Toronto Maple Leafs Look for An Easy 2 Points vs Detroit

ANN ARBOR, MI - JANUARY 1: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Tomas Tatar #21 of the Detroit Red Wings controls the puck as Peter Holland #24 of the Toronto Maple Leafs defends during the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on January 1, 2014 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
ANN ARBOR, MI - JANUARY 1: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Tomas Tatar #21 of the Detroit Red Wings controls the puck as Peter Holland #24 of the Toronto Maple Leafs defends during the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on January 1, 2014 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /
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The Toronto Maple Leafs will take on the Detroit Red Wings tonight in Detroit.

This is the second last game the Toronto Maple Leafs will play before next week’s all-star festivities, which I am honestly surprised were not cancelled to make up games that were cancelled.

I am really glad the all-star game is going ahead because my kids love it.  My son, Holden, who has even written a guest blog here before, is such a huge fan of the all-star game it’s all he’s talked about for the last week, and he even watches old all-star games on Youtube.

So while many people mock the all-star game,  you should remember that it’s for kids and kids love it.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Detroit

The Red Wings have been  terrible for years, and they are still terrible.  They might have managed a .500 record to date (with 6 OT Losses not withstanding) but they are 29th in the NHL in Corsi (puck possession).  (all stats naturalstattrick.com).

Here are the top 10 teams by Corsi:

"Florida Panthers , Carolina Hurricanes, Calgary Flames, Los Angeles Kings , Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche , Toronto Maple Leafs , Pittsburgh Penguins , Vegas Golden Knights, Edmonton Oilers"

Other than Tampa, this is pretty much a list of the NHL’s best teams, and remember, Detroit is 29th.

If we look at Expected-Goals, which have more predictive powers than Corsi and the real standings, here are the top ten teams by Expected Goals Percentage:

"Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames , Toronto Maple Leafs , Florida Panthers , Carolina Hurricanes Pittsburgh Penguins , Tampa Bay Lightning , Los Angeles Kings , Colorado Avalanche Minnesota Wild"

Detroit is 23rd  in expected-goals percentage

Finally, let’s rank the teams by current points-percentage and find out which teams appear on all three lists. Top 10 teams by points-percentage. 

"Colorado Avalanche , Carolina Hurricanes , Florida Panthers , Tampa Bay Lightning , Toronto Maple Leafs , Minnesota Wild , Pittsburgh Penguins , New York Rangers , St Louis Blues , Boston Bruins"

Obviously, the actual standings are going to be subject to goalie performances, and thus they’ll be much more random.  Which teams appear on all three lists?

Colorado, Toronto, Florida, Carolina, Pittsburgh and Boston. 

Those are probably your best teams in the NHL right now, though it is hard to not at least make an exception for Tampa and their back-to-back Stanley Cups.   Detroit though? They are no where to be found.

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This should be an easy game for the Toronto Maple Leafs.  The Red Wings are a team that is outperforming their skill and who are getting lucky to be .500 with six OT losses.  They should be much lower in the standings and the Leafs should crush them.