The Toronto Maple Leafs has been a curious case this season in regards to special teams.
The Northeast Division leader has been without its No. 1 goalie in James Reimer since Oct. 22, and are dead last in the penalty kill in the NHL at 70.9 percent success rate.
The Maple Leafs rank last in the penalty kill so far this season. But they've been able to hold up well in the third periods.
The Buffalo Sabres leads the league with a 93.3-percent success rate.
However, the Leafs’ success this season may equate to how they compose late in the game when killing off penalties.
The team (see graph for more details) has been short handed 55 times this season on 68 called penalties. Of those 55, there has been 15 goals on the opposition’s power play.
In the final 20 minutes, 14 of Toronto’s overall 46 goals allowed, has been on even strength. Just three has been while killing penalties, and one has been while the Leafs were on a power play.
As you can see, the Leafs have yielded reverse affects from called penalties. The more penalties in a period, the fewer goals.
You’d think the swing of momentum and drag of additional ice time for the Leafs’ top two lines would create a break down while on even strength. But that does not seem to be the case.
Overall, the Leafs have committed 32 penalties (8 goals allowed) in the first period, 28 penalties (12 goals) in the second period, ad 23 penalties (13 goals).
Matthew Wilson is editor of Center Ice Chat. Follow him on Twitter @Mattjw24.