When we debate over the Leafs' top rookie, everyone wins

Ryan Fancey
November 04 2016 09:28AM

This season is only 11 games old, but it seems that with each 2-3 game chunk of this schedule, we've had a different "Whoa, [insert rookie name]" storyline to gravitate towards. If this is what life as a Leafs supporter is going to be like, establishing favourites among this trio of Matthews, Nylander, and Marner, is bound to happen. But that's part of the fun of being a fan of a non-garbage team. This is all new.

With Marner's light-up of the Sabres last night, he's the trending topic currently. Before that it was Nylander who went on his powerplay rampage. And of course, to kick things off, Matthews left a crater where the Canadian Tire Centre once stood. 

Read Article

Sedins at the Forefront of an Inept Canucks Offence, and Hardly to Blame

J.D. Burke
November 04 2016 09:00AM

USATSI_9180506

Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports

The Canucks haven't just come back down to Earth. Losers of seven straight, they've crashed right through to the very core and everyone's feeling the heat.

Neither management nor coaching has been immune. To the surprise of many, neither have the team's best players. In what's become an annual ritual, the Sedins have come under scrutiny for the club's inability to generate offence.

The thing to remember, though, is that we're talking about players entering their late-thirties. They've a role to play in this club's malaise. Nothing that we couldn't have - or rather, shouldn't have - seen coming though.

Read Article

The Roundup

Nation World HQ
November 04 2016 05:00AM

Screen Shot 2016-10-13 at 3.56.15 PM 

 This week, we take a look at Mike Babcock's coaching tactics, Bo Horvat's progress, what's wrong with the Oilers' power play, and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by Violent Gentlemen

Read Article

Beware of What Zone Starts are Telling You, Part I: Coaches' Deployment

Jeremy Davis
November 03 2016 03:02PM

It’s early in the 2016-17 NHL season, but it’s never too early for Canucks fans to start complaining about player deployment! This season has already seen its fair share of head scratching decisions when it comes to who plays when (and with who), and it’s not going to get any easier on Willie Desjardins and his crew if the team keeps on losing.

NHL coaches can’t slip much past the general public these days, what with the ease of access to massive amounts of data, and deployment is no different. One of the most commonly cited events are zone starts, purported to be both an indication of how coaches deploy players and context to explain high or low shot differentials. As it turns out, both of these connections may be greatly exaggerated, meaning these numbers might not be telling you what you think they are.

Read Article

Kris Russell is slowing, and with him the Oilers' second defence pairing

Jonathan Willis
November 03 2016 02:55PM

Kris Russell had a phenomenal debut with the Edmonton Oilers. Playing on his off-side along with Andrej Sekera on the second pairing, Russell’s strong play gave the Oilers two quality defence pairings through the first few games of the season, a luxury the team hasn’t had since Lubomir Visnovsky and Sheldon Souray were haphazardly discarded at the start of the rebuild.

Unfortunately for Edmonton, the honeymoon is now over. Russell’s play has fallen off, and those concerns about the second pairing are once again worth noting.

Read Article