Among certain members of the mainstream media covering the Leafs, there seems to be this idea that won't go away where Tyler Bozak will name Mikhail Grabovski's $5.5 million as his starting point if he is going to negotiate a new contract with Dave Nonis.
You don't need me to tell you it doesn’t make any sense. [more…]
This week I had the pleasure of joining the Leaf Matters podcast.
A few MLHS writers have already been on, including Curt and Jon, so I guess it was naturally my turn.
I gave some thoughts on recent Leafs signing Josh Leivo, spoke a bit about the Marlies, coach Eakins, my favourite junior prospect other than Morgan Rielly, surprised many with my answer on who the Leafs’ toughest player is, and more. [more…]
Since we are almost at the halfway point, I thought now would be a good time to write some notes on each individual player thus far. Here is the close-but-not-quite-halfway Leafs Notebook: [more…]
After 20 games this season, the Leafs record is 12-8-0 for 24 points.
After 20 games last season, the Leafs were 11-7-2 for 24 points.
This year’s team has scored 57 goals to this point and allowed 46. That’s a +11 differential.
Last season’s team scored 60 goals and allowed 66. That’s a -6 differential. [more…]
As if injuries to Carl Gunnarsson, Joffrey Lupul, Jake Gardiner and now James Reimer weren’t enough, the Leafs just announced Matt Frattin is expected to be out for at least a week after undergoing a minor procedure on his previously surgically repaired knee, although James Mirtle speculated he might be out a little longer than that. [more…]
The Leafs may have shown the hockey world what they are capable of when they get rolling on Saturday, but one game does not make [more…]
Ten games into a regular season is usually when the good teams and players start to shake off the summer rust and really get rolling. In a 48 game season, there aren’t any games to spare.
Over a fifth into the season now, the Leafs, just like every other team, have had some positives and negatives worth discussing. At the end of the day, 10 games is still only 10 games and nothing is conclusive, but here is the good, the bad and the ugly of the beginning of Toronto’s season: [more…]
The Leafs have had a lot of positives to start this season, but the power play isn’t one of them.
Last year, Toronto’s power play was a team strength finishing tied for ninth with Colorado in the league clicking at 18.4% over 82 games. After eight games to start this season, the Leafs are currently converting 14.3% of their man advantages, which is 22nd in the league. [more…]
Randy Carlyle has not been with the Leafs for long, but he’s beginning to put his stamp on this team.
Hired on March 2nd 2012, the former Ducks bench boss inherited a team on the decline and wound up finishing with a 6-9-3 record to close out the season in his first 18 games as the Leafs head coach. Questions and attention were given to things such as whether or not Carlyle, a former Norris Trophy-winning defenseman, could turn around Luke Schenn’s game, how he was using Connolly-Steckel-Crabb as a shutdown line, whether he and Joffrey Lupul could get along, if Phil Kessel could produce with him, and the intrigue of the looks he was giving Matt Lombardi and Matt Frattin on the top line. [more…]
Despite the Roberto Luongo to Toronto trade rumours, the Leafs have begun the season with a pair of young netminders manning their crease. The duo of James Reimer and Ben Scrivens came into this year with a combined 83 starts between them. In a hockey-crazed town that hasn’t seen playoff action since 2004, all of these factors haven't stopped management from holding firm in their beliefs in their talents while not giving up good assets for an established goalie. [more…]
Line combinations will be discussed ad nauseam in the coming weeks as the season kicks off and the Leafs try to get off to a winning start in a shortened season. The general speculation will surround who should play with who in order to maximize results. [more…]
Former NFL coach Buddy Ryan once famously said, 'If you listen to the fans, you'll be sitting up there with them.'
At the risk of pointing out the obvious, it means that, as a GM or coach of a pro franchise, your job is to do what is best for the team regardless of what the fans believe. Thus, when a person is commenting on the Leafs and says, "Toronto isn't patient enough to let the Leafs rebuild," I can't help but wonder what the hell they are talking about, and why it would even matter. [more…]