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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Numbers Game: Maple Leafs Winning %

The Toronto Maple Leafs have hardly been in the news these days. It seems as though the hockey media has forgotten about them, so I have decided to write yet another Numbers Game on the beloved Leafs. In all seriousness, I recognize that this is the third consecutive Numbers Game article on the Leafs and I have promised Illegal Curve’s editor, Richard Pollock, that this will be the last for a while.

In today’s Numbers Game, I decided to look at a relatively meaningless stat; the winning percentage of the Maple Leafs when each player on the Leafs scores. It’s even more meaningless for a Leaf’s team that is near the bottom of the NHL in wins.

But did you know that the Leafs never lose when Wade Belak scores? Perfect, Maurice can stop his search for a winger to fill in for Ponikarovski on one of the top lines. #23 out, #3 in. That’s right, the same #3 that stars on Leaf’s TV’s “Wade a Minute”. Belak’s versatility is clearly underrated.

Unfortunately for the Leafs, Belak has only scored one goal. The Leafs, however, do have an impressive .750 winning percentage with Alex Steen scores (he has 10 goals on the year). 8 of Stajan’s 11 goals were scored in Leafs’ victories, while 5 of Tucker’s unimpressive season total of 6 goals were scored in losses. Never mind Sundin, it’s time to start the “trade Tucker” campaign. The Leafs just can’t seem to win when he scores. It appears that Tucker might not be doing such a disservice after all: it’s a good a thing he never scores!

What about Sundin who has been the subject of many trade rumours? The Leafs lose half the games that he scores in.

I would not focus on these stats at all. They really don’t mean anything. No one is going to suggest that Tucker shouldn’t score, as easy as that would be for him. Obviously, the more goals your team scores, the more likely you are to win. The issue is not really who is scoring and when, but rather who is not scoring enough. The Leafs brought in Jason Blake, a 40-goal scorer last year, to help ignite the offense. He currently sits at 9 goals on the year. Darcy Tucker scored an impressive 24 goals in 56 games last year and a career-high 28 goals in 2005-2006. After 42 games this season, he has 6 goals. If the Leafs want to turn around their season, then everyone has to step up, especially Tucker and Blake.

For Illegal Curve, I am Adam Gutkin.

Ballhype: hype it up!

1 comment:

educated bet said...

Did you see the article about Flyer Briere? http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/story/256160.html
I don't have to explain the spin but I would love to stick an illegal curve up this gossipers _ss.
Peace...Iron Mike