Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray was on WGR 550 radio in Buffalo and was asked about the Toronto Maple Leafs and the hockey analytics debate yesterday. He mentioned our fellow Leafs blog Pension Plan Puppets in his answer, and then went on to talk a bit more about stats and how he uses them in his player evaluations.
PPP has more on the interview and how it relates to the Leafs’ hockey operations staff. The bottom line is smart teams are using analytics as a tool to help them evaluate players better, while not-so-smart teams (unfortunately, we can lump the Leafs in this group) are not.
The Leafs took on Brian Burke’s Calgary Flames last night, narrowly escaping with a 3-2 win. James Mirtle reminisces about Burke’s old Leafs teams, and finds that in another season likely to end without a postseason appearance, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
In light of Phil Kessel’s recent scoring struggles (if you want to call four points in his last eight games before last night’s game “struggles”), Darren Millard of Sportsnet 590 The Fan asked if Kessel is starting to develop a reputation for being a player who disappears when the pressure is on. Jeff Veillette of The LeafsNation crunches some numbers to see if this is truly the case.