I have now put together the statistics on A chances, or High-Quality Scoring Chances (HQC), for the Toronto Maple Leafs and today I've put up two posts with HQC breakdowns. This post deals with all HQCs for and against while each TML player was on the ice at Even-Strength (ES). The preceding post has data on HQ shots taken by player and HQ chances against goalies.
While the Leafs slightly outchanced their opposition in overall chances, they trailed 302-237 (-55) when going by just HQC. Looking at just the even-strength data, the margin is narrowed down a little to 213-180 (-33), so this truly is an area that the Leafs need to work on if my count is fairly accurate. It is interesting to note the players whose numbers drop off when we go from looking at overall chances to High-Quality Chances.
With the Leafs and opposition combined, 139 of 393 HQC at ES were converted into goals for a 35.4 % rate.
- Alexei Ponikarovsky seemed like a beast by this metric, up to the trade to Pittsburgh, heading the top of the list among those who got regular playing time.
- Phil Kessel, to no surprise, was the team leader in High-Quality Chances For per 60 minutes among those who finished out the season in the blue & white.
- There were lots of quality chances going either way whenever Matt Stajan was on the ice. His replacement, Tyler Bozak, at least seems to be a bit of an upgrade in this area.
- John Mitchell had the best HQCA/60 among regulars but had an even lower HQCF/60, too, and it wasn't like he had the toughest matchups. Still, the Leafs could stand to have some 3rd-4th liners who can slow things down out there and not get too far behind in the count.
- Viktor Stalberg had a tough rookie year by this measure, the amount of high quality chances allowed on average compared to the rest of the forwards is pretty staggering!
- Jamie "Hard Luck" Lundmark got scored on 7 of 8 HQC against.
- Mike Komisarek just looks better and better the more I dig into this data; amazing, considering the intense amount of dislike I had for him at the start of the season. Granted, he only played a little less than half the season, but the low amount of HQC against per 60 compared to other Leafs' defenders is impressive.
- Dion Phaneuf, on the other hand, had better work on settling things down a bit next season because his high-risk style of play put the Leafs in trouble more than it helped them, especially against the tough competition that he was usually matched up against. He was very fortunate not to have seen his +/- take a beating, indeed only 5 of those 31 HQ chances ended up in the back of the net!
- Francois Beauchemin went up against the toughest competition among all Leafs' defencemen, according to QualComp, and his HQ chance numbers fall in line with what you'd expect of someone facing strong opposition.
- Jeff Finger and Garnet Exelby got destroyed despite facing against the weakest opposition among all Leaf blueliners... strong evidence that neither man was an NHL-calibre defender last season.
Vesa Toskala had remarkably better help from his teammates than either J-S. Giguere or Jonas Gustavsson, at least in even-strength situations anyway.