The Toronto Maple Leafs’ playoff chances are basically zilch at this point (1.4 per cent actually, but who’s counting?), but at least the Toronto Marlies are going to represent the organization in the AHL playoffs. The Marlies beat the Utica Comets 3-2 and clinched the North Division yesterday. Jeff Veillette has the recap for The LeafsNation.
The Leafs didn’t only lose their game against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday, but it looks like they lost winger Joffrey Lupul to injury again. Lupul suffered a lower-body injury in the overtime win against the Boston Bruins on Thursday, and according to Joe Yerdon of ProHockeyTalk, re-aggravated the injury in the Jets game. His status for the remaining three games of the season is unknown.
(UPDATE: Never mind, we know it now. He’s out for the season. Bummer.)
Philadelphia Flyers winger Zac Rinaldo did something stupid again in a game against the Buffalo Sabres yesterday. He hit the head of Sabres defenseman Chad Ruhwedel, giving Ruhwedel a concussion and earning a five-minute match penalty. He has a phone hearing with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan today; meaning the most games he can get in a suspension is five. Justin Bourne of Backhand Shelf breaks down the hit and offers his thoughts.
As hockey fans, we’re continuing to learn more about the contributions of players on the ice by tracking zone entries. @13_Leafs of Blue and White Brotherhood, for example, found that Mason Raymond led the Leafs in controlled zone entries in a game against the San Jose Sharks last month, and it wasn’t close. As Eric Tulsky writes for FiveThirtyEight, we keep learning more from these fans who are manually tracking zone entries, but the information we glean will be somewhat limited until the NHL implements video-tracking software in arenas.
What is it about the NHL and hockey fans that make them glorify “tough” hockey players who aren’t good while criticizing skilled players for not being “tough” enough? Edmonton Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins had some interesting quotes about what it really means to be “tough”, and Tyler Dellow adds his own thoughts on the matter.