Thursday Mashup: Bruins in town, Verhaeghe signs, Ranger named Leafs’ Masterton nominee

1051
ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 10: Frederik Andersen #31 of the Anaheim Ducks watches as Paul Ranger #15 of the Toronto Maple Leafs scores off a pass from Phil Kessel #81 Toronto Maple Leafs take a 3-0 lead during the second period at Honda Center on March 10, 2014 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Boston Bruins lost their first game in regulation since March 1st last night (17 games), and of course it was to a team the Leafs needed to have lose in the Detroit Red Wings. The Leafs only hope at this point is winning all of their remaining five and Columbus taking eight or less points out of their remaining 14 (they will not be able to win any tiebreak scenario given the ROW difference).

The Bruins come to town tonight in a back to back situation for them and an (absolute)must-win game for the Leafs. Columbus is in Philadelphia tonight. A shocking win over the runaway Eastern Conference leader (and current Presidents Trophy race leader) combined with a Blue Jackets loss in regulation would at least make things mildly interesting in the final four games.

Two news items from yesterday: The Leafs signed Carter Verhaeghe to his entry-level deal and the 18-year-old centerman will join the Marlies for the remainder of the season. Paul Ranger was named the Leafs’ Masterton Trophy nominee for his comeback season following three years out of the game.

More Leafs news:

– The Toronto Marlies are on the verge of clinching their third straight North Division title. Go see a Marlies game this Spring. A good team that plays very unlike the Leafs.
–  David Clarkson’s contract is buyout proof. Only solution to the problem is to attempt reclamation next season.
– We Match Up Well Against Boston, says Jake Gardiner. It’s been a couple of months since anyone has matched up well against Boston.
– Maple Leafs could learn a thing or two from Boston. Like, “try to be one of the best teams in hockey, rather than not one.”
– Paul Ranger considers return to the NHL a success. Feel good story here amid a lot of down notes the last few weeks.
Tim Murray weighs in on the Leafs analytics debate. Murray sounds reasonable on the subject: There will be times when an organization must pick between eyeballing vs. numbers on a decision, but there’s no harm in looking at both.

SHARE
Previous articleToronto Marlies Look To Clinch 3rd Consecutive Division Title This Week
Next articleRandy Carlyle - Boston Bruins Pre-Game
Founded in 2008, Maple Leafs Hotstove (MLHS) has grown to be the most visited unofficial team-focused hockey website online (Quantcast). Independently owned and operated, MLHS provides thorough and wide ranging content, varying from news, opinion and analysis, to pre-game and long-form game reviews, a weekly feature piece, the "Leafs Notebook", along with a Web TV show the "Maple Leaf Hangout".
  • Uncle Otis

    Uggh…as if waking up from that hangover game with the B’s last night wasn’t bad enough (question..how did the ref see the puck in someone’s pants?)..I have to click on a Tim Murray article that swings me to the triple P’s
    When did we start détente with the highschool hockey superstars?

  • Uncle Otis

    CanuckUKinToronto
    Judging by how good the B’s looked last night,we might know in less than 30 mins if the Leaf’s lose or not too
    Detroit stole one.

  • drummond

    Seriously, the Clarkson deal is one of the worst deals ever. It will be killing the team for many years. The only hope is that Clarkson somehow manages to get to 10-15G and 30PTS levels. His contract would be horrible anyway, but somehow swallowable especially compared to the cost of buyout.

  • The_Irv

    We will have to wait and see… I’m going to give it another half season or so before I start jumping all over the contract. This was a funny year so I think he deserves a bit more time before he is entirely written off despite how bad he has been.
    Next year will hopefully bring in a new coach and he may thrive in the system.
    Despite how bad his season was I think it’s still too early to write him off entirely yet.

  • MaxwellHowe

    So Verhaeghe will be in the same boat as Rielly next year, won’t he?  He can play with the Leafs (very doubtful) or go back to juniors, but he won’t be able to play with the Marlies.  In any case, hopefully next year will be Conner Brown’s chance to play in the AHL.  Best thing abpout that – Marlies have a shit ton of big mean bastards to shield him as he gets accustomed to the pro game.

  • drummond

    CanuckUKinToronto drummond  But right now the leafs may persuade the other teams that he failed given the pressure in TO and some other lame excuses. Someone may buy that. If he fails to produce anything next year as well, the contract would truly be immovable, no other team will touch him.

  • MaxwellHowe

    CanuckUKinToronto drummond Put him on the 4th line and tell him he has to play his way off it.  Or he can become a permanent healthy scratch.  He needs to find that spark that brought him from the ranks of the undrafted to the 30 goal mark.

  • Yaknowwhat

    Good Morning fellow Leafers!!!

    Just not feeling it tonite… I think the Bruins are relishing the thought of snuffing us out….and after the effort I seen against Calgary can we really expect a victory….unless this team has sprouted some balls and found some determination….I just can’t see us beating the Bruins….Bruins 4 Leafs 2…

  • MaxwellHowe

    Yaknowwhat Can only really hope the Bruins are a little tired – late in the season, B2B game.  And I will note, recent days notwithstanding, the Leafs play best when they bring emotion into the game.  Hopefully the Bruins do bring out their best.

  • Mind Bomb

    Good morning Folks

  • phaneufoundlander

    Mind Bomb  mornin Bomber…tough break for the Leafs again last night…Bruins should of had that game easily…shots were 29-13 at one point for the B’s….now there is only one WC spot IMO….man, are we cursed or what? Fuckin Nyquist and Tatar did it again.

    Man, did Nyquist ever blow by Chara or what?

  • phaneufoundlander

    Yaknowwhat  after the effort vs the Flames? yeah, Leafs may as well practice their swings now….that was horrible.

  • phaneufoundlander

    Uncle Otis CanuckUKinToronto  lol….for sure, man the Bruins must be the best puck possession team in the league….insane how they cycle it…Wings got very lucky, and once again our Leafs got unlucky…

  • http://nmwtlandtrust.org/ bob sacamano

    Everybody should just chill out about the Clarkson contract. He will rebound and score 15-20 goals and play in our top 6. 

    I don’t recall many people on this board saying the contract was a bad idea immediately. Everyone knew it would be an albatross in a few years.  But everyone on this forum and 12 other NHL teams all wanted Clarkson. He will be fine.

  • phaneufoundlander

    bob sacamano  Even though he blows right now, there were many teams after his services and we were all ecstatic about the signing…shit happens.

  • MaxwellHowe

    bob sacamano Most people, very few exceptions, were happy with the signing.  Many are trying to rewrite history.

  • MaxwellHowe

    phaneufoundlander Mind Bomb You can always count on the Wings to pull great players out their ass.  This kid was 121st pick in 2008.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    MaxwellHowe bob sacamano Yep. I wanted him, thought he we bring a level of grittiness that could help on a line with Kadri and Lupul plus pop in with some offense. It’s just gone horribly and he sticks out like a sore thumb. Doesn’t seem to mesh with anyone other than maybe Bolland. Can only hope he turns it around next year

  • Shift_Disturber1

    phaneufoundlander Mind BombHis feet were so quick going by Chara I thought they sped up the replay

  • http://nmwtlandtrust.org/ bob sacamano

    Shift_Disturber1 MaxwellHowe bob sacamano  

    I thought Clarkson was gonna be just like Gary Roberts with a little less skill. He was so noticeable in NJ. Exactly what the Leafs needed last year. 

    But please don’t blame Nonis for giving this a shot.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    bob sacamano Shift_Disturber1MaxwellHowe Yes seemed like the right type of player for sure. I’d rather see Nonis try things and fail then do nothing and fail.

  • MaxwellHowe

    bob sacamano Shift_Disturber1 MaxwellHowe Mighta gotten a shorter term, but there was competition for Clarkson.  Naturally this is the type of competition the Leafs often win.

  • Mind Bomb

    bob sacamano   Thats the thing about winning Bob, if we were, Clarkson would not be taking this much Heat. But when this team misses the playoffs, and Clarkson shits the bed as a Big time UFA signing. The Finger is going to get pointed there before most lol

  • Mind Bomb

    phaneufoundlander Mind Bomb   Brutal PH, A well coached team, seems to get up and find ways to win, when it matters. Regarless of Excuses. 

    This team has to man up !

  • Mind Bomb

    MaxwellHowe phaneufoundlander Mind Bomb   Hopefully Lievo is our answer to that

  • phaneufoundlander

    Shift_Disturber1 phaneufoundlander Mind Bomb  It was sick….not sure I ever saw anyone jet like that in milliseconds

  • phaneufoundlander

    Mind Bomb phaneufoundlander  I still blame RC….the Ducks are pretty much the same team they are now during RC’s last season they couldn’t beat a rented mule…I still believe this group is so much better than the standings reveal and a new coaching staff can have them make the playoffs next year easily.

  • http://nmwtlandtrust.org/ bob sacamano

    Mind Bomb bob sacamano  

    Every top team has a big time contributing free agent over the years.

    Ducks – Selanne
    Hawks – Hossa
    Bruins – Chara

    Taking a shot in free agency is a worthwhile gamble

  • Mind Bomb

    phaneufoundlander Mind Bomb  Same Team, I am looking for a New Coach

  • Mind Bomb

    bob sacamano Mind Bomb  

    Big Time UFA’s wont sign here. All we get is the Junk and cast offs.

    Although, calling it Now  Timmy Loowooki will make a Run at Kovalchuk over the Summer :)))

  • darthNihilus

    Leafs are going to win 3-1 just to piss everyone off, give everyone hope. 

    As for Clarkson, if the leafs make the playoffs by some miracle and Clarkson plays well – all will be forgotten and forgiven. Same with Bolland – if we make the dance and he plays well you can bet people will be clamoring to re-sign him.

  • MaxwellHowe

    darthNihilus The Bolland situation gives me a chill.  I don’t question his drive.  But he is injury prone and ieally a 3d line C.  Are the Leafs ready to invest $5 million per in him?

  • darthNihilus

    I think the not so great season from Lupul and a the suckitude from Clarkson are in part due to the shitty play of center Nazem Kadri. NOw I know some analytics folks will point to his numbers but if you use the “eye test” on Kadri when he first appeared and the way he plays now-its not the same player. He was aggressive breaking in to the NHL and now he sits back on the perimeter like many other Leafs. He does not distribute the puck well and will not fight to retrieve it. He needs to step it up or we need a new 2nd line center with a bigger body and a bigger set of balls.

  • darthNihilus

    MaxwellHowe darthNihilus  I certainly hope not. 4×3 max.

  • darthNihilus

    MaxwellHowe darthNihilus  one thing is certain though-we need a center like him on the third line.

  • WendelGilmour

    Bullshit.

  • LightmyLeaf

    darthNihilus MaxwellHowe the Clarkson article above says we only 12 million this summer to sign  “Nikolai Kulemin, Mason Raymond, Dave Bolland, Jay McClement and Troy Bodie.”  ….not sure if that is after a cap increase, or at the present level….

    tough decisions.

  • darthNihilus

    LightmyLeaf darthNihilus MaxwellHowe  I think Kulemin and McC are gone. Raymond will get 2 mil and Bolland 4 mil, Bodie-900K (Bodie is an RFA?)

  • LightmyLeaf

    Mind Bomb bob sacamano…then we all woke up…kind of a community dream, Reverend Mind Bomb………:)

  • Jordan29

    I know they say the leafs chances are slim, but if the blue jackets lose their next 2 and we beat Boston tonight then we are technically ahead of then no? Not that unlikely but at the same time I don’t give a fuck

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Jordan29  Still hoping we get into the playoffs.  Win vs Boston is KEY !!

  • LightmyLeaf

    darthNihilus LightmyLeafMaxwellHowe looks like Kulie is out on the math, and a place in the line up, but I get the impression he wants to stay…then you have potentially Komorov….Mac is a big loose of leadership and faceoffs, but I seen a few names kicked around to replace him….but that’s a signing and capspace….

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    Mind Bomb bob sacamano  Oh please no.

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    MaxwellHowe Yaknowwhat  Playing “tired” teams has worked out so well for the Leafs this season. I’m with Yak, just not feeling it.

  • LightmyLeaf

    TheCanucksnaphook Jordan29just caught a glimpse of that game in the 3rd, Boston was outshooting Detoilet 29-13 at that point…suddenly either they let off the gas, or Det turned it on, 7 shots on rask later….after that tying goal, that looked like they were playing Ring-around-the-Rosie in front of Rask….the Briuns looked like the Leafs suddenly….I had to turn it off….

    For a bunch of AHLer’s, they sure want to win, and I wouldn’t want to be the team playing them in the first round….Boston doesn’t want them…..

  • LightmyLeaf

    TheCanucksnaphook Jordan29so I guess I’m suggesting that the Bruins would rather have the Leafs than CBJ….so Leafs win tonight!!!!

  • peterbleafs

    Headline:  “Leafs miss playoffs because of Gustav Nyquist”  That little prick scored the winner last night for Detroit.

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    Gilbey93 peterbleafs  Did he ever blow by Chara. Looked good on the big stiff, even though his goal hurt the Leafs chances somewhat.

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    darthNihilus  Kind of hard to distibrute the puck to a winger when you look over and he’s sprawled on his back yet again.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Gilbey93 If the Leafs had any sense, Reimer, Franson, Kulimen, McClement, Raymond would all be gone.  Gunnarsson as well.  Bolland can stay for a reasonable salary and term.  Bodie is fine.  Trading Lupul may be timely.  Above all, Leafs need some two way players who are strong on the puck with relatively low salaries to fill the ranks.  A few Marlies may be ready.