Ramblings – The Leafs, Rebuilds, The Worlds, Makar and More… (May 30)



Hard at work on the Fantasy Prospects Report, which will come out the afternoon of June 14. It is the 16th edition and has been an invaluable resource for keeper and dynasty leaguers. You can pre-order it here. So far, I'm really impressed with the fantasy-worthy prospects that have been filtering into the Dallas system. I assess and write up 16 of the teams (200 prospects or so) myself.


Welcome to the last game of the second round…

Tonight, Carolina could become the first team to ever win two series in one postseason without having won a single game on the road.

The Rangers are 7-1 in their past eight Game 7s.


Game 7 Trends

  • The team that scores first is 142-47 (.751) in the 189 all-time Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (4-1 in 2022).
  • Home teams own a 111-78 (.587) advantage in the 189 all-time Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (4-1 in 2022).
  • Ninety-six of the 189 all-time Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (50.8%) have been decided by a one-goal margin, including four of five thus far in 2022.
  • Forty-seven Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs have required overtime (24.9%). Home teams have a 25-22 edge in those contests (2-0 in 2022).


On the weekend I bet a die-hard Leafs fan $50 that Toronto gets out of the first round next year. Call me optimistic, call me a homer. Whatever you want to call me. I do live just outside of Toronto and the Leafs are one of the teams that I root for (Pittsburgh and Edmonton the others – and currently I love what the Rangers have done and are doing). But I don't spend money/wager unless I believe it to be in my favor. This is why I prefer keeper leagues over dynasty leagues. Because I'm a coward. Give me a shot in your one-year league and I might win. Give me a shot in your dynasty league and I will definitely win three to five times out of 10, depending on the competition. That's why I prefer those leagues – give me a few chances and absolutely I'll get it right.

So I'm as conservative with my betting as it gets. I saw a Toronto team that spanked Tampa Bay, other than in four out of 22 periods. I saw a Leafs team that made Andrei Vasilevskiy into a mere mortal – to the point that Tampa fans were questioning why he wasn't performing anymore. Turns out Vasilevskiy is just fine, as you saw him shut down the top offensive team in hockey in the very next round. But Toronto solved him, and I don't think they need to do anything different with their roster. Offer Tampa Bay this option: Either play the Leafs again in a best of seven for the Cup, or play two more rounds for the Cup as they currently need to and I think Tampa chooses the two-more-rounds option rather than face the Leafs again. They barely got out of that round by the tips of their fingernails.

This Leafs fan was like many others I hear from. He wanted to fire the key organizational heads and the coach. And that's exactly how you never win Cups. If you have a plan, you build to that plan, and you reach for that plan – you don't dismantle the plan until it's completely run its course. You sink or swim with that plan and you give it five or six years. They've given it