Toronto Maple Leafs: The Struggles of Peter Holland


Toronto Maple Leafs forward Peter Holland had a tough year relative to the rest of the team – and that’s not a good thing when the team is Toronto.

While his point totals exceed the expectations of a fourth line player and were – generally – a pretty decent season for a 23 year old third line player, his overall play has much room to improve.

Holland is a player often forgotten about among the story-lines in Toronto simply because he’s so low profile. His points per 60 minutes at 5v5 (1.7) is the highest it’s been in his entire – albeit short – career.

Here’s Holland’s HERO Chart courtesy of Own The Puck:

This is pretty much what you’d expect to see if you visualized an overview of Holland right now, a decent fourth line player. What helps Holland, particularly in the point department is that he’s a very high percentage shooter for his career – and this year was actual below his career average of (12.9%). The obvious answer for more production is to shoot more.

Where Holland is struggling mightily is in the underlying statistics – the ones that the new-look front office is going to harp on. His corsi for percentage and scoring chances for percentage relative to the team left much to be desired. Since every Leaf player is generally pretty bad, it’s better to look at the relative numbers to see who’s actually worse than the average of a bad team.

In a perfect world you’re at the top right of the chart, although being in the middle is acceptable. Where you want to avoid being is in the bottom left – right where Holland finds himself.

Holzer, Robidas, Polak and van Riemsdyk is who Holland finds himself in company with. Those are some of the Leafs most horrific possession players.

Out of the five players previously mentioned only Robidas has a worse case for explaining himself when it comes to his low relative totals. Let’s look at the quality of competition vs corsi for percentage (not relative this time).

One of the worst possession players – and playing some of the weakest competition. Those two shouldn’t go together.

The good news, though, is that Holland is only 23 years old and has another year on his contract. It’s too early to write him off as a quality bottom-six player, but he’s running out of time to establish himself as a player who won’t be passed over. As the Leafs get a better roster that, too, will certainly help Holland’s cause. Perhaps he turns out to be a better compliment player.

On the other hand, and what’s a little concerning, is the trend he’s on for possession relative to the team he’s on. The Anaheim Ducks were a better possession team than the Maple Leafs. During the 2012-2013 season – with Anaheim –  Holland had a 0.2 CF%rel.

The following year, split between the Ducks and Leafs, He had a -0.2 CF%rel. That’s not too concerning especially since he ended up in the black hole of possession that is Toronto. This year, though, his relative CF% dropped to -2.3 – all the while playing with nearly the exact same quality of teammates and nearly the same quality of competition (there was a separation of 0.1 for both) – and we all know the Leafs didn’t get drastically better in overall possession.

It’s safe to say Holland, like much of the Leafs, had a forgettable season. Next year – his contract year – will be an important step for him in his NHL career. If he can trend those numbers into the right direction he’ll become a player of great value in a depth role for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Next: Should Kadri be part of the solution?

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