Are The Toronto Maple Leafs worse than the worst?
Here is the premise: The Washington Capitals hold the record for the worst season ever seen by any franchise in the NHL. To quote:
With the WHA competing with the NHL for talent, the expansion Capitals took the ice with a team that probably could not compete in any league as they posted the worst season in NHL history. The Capitals compiled a record of 8-67-5 and set dubious records for a season, among them being: fewest wins (8), most losses (67), most road losses (39 out of 40) most consecutive road losses (37), most consecutive losses (17), and most goals against (446), and finished 20 points worse than their expansion brethren, the Kansas City Scouts, who managed 41 points.Following along with this spreadsheet listing all of the Capitals games from their infamous '74 season, I will track along how the Leafs are doing relative to the worst team ever put on ice as long as it seem relevant.
'74 Capitals v. '09 Maple Leafs
We've missed the first 6 games so to bring us up to speed:
Caps by game six: 1-4-1, 3 points. Outscored 12 - 27, and shut out twice. They lost their first two games, tied their third, won their fourth, and then lost the fifth and six. Their worst defeat was a 6-0 white-washing, followed by a 5-0 shutout.
The Leafs by game six: 0-5-1, 1 point. Outscored 12 - 28, a worse goals differential, actually allowing more goals than the worst team anyone's ever seen. That's scary. They've scored the same amount as that awful team, as well, which was considered incapable of competing at the NHL level. Wow!
Other items to follow: If the Leafs continue to play this poorly, it'll be interesting to see if they can compete with the +/- scores that the Caps had back in the day. The worst +/- of a Capital that season was - 82 by Bill Mikkelson (he only played 59 games, too). Their leading scorer was Tommy Williams with 58 points (-48) who also led the team in goals (with 22). They only used three goalies (which is odd. Usually awful teams go through a bunch of goalies, and the reason they're awful is because they've had trouble with the health of their first few goalies). Ironically, their second-string goalie was Michel Belhumeur. Belhumeur, or a good disposition, is something the Leafs are going to require this season.
Cap's goalies: Low 5.45 GAA, Adams 6.90 GAA, and Belhumeur 5.54 GAA.
Now the Leafs so far:
Goalies: Gustavsson, 3.09 GAA, MacDonald 4.00, and Toskala, 5.56 GAA. (So far, the Leafs have the edge in goal-tending, believe it or not.) As for +/-, the Leafs lowest player is Jason Blake at - 6 (in 6 games, on track for a - 82, if things continue at this pace). The leading scorer is Ponikarovsky, on pace for 55 points, and the leading scorer can be expected to score 41 goals (if things continue along at this pace - which is a pretty good total).
So there we are - keeping track of the Leafs. At least this keeps things fun for me, a big Leafs fan, who's not had much to be excited about (until now).
Prove me wrong Leafers!