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Briefly reflecting on Toronto's S76 strengths.


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The curtain has closed -- the play is over -- yet I have this feeling S76 was just one big rehearsal for the Legion. 


Like every team we had areas of strength and weakness, so I want to quickly reflect on what our strengths were.


Despite missing the playoffs... again... I'm honestly thrilled Toronto improved within our own zone. Last season the Legion allowed 246 goals and ranked twelfth in that category, but compared to this season they only allowed 223 goals and ranked eighth. 23 less goals against and moving up four spots is an accomplishment, especially after trading away your top two forwards less than a week into a fresh season. This improvement was something I figured was going to naturally happen, considering we had two great defensive prospects in the pipeline, and another who arrived in Toronto after the entry draft had concluded. At the start of the season Anigbogu anchored our defensive efforts alongside the fresh additions of Kaberle, Giant and Welch. A few days later Lester Green was also added, resulting in what was -- at the time obviously -- one of the stronger defensive cores among the entire league pre trade deadline. 

Allow me to put this into perspective. Hextall went from facing the most shots in the league last season (2581) to just third this season (2203). Hextall faced roughly 0.66 shots per minute in S75, while the new defensive core playing in front of him managed to reduce that to just north of 0.60 shots per minute this season. It's not a 'considerable' improvement, but it's a healthy one, and one that was fairly consistent throughout the second half of S76 as we played teams to one goal games when everyone expected a blowout.  

Goaltending was also another area of strength for us. Hextall was absolutely brilliant for Toronto, and his backup Klamasteris was no slouch either, and both 'tenders deserved a post season appearance I simply couldn't give them this time around. That's alright, we're regrouping for next season, and I see that considerable improvement on the horizon. Despite Hextall having a lower workload than his previous campaign, the veteran goaltender had somewhat impressive improvements. Hextall's save percentage may have decreased 0.01% (from .920 to .919) but his goals against average improved exactly 0.25 in the right direction (from. 3.19 to 2.94). Sirkants Klamasteris didn't have the fortune to receive statistical improvements one would hope, but the young goaltender received five additional games and nearly 90 extra minutes of ice time and maintained a very respectable save percentage. The future of Klamasteris with Toronto is growing brighter as he is slated to replace Hextall at the end of his career.  


Edited by Peace
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