After jumping out to an impressive 6-1 start, the Maple Leafs have dropped two straight to fall back to 6-3. During their improbable first 7 games they were winning despite being heavily out-shot and out-chanced and it appears that their shot differential is starting to catch up with them.
Toronto is averaging 27.2 shots on net while allowing an average of 35.6, which gives them a shot differential of -8.4 per game. -8.4 is the worst shot differential in the entire league. To put things in perspective, the top 5 teams in the league in terms of points (not including TOR) are the Sharks, Penguins, Avalanche, Red Wings and Kings and they are averaging a shot differential of +3.7. The worst 5 teams in the league in points are the Devils, Rangers, Blue Jackets, Sabres and Flyers and they are averaging a shot differential of -3.2 per game. It’s shocking that Toronto has managed to win 6 games despite being so heavily out-shot but with their recent losses to the Hurricanes and Blackhawks it’s become quite clear that the Leafs have to do something to stop this trend.
The Maple Leaf blueline is below average in terms of the number of shots they’re throwing at the net. Toronto has just 1 blueliner that’s in the Top 40 in the league amoung defenceman in shots on net – Cody Franson with 15. Nazem Kadri is one of the Leaf forwards whose shots on goal numbers are not where we’d expect them to be. Kadri has fired just 14 pucks on net through 9 games, which is an average of 1.6 (well below his average of 2.2 last season).
Toronto will look to reverse the trend and get back to their winning ways when they host the Anaheim Ducks at the ACC on Tuesday night.
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