It was a relatively uneventful off day for the Leafs, with the only noteworthy news being the report from AM640 that J.S. Giguere will undergo a sports hernia surgery this summer. The teamÂ is back onÂ the ice todayÂ to prepare for tomorrow’s game when theyÂ play host to the Montreal Canadiens.Â Just like the Leafs final gameÂ one year ago, they will be playing for pride and would like nothing more than to finish off their season series with Montreal by defeating their original six rivals in front of theÂ hometown fans at the Air Canada Centre.
There are only tenÂ returningÂ Leaf players from the team that defeated MontrealÂ 4-3 in overtime onÂ April 10th ofÂ last year. Among those players includes a strongÂ trioÂ of defenseman in Dion Phaneuf, Luke Schenn and Mike Komisarek. Up front,Â Tyler Bozak,Â Tim Brent, Mikhail Grabovski, Phil Kessel, Nikolai Kulemin and Fredrik Sjostrom were all members of last year’s team. One key player in last season’s finale against the Canadiens was Christian Hanson, who scored two goals and added an assist in the win. Fellow Marlies teammate and recently acquired centre Joe Colborne is expected to be recalled by the Leafs prior to the game, so he can get a taste of NHL action before heading into the off season.
Colborne has had an impressive stint since joining the Marlies, exhibiting a real scoring touch with eight goals, seven assists and 15 points in 19 games. If Leafs brass decides to bring him up, he could be sampled in various spots in the lineup, perhaps spending some time centering Kessel or Marlie teammate Nazem Kadri. It should be a nice taste of NHL action at the very least and at most his first step in making the case for full-time NHL duty as early as this fall.
â€œFor me, if I want to be attractive to anybody Iâ€™ve got to get myself fixed, thereâ€™s no doubt about that. You canâ€™t really go through a season like this where youâ€™re no good to yourself and youâ€™re no good to your team. Itâ€™s been challenging that way. I personally donâ€™t want to have to go through another season like that so Iâ€™ve got to get myself fixed. And once thatâ€™s fixed hopefully I can have a strong season next year.â€
- Jean-Sebastien Giguere, courtesy of AM 640′s Jonas Siegel
Jonas Siegel breaks the news of Giguere having to undergo a sports hernia surgery this summer after reaggravating his groin several times this season.
The Star’s Mark Zwolinski looks at Giguere’s experience as a young NHLer with the Hartford Whalers.
Story from the Toronto Sun about the Leafs’ pretty obvious need to start the season strong andÂ avoid digging aÂ hole forÂ themselves a hole early on in the season.
An unnamed Leaf prospect was awarded $605,000Â after beingÂ sexually assault byÂ his B.C. coach, which prevented him from fulfilling his NHL dream.
The Leafs have overachieved based on Adam Proteau’s early season predictions by one spot in the standings. Proteau thinks the team is in great shape and will be much better with full seasons from James Reimer and Joffrey Lupul.
TSM reveals that AM640 personality and host of The Bill Watters show, Bryan Hayes, is the latest addition to TSN Radio and will host the 10-1pm time slot as of next Wednesday.
Kyle Cicerella at AM640 recaps the Marlies 3-2 loss to Lake Erie on Wednesday.
Other hockey links:
The hockey world lost a great man yesterday to an awful disease that already claimed the life of Mandi Schwartz earlier this week. McGuire was a hard working, passionate manÂ who was described by his friends and colleagues as simply a ‘very nice guy’ who always made time to talk to people. My thoughts and prayers go out to EJ McGuire’s family and friends.
George Malik at Kukla’s Korner offers his thoughts on Saturday’s NCAA final. Matt Frattin‘s North Dakota team were eliminated by Michigan last night.
Rick Moldovanyi at Houses of the HockeyÂ has a few suggestions for coping withÂ the realizationÂ of your team not making the playoffs.
Longtime member of the Colorado Avalanche Adam Foote hangs up the skates after 19 seasons.
The Shawinigan Cataractes earned the right to host host the 2012 Memorial Cup after beating out bids fromÂ the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles and Halifax Mooseheads and Saint John Sea Dogs.
Greg Wyshysnki from Puck Daddy makes a case for Sedin to win the Hart Trophy over Perry.
Canucks fans might be starting a new playoff tradition similar to Hockeytown’s octopi.
Dobber Hockey looks at some underrated players who could make noise in the post season.
Last Night in Leafs Prospects:
Defenceman Jesse Blacker scored two goals, including the overtime winner, to lift the Owen Sound to a 4-3 victory in the first game of their second roundÂ series with the Plymouth Whalers. Game two gets underway on Saturday night in Plymouth.