Dec 3, 2013, 12:05 PM EDT
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:
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.
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:
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.
- Report: Hawks feel Kane ‘disrespected’ team, have received trade calls 82
- Hawks’ biggest question: What happens with Patrick Kane? 75
- Hall of Famer Al Arbour passes away 22
- Poll: Who will be San Jose’s next captain? 24
- Mike Richards charged with possession of controlled substance 95
- Gio won’t go: Flames extend Giordano for six years, $40.5M 13
- Pens’ plan for now: Crosby starts as Kessel’s center 25
- O, Dear: Russia fined $85K for skipping Canadian anthem 31
- Kings ink Ehrhoff to a one-year, $1.5 million deal 27
- Quebec City, Vegas advance to final phase of NHL expansion process 50
- Report: Hawks feel Kane ‘disrespected’ team, have received trade calls (98)
- Mike Richards charged with possession of controlled substance (95)
- Hawks’ biggest question: What happens with Patrick Kane? (77)
- Lucic jokes about running through Rask ‘like I did (to) another goalie’ (40)
- Poll: Will Kessel score 40? (38)