The 2011-12 NHL season has been quite the ride. While it was nowhere close to a perfect season, there were both the good and the bad points to highlight from their play.
Starting with the good points first, the Leafs definitely have some of the best power players in the whole league. Topping the statistics is Phil Kessel and his ability to score of points. Kessel scored 82 points played in 82 games. Certainly, he is one of the best players not only in the team, but in the entire league as well. Fans that bought Leafs tickets expected him to hit more than 35 goals in each year. Another outstanding player this season was Joffrey Lupul, who was able to play on par with Kessel. Lupul managed to produce 67 points and played in 66 games, setting his pace equal to Kessel’s one point per game record. Unfortunately, Lupul was injured in March and had to sit out for the remaining season. His style of play really made games exciting to see live. A third hero comes in the name of Jake Gardiner. Considered a rookie d-man in the NHL this season, he scored a pleasing 30 points within 75 games. This shows that Gardiner poses bright promise in his future career. Hopefully he will become someone I look forward to seeing when using my Leaf tickets.
Now, let’s talk about the bad points of this teams season. First, fans refused to buy Leaf tickets because of the poor defense/goaltending, giving away points easily, and awful coverage of the front net. They seem to blame James Remier and Jonas Gustaysson because they didn’t meet their expectations and statistically charted way below average for this season. They scored poorly both in save percentage and GAA. This season, they had the third worst in the entire league in terms of penalty kill (PK) with a 77.3% standing. The team was even included in the bottom five this season, making it their sixth consecutive year in this position. It is important to be consistent when a team’s PK continues to fall behind in statistics and points overall.
Overall, it was a competitive year, but the team may soon start to lose their loyal fans’ interest. It has been song long since they won a title that the players and coaching staff can feel pressure mounting. In fact, their coach even published a public apology in the major newspapers, using his own words in writing. He apologized for the poor performance the team has been showcasing on ice for how many years now, and for falling behind the expectations of their beloved fans. However, as with any sport, nothing is permanent. NHL is a dynamic platform, and there is yet more hope to gain than to lose.