Justin Bourne’s Systems Analyst pieces for his Backhand Shelf blog are some of the best hockey systems stuff you’ll read on the Internet. Bourne took a look at the three rush goals the Toronto Maple Leafs gave up to the Detroit Red Wings last night, and there’s plenty of blame to be thrown around. Just don’t throw any of it on James Reimer.
Another great read is Anthony Petrielli’s Leafs Notebook pieces over at Maple Leafs Hot Stove. Petrieli touches on a plethora of issues surrounding the team, including the goaltending situation. I agree with him that this team needs excellent (not just good) goaltending to string some wins together, but can Reimer provide that with Jonathan Bernier on the shelf? We’ll see starting tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Checking in with the farm, Christopher Gibson has stepped up in a big way with the Toronto Marlies since Drew MacIntyre was called up. Gibson’s backup, Garret Sparks, has also improved significantly in his time with the Marlies. Kyle Cicerrella has more on the two 21-year-old netminders.
There was a really touching story out of San Jose last night. The San Jose Sharks signed 18-year-old Sam Tageson, who suffers from a potentially life-threatening heart defect, to a one-day contract so he could practice and take to the ice for the national anthem with some of his heroes. Sam fulfilled his dream of being a member of the Sharks for one day. It was a great gesture by the Sharks and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Nathan MacKinnon had another goal last night, and continues to solidify himself as a Calder Trophy favourite. See who Corey Pronman of ESPN Insider has in his top 10 (NOTE: it’s blocked by a paywall) as the season winds down.