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TRUE GRIT: Who Has the Advantage, Leafs or Bruins?

While visiting NHL.com to fill out my playoff bracket, I stumbled throughout this sensible piece of study created by the all understanding and in no way snake oil promoting analytics associate of the NHL, SAP.

It actually obtained me considering, “Wow. What an incredibly close match-up.”

Then I began considering a bit bit extra, and I can’t assist however assume it undersells what issues most in playoff hockey, and that’s GRIT. Not simply GRIT, however measurement, expertise, management, and the intangibles that take your group from a mere Presidents Trophy winner to a Stanley Cup contender.

Clearly the NHL and SAP had the proper thought by together with faceoffs, however that’s actually simply the tip of the iceberg. Where are the penalties? the fights? the blocked pictures? the hits? These issues shouldn’t be discounted. What about age and the knowledge and expertise that associate with that? What about measurement? One of those groups goes to be pushed round greater than others, and we the followers have the proper to know who. That’s why I’ve created a real story of the tape for the Bruins and the Leafs so that you can analyze beneath…

Your first thought might be, “Wow Jon. You put a lot of time into this. Thank you.”

I’ll reply with “you’re welcome.”

The subsequent factor you’re considering is that once more this seems fairly darn shut. And I’ll agree. These two groups even have the similar common peak. “WOW!” How many groups can say that?

The incontrovertible fact that Bruins have the benefit right here needs to be a bit disheartening to Leafs followers, however that’s why I feel it’s value diving into just a few of those areas in additional element.

It’s essential to notice that goaltenders haven’t been included on this knowledge, as a result of goalies aren’t actually a part of the group.

Penalty Minutes

The Leafs numbers have been so low that I needed to double examine that I didn’t embody uniform numbers by mistake (this was significantly an issue as a result of Polak had 46 penalty minutes.) Only Matt Martin hit the 50 minute barrier this season making the Leafs licensed not powerful. The Bruins had McQuaid, Miller, Chara, Backes, Marchand, and McAvoy throughout 50 penalty minutes a chunk. That’s lots of toughness. Hopefully Matt Martin has been spending his day off in the dojo.

Fighting Majors

With six of the Leafs combating majors belonging to Matt Martin it’s fairly clear the Bruins are as soon as once more the dominate group. Adam McQuaid additionally had six combating majors, however the Bruins have Kevan Miller with four, and 4 extra gamers sitting with 2. Nazem Kadri was the solely different Leaf in addition to Martin with a number of fights.


The Bruins could have seven gamers with over 100 hits of their lineup, however none of them come near Leo Komarov’s 219 hits. Hyman, Martin, Polak, and Zaitsev even have over 100 hits, and Kadri and Hainsey have been fairly shut, but it surely seems like the Bruins are out to interrupt the Leafs.

Blocked Shots

Finally a win for the Leafs. Did Jake Gardiner had greater than 100 blocked pictures? Neither did I. Both Hainsey and Zaitsev have extra blocked pictures than Zdeno Chara, who led the Bruins. And he’s in all probability going to the Hall of Fame!

Faceoff Win%

A guess the legend of Patrice Bergeron needed to finish sooner or later. His 57.2% is not any match for the 57.9% that Tomas Plekanec put up as a Leaf. The incontrovertible fact that just about each Leaf ahead had a proportion over 50 means the Leafs can be controlling each recreation.


Since this was a tie, it’s essential to interrupt it down additional. First, each Zdeno Chara and Brandon Carlo are very tall. That’s actually thrown off the curve for the Bruins. In truth, the Bruins solely have four extra gamers over 6’three. The Leafs solely have four gamers in complete over 6’three, so the benefit nonetheless looks like it belongs to the Bruins, besides they’ve obtained 5 teency tiny dudes 5’10 or smaller. The Leafs solely have two guys proper at 5’10. Now that’s a bonus.


It’s humorous, however the Leafs may not have had a transparent peak benefit, however they actually know tips on how to pack on the muscle. Mitch Marner might be the solely man on the group who must work out extra. The Bruins have Brandon Carlo who’s 6’5, however is just 208 kilos. Geez, Shawn Bradley a lot?


This is a humorous one as a result of there’s lots of center floor right here. You want to have a look at the true veterans over the age of 30 and it’s good to have a look at the gamers who’re actually simply in the playoffs to get expertise, the guys 21 and below.

The Bruins have eight guys over the age of 30. The Leafs solely have seven. Thank God they added Plekanec.

When it involves the youngins, there are six gamers on the Bruins getting their playoff internship, and 5 on the Leafs. This actually is simply too near name.


There is one major issue that none of those numbers have coated off and that’s one easy truth. And that truth is that it’s…


So that’s why we are able to safely predict the Leafs will take it in 4.

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