Toronto Maple Leafs Weekly Report: Trending in the Right Direction

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4-0 Win over the Buffalo Sabres

Oct 28, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Matt Frattin (39) checks Buffalo Sabres forward Sam Reinhart (23) during the second period at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

This game was an advanced stats masterpiece for the Leafs. Not only did they tie the franchise record for the fewest shots allowed in a game, a record set back in 2002, but they excelled in many advanced stats categories. The Leafs PDO (which looks at the combined save percentage and shot percentage in a game) was 110.81 (generally it should be over 100), their Corsi percentage (plus/minus amount of shots directed at a net while at even strength-blocked shots, shots high and wide, shots that hit, shots that get tipped, etc.) was 67%, while their Fenwinck percentage (almost the exact same as Corsi, but it doesn’t count blocked shots) was at 73%.

Oct 28, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Roman Polak (46) carries the puck past Buffalo Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons (28) at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Buffalo 4-0. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

What does this mean? The Sabres are not a great team. For them to allow the Leafs to dominate them in every advanced stats when Toronto have struggled with advanced stats for years is not a good thing. It was the first game with a new top line featuring Nazem Kadri, Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul, with a second line of Tyler Bozak, James van Riemsdyk and David Clarkson. The obvious concern was what would happen with JVR and Bozak away from Kessel, but it was time to get Kadri to play with him. Kadri has more skill than Bozak, which will help Kessel’s offensive numbers. Michal Neuvirth was pretty good through the first two periods, but eventually the flurry of shots got to him in the third period.

For many it was a game that the Leafs could not afford to lose and it was a good time to try out some new line configurations before a back-to-back with Columbus and Chicago

Quick Game Notes

Jake Gardiner led the Leafs with 23:25 minutes.

Kessel, Morgan Rielly and Bozak led the Leafs with two points.

Roman Polak and Mike Santorelli led the Leafs with four hits. Polak also blocked four shots.