Morning Mashup: Stars In Town Tonight

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Phil Kessel and Tyler Seguin Shake Hands

The Leafs dropped their first December contest to extend the losing streak to five games, and six of the last seven. San Jose hurled 41 shots on the net and James Reimer was pretty good yet again, but it was another game where a poor first period meant that the Leafs were playing catchup all night.

What really stood out on Tuesday night was the pace and puck control an elite team like San Jose sustains throughout the majority of the 60 minutes. The Leafs have shown the capability of dominating stretches of play, but are a ways off of the consistency of the elite teams in the league like the Sharks; or the Kings, Blues and Blackhawks, each of whom the Leafs play in the next week and a half.

It was also another game with more injury fallout. Tyler Bozak left the game for a stretch in the second period and returned briefly, only to leave the game for good and miss the third period. Early indications suggest it’s an upper body injury this time, unrelated a to the hamstring issue that had him on IR in November. Just as Nazem Kadri returns, the Leafs are down another center.

 

Don’t panic yet, but Phil Kessel also left practice early with what is rumoured to be an ailing wrist injury, although that is unconfirmed at this stage. Randy Carlyle didn’t seem to think it would impact his ability to play tonight. Jerred Smithson was waived by the Leafs yesterday and will report to the Toronto Marlies today if he is not claimed by noon, which he almost certainly will not be.

Next up is the Dallas Stars tonight as the tough December marches on.

Some Leafs links on this Wednesday morning:

  • Kinger4

    Sup boys? Been a while since I been here, look at all the changes. Can
    ya say confused lol, but yeah not to impressed lately with the Leafs
    play, we need to
    get shit together quick and fast. I read somewhere a couple people
    suggested moving Gardiner up to forward, I say why not give it a shot,
    it worked for Burns over in San Jose. Can’t hurt at this point.

  • JWaterdrager

    The Leafs have shown the capability of dominating stretches of play, but are a ways off of the consistency of the elite teams in the league like the Sharks; or the Kings, Blues and Blackhawks.
    That’s why we aren’t a contender yet, unlike the mentioned teams. But the consistency will come, our top 9 has 3 new players, and with the injuries even more shuffling. Plus before the season management and coaching said they wanted to play a more dominating game. I’m not worried consistency isn’t there yet, give it some time.

  • Burtonboy

    I see a lot of posts about Fredrick Gauthier in the last blog. Seems to be many doubters . Well its seems that Brent Suter and Hockey Canada thought enough of him to invite him to the WJ. Thats the top 25 jrs in the country so I’m not sure what people don’t see because a lot experts obviously think very highly of this young man.

  • phaneufoundlander

    Man, I watched the last ten minutes of the Schab game last night, do those bastards have a horseshoe up their ass or what? … and ppl should think twice before they put Stupidban on team Canada, that goblin turns the puck over more than a peewee….I hope the Bruins pummel those fucks tonight and place a few in the injury column….Go Chara, please ride Maxi Pad into the turn buckle again…please.

  • phaneufoundlander

    Burtonboy Lets just hope he’s not another Colbourne….

  • Burtonboy

    phaneufoundlander Burtonboy Don’t think Colborne was ever invited to be on a World Jr. team. Instead of saying lets hope he’s not a another Colborne how about we say lets hope he turns into a Jordan Staal

  • maple1967leafs

    Burtonboy  Big Freddy will be a very good NHL hockey  player,His defensive game is as good as any jr , Offence is second for him but when he gets to the front of the net he can be deadly

  • phaneufoundlander

    Burtonboy phaneufoundlander I’d love to think that way but the Leafs luck of finding diamonds in the rough are scarce.

  • maple1967leafs

    phaneufoundlander  no more turn buckles they too them out

  • Burtonboy

    maple1967leafs Burtonboy He was invited to be on that team for a reason.

  • Burtonboy

    phaneufoundlander Burtonboy Its easy man.  For me the glass is always half full

  • maple1967leafs

    Burtonboy maple1967leafs Sutter said it was a no-brainer to take him

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/DarrenDregerhttps://twitter.com/DarrenDreger/status/408575360704335873
    I suspect MLSE boss, Tim Leiweke will take another run at hiring 99. Gretzky will be willing listen. Toronto definitely is on his list.

  • phaneufoundlander

    Burtonboy phaneufoundlander you are thicker skinned than me my friend….35+ years as a leaf fan has left me fragile :)

  • Burtonboy

    phaneufoundlander Burtonboy And I have 50+ yrs as a leafs fan. Made me tough as nails lol

  • Zep2

    Burtonboy phaneufoundlander He looks like Sean Coutourier, less O

  • Burtonboy

    maple1967leafs Burtonboy Yep . I’ve seen scouting reports before he was drafted and some very reputable scouts have said his defensive game is amazing for someone so young

  • maple1967leafs

    Burtonboy phaneufoundlander im no spring chicken,i was babysitting my sisters kids while watching the 67 cup final,the thing i remember most from the game was those fucking rabbit ears

  • OTL

    Burtonboy Gretzky wasn’t exactly the first line center I thought the team would try to get for Kessel.  😉

  • Burtonboy

    maple1967leafs Burtonboy phaneufoundlander LOL now that brings back memories .

  • Burtonboy

    @OTL Burtonboy If he was 25 . OMG can you imagine

  • OTL

    Burtonboy That’s all we can do, sadly…..I was just looking up Gretzky’s stats…..un – effing- believable.

  • Reversethecurse13

    It’s too bad that it would be viewed as a demotion, but i think moving Bozak to the “3rd” line to replace what Bolland does for us (faceoffs, comes with offense and good 2 way play) should have and still should be considered. This allows McClement to play where he is best suited (on the 4th line) and would mean that Holland and Kadri centre the two offensive lines. 

    Even if Leivo isn’t recalled to replace Lupul like he should, this still frees up Clarkson, Raymond, Kulemin, and Lupul’s replacement as wingers for Kadri and Bozak (Holland plays with JVR and Phil). Since Bozak’s line would be playing against the other team’s best, i think Carlyle would run Raymond – Bozak – Clarkson, which allows for Kadri and (and the underplayed) Kulemin to play with Ashton. We won games last year with FML and Orr playing with McClement, so that goes as long as Carlyle’s rope for FML is.

    JVR – Holland – Kessel
    Raymond – Bozak – Clarkson
    Ashton – Kadri – Kulemin
    FML – McClement – Orr

  • maple1967leafs

    @OTL Burtonboy  even today he would be better than some of our other options,we are getting pretty much to the bottom of the barrel

  • Burtonboy

    @OTL Burtonboy Fist time I saw him was at a WJ tournament. He was 16 and totally dominated every single game . Amazing to watch

  • Burtonboy

    maple1967leafs Burtonboy Tough sledding right now for sure. We have to hang on till we get some guys back. Gonna be tough

  • MaxwellHowe

    Burtonboy I often wonder how NHL teams, much less the Leafs could have missed Wayne Gretzky.  Of course, Ballard ran the Leafs, so not much could be expected.  BVut Gretzky was highly touted his whole life, but he signs a WHA contract at 17, waltzs into the WHA and lights it up, and I don’t even recall if NHL teams came knccking.  Its crazy when you think about it.  Its just as weird that a kid who must have dreamed of playing in the NHL – maybe for the Leafs or the Wings – could have juts signed in the WHA and let all that go aside.  Of course, Pocklington (Oilers owner at the time I think) threw money at the kid – money that, in retrospect was a joke given Gretzky’s contribution.
    The whole thing always struck me as weird.  Its almost as if, once Gretzky signed in the WHA, he was persona non grata to the NHL.
    My point is, if the Leafs were run by anyone with half a clue, they could have drafted him and signed him for relative peanuts.

  • maple1967leafs

    Looking forward to 24/7,Should be a blast and im interested to see how Clarkson is fitting in,To me so far he seems a little lost in T.O

  • Burtonboy

    MaxwellHowe Burtonboy He wanted to play for the Leafs. Fuckin assholes running the team wouldn’t spend the money

  • MaxwellHowe

    Reversethecurse13  FML should be waived.  I think Holland needs some sheltered minutes, but I do agree Bozak should be 2nd liner

  • OTL

    Burtonboy MaxwellHowe Given the teams that the Leafs iced in the 80’s, how much better do you think Gretzky would have made them?  Do you think he’d have the same success that he had in Edmonton?  Not being a smart ass with the question, yes they would be MUCH improved, but I still wonder because the organization was in pretty dark ages during that time, no?

  • Burtonboy

    @OTL Burtonboy MaxwellHowe  Who knows what would have happened but it sure as hell would have been fun to watch

  • phaneufoundlander

    maple1967leafs phaneufoundlander I know, Damn, well, ride him into the post…whatever it takes and I hope Lucic knocks out Stuipdban, that would be the best Christmas present ever

  • Belfour20

    Kinger4 The funny thing about that is that he would be an actually good defensive forward too!

  • MaxwellHowe

    Burtonboy MaxwellHowe man, I just quickly read the wikipedia account of Gretzky’s move to the WHA, then from the Indy Racers to the Oilers.  Holy shite!  Peter Pocklingtom bought Gretzky, Eddie Mio and some no name forward for $700 000 from the Racers owner (sold him for $15 000 000 ten years later – now thats why some people are rich and I am not) .  Gretzky was 18.  Never drafted.    When POilers folded into the NHL, Gretzky went with them.

  • MaxwellHowe

    @OTL Burtonboy MaxwellHowe well the Leafs sucked for the same reason they never obtained Gretzky.  They were run into the ground by idiots.

  • RememberSalming

    MaxwellHowe Burtonboy It was all about the money.  The WHA — as a start up — was willing to write big cheques.  Remember the cover of The Star the day after Gretsky signed?  Had that teenager holding up a giant cheque from the Indianapolis Racers for $1.75.  None of the sclerotic brass in the NHL were willing to take risks.  Very conservative League.

  • MaxwellHowe

    RememberSalming MaxwellHowe Burtonboy $1.75 – over like 10 years, wasn’t it?  Imagine

  • Burtonboy

    I posted this last night but its worth posting again for the people who missed it . Pretty good article by Mirtle on Nazem Kadri 
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/leafs-beat/mirtle-leafs-kadri-mourns-but-plays-on-for-the-original-nazem-kadri/article15775451/?cmpid=rss1&click=dlvr.it#dashboard/follows/

  • RememberSalming

    MaxwellHowe RememberSalming Burtonboy yeah — wild stuff at the time.  I so remember the grin on his face on The Star.  Everyone thought it was over the top.  We had no idea what was coming.  Of course the Racers were garbage, but the game never looked back.
    There’s an authentic Racers jersey for sale on eBay signed by Gretsky.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/WAYNE-GRETZKY-AUTOGRAPHED-INDIANAPOLIS-RACERS-JERSEY-JSA-AUTHENTICATED-/231023402720?pt=US_Autographs&hash=item35ca115ee0

  • RememberSalming

    MaxwellHowe Burtonboy Those were painful days.  I picketed along Carlton st when Lanny was traded away to the Flames — another start up.

  • Belfour20

    I’m pretty nervous about this team right now, all these injuries, it’s only a matter of time before we’re having a cup of coffee with the Sabres and Panthers at the bottom of the East. And don’t say it cant happen either, nobody seen that 18 wheeler going off the cliff either. 
    I hope the second half, we are injury free and can make a playoff push. I’m actually really glad theres an olympic break this year, it will allow us and most teams to get healthy and fresh. Kind of wish Kessel wasn’t going, so he could take the time to heal his wrists. 
    It’s also really shitty that Dave Bolland wont be able to play in the Winter Classic either, would of loved to see our entire lineup in that game.

  • Mind Bomb

    Good morning Folks ! Game Day, Victory day, tonight we beat Dallas, its writen in the Stars :)

  • MaxwellHowe

    RememberSalming MaxwellHowe Burtonboy Wikipedia notes, and I recall, that the NHL brass thought Gretzky would be smashed in the NHL. Wow. Advanced scouting has come a long way

  • Belfour20

    I have a question for everyone:
    If a high profile NHL player chose to not play for his country in the Olympics because he wanted to take the time to heal small ailments in his body and get ready for his team’s playoff push, would he be viewed as selfish/hated?

  • RememberSalming

    MaxwellHowe RememberSalming Burtonboy All those old farts in their booth thinking they understood what was going on.  Remember Clancy dosing off while Ballard picked mustard off his shirt?  Jesus.  Wendel once remembered that the team trainer was Ballard’s Evinrude mechanic.  A lot of things have come a long way…

  • MaxwellHowe

    Belfour20 Yes

  • Zep2

    MaxwellHowe Burtonboy He wasn’t allowed to play in the NHL because of his age I believe. He was being the targeted in the OHL , so he jumped.

  • RememberSalming

    Zep2 MaxwellHowe Burtonboy Can you blame him?  So he could play for the likes of Ballard and Co?

  • MaxwellHowe

    Belfour20 Either tear it up or tank.  Middling just gets asses whooped in the playoffs or a near playoff miss with a namby pamby first round pick.