Toronto Maple Leafs: Round One Content Roundup

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 13: Nazem Kadri #43 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates after scoring in the third period of a game against the Boston Bruins in Game Two of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on April 13, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 13: Nazem Kadri #43 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates after scoring in the third period of a game against the Boston Bruins in Game Two of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on April 13, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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It’s playoff time for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

As the postseason chugs along and the games get tighter, the EIL staff have been hard at work to make sure that every possible angle is covered. With so many stories hitting the wall all at once, it’s entirely likely that some may have fallen through the cracks.

Here’s a brief recap of some of the past week’s content.

Kasperi Kapanen Needs to Step Up

Kasperi Kapanen is a great player. His speed is otherworldly, possibly among the best in the league. But the 22-year-old’s limitations have been on full display throughout round one so far, and if the Maple Leafs have a chance at finally slaying their black-and-gold dragons, they’ll need Kapanen to find another gear.

In his piece from this week, Michael takes a look at why Kapanen’s performance is so integral to the Maple Leafs’ success.

“From February 26 onward, Kapanen only recorded 1 goal, 3 assists, and 4 points in 16 games played, including a 15-game goalless slump that didn’t end until the final game of the season. His underlying numbers at 5v5 slightly regressed as well, registering a 52.61 CF%, a 51.80 FF%, a 40.00 GF%, a 50.52 xGF%, a 52.61 SCF%, a 54.22 HDCF%, and a 44.44 HDGF%.

The glaring issues have been in his on-ice decision making which has been frustrating to watch. Whether that be poor passes in the slot or holding onto the puck for too long resulting in low-percentage scoring chances, Kapanen has been struggling to make a consistent impact on the game offensively for weeks now. (All stats naturalstattrick.com).”

If the Toronto Maple Leafs Lose Big, Don’t Overreact

Here’s the thing about the NHL playoffs: your favourite team is going to lose a game or two. It’s inevitable, something you can’t escape from. No one has ever ridden an undefeated streak all the way to the Stanley Cup, and at one point or another, you will have to grapple with defeat.

This is an important piece of advice for Leafs fans. With Toronto staring at a 2-2 series tie, the next three games will determine the fate of their season. It’s a high-pressure stretch that may bring out the worst in some people.

In James’s latest piece, he calls for rationality in the face of failure.

“This year’s Tampa could just have easily been the Leafs if everything went right for them.  In a salary capped, professional league, it’s pretty rare for one team to me so much better, and a lot of it has to do with luck.

Tampa won 77.4% of their one-goal games,(nhl.com), while the next best team in hockey won only 63% of theirs.  Tampa was the only team with a shooting percentage on the PP that was over 20%.

Again, these are two stats that NHL teams playing other NHL teams have essentially no control over.”

Toronto Maple Leafs: Some Thoughts on Complicity and Nazem Kadri

Well, it happened again. In the early stages of a tight playoff series between the Maple Leafs and the Bruins, Nazem Kadri committed a reckless offence and will now watch the remainder of the series from the sidelines.

James, however, advocates that the blame does not fall on Kadri. Rather, the referees should be held responsible for what ultimately happened, as they were incapable of policing the game and preventing the situation from escalating.

Do you agree with this take? Give James’s piece a read to find out.

“But on the other, the NHL let Saturday’s game get that point, and people probably always want to cross-check Jake DeBrusk in the face – unfortunately, all this is immaterial as far as the punishment goes, but it does really suck.

The only possible thing anyone can say about this suspension is that it’s harsh by the NHL’s previously established standards of letting players do pretty much whatever they want.

Bad luck for the Toronto Maple Leafs, but what can you do?  I mean, I racked my brain, and I couldn’t think of another situation where you can assault someone with a six-foot weapon and not go to jail.”

Next. Don't Blame Nazem Kadri. dark

Thanks for reading!