Noon Mashup: Deep in the heart of Texas

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Photo: NHLI via Getty Images

The Leafs made a minor league deal last night, sending Andrew Crescenzi to the LA Kings affiliate in Manchester in exchange for Brandon Kozun. Crescenzi was an undrafted rookie camp invitee who brought size and had played well enough to earn a contract with the organization, but he was a low-scoring defensively oriented centre. Kozun is a smaller offensively inclined winger, that will – worst case scenario – improve a Marlies attack with just two forwards on the roster with ten goals. Hard to declare a deal of this magnitude a win, but it also provides some SPC flexibility at the end of the year when Kozun’s contract expires.

As far as the big club goes, things are clicking along as well as they have been in a long time. The top line is producing, some secondary offence is coming from the other forwards and also the back end, while Bernier and Reimer are providing a good chance for the team to win when they aren’t stealing games outright. Pretty well every team below the Leafs in the wildcard race won last night, but if your eyes are set on a higher prize, the Habs lost one of their games in hand – handily, to the Penguins – and the two teams still sit tied on 59 points.

We’re now within 30 games of the end of the season and each game will start to feel a little more important and the points more desperately needed. Can the Leafs match fellow surging wildcard team in the East, Columbus, and make it seven in a row?

Some Leafs links to fill the gap between now and game time tonight:

Leafs acquire Brandon Kozun

How excited should we be about Connor Brown’s crazy good OHL numbers? Some historical context from Michael Stephens.

Mirtle at the Globe has an article about the surging Eastern Conference and what it means for the playoff picture

An article from Wednesday about the Leafs and their 6 game winning streak, first of its kind in Toronto since 2006

Traikos at the Post has an article about the Leafs goaltending situation and Nonis’ comments on the subject this week

James Mirtle and Jonas Siegel’s Leaf Report Podcast from yesterday

Michael Langlois’ Leaf podcast from yesterday. 

Let’s all laugh at the Oilers. That press conference of embarrassing comments from MacT and Lowe is priceless.

  • PEIleafnation

    goleafsgo!

  • lieffan

    It’s a race of winning streaks.. let’s outlast those bastard Blue Jackets.

  • loomx

    Can’t believe we could’ve gotten rid of Franson for Del Zotto. sighhhh

  • loomx

    Murph2417 loomx At least Del Zotto can skate. And he’s THREE years younger. plenty of time to improve. Franson is a lost cause in his own end.

  • MaxwellHowe

    loomx I think the Leafs would really miss his offensive contributions.  I think Cody is a keeper.

  • ShotgunCharlie

    Gonna be a tough day today. First job interview in 14 years. Need my fix before I leave

  • loomx

    MaxwellHowe loomx Yeah, we would’ve definitely missed all those cheap PP assists. Del Zotto will have a better career offensively than Franson.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    loomx MDZ is a better skater and younger, both are poor defensively, but Franson hits and actually produces. Franson is top 10 in PP points among D, 3rd in PP assists.  We have youth and mobility on the back end on the current tams and throughout the organization Not too worried.

  • wendelsfist

    Late game tonight again.  8pm

  • Alec Brownscombe

    loomx MaxwellHowe I dunno how cheap they are. He frustrates me as much as anybody defensively but he’s apart of a high flying powerplay and has a knack for getting shots through. He’s in some pretty good company atop the PP points rankings among D.

  • loomx

    Alec Brownscombe loomx Franson’s hits are usually irrelevant to the game. His hits put him out of position and he isn’t physical in front of his own net. In fact he doesn’t do anything in front of his own net because he’s too slow. Franson’s also 3 years older and MDZ already has a similar PPG.

  • wendelsfist

    Bruffins So is  Franson a less offensive and poorer skating version of PK?

  • loomx

    Alec Brownscombe loomx MaxwellHowe We’ve seen how Gardiner can easily step in to the #1 PP and provide a different dynamic. Franson is not essential to that PP unit.

  • Reimocerous

    ShotgunCharlie Make sure you let them know you get Leaf game days off. :)

  • MaxwellHowe

    loomx Alec Brownscombe Was it Gallagher he sent flying from the crease last week? For a penalty.  Being physical in front of the net can be tricky business.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    loomx Alec Brownscombe MaxwellHowe He’s been a big part of the PP success overall, regardless of which unit you think he should be on.

  • loomx

    Bruffins wendelsfist PK runs around like a chicken with its head cut off? Fair. Isn’t bad as Franson though, who walks around like a chicken with its head cut off because he’s too slow to run.

  • TuckerForPunishment

    ShotgunCharlie Easy Eeyore.  Have a little confidence.  You’re gonna leave that interview knowing you knocked ’em dead.

  • MaxwellHowe

    loomx Alec Brownscombe MaxwellHowe I think if the Leafs traded him they would soon be shopping for a big right hand offensive dman for powerplays.  I just can’t see it.

  • wendelsfist

    loomx Bruffins wendelsfist PK is a chicken running away from others while Franson is a running around like a chicken chasing the puck

  • loomx

    MaxwellHowe loomx Alec Brownscombe Yep. Sometimes someone will dive. Doesn’t mean you should do nothing in front of the net. Franson can hardly tie up a stick.

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/FAN590https://twitter.com/FAN590/status/426402776868876288
    Sr VP and GM of the https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Leafs&src=hash, Dave Nonis joins the boys on https://twitter.com/SNHockeyCentral talking Leafs going for 7 in a row! Listen: http://t.co/PjB5WP8GUH

  • wendelsfist

    Burtonboy Thanks for this I was listening to the other

  • TuckerForPunishment

    I’m predicting a huge win tonight.  Big game from Franson as well.   GLG!

  • MaxwellHowe

    Bruffins I think Gunnarsson, if anyone, is the most expendable dman.  With a $3 million cap hit, the space alone would be welcome.

  • NotInsane

    wendelsfist Burtonboy 
    and the other was non-leafs related rambling. Leafs related rambling is much better

  • wendelsway1

    I’m not a Franson fan but to me, Del Zotto is a sideways move and not what we’re looking for to improve our D…….better the devil you know….IMO

  • Mind Bomb

    Alec Brownscombe loomx MaxwellHowe He has become a Physical D man as well, the telling point for me was he was able to adjust his game. When he came here he was kinda soft.  The fact he can change, and was willing to, makes me want to see it through with Franson

  • mlclearwater

    wendelsway1 Yes, I would’ve never made that trade. Franson can be frustrating but he is playing way more physical, still puts up points, blocking shots, etc. His mobility and decision making have been sketchy, but so ahve most of the d’s. Franson needs to stick to what he’s good at and not carry the puck too much. Fuck MDZ

  • djamon

    MaxwellHowe You can’t replace Gunnar for 3m.

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ Doit4Dougie

    ShotgunCharlie Goodluck.  Is this an internal interview or are you applying for a new position at a new company?

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ Doit4Dougie

    loomx Ya that woulda been a wait and see deal if we made it.  I personally like prefer Franson over DEL Z, but with that being said I also think we need to move Franson for a more defensive minded right handed Dman.

  • ShotgunCharlie

    Doit4Dougie ShotgunCharlie I am applying for a new job. I am still employed but am looking to make the move while not under duress.

  • Armchair GM

    “Here we are in Big D… there’s no way that guy fired three shots in that amount of time…”
     – Don Cherry –

  • Mind Bomb

    ShotgunCharlie Good luck Charlie !

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ Doit4Dougie

    ShotgunCharlie Doit4Dougie Always a Smart move.

  • loomx

    Doit4Dougie loomx ………like Kevin Klein

  • ShotgunCharlie

    Doit4Dougie Thanks for the well wishes Gents. Just nervous. 14 years and I have had the priviledge of not having to worry about looking for a job. Guess its just my time.

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ Doit4Dougie

    ShotgunCharlie Doit4Dougie I know I don’t know you, but if its been that long make sure your prepared for those stupid…name your weakness and strength, or name three things you’d like to be better at questions they always ask. And also, interviewers love it when the interviewee asks a question about the company and / or its future.

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ Doit4Dougie

    ShotgunCharlie Those types of questions are easy to awnser, but can be tuff on the spot

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ Doit4Dougie

    ShotgunCharlie Doit4Dougie Sorry for rambling.. one last thing… I can almost gaunreetee that they will ask you …So what is it about our company that makes you want to have a future with us…or something along those lines. Heads up buddy and once again good luck, your gunna kill it

  • MaxwellHowe

    djamon MaxwellHowe Probably not.  Not sure any comparable defenceman is paid more than $1M

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ Doit4Dougie

    loomx Doit4Dougie …sighhhhh…lol

  • loomx

    MaxwellHowe Bruffins Ridiculous. Without Gunnarsson, the D corps falls in shambles.

  • MaxwellHowe

    loomx MaxwellHowe Bruffins Just sprayed my afternoon tea all over the room

  • ShotgunCharlie

    Doit4Dougie ShotgunCharlie Thanks. Too bad you werent interviewing me lol

  • djamon

    MaxwellHowe Yeah, ok.

  • The_Irv

    Whats this story about Del Zotto? We had the option to move Franson for him?

  • loomx

    MaxwellHowe loomx Bruffins Tell-all stat about Gunnarsson vs. Franson. Team goals against vs. goals for while Franson is on the ice: 3.05GA/60mins, 2.04GF/60mins. Gunnarsson: 1.73GA/60mins, 2.60GF/60mins. But lemme guess, that stat doesn’t matter because Franson delivers useless hits.

  • Mcost61

    NHL ‏@NHL https://twitter.com/NHL/status/426407175389708288
    Meanwhile, in LA. Join us on Saturday: http://t.co/dCKFPxH4Fn https://twitter.com/search?q=%23StadiumSeries&src=hash http://t.co/H06FPdr5Iy
    Crazy…