The Toronto Maple Leafs are the NHL’s best team since they put their slow start behind them.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have only played in two games in the last three weeks or so, and won them both.
In fact, with Mitch Marner in the lineup, the Toronto Maple Leafs are on a 17-2 run. And while he most likely won’t play tonight, the Leafs will have their secret weapon in the lineup when they take on the Colorado Avalanche:
The Toronto Maple Leafs and T.J Brodie
Tyler James? Timothy Jonathan? Touchdown Juice? Hardly anyone knows what the mysterious initials stand for, just like hardly anyone even realizes just how good Mr. Brodie actually is. (stats naturalstattrick.com).
In the NHL, if you don’t score, hit or fight, you might as well not exists to most fans. Even some teams have trouble finding value in boring, low-event players, but not the Toronto Maple Leafs.
If there is one member of the Blue and White who can get on the subway without being recognized, it’s Brodie. We know nothing about him. I watched every episode of All of Nothing and I don’t remember even seeing him.
T.J (Terrance Justice?) Brodie, if he ever retires from hockey, could take a job as a getaway driver or a stickup man because no one would be able to describe him. He could never be convicted because no one would remember seeing him.
This happens in the NHL too – he rarely scores, he doesn’t hit and you almost only ever notice him if he makes a mistake.
But Tim Jim (?) is one of the NHL’s most under-appreciated players and he is the Toronto Maple Leafs secret weapon.
Despite the fact that he only had 14 points last season, Brodie has been one of the Leafs players ever since he was signed by the team prior to last season. He hasn’t missed a game, and the Leafs have picked up 70% of the points available to them since he signed.
This season , the Leafs are outscoring the opposition 27-15 when Brodie is on the ice (64%) and he’s posting a ridiculous 54% expected-goals rating. Outside of Dmitri Orlov, TJ Brodie and Morgan Rielly are posting the best on-ice results among NHL defenseman who’ve played 550 minutes (52 players).
They are both top-ten in expected results.
That doesn’t really tell the whole story though. Last season, Brodie was better than 94% of NHL defenseman by WAR (wins above replacement). That makes him a top 5-15 defenseman, and I am guessing just about no one would name him as such – but results don’t lie.
Adjusted to include this seasons games, Brodie is still better than 92% of NHL defenseman. He’s a stud. He could be sitting next to you on the bus, and you wouldn’t know it. People talk about underrated players, but unless they’re also talking about Touché Jam Brodie, they shouldn’t.