Jake Gardiner, a goals against retrospective, Part I
Jake Gardiner was on the ice for 62 even strength goals against last season, and Lord help us if we don't go through each and every one to try and pin the blame on somebody else.
I've been planning this project for a while now, but now that Michal Roszival has decided to sign with the Chicago Blackhawks, it's a tinge more urgent. The Toronto Maple Leafs still have one defenceman that I consider to be good enough to be in an NHL top four, but Gardiner and Carl Gunnarsson both have potential.
Gardiner's first NHL season was a bit of a paradox. He played simultaneously the easiest minutes on the Maple Leafs defence—a 56% offensive zone start rate and a -0.328 Corsi Rel QoC—and the toughest, playing alongside Luke Schenn more than any other Toronto player did.
Now, Schenn finds himself in Philadelphia. Gardiner is back in Toronto, presumably on the second-pairing with Mike Komisarek. Coincidentally, that's who Gardiner is paired with for the first goal he was on the ice for.