A look at the slumping Toronto Maple Leafs, Alexander Steen, Scott Gomez, Fantasy tips and more in Scott Cullen’s Statistically Speaking. Nike Epic React Flyknit Noir . The world is crashing down around the Toronto Maple Leafs, and new head coach Peter Horachek, as they have managed all of two goals during a five-game losing skid. It’s one thing to be losing – the Leafs were already doing that – but coming up empty, with no offence to speak of, night after night, is quickly wearing thin on a fanbase that was ready, maybe even hopeful, for a new-coach bounce. Even if the early schedule has been more than a little daunting – the trip through California then St. Louis was going to be tough no matter who was behind the bench – there is no hiding from the fact that the Leafs’ results under Horachek have been poor, but taking a deeper look at the numbers, there is also reason to believe they are not the worst team in the history of hockey. Setting a low bar, I know. First, let’s compare the overall numbers under the last three Maple Leafs coaches: Ron Wilson, Randy Carlyle and Peter Horachek. COMPARING LEAFS LAST THREE COACHES COACH GP G/60 GA/60 SH% SV% Ron Wilson 310 2.7 3.1 9.0% .896 Randy Carlyle 188 2.8 3.0 10.3% .912 Peter Horachek 7 1.3 3.4 4.5% .879 (G/60 - Goals/60 minutes; GA/60 - Goals Against/60 minutes) What this shows is a complete aberration in the shooting and save percentages under Horachek. Unless you want to take the position that the new coach is driving percentages in such a way that the Maple Leafs suddenly have the worst shooters and worst goaltending in the league, after spending the past five years among the top shooters and riding strong goaltending for the past couple seasons, the most reasonable explanation is that the Maple Leafs’ current slump is a percentage-driven fluke. It doesn’t make it any more pleasant to experience, but it’s not as bad as it seems. The Leafs have had percentage-fueled streaks in the past. Remember the 10-1-1 stretch that ended way back in mid-December? It was no more reflective of the Maple Leafs’ true talent than this current slump would be representative of the team’s true talent. If the underlying numbers (shot attempts, scoring chances etc.) don’t change, there’s not much reason to expect sustainable change when it comes to goals. Next, here is a comparison of the Maple Leafs’ play during 5-on-5 situations. This is where we can see that Horachek has improved the Leafs’ puck possession and the only thing that seems out of whack is the percentage of goals-for, which goes right back to crashing shooting and save percentages. 5-on-5 COMPARISON COACH CF/60 CA/60 CF% SC% GF% Ron Wilson 58.4 58.1 50.1% 50.2% 48.3% Randy Carlyle 50.3 64.2 43.9% 44.2% 48.1% Peter Horachek 54.8 56.0 49.4% 49.5% 23.8% (CF/60 - Corsi For/60 minutes; CA/60 - Corsi Against/60 minutes; CF% - Corsi For%; SC% - Scoring Chance%; GF% - Goals For%) (Corsi = shot attempts) The fascinating part in all this is that Toronto’s underlying possession numbers have improved under Horachek and should provide reason for optimism. Admittedly, when a team scores two goals in five games, trying to be optimistic requires searching for a faint silver lining on enormous dark clouds, but the point of this is to understand that percentages tend to fluctuate a whole lot more than shot attempts. Seven games isn’t enough to declare that Horachek has forever improved Toronto’s puck possession, but it appears that they are headed in the right direction. Now the Leafs just need to get back to finishing opportunities like they did in the past because there isn’t any reason to justify shooting 1.5%, as they have over the past five games. Even as percentage variance goes, thats a remarkably bad run. This isn’t to say that everything is fine with the Maple Leafs or that they should remain content with improved underlying numbers, because even with the improvement, they are a below average team but, at the very least, try not to be blinded by short-term percentage variance that simply can’t continue. HEROES Alexander Steen – The high-end two-way performer for St. Louis, and former Maple Leaf, is riding a 10-game point streak after getting a couple of assists in a 3-1 win over Colorado. During that 10-game streak, Steen has recorded 18 points (7 G, 11 A). Scott Gomez – The Devils centre has been an unlikely source of offence, but he registered a couple of assists in a 5-2 win at San Jose, giving him nine points (2 G, 7 A) in his past eight games. James Wisniewski - The Blue Jackets defenceman had a goal and two assists in a 3-1 win at Minnesota. He has seven points (3 G, 4 A) in the past nine games and has the best possession stats (48.0% Corsi, +1.2% Relative Corsi) of Columbus’ regular blueliners. ZEROES Sean Couturier & Matt Read – Plus-minus doesn’t hold a lot of analytical weight, but these two Flyers forwards were both minus-5, with possession under one-third (33.3% and 31.8%, respectively), in Monday’s 7-4 loss to the Islanders. Tyler Bozak & James van Riemsdyk – By the same token, this pair of Maple Leafs forwards each took a minus-4 in a 4-1 loss to Carolina. Sometimes you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time and, sometimes, being in the wrong place is what leads to being minus-4. Jonathan Bernier – Toronto’s goaltender surrendered three goals on 13 shots, getting pulled 42 seconds into the second period, against Carolina. In seven games this month, Bernier has an .877 save percentage, his worst save percentage in a month for which he’s played at least five games. LINEUP NEED TO KNOW Mark Fraser – The Devils defenceman played a season-high 22:23 at San Jose, his first time playing more than 19 minutes in a game in seven games since his return. SHORT SHIFTS Flyers RW Jakub Voracek had a pair of assists in Monday’s 7-4 loss to the Islander, pushing his league-leading point total to 55 (17 G, 38 A) in 47 games…Islanders LW Nikolay Kulemin scored a pair of goals and added an assist in a 7-4 win over Philadelphia, and has six points (5 G, 1 A) in the past five games…Islanders C John Tavares had a goal and an assist, giving him 19 points (9 G, 10 A) in the past 14 games…Hurricanes C Eric Staal scored a pair of goals in a 4-1 win at Toronto; he has 10 points (8 G, 2 A) in the past dozen games…Blue Jackets LW Scott Hartnell recorded a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win at Minnesota, giving him nine points (2 G, 7 A) in the past eight games…Blues LW Jaden Schwartz picked up a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win against Colorado, giving him 14 points (7 G, 7 A) in his past 11 games…Islanders D Johnny Boychuk (2 A) and Nick Leddy (1 G, 1 A) each had two points and were both on the ice for four even-strength goals for (and none against) in the win over Philadelphia…Devils RW Jordin Tootoo and C Tim Sestito had strong possession games (14 shot attempts for, 3 against, 82.4%) in New Jersey’s 5-2 win at San Jose… Flames G Joni Ortio made 33 saves, on 34 shots, in a 2-1 overtime win at Los Angeles…Hurricanes G Anton Khudobin stopped 34 of 35 shots in a 4-1 win at Toronto…Canucks G Ryan Miller had 23 saves on 24 shots in a 2-1 win at Florida…Blue Jackets G Sergei Bobrovsky turned aside 25 of 26 shots in a 3-1 win at Minnesota…Flyers G Robb Zepp was pulled after allowing four goals on 20 shots at the Islanders. FANTASY FOCUS Some players to consider for your lineup - digging extra deep today: Dale Weise – It’s fine that he has four points (2 G, 2 A) in the past seven games, but interest in Weise is more due to his taking regular turns on Montreal’s top line with Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty. Kevin Klein – Nothing on the power play for this Rangers defenceman, but Klein’s 17 even-strength points ranks 18th in the league among defencemen, ahead of Kevin Shattenkirk, Mark Streit, Ryan Suter and others. Kyle Quincey – The Detroit defenceman had seven points in 38 games to start the season, and now has five points (1 G, 4 A) in the past four games. Like Klein, no power play points on the season for Quincey. Ales Hemsky – He got off to a brutal start for the Stars this year, but does have 10 points (5 G, 5 A) in the past 14 games. Much of the data included comes from www.war-on-ice.com, www.puckalytics.com, www.hockeystats.ca and www.naturalstattrick.com Scott Cullen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Air Max 2019 Pas Cher . Here at TSN.ca we will take a look back at the season by bringing together a panel of experts to help pick the best 50 players of the season. Air Max 270 Homme Noir . Ribery terrorized the Schalke defence throughout and put the home side ahead in the 36th minute when he chipped the goalkeeper before stroking the ball into the empty net. The French winger struck again after the interval, combining with Thomas Mueller on the left before firing a deflected shot beyond the helpless Timo Hildebrand in the 55th, as Bayern bounced back from Wednesdays 1-0 loss at FC Basel in the Champions League. http://www.airmaxpaschere.fr/ .com) - The Oakland Athletics needed to rely on a lot of young pitchers to win an American League West title this season.(SportsNetwork.com) - After splitting the first two games of a four-game road trip, the Edmonton Oilers have to face a Detroit Red Wings club they havent defeated in regulation since 2009. Edmonton will try to snap a five-game skid against Detroit when the clubs collide at Joe Louis Arena on Friday. The Red Wings have lost two straight and four of their last five games, putting them two points back of the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Oilers are coming off a heartbreaking 6-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday despite the game being tied going into the third period. David Perron and Mark Fraser lit the lamp for the Oilers, who had won three of four going in. Ben Scrivens took the loss, allowing all six goals on 37 shots. "I dont care how good they are," said Oilers coach Dallas Eakins. "We were able to play with them for two periods. We should be able to do it for 20 more minutes. Weve got to be stronger on pucks against stronger forechecking teams like this." Perron has two goals and two assists over a four-game point streak, while Fraser scored his first goal in 111 games. His last tally came on March 2, 2010. Taylor Hall, meanwhile, had an assist to give him six points in his previous five games. The Oilers could go back to Viktor Fasth in net tonight. He made his Oilers debut on Tuesday in a shootout win over the Minnesota Wild. He is 1-1-0 with a 3. Air Max 97 Silver Bullet Femme. 61 GAA in two previous games versus the Red Wings. In the last meeting between the teams on Nov. 2, Detroit picked up a 5-0 road win over Edmonton to extend its series winning streak to five straight games. The Red Wings are 12-0-2 in their past 14 versus the Oilers overall. Detroit was bested 4-1 by the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday, getting a goal from Danny DeKeyser. Jimmy Howard was a scratch due to the flu, with Petr Mrazek making 33 saves in his first start since Jan. 12. "Its a disappointing loss, but weve got to regroup and get back at it," Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock said. "Theres no time to feel sorry for ourselves." The Red Wings are dealing with a long list of injured players, one that includes Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Daniel Cleary and Darren Helm. Tomas Jurco recently joined that list due to a fractured rib suffered on Tuesday. Detroit has already lost 294 man games this season and prospect Teemu Pulkkinen could make his NHL debut tonight in place of Jurco. The 22-year-old has 26 points and 51 points in 60 games in the American Hockey League this season. He will be the ninth player to make his NHL debut for the Red Wings in the past 14 months. The good news is that Howard has recovered to start tonight and is 9-1-2 with a 1.96 goals against average in his career versus the Oilers. ' ' '