The Leafs should put in a waiver claim on Mark Barberio

Jeff Veillette
February 01 2017 11:18AM

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Photo Credit: Charles Leclaire/USA TODAY SPORTS

The Montreal Canadiens, archrivals of the Toronto Maple Leafs and leaders of the Atlantic Division, have an abundance of defencemen and players returning to their lineup. As such, today was a tough decision day for them, and their first move as such has been to place Mark Barberio on waivers.

In this case, there is absolutely no reason why the Leafs shouldn't put a claim in.

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The 3 factors affecting a Kris Versteeg extension

Pat Steinberg
January 31 2017 10:30PM

I think most of us can agree the Calgary Flames would be well served to sign Kris Versteeg to a contract extension. With 21 points in 40 games, Versteeg has given the Flames great value on the one year, $950,000 contract he signed just before the start of the season. But while it seems simple enough to sign Versteeg to a new deal, there are a few important wrinkles to consider.

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NHLN Power Rankings: Jan. 31, 2017

Scott Maxwell
January 31 2017 04:11PM

It's time for your weekly dose of the NHL Numbers power rankings. I'll look at the five best and worst NHL teams thus far in the season, as well as the three best and worst players in the last week.

Note: All use of Corsi For and Expected Goals For are Score and Venue Adjusted, and at even strength. All stats come from Corsica Hockey, and NHL.com (don't worry, it's only the standings).

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Examining the Neutral Zone play of the Leafs' defence corps

DragLikePull
January 31 2017 11:36AM

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Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY SPORTS

Many of us who write about hockey from a statistical standpoint are fond of using Corsi, otherwise known as shot attempt ratio, to describe the general flow of play when various players or teams are on the ice.  The idea is that a team with a ratio above 50% is doing well at controlling the game, while a team below that mark is getting outplayed.  While Corsi is a good high-level indicator, especially at the team level, it does have problems in terms of evaluating individual players.  The biggest problem is that since Corsi takes account of all shot attempts while a player is on the ice, we don't have any indication of how much credit or blame to assign to each player.

The best way to tackle that problem is to build more granular data sets.  One of the most promising ways of determining individual player impacts is by measuring their performance in the neutral zone.  Neutral zone play has strong correlations to both shot attempts for and shot attempts against, which makes it a good way to assess some of the things individual players are doing well (or poorly) in the battle to outshoot your opponent. 

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Andrej Sekera, No. 1 Defenceman

Jonathan Willis
January 31 2017 11:15AM

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The Edmonton Oilers have taken a defence-by-committee approach this season. Oscar Klefbom and Kris Russell both play a lot, just under 22 minutes per game. Adam Larsson’s numbers are skewed a little by not taking on any kind of offensive role, but he too is over the 20-minute mark on average.

At the top of the depth chart is Andrej Sekera. The best defenceman to enter unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2015, Sekera has emerged as an all-situations workhorse for the Oilers and their top overall blueliner.

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