Iso Report: Phil Kessel

Rick Madonik, Toronto Star

Subject: Phil Kessel

Date: February 6th, 2012 (Oilers @ Leafs)

Box Score: The Leafs outscored the Oilers in Toronto, doubling up Edmonton for a 6-3 victory.

Stat Pack: 2G, 1A, 3PTS, +4, 0 PIM, 0:00 PP TOI, 0:00 SH TOI, 18:44 TOI

Score Sheet: Kessel scored two goals and one assist in this game.  His assist came as he hurried into the zone and forced a turnover, leading to a goal by MacArthur.  His first goal came after converting a pass from Matthew Lombardi that found Kessel all along at the side of the net.  His second goal was scored into an empty net.

The Positives:

  • Great speed
  • Good vision in own zone
  • Good anticipation on plays
  • Great job of moving feet, getting himself into quiet areas of ice

The Negatives:

  • Occasionally made one too many moves high inside own zone
  • Played a little too high in zone during opening period (adjusted as game went on)
  • Appeared to be forcing plays early (adjusted as game went on)

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Iso Report: Luke Schenn

Graig Abel, NHLI via Getty Images

Subject: Luke Schenn

       Date: February 1st, 2012 (Penguins @ Leafs)

Box Score: The Maple Leafs were able to get a small measure of revenge on the Penguins, shutting them out 1-0 on  goal by Clarke MacArthur late in the third period.

Stat Pack: 0G, 0A, 0PTS, +1, 0PIM, 0:00 PP TOI, 0:08 SH TOI, 14:00 TOI

Score Sheet: Schenn was on the ice for the Leafs lone goal of the night, scored by Clarke MacArthur.  He was on his way to the bench for a change, but was credited with a plus.

The Positives:

  • Decent job of anchoring to slot
  • Good job using size to limit Evgeni Malkin
  • Good job of play recognition on the rush
  • Good job getting shots through from point

The Negatives:

  • Overcommitted on occasion in slot area
  • Took himself out of play to make physical play
  • Bad pinch in offensive zone nearly led to scoring chance
  • Bad clearing on penalty kill

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Iso Report: Nikolai Kulemin

Bruce Bennett, Getty Images North America

Subject: Nikolai Kulemin

Date: January 31st, 2012 (Leafs @ Penguins)

Box Score: In their first game following the All Star break, the Maple Leafs built a 4-1 lead over the Penguins, but were unable to hold on, as the Penguins rallied back to top the buds 5-4 in a shootout.

Stat Pack:  0G, 2A, 2Pts, +1, 0PIM, 15:41 TOI, 0:00 PP TOI, 1:24 SH TOI.

Score Sheet: Kulemin was on the ice for the first goal, assisting on Mikhail Grabovski’s opening goal of the night.  He was also instrumental in the Leafs fourth goal of the night, picking up an assist.

The Positives:

  • Good speed
  • Hard working
  • Active stick
  • Used size to create chances and force turnovers
  • Engaged in play
  • Went to net and dirty areas

The Negatives:

  • Missed goal opportunity in overtime
  • Committed too low in defensive zone on first goal against
  • Failed to get back to proper block position on said goal

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Introducing Iso Reports

Mike Cassese REUTERS

Leafs Nation Live is pleased to announce a brand new feature to the blog, debuting with the Maple Leafs first post all star break game January 29th, against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Iso Reports will be a new way to blog the game for Leafs Nation Live!

In Iso Reports, Leafs Nation Live will select a player from the Toronto Maple Leafs, or an in-depth look at two players matched up against each other, and give you all the information you need to know about their performance that night.

Leafs Nation Live will spend the entire game focusing in on that one specific player, and will then release a report after the game.  The report will feature an easy to read design that will include a stats line, strengths and weaknesses presented in bullet point form, and then an in-depth look at how the player performed on this particular night.

Of course, eventually players will repeat, and therefore the first Iso Report is merely the beginning.  Once an Iso Report is completed, it will be tagged and archived, so that if a player is featured in another Iso Report, fans will have easy access to previous reports, allowing them to see progression or regression.

After posing the question to Twitter followers, we had a few real good answers as to who you wanted us to Iso Report first.  Here is the schedule for the first set of Iso Reports.

Tuesday, January 31st (against Penguins): Nikolai Kulemin

Wednesday, February 1st (against Penguins): Luke Schenn

Saturday, February 4th (against Senators): Phil Kessel

Monday, February 6th (against Oilers): Mikhail Grabovski

Tuesday, February 7th (against Jets): Dion Phaneuf

Thursday, February 9th (against Flyers): Joffrey Lupul

Saturday, February 11th (Against Canadiens): Carl Gunnarsson

So there you have it!  The first seven players that will be featured in our Iso Reports, many of them chosen by you, fans of the blog!


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Leafs Look At Avoid Nightmare In Buffalo On Friday The 13th

Mike Cassese, REUTERS

The Toronto Maple Leafs, riding a perfect 4-0 record in the calendar year of 2012, will be looking to continue their winning ways tonight against the Sabres.  It won’t be easy, however, as the travels down the QEW haven’t been kind to the blue and white historically.

The Storyline

As mentioned, the Leafs are undefeated in the first four games of the new year, a run that includes a big 2-0 win over these same Sabres earlier this week.

A team that polarized pundits in the pre season prediction department, the Leafs currently sit seventh in the Eastern Conference standings with 49 points.  A win tonight could move them up to sixth.  In their last ten games, the Maple Leafs are 6-2-2.

Their record on the road, however, is 10-10-1, a stat that is even more troubling when you consider the struggles they’ve had in Buffalo throughout the years. Continue reading

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Leafs Goaltending Situation Comes Down To One Thing: Wins

Mike Cassese, REUTERS

First, let’s just get this out in the open.  I am a fan of James Reimer.  A pretty big fan, actually.

I don’t own his jersey, and he isn’t my twitter picture, or anything like that.  But like all of Leafs Nation I too was mesmerized by Reimer, swept up in the fanfare that was the second half of last season, when he exploded onto the scene and nearly lead the Maple Leafs to a post season birth.

Reimer certainly stamped his place in the hearts of Leafs fans everywhere, and his first impression was good enough to garner him a contract extension from Leafs management.  They also dubbed him the starting goalie in the summer, before a second of training camp had been played.

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Kulemin Kicks Off Second Half In Style, Leafs Top Sabres

REUTERS/Mike Cassese

Just like the turning of the calendar to a new year, the second half of the NHL season gives players a chance to continue to build on their strong starts, or in some cases, forget the first half entirely and try to salvage what season is left.

Nikolai Kulemin would certainly fall into the latter, and last night he seemed more than ready to turn the page on the opening half of the NHL schedule, and look forward to brighter things as the season winds into the back half.

After scoring 30 goals and 57 points last season in a breakout campaign, Kulemin has struggled mightily this year to find the scoresheet, and any sort of consistent play.  However, 2012 has been kind to the Russian forward, at least early on.  Kulemin has three points in his last three games, and if last night’s game against the rival Sabres was any indication, he could be ready to end the NHL season on a high note.


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