The Toronto Maple Leafs are slowly but surely creating hope amongst Leafs Nation that a 7-yr itch fueled by non-playoffs in the Big Smoke, might finally be coming to an end.
Despite a loss last night in Philly, the Leafs still sit in 8th place and appear headed to the post season thanks in part to many factors. Perhaps most importantly, is the fact that they have not allowed a PP goal against since the start of the new year. After killing off another 4 last night, the Leafs have killed off 28 straight on the power play. 29 straight more successful kills and Toronto will have reached 80% on the PK, a minimum requirement for successful teams.
If we take a look inside the breakdown of what the difference has been, you can see that the Leafs have cut down significantly on the amount of times they are shorthanded and also the number of shots they have given up on the power plays.
Maple Leafs Penalty Kill, Before/Since Jan 1st
. OCT-DEC JAN-PRES.
PK/Game . 3.89 1.50
Shots Allowed/GM. 5.63 2.00
PK% . 72.3 100.0
Gms with 0 PP against 0 4
Overall this run has still left them near the bottom of the league in total PK pct, but that number is merely a reflection of just how bad the Leafs have been on the PK during the first couple months. If the Buds are to get in the playoffs and attempt to end the longest current cup drought, their much improved PK will be a huge factor!
Till next time