Maple Leafs shooting by the numbers

It’s 34 games into the Leafs season. Well actually it’s 35 games in, because the Leafs played the Coyotes after I wrote this, and but for the purpose of what you are about to read, 34 games have been played. With that comes some pretty established trends in regards to how things are going for the Leafs this season.
When it comes to how the Leafs have been shooting this year, they’ve been sitting at 10%, combined with their team save percentage, they have a PDO of 102.2. When it comes to how they’ve been scoring, they’ve been scoring slightly above expected. The Leafs has a G/60 of 3.35, and a xG/60 of 3.27, so they are outscoring what was expected.
Here’s the breakdown of how the individual Leaf shooters have been performing by scoring and shot metrics.
Player
Position
GP
TOI/GP
Goals/60
ixG/60
Goals vs. Expected/60
Ilya Mikheyev
R
5
15.91
3.02
1.20
1.82
Auston Matthews
C
31
20.68
2.15
1.47
0.68
Jason Spezza
C
30
11.76
1.19
0.71
0.48
William Nylander
R
34
18.86
1.50
1.16
0.34
TJ Brodie
D
34
20.55
0.26
0.09
0.17
Justin Holl
D
28
20.57
0.10
0.07
0.03
Morgan Rielly
D
34
23.98
0.29
0.28
0.01
Alexander Kerfoot
C
34
15.56
0.68
0.68
0.00
Ondrej Kase
R
29
14.31
1.16
1.17
-0.01
Travis Dermott
D
23
14.53
0.18
0.19
-0.01
David Kampf
C
34
14.73
0.48
0.52
-0.04
Jake Muzzin
D
33
21.43
0.08
0.13
-0.05
John Tavares
C
33
18.52
1.37
1.45
-0.08
Mitchell Marner
R
26
20.78
0.67
0.80
-0.13
Kyle Clifford
L
8
8.31
0.00
0.18
-0.18
Timothy Liljegren
D
19
15.99
0.00
0.19
-0.19
Rasmus Sandin
D
29
16.27
0.00
0.20
-0.20
Pierre Engvall
L
32
13.01
0.58
0.79
-0.21
Michael Bunting
L
34
15.05
0.82
1.06
-0.24
Wayne Simmonds
R
33
9.97
0.73
1.04
-0.31
Nick Ritchie
L
32
12.08
0.31
0.88
-0.57
When it comes to outscoring what is expected of them, it’s probably no surprise that Ilya “4 goals in 5 games” Mikheyev is leading the pack. It’s also not much of a surprise that players like Matthews and Nylander are also outperforming their expected numbers, and Brodie, well, the bar was set pretty low for him and his recent goal scoring hot streak would absolutely throw his numbers into a flux.
On the other side of things, Tavares has had some modest struggles, but that’s nothing compared to the incredibly rough year that Nick Ritchie has been facing, although when you look at Bunting, Simmonds, and Ritchie all being at the bottom of the list, it’s important to note that net front opportunities are going to have a significantly higher expected goal total.
When it comes to shooting frequency, one of the biggest surprises again has to be Ilya Mikheyev. Mikheyev seems determined to establish that he has an offensive side to his game, and he’s clearly been shooting a lot more.
Before looking at the table, here’s the breakdown of what the average shots/60 are for the Leafs and by position on the Leafs:
Average Shots per 60: 6.99
Forwards Average Shots per 60: 8.80
Defense Average Shots per 60: 3.36
Player
Position
GP
TOI/GP
Shots/60
iCF/60
Shots on net %
Ilya Mikheyev
R
5
15.91
14.33
16.59
86.38
Auston Matthews
C
31
20.68
12.91
22.74
56.77
Ondrej Kase
R
29
14.31
11.57
18.51
62.51
William Nylander
R
34
18.86
11.04
18.72
58.97
John Tavares
C
33
18.52
10.11
16.79
60.21
Pierre Engvall
L
32
13.01
9.23
15.86
58.20
Wayne Simmonds
R
33
9.97
9.12
13.31
68.52
Michael Bunting
L
34
15.05
7.97
14.19
56.17
Jason Spezza
C
30
11.76
7.83
15.82
49.49
Nick Ritchie
L
32
12.08
7.45
12.58
59.22
Mitchell Marner
R
26
20.78
6.99
15.21
45.96
Morgan Rielly
D
34
23.98
6.55
11.11
58.96
Alexander Kerfoot
C
34
15.56
5.90
9.53
61.91
David Kampf
C
34
14.73
4.91
8.27
59.37
Timothy Liljegren
D
19
15.99
4.74
10.27
46.15
Jake Muzzin
D
33
21.43
3.48
8.83
39.41
Travis Dermott
D
23
14.53
3.23
7.00
46.14
Rasmus Sandin
D
29
16.27
3.05
9.41
32.41
Kyle Clifford
L
8
8.31
2.71
7.22
37.53
Justin Holl
D
28
20.57
1.88
4.06
46.31
TJ Brodie
D
34
20.55
1.72
5.15
33.40
So Mitch Marner is the Leafs average, but he’s been shooting less than other Leafs forwards. N …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

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One of the biggest surprises early on in the season was the emergence of the shutdown line of Pierre Engvall, David Kämpf, and Ondřej Kaše, which has handled tough minutes and a lot of defensive zone starts while having a 53.15% CF% and a 55.85% xGF%. Sheldon Keefe has been trying to find a third line that is capable of taking some of the tough minutes for the Leafs since taking over as head coach, and while his experiments to get there were a frustrating process, he accidentally stumbled upon it to start the season.
I say accidentally because if not for Ilya Mikheyev’s injury in the preseason, there’s a good chance Engvall might not have even been on the team, never mind playing on the third line for the Leafs in that role. People see him as the most expendable of the three on this line, but ever since that line has been apart, it hasn’t been as smooth sailing for the line.
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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

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In speaking with the media at the end of the 2021 season, general manager Ross Atkins admitted the front office viewed Pearson as more of an “extended outing arm” heading into …

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Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation

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While teammates Jordan Romano and Tim Mayza – later joined by Adam Cimber and Trevor Richards as well – received most of the attention for their impressive performances, Phelps was also someone who stood out amongst the group last season. The unfortunate part for him, however, is that the 35-year-old couldn’t stay healthy.
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Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation

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We wanted to start off on a positive note, and so despite still having a couple weeks left to change our mind, here are our favourite Leafs moments of 2021.
Nick Barden
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Joseph Zita
Despite how the season ended and into the 2021 playoffs, Jack Campbell breaking the record for the most wins to start a season was definitely something awesome to watch.
Michael Mazzei
When they signed Michael Bunting to a team-friendly contract
Roxanne Khasow
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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

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This stretch of games marked the Growlers’ first losing record for one of these articles, they went 1-3-1 during this homestand back in Newfoundland. In one of those losing efforts, the team put up a franchise record 52 shots but ultimately lost due to some shady reffing and a suspiciously long video review on a goal by James Melindy that ultimately was waved off. When asked what he says to the team after a game like that, coach Eric Wellwood chuckled and said “I say that we won, it doesn’t feel that way but (games like this) are why you don’t always judge the scoreboard.”
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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation