Well, since we're playing them next, let's discuss those comically disappointing Toronto Maple Leafs. Hockey pundits worldwide (*cough* Zandberg) predicted a noticeable improvement by this year's version, and shocker, they suck suck suck. But I gotta say, to anyone with common sense, wasn't this obvious from the start? To win hockey games, you have to be able to score goals. Not having players who can score goals makes it hard to win hockey games. Let's examine further.
Starting towards the end of last season and through the offseason, the Leafs have traded away Stajan, Ponikarovsky, Hagman, Stempniak, Blake, Stalberg and White (amongst others). Meanwhile, the only "offensive" players they added in return from those many trades are Phaneuf and Versteeg. A huge chunk of their offense gone for a very under-performing return. Numbers, please.
Last year for the Leafs:
Stajan: 16 goals in 55 games, or 0.29 goals per game
Poni: 19 goals in 61 games, or 0.31 GPG
Hagman: 20 goals in 55 games, or 0.36 GPG
Stempniak: 14 goals in 62 games, or 0.23 GPG
Blake: 10 goals in 56 games, or 0.18 GPG
White: 9 goals in 56 games, or 0.16 GPG
Stalberg: 9 goals in 40 games, or 0.23 GPG
If/when all those players were healthy and in the lineup (which I know is not a realistic scenario, but whatevs): that's a total of 1.76 goals per game.
Now what impact have those trades had on this year's lineup?
Versteeg: 2 goals in 14 games, or 0.14 GPG
Phaneuf: 0 goals in 11 games, or 0.00 GPG
So basically, they've traded away 1.76 goals per game for 0.14 goals per game.
Of course, those numbers are very misleading on aggregate because not everyone is in the lineup at the same time, and player roles and icetimes differ depending on who else is available. But in the first 60 games of last season, aka roughly up to when most of these changes were happening, the Leafs were averaging 2.75 goals a game, and since then (i.e. the end of last season combined with this season) they're averaging 2.19 goals a game. And if you don't include out -of-the-blue current phenom UFA pickup Clarke MacArthur, that second number drops to exactly 2.00 goals a game! Seriously... imagine how even MORE awful they would be if MacArthur (I know... who?) wasn't having a shockingly surprising start this season to co-lead the team with 7 goals (including 2 GWG). Wowzers.
Now they're calling up wunderkid Kadri to save the day. Good luck Leafies. The 2014-2024 Boston Bruins love you. The End.