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(NATHAN DENETTE)
(NATHAN DENETTE)

After 20 games: Comparing these Leafs to last year's team Add to ...

In a series I'll try to keep updated every 10 games this season, below is a statistical comparison of the Leafs current season to how they finished last season.

Toronto bottomed out a year ago in 29th place and last in the Eastern Conference with 74 points. The Leafs are currently on pace for 78 this season.

After 20 games, here are the updated figures:

Season

GF/G

GA/G

SF/G

SA/G

SV%

PP%

PK%



2009-10

2.56 (T-25th)

3.21 (29th)

32.6 (5th)

29.8 (T-13th)

.892 (30th)

14% (30th)

74.6% (30th)

2010-11

2.35 (T-26th)

2.65 (11th)

28.2 (26th)

28.0 (4th)

.905 (17th)

16.9% (15th)

75.8% (28th)

The abbreviations are goals for, goals against, shots for, shots against, save percentage, power play and penalty kill.

Over the first quarter of the season, the Leafs are down in goals for, significantly down in goals against and have played in games with few shots on goal for or against. Having near league average goaltending, meanwhile, has to measure as the biggest improvement.

Notebook

- Phil Kessel, who has been in a slump of late with only four points in his last 12 games, was benched briefly in Monday's 4-1 win over the Stars and he clearly wasn't all that happy about it. "What do you think?" Kessel said. "What do you think I think? You know what I know I think. I don't really have to say it, everyone knows."

- Clarke MacArthur said he hasn't been surprised at all at how well linemate Mikhail Grabovski has played, as he recalls having to play against him in the minors. "I remember after the first time I played him [in Hamilton] sitting on the bus on the way home saying 'holy, who is that little guy?'" MacArthur said. "It was his first year there. It was like, 'wow he can play.' Good player. He never got a shot in Montreal, they never gave him any chance there, and he still put up good numbers for playing 10 minutes a game. He's got all the skills."

- Leafs winger Mike Brown wasn't at practice today after taking a puck to the groin yesterday that had him doubled over in pain. The Leafs called up Luca Caputi to take his spot on the fourth line, but coach Ron Wilson believes Brown will be able to play against Buffalo. "He was sore today," Wilson said. "Actually probably could have practiced. I actually deep down think he'll be ready to play tomorrow."

- Colby Armstrong was on the ice before practice and gave his regular update on how he's progressing from his hand injury. He is now able to use a stick and shoot pucks and should be able to return by early December. He said he's looking forward to being part of the team's road trip through Western Canada in mid-December given he's from Saskatoon.

- Jean-Sebastien Giguere, meanwhile, could be ready by as early as next Tuesday against the Lightning. He was on the ice taking shots today and working with goalie coach Francois Allaire and will travel with the team (but not play) on its road trip this weekend. (As expected, Jonas Gustavsson will get starts in both back-to-back games.)

Below is the full audio of what Wilson had to say today. The Leafs are boarding a bus to Buffalo at 8 p.m. tonight and will skate there at 11:30 tomorrow morning in preparation for playing the Sabres that night. Then it's off to Ottawa for Saturday's game.

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Follow on Twitter: @mirtle

 

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