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The Leafs' Penalty-Taking Habits at the Halfway-ish Mark • The Faceoff Circle
Back in October, I wrote about the Toronto Maple Leafs’ habits in the penalty box. Okay, not in the actual penalty box itself, but how they get themselves involved with it. How they draw penalties, and how they take them. After all, there are a decent amount of goals scored in this ol’ National Hockey League that come from special teams; about 17-18% of Toronto’s goals for and against are courtesy the powerplay and penalty kill, respectively. With that in mind, let’s catch up some stuff. Firstly, let’s forget what I said about the Leafs being dominant at even strength. That was an early season fad that was too fun to enjoy. Toronto plays safe hockey now, usually gets outshot and outchanced, but gets to brag about line matchups and working really hard. I guess that makes all of this more important now, though; if they’re playing 5-on-5 to survive, the PP and PK is where they have to thrive. Have they thrived compared to last year? Year PP% PK% PP xGF60 PK xGA60 2017/18 20.9% (11th) 84.0% (5th) 11.12 (1st) 7.52 (16th) 2016/17 23.8% (2nd) 82.5% (10th) 8.84 (1st) 7.72 (27th) Yes and no. Toronto seems to have taken ...