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Kadri out as falling Leafs start tough stretch vs. Sharks

Dec 3, 2013, 12:05 PM EDT

kadricloseupgetty Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without one of their top scorers tonight when they host San Jose, as center Nazem Kadri (7G, 10A) will miss the game following the death of his grandfather.

Kadri’s absence won’t make things any easier for a Leafs team that finished November with a 4-6-3 record and hasn’t won in its last four.

On top of that, here’s what’s coming up in the next couple of weeks:

source:

To say Toronto’s poor November came as a surprise would, of course, be false. The Leafs have had puck-possession issues all season. In October, they were able to get by with excellent goaltending, special teams and shooting. But that was a way of winning that was unlikely to continue.

Almost amazingly, the Leafs have been out-shot in 23 of their 27 games, yet they’ve still managed to win 14. Only the Buffalo Sabres have been out-possessed more than Toronto, per Extra Skater.

“We’ve been giving up a lot of shots, and you can’t have luck on your side all season,” Toronto goalie Jonathan Bernier said recently.

And the Leafs will need more than luck against the teams they’ll be playing shortly. Here are the top 10 teams in a possession statistic called Fenwick (unblocked shot attempts) with the score close:

source:

The Leafs play six of those teams in their next eight games.

Oh, and guess who’s 11th on the list — that would be Dallas, which Toronto hosts Thursday.

The Leafs (14-10-3) currently hold down the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, four points up on New Jersey and five on Philadelphia.

  1. logicalcomment - Dec 3, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    67 !

  2. withseidelinn - Dec 3, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    Being as optimistic as possible, I’d say the 2 games against Dallas and OTT are definitely winnable, and out of the other 6 they have a somewhat decent chance against BOS and PIT. They’re pretty much doomed against all those powerhouse western teams though.

  3. kclovesgaming - Dec 3, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Toronto has been out shot and out played in most of their games this year. Good goaltending has kept them in games and they’ve stolen a bunch. If they were in the West, they would probably be as bad as Edmonton.

    • withseidelinn - Dec 3, 2013 at 3:16 PM

      Except they aren’t in the West.

    • sunderlanding - Dec 3, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      Yea and if they were in the AHL they’d probably be in the top 5! Who cares about ifs?

  4. LampyB - Dec 3, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    Way to go captain Phaneuf. Remind me why they want to shell out boat loads of cash for such a weak defender??

    • sunderlanding - Dec 3, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      Phaneuf is the only good defender they’ve got. Without him they’d be much worse.

      • withseidelinn - Dec 3, 2013 at 6:05 PM

        They have some guys with potential to be a lot better too. (Gardiner, Franson)

      • bsaures - Dec 3, 2013 at 8:24 PM

        withseidelinn Franson is as good as he is going to be. Hes 26 and has already had 4 full NHL seasons and 2 Full AHL seasons. He is a fringe top 4 defender on a bad team or a third pairing guy on a team with good defense

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