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October 23, 2019

In The 4 – 2 Loss To The Bruins On Tuesday This Week, The Leafs Could Be Likened To A Dzone Turnover Machine. 27 Turnovers When 5 On 5 After 100% Puck Possession In The Dzone (That Is Possession Even For An Instant) Are Way Too Many For A Team That Wants To Win The Cup. Under 10 Dzone Turnovers In A Game Against A Top Team Could Be An Acceptable Result To Expect A Win. Against Lesser Teams Our Powerful Offence Will Often Overcome Our Rather Soft Dzone Defence, And I Don’t Just Mean Our Defencemen.

The Bruins Forechecking Puck Win Success Ratio Was A Very Respectable 45% On The Forechecking Opportunities They Had With About 28 Puck Wins On Around 62 Forechecking Opportunities. On The Positive Side, 34 Bruins Forechecking Opportunities Were Unsuccessful. But The Leafs Had 27 Turnovers In Their Dzone, Not All Occasioned By The Bruins Tenacious Forechecking. Some Were Just Give Aways. There Were 19 Turnovers By Defencemen And 8 By Forwards. The Turnover Numbers Decreased After The First Period When The Tactics Changed Somewhat To ‘Get It Out’ And Stretch Breakouts.

Why So Many Turnovers? Give The Bruins Credit For Having More Players Who Have The Skill, Tenacity And Compete Level To Win Puck Battles In The Dzone In The Corners And At The ½ Wall. Yes, This Heavy Lifting Skill Is Often Forgotten In All The Speed, Finesse, Passing And Shooting That Gets Fans Cheering. We Need Both And If It Takes Trades To Get The “Right” Players To Play The Right Way So Be It.

An Excuse Could Be Back-To Back Games. Time Will Tell.

Here’s The Dzone Turnover Scorecard By Player In The 4- 2 Loss On Tuesday. Look Whose Names Are Not There And Consider Too Who Had More Minutes To Be Fair:

Muzzin – 7Kerfoot – 2
Hutchinson – 5  Mikheyev – 1
Gravel – 4Timashov – 1
Barrie – 2Kapanen – 1
Holl – 1Nylander – 1
Gauthier – 1
Matthews- 1

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