While there is said to be continuity between the two managers given their close working relationship for several years in the Leaf front office, Brian Burke was always more transparent and vocal than Dave Nonis when it came to how he ran his hockey team. For that reason, I’ve decided to research Nonis’ time with Vancouver in order to see if I can come up with some logical ideas of what to expect from Nonis in the upcoming months.
Last summer, before the draft, we were able to look at Brian Burke’s own quotes and pretty well nail that Lupul-Kessel would be on the top line to start, Grabovski-Kulemin would be on the shutdown line, and Kadri, along with Frattin eventually, would be on the second scoring line. That’s not exactly how the Leafs ended the year, but if I could tell you how the full season would go I’d be playing the lottery and blogging from a beach in Europe. [more…]
I really wanted to write a wrap up notebook, but I wasn’t going to subject myself to watching that game again, nor do I particularly want to write about it. I mean, the only time I watched that Bergeron game winner was live and that’s how it is going to remain, so I wouldn’t be much of a source for insight or analysis.
It really was a great year for the Leafs, though. At the beginning of the season I didn’t think they would make the playoffs, and at the beginning of the first round I wasn’t sure they would make it much of a series. They proved me wrong both times. They proved a lot of people wrong.
In order for the Leafs to get better, though, they’ll need to have a strong offseason and smooth out some of their rough edges. [more…]
We’re going seven.
How many Leafs fans would have gladly accepted a one-game winner takes all scenario for the Leafs at the start of this series?
That’s where Toronto finds itself today. [more…]
If you have been following along with my Notebooks since the playoffs started, you’ll know that I’ve continually asked if James Reimer was going to steal the Leafs a game at some point in this series.
Well, he’s officially stolen one. [more…]
No matter what happens in the rest of the series, this much is clear: The Leafs have closed the gap on the Boston Bruins.
Are they equal to or better than Boston? Probably not. But compared to where the Leafs were last year against Boston, this is a dramatic improvement. [more…]
If the story of game 2 was the Leafs' excellent line-matching and the great performances from their stars, the story of game 3 was the Leafs shooting themselves in the foot.
The simple fact of the matter is that when you make the mistakes the Leafs did, you are rarely going to win a playoff game.
Alec already went through all of the goals against this morning so I’m not going bother doing that again. Plus, I think we all know what happened. Other than the first goal, which was the result of a lost faceoff and unfortunate bounce, the Leafs gift wrapped Boston three other goals with giveaways and poor defense.
The chances the Leafs have at beating Boston after spotting them three easy goals have to be slim to none. [more…]
Seems nobody told the Leafs this wasn’t supposed to be much of a series.
Toronto stole home ice advantage from Boston with a thrilling 4-2 win last night and if the first playoff game back in Toronto didn’t already hold enough intrigue, it's now going to be officially bonkers. [more…]
Well, that was a rude awakening wasn’t it? Here we were all were excited and pumped up about playoff hockey… Only to come crashing back to Earth watching the Leafs play like that.
After the jump, I'll discuss the main narratives circulating right now and offer my two cents. From there I proceeded to re-watch the game – unfortunately — and have written out some additional notes. I'll wrap up with the biggest questions going into Game 2. [more…]
Since when do the Leafs do things the easy way, anyways? The truth is the Leafs made their bed on this one. All they had to do was beat Montreal at home on Saturday night to play the Habs and give everyone the series they wanted to see. They laid an egg. Boston blows a two goal lead against Washington and then lets in a late one against Ottawa to lose two games in a row and here we are.
I don’t think the Leafs have a better chance at beating Boston than they did Montreal, but I’ll say this about the series: Nobody is seriously picking the Leafs to win this one and I look forward to seeing Toronto in the underdog role. If nothing else, hopefully they make this a war. [more…]
In hiring Tim Leiweke, MLSE has brought in a guy who is partly what many fans have always wanted in a President, and partly what they detest.
It is no secret that Leafs fans have always felt slighted within their perception that MLSE cares mainly about making money rather than winning. Leiweke, however, is a guy who most certainly does care about winning. [more…]
The Toronto Maple Leafs are officially in the playoffs.
I hope that felt as good to read as it did to write.
It has been a long nine years since Jeremy Roenick broke Leafs Nations’ hearts in 2004. The excitement that year was nuts. The Leafs traded for Hall of Fame defenseman Brian Leetch for a bunch of guys nobody knew existed and Toronto was buzzing with Stanley Cup hopes. I remember Leetch’s first game against the Islanders; Leetch had three points and the TV broadcast had this stupid iso-camera on Leetch every time he touched the ice. (Ironic side note: the only player traded in the deal who became relevant in the NHL was drafted with the expended second round pick, a player by the name of Michael Sauer - you know, the guy who had his career ended by Phaneuf). [more…]
I hope to have an article up later in the week, but for now I thought I’d share some notes. [more…]