-12-2 in only 20 starts. He recorded an SV% above .900 for the first time since the 2018-19 campaign, although his GAA has been above three in his two seasons with the Senators.
There are plenty of risks that come with the move, given his injury troubles over the past two seasons, this is also a goalie who has proven himself to be a solid option when he’s on his game. Murray made an immediate impact in his first two seasons by helping the Penguins win two straight Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017 while being reliable throughout his other postseason runs.
After spending the majority of the opening quarter of the 2021-22 campaign on IR with a head and neck injury, Murray seemed to have found his groove during a 12-game stretch that saw him post a .932 SV% and a 13.78 GSAx. Had it not been for his last two games where he gave up a combined 13 goals against the Lightning and Coyotes, he would have finished the season with a .920 SV%. The latter game not only saw his numbers take a massive drop, but he also suffered a season …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation