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Leafs need defensive help for PK, 5-on-5

Sunday, 09.27.2009 / 3:00 AM / 2009-2010 Season Preview

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
2008-09 SEASON STATS

Category Rank (Conference)
2008-09 Points 81
(12th eAst/24th NHL)
Change from 2007-08 -2
Home Points 41
(12th eAst/26th NHL)
Away Points 40
(9th eAst/17th NHL)
Advantage Margin            +22
The Leafs showed excellent discipline, allowing only 308 opposition power plays. They actually received six more advantages than they allowed on the road, unusual for a team not good enough to make the playoffs.

Even-Strength Goals Margin        -25

The Leafs scored a more-than-respectable 165 goals while playing 5-on-5 -- the problem was that they surrendered an NHL-worst 186, plus 11 more while playing 4-on-4.
   
Special Teams Goal Margin        -17
Toronto's power play was middle-of-the-pack, but the penalty-killing was awful, finishing last in the NHL at 74.7 percent. They were even worse at home, allowing 44 goals and killing just 69.4 percent of opposition power plays.

Goals by defensemen        42
The biggest gun on the blue line, Pavel Kubina, was traded to Atlanta as the Leafs revamped their defense to add more toughness. His loss may be felt most on power play, where he had a team-high nine goals.

Overtime Record            
Total: 10-6-7 (OT: 4-6, SO: 6-7)

Most of the Leafs' troubles in shootouts came in goal. Toronto netminders allowed 19 goals in 42 tries, a .548 save percentage. On the road, opposing shooters connected on 52.2 percent of their chances (13 of 24).

Times Scored First           
40 (Record: 22-10-8)

The Leafs scored first 20 times both at home and on the road. But they lost nearly half of those games, including eight times in overtime or a shootout.   

Best 08-09 Number            14-4-2
Toronto's record against the Atlantic Division, by far its best mark against any division. In fact, the Leafs lost more than half their games against every other division.

Worst 08-09 Number          102
Goals allowed by Toronto in the second period, the most of any team in the middle 20 minutes and the second-highest total surrendered by any team in any period.
   
Scheduling
The Leafs play five of their first seven at home before a five-game trip. They have another five-game swing in January. Toronto has no homestand longer than four games -- its final home stretch of the season.






Quote of the Day

I spent a long summer thinking about that playoff series and what could have been. [The Blackhawks] ended up being the Stanley Cup champions, so we know we lost to a very good team. It's tough to know how close we were, and it motivates us for this year.

— Nashville captain Shea Weber in an interview with the Predators website
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