Tag: David Booth


Sabres lose Larsson, Kaleta to head injuries, Leafs’ Booth out too (Update: Franson’s hurt)


Regardless of who wins Sunday’s preseason game between Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs, neither side is likely to feel particularly good.

Buffalo lost forwards Johan Larsson and Patrick Kaleta both left the game in the first period due to head injuries and won’t return, per the Sabres’ official Twitter account.

Kaleta was was nailed in the head halfway through the first period by Morgan Rielly’s slap shot. He immediately skated off the ice while quickly discarding his gloves and helmet, per PHT’s Dhiren Mahiban.

Larsson caught Petter Granberg’s elbow in the final minute of the opening frame. It looked like he was bleeding as a result. There was no penalty on the play.

Meanwhile, Toronto announced that forward David Booth has been shut down due to a lower-body injury. He logged 9:19 minutes tonight.

The severity of the three injuries is not yet known. Kaleta and Larsson are both in the running to make the Sabres’ opening game roster. Booth is trying to turn his career around after a disappointing and injury-riddled tenure with Vancouver.

Update: Maybe both sides should just agree to end this one early:

Leafs’ Carlyle sings a new tune about analytics

Randy Carlyle, Toronto Maple Leafs

It may still be Randy Carlyle’s way or the highway in Toronto – for now – but seemingly every story underscores a summer of change for the Maple Leafs.

Unfortunately, some alterations mean people losing their jobs. While the Maple Leafs made waves by hiring an analytics-oriented assistant GM in Kyle Dubas and instituting a stats-minded department this summer, they also completely revamped their public relations team, according to the Globe & Mail’s James Mirtle.

Perhaps that explains, in some way, why we’re hearing Carlyle speak in “advanced stats” terms a little more, then?

“Everyone talks about puck possession and we haven’t been any different. We just haven’t done a good enough job of it,” Carlyle said. “There’s all this craze about analytics and to say we haven’t used analytics would be incorrect.”

While some might (understandably) be skeptical about Carlyle’s comments, this brings up a potential point that may even be PR-related: it’s likely that NHL teams collect advanced stats but elect to play coy on such subjects. After all, why give up shop secrets when you could potentially hold competitive advantages?

MORE: Leafs go all-in on advanced stats

The most intriguing bit might be that Carlyle apparently sent out a memo to players this offseason:

(Just imagine the parody articles that may come from that concept …)

Whether Carlyle is more open-minded about deeper stats than he previously let on or not, it’s obvious that the Maple Leafs are at least spinning things a different way than they had in the past. It might take some time to see real differences on the ice – shuffling guys like Dave Bolland out and David Booth in might signal some steps in a different direction, but probably not leaps – yet it could be a fascinating situation to watch.

Of course, it would be a little more fascinating if everyone isn’t exactly on the same page, but Carlyle’s comments indicate he’s at least saying he’s willing to ponder “fancy stats.”

Nonis dismisses notion Leafs were anti-analytics

Dave Nonis

Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis doesn’t like the fact his organization was portrayed as anti-analytics (i.e. a bunch of Luddites) before this summer’s hiring of the statistically inclined Kyle Dubas for a role in the front office.

Nonis was a guest on TSN 1050 radio today (audio) in Toronto, where he gave his thoughts on the matter.

“There’s this notion that we had this aversion to analytics, which isn’t true,” said Nonis. “We’ve used them. We’ve had them. But Kyle really was the first person — out of dozens who have come through this office and tried to explain how we could effectively use them — he was the first person that was able to show us, and tell us how this could be developed.

“And is it where it needs to be? I would say no. Are we going to push as hard as we can to develop it? Yes, and I think he’s a pretty bright young guy that is going to have to spend a lot of time with Brendan [Shanahan] and myself and the coaching staff and help us understand what the reports are generating.”

The Leafs have already added a couple of interesting players, statistically speaking, this summer in forwards David Booth and Daniel Winnik. Did Dubas have a hand in those signings? It’s certainly possible, though that’s never been confirmed.

What will also be interesting going forward is if Dubas has any impact on the coaching philosophy of Randy Carlyle. Will certain players get more or less ice time? Will there be more of an emphasis on holding on to the puck, as opposed to dumping it in or shooting it out?

Remember, of all the coaches in the NHL, Carlyle may be on the hottest seat. A slow start and it’s possible the job passes to one of his new assistants.

Related: Burke on advanced stats: “I don’t feel they add any value at all”