Friday, May 29, 2015
Authors Posts by Declan Kerin

Declan Kerin

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Tim Gleason is about to be a Maple Leaf.

A quick Tim Gleason scouting report from Hockey Forcaster:
Assets: Is capable of playing a shutdown role, due to a combination of hockey sense, mobility and an aggressive nature. Also has a little offensive acumen. A good team player, he always works extremely hard and sacrifices his body.
Flaws: Doesn’t take enough shots to be a key contributor at the point on the power play, nor does he take full advantage of his skill-set on offense. At times, he can be overly aggressive when lining players up for the big hit.

2014 Winter Classic
The sun rises over Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., before the Detroit Red Wings face the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. (Dave Sandford/NHLI)

It’s been a year and a half of a build up for the 2014 Winter Classic. The NHL lockout prevented the winter classic for happening  January 1, 2013, and now a year later, the event being dubbed as “The Biggest Hockey Game Of All Time” is going to take place today, weather permitted.

HBO 24/7 has been documenting two teams: the Detroit Red Wings, who have been struggling with injury and consistency problems and, the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have been struggling with injury and consistency problems.

Toronto recently had Tyler Bozak return to the lineup versus the Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto’s face-off percentage was in around the 60% mark for the first time in some time. Not having to rely on—and overplay—Jay McClement for all of your key face-offs makes a big difference in how you deploy your team and it’s one of the positives of having Tyler Bozak back in the lineup. Constantly losing draws, while not the most important aspect of the game, does come into play in key situations and game breaking goals off of key draws. Bozak was 56% on the dot vs Carolina and hopefully a trend we’ll see continue.

Toronto will be starting Jonathan Bernier, who has a sizzling .949 save percentage in his last five games, settling into a groove in the Toronto crease. much as been made about the goaltending tandem the Toronto Maple Leafs employ and how James Reimer is not a favorite of coach Carlyle, and is not getting the starts and chances he deserves. Reimer has been given every chance to succeed, and Bernier, even by the slightest of margins, is showing to be the better of the two (shootouts not included).

Henrik Zetterberg will be a gametime decision, as will Daniel Alfredsson, who is nursing an injury.

2014 Winter Classic: Maple Leafs vs Detroit Red Wings

Toronto Maple Leafs vs the Detroit Red Wings matchup.
 Toronto Maple LeafsDetroit Red Wings
GF/G115 (11th)107 (19th)
GA/G118 (20th)117 (19th)
SF/G27.4 (27th)29.9 (15th)
SA/G36.2 (30th)28.7 (15th)
PP22.3% (5th)19.3% (11th)
PK77.5% (27th)84.4% (8th)
5 on 5 F/A1.16 (8th)1.75 (2nd)
Sh%9.71% (5th)8.66% (17th)
Sv%0.923 4th)0.906 (22nd)
FO%47.2% (25th)51.3% (12th)

Toronto Maple Leafs 2014 Winter Classic Lineup

James van Riemsdyk
James van Riemsdyk
Tyler Bozak
Tyler Bozak
Phil Kessel
Phil Kessel
Mason Raymond
Mason Raymond
Nazem Kadri
Nazem Kadri
Joffrey Lupul
Joffrey Lupul
Nikolai Kulemin
Nikolai Kulemin
Jay McClement
Jay McClement
David Clarkson
David Clarkson
Jerry D'Amigo
Jerry D’Amigo
Peter Holland
Peter Holland
Colton Orr
Colton Orr
Defensive Pairings
Carl Gunnarsson
Carl Gunnarsson
Dion Phaneuf
Dion Phaneuf
Cody Franson
Cody Franson
Jake Gardiner
Jake Gardiner
Morgan Rielly
Morgan Rielly
Paul Ranger
Paul Ranger

Detroit Red Wings 2014 Winter Classic Lineup

Henrik Zetterberg
Henrik Zetterberg
Pavel Datsyuk
Pavel Datsyuk
Todd Bertuzzi
Todd Bertuzzi
Justin Abdelkader
Justin Abdelkader
Darren Helm
Darren Helm
Patrick Eaves
Patrick Eaves
Drew Miller
Drew Miller
Joakim Andersson
Joakim Andersson
Tomas Tatar
Tomas Tatar
Gustav Nyquist
Gustav Nyquist
Luke Glendening
Luke Glendening
Danny Cleary
Danny Cleary
Defensive Pairings
Niklas Kronwall
Niklas Kronwall
Dan DeKeyser
Dan DeKeyser
Jakub Kindl
Jakub Kindl
Kyle Quincey
Kyle Quincey
Brendan Smith
Brendan Smith
Brian Lashoff
Brian Lashoff

2014 Winter Classic Live Streaming Video

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Photo: Getty Images

Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston is reporting that the Winter Classic is going to come across the border to Toronto in 2017.

The planned location for it would be BMO field, with extensive renovations to outdoor facility taking place. MLSE CEO Tim Leiweke has been in talks with Municipal, Provincial and Federal Officials to make this happen and they all appear on board.

This dovetails nicely into the Maple Leafs 100th anniversary season.

The cost for expanding the woefully small stadium, would be twice it’s $60,000,000 initial build price, said Leiweke.

“It’s big money, huge money,” Said Lewieke

“It fits a lot of needs,” he said. “It renovates it for TFC, it certainly renovates it for the Pan Am Games, it renovates it for rugby. The Grey Cup would be phenomenal in an outdoor setting in Toronto on the lake, but (the Winter Classic is) clearly one of the things we put on the wishlist.”

“The city, the province and the feds have all told us it’s important to them from an economic stimulus standpoint because we see what it’s doing to the economy in Detroit now – imagine what would happen in Toronto.”

More here:

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2014 Winter Classic Alumni Game 2
Photo: Jason Schwabe ?@Schwabey

Part 2 of the 2014 Winter Classic Alumni game shows both team’s best lineups (save for the Maple Leafs’ Sundin, who is recovering for Surgery). The lineups for both teams are stacked with Hall of Fame talent, and many Stanley Cup Winners. Toronto’s lineup, unsurprisingly, contains a lot truculence (that can play).

Enjoy the game.

Toronto Maple Leafs Roster - Game 2

Darryl Sittler27
Rick Vaive22
Wendel Clark17
Doug Gilmour93
Dave Andreychuk14
Darcy Tucker16
Kevin Maguire18
Gary Leeman11
Russ Courtnall9
Gary Roberts7
Lanny McDonald7
Tiger Williams22
Mats Sundin13
Mike Walton16
Tie Domi20
Mike Gartner22
Joe Nieuwendyk25
Steve Thomas32
Dave Ellett4
Bryan McCabe29
Bob McGill15
Borje Salming21
Al Lafrate33
Bryan Berard34
Curtis Joseph35
Felix Potvin36
Mike Palmateer29

Detroit Red Wings Roster - Game 2

Steve Yzerman19
Brendan Shanahan14
Igor Larionov8
Mickey Redmond20
Tomas Holmstrom96
Kris Draper33
Kirk Maltby18
Darren McCarty25
Joe Kocur26
Dino Ciccarelli22
Slava Kozlov13
Sergei Fedorov91
Doug Brown17
Nicklas Lidstrom5
Chris Chelios24
Mark Howe2
Larry Murphy55
Slava Fetisov2
Paul Coffey77
Brian Rafalski28
Chris Osgood30

Live Stream for 2014 Winter Classic Alumni Game

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Date: Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013
Time: 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. ET
Where: Michigan Stadium (“The Big House”), Ann Arbor, Michigan / Comerica Park

It’s taken a year and a half, but the Winter Classic is finally a go. Game 1 of the 2014 Winter Classic takes place today at 1pm and will have the weaker of the two rosters in this Alumni Game.

Toronto Maple Leafs Roster - Game 1

Dan Daoust24
Mark Osborne21
Bill Derlago19
Stew Gavin9
Pat Boutette15
Rob Pearson12
Claude Loiselle15
Brad May10
Shayne Corson27
Tom Fergus19
Mike Krushelnsyki26
Dave McLlwain7
Mike JohnsonN/A
Todd Warriner8
Dave Reid14
Nikolai Borschevsky16
Lou Franceschetti32
Mike Pelyk4
Jamie Macoun34
Matt Martin33
Brad Marsh3
Greg Hotham4
Cory CrossX
Mark Laforest
Peter Ing

Detroit Red Wings Roster - Game 1

John Ogrodnick25
Dallas Drake17
Jimmy Carson10
Martin Lapointe20
Petr Klima85
Dennis Polonich8
Red Berenson7
Gary Unger7
Kevin Miller23
Pat Verbeek17
Paul Ysebaert21
Brent Fedyk14
Mike Knuble22
Mike Sillinger
Jason Woolley15
Aaron Ward27
Steve Duchesne28
Mathieu Dandenault11
Jiri Fischer2
Mathieu Schneider23
Kevin Hodson
Ken Holland
Eddie Mio

GDT: 2014 Winter Classic: Alumni Game 2 Thread Here


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Michigan Stadium (aka:
Michigan Stadium (aka: "The Big House" seating chart)

Do you have good tickets to the 2014 Winter Classic? With 107,000+ tickets sold and fuzzy details on where Toronto Maple Leafs fans and Detroit Red Wings fans will be sitting, this chart, courtesy of SBNation shows you where your seats are at Michigan Stadium (The Big House) and where the separations for both fan bases will be. The Maple Leaf fan’s sections are outlined in blue, obviously, and the Red Wings section is in, predictably, red.

Click image below for a link to the full image and a closer look.

Michigan Stadium (aka: "The Big House" seating chart
Michigan Stadium (aka:
2014 Winter Classic Seating Chart at Michigan Stadium / “The Big House”

A bit of a tour on the seating situation at Michigan Stadium / “The Big House”:

HBO 24/7 Red Wings / Maple Leafs – Road to the NHL Winter Classic – Full Episode #1

In Episode #1 of HBO 24/7 Red Wings / Maple Leafs – Road to the NHL Winter Classic, hockey fans get an inside look to The Original Six Franchise’s dressing room, coaching staff, players, and hockey operations.


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Brendan Shanahan and the NHL have come down on yet another Maple Leaf; this time for a cheap, blindside hit to St. Louis Blues player, Vladimir Sobotka, by David Clarkson.

Ruling Video

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Phil Kessel vs LA Kings
Photo: NHLI via Getty Images

The Maple Leafs played their best game of the season, but were dealt a taste of their own medicine with a sublime goaltending effort by Martin Jones, ultimately thwarting a plethora of fantastic chances and a game full of uncharacteristic sustained offensive zone time by the Leafs.

1st period

The first minute of the game had the makings of yet another one of those games where Toronto was going to spend way too much time in their own zone (“The Leafs have difficulty getting the puck out of their zone™”).

That quickly changed at the 18 minute mark, with the Rielly/Gardiner pairing moving the puck with efficiency and  in the proper direction.

The initial fears of the game going the way of L.A. domination were scuttled at around the 16:50 mark; Lupul’s first touch was a scoring chance for Kulemin off the rush and should have been buried but for a fantastic save.

Come the five minute mark of the first, the shots were 5-3 Toronto. LA’s slow defense was having to hurry pucks on the breakout, and Toronto seemed more committed to a fast forecheck. If not physical, they were putting a lot of pressure on the Kings, who were being made to look like, well, the Leafs on any given night this season.

The penalty kill still continues to plague the Leafs game, and sunk them early. Despite taking the play to the slower LA Kings team, this was their chance to set up, control the play and get their 1-0 marker, which as an elite team they proceeded to do.

Despite the score, the shots were 9-4 Toronto late in the first.

One of the habits creeping into the Leafs’ heads more and more: their inability to close out periods and games. Inexplicably, the last minute and a half the Leafs were hemmed in and looked like they would concede another goal.

2nd period

The Leafs got off to a nice start to the 2nd period.

Toronto’s defence was pinching and activating on the rush regularly, and it was giving the Leafs a chance to show off their speed more than they have this season. The D pinching down the wall was giving the Leafs more zone time than as long as I can remember, as reflected in the shot and shot attempt count (as close to a proxy for possession as we have). The Rielly/Gardiner pairing got regular shifts with the Kessel-Kadri-JVR, and they were fantastic in every area of the ice. They held the zone well, made great tape-to-tape saucer passes, pinched with great timing and, of course, lugged the puck as you would expect; lots of clean zone exits,  zone entries, and controlled set ups in the offensive zone.

With Phaneuf  injured, it’s forced Carlyle to do things he never tries, which is having Gardiner/Rielly on PP#1 and  Gardiner/Franson on PP#2. The puck carrying duties went  to Gardiner on the breakout and the Leafs achieved easy zone entries by not having, without fail, Phaneuf and Franson on the same PP unit. The dynamic duo are able to pinch with efficiency and still have the skating ability to get back into position on time.

As the 2nd period was winding down, it was apparent that this was the longest stretch of good hockey  Toronto has sustained this season.

The Leafs finally evened the game on a 5 on 3 powerplay. It was Gardiner/Franson again, with Leafs  getting a flurry of great chances. More great play from the Leafs in front of the net drew a penalty. On the ensuing 5 on 3, Frason scored on a beautiful switch with Kessel on the powerplay. Franson and Gardiner finally called the audible and switched sides (which Carlyle seems to coach them not to do),  opening up two one-time point shots.

The Kings were previously a perfect 8 for 8 on 5 on 3s, but that changed tonight. The small victories, right?

That was a hell of a 2nd period for Toronto.

3rd period

The Leafs were exposing the LA Kings lack of speed; worth noting the Kings were in the 2nd leg of a back-to-back on the road.

A note I made before the game: I was hoping that the addition of Lupul would open up the lines a bit for Toronto and allow Lupul to avoid some coverage, and for the Leafs to roll two lines properly. He looked like the Lupul of old and had a number of great chances tonight; he was hard on the puck and drove the net with reckless abandon. It makes the Leafs a tougher team to play against.

The pinching was a bonus for the Leafs tonight, but it has also cost them with the go-ahead goal by Jeff Carter. A pinch from Ranger resulted in a 2 on 1. Fraser was in a tough spot; he can play it like a 2-on-1 and take the pass away, which he does for the most part, or take the shooter with Ranger closing in on the pass option. He correctly elected for the latter and Carter got off a sneaky hard shot through Bernier’s legs to make it 2-1 Kings. That’s a game breaker goal that Bernier has to save and he didn’t. This was a decidedly average performance from Bernier;  he needed to be better tonight. You wonder if starting Reimer against a team that doesn’t have the book on the goalie (like LA did) might have been the better decision.

Once again evident in the period, Gardiner and Rielly were dynamic tonight. Where they usually are a high-risk/reward combination, they were all reward tonight and moved the puck up the ice with skill and speed, making plays that are both exciting and effective. They beat LA’s heavy forecheck, as puck-moving defenseman are want to do, when they play the game at a high speed.

There was a surefire holding penalty on the JVR rush missed by the refs late in this period. It was a free-hand hold, which is usually a call on in While my tinfoil hat is currently at the dry cleaners, the calls against the Leafs this year are, quite frankly, staggering. I’ve never seen officiating as poor in the NHL in my decades of watching hockey. Perhaps coming out of the 2005 lockout when new rules were implemented, but that’s not saying much.

JVR blew by Regehr, but Regehr impeded JvR’s progress with the loose arm. That’s called holding.


Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 10.54.10 PM

Shortly thereafter, Kadri got cross checked and absolutely filled in from behind by Voynov without the puck.

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 10.54.51 PM

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 10.54.52 PM

Alas, Kyle Clifford came back the other way and scored. Insert dagger here. Game over.


Leafs/Kings Shot Location Data
Leafs/Kings Shot Location Data

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YouTube Transcript.
0:03it’s amazing isn’t it
0:07that’s what pro sports there I was something that happens it makes you
0:12shake your head
0:13I’m by far was our best effort
0:16the last couple months but
0:19no reward Fort and we have to use it as a starting point
0:23but one thing about tonight was that with Aston
0:26we’ve been pleading forward demanding tick collar whatever’s is that
0:31from the defensive side of it we had to work as hard as we have been
0:36on the backcheck versus the four check and
0:40that was very evident tonight there in the room
0:44solve them no other down because we had so many
0:47opportunity so many offenses chances and that’s what happens is you get
0:51frustrated in
0:52and sports it seems like the the mountain seems to get a little bigger
0:57versace’s where it should be getting smaller and
1:01get no complaints with the work ethic for group
1:04we executed from a defensive standpoint we
1:08you know when but gore good break up passes and we attacked
1:12before checked we didn’t samples at
1:16called harder because
1:20the playing the way need to play with them get the war
1:23it’s harder mentally but if we continue to
1:26apply that table work ethic will win our share games:
1:30if we have that type a dog at work ethic if we gonna
1:34effectively with the park covers on with
1:38the way we did tonight back check is hard can create as many of us have
1:43then we’ll win our share games: but
1:46its again it’s is like push that snowball seems
1:50every time you lose it gets bigger concert with the Rangers
1:53a little that decision that decision
1:57with three guys at that and then or
2:0111 11 hockey with 10 minutes left it’s not by spent
2:06but has earned them steaks that happen in the game
2:09you know either as I said it’s its mistakes like that
2:13and the cost you but to the effort was there and win
2:16we have to correct those mistakes is that closer to all you want
2:21team but definitely are
2:24as I stated before you got here the work ethic on the backcheck
2:27in the defensive side over was the best we’ve had in months
2:32him Park movement
2:36years old guys were not
2:39use him pop
2:42yellow well again
2:46the we’ve been pleading begging picking coddling
2:50whatever you want to do that to try to get a starting point and
2:54because it you know it’s been frustrating for everybody
2:57and players and coaching staff as well
3:01we think that there’s more from this group that we can
3:05we can continue to build on it and we need to
3:08feel good about ourselves but it’s not good
3:12when you lose don’t feel good when you lose some Plaza with will be the
3:16I’ll two dudes up
3:19well it was a little bit of a risk but the you can obviously see that they’re
3:24they have skill set and skating ability that the
3:27they can and they will be NHL players
3:30regular players but we’re asking a lot of two young guys specifically the pair
3:35them together but
3:35we just felt that that was the best grouping them we shot Morgan rallies
3:39were tired and
3:40as deserve you know an opportunity in
3:44you make decisions eg again for the next one toward
3:47results but as US
3:51lawyers in Chicago this perk up skins is your doesn’t
3:58on be home keep song
4:01hey are you build on the positive did you try to accentuate are the things we
4:05did well and
4:06correct the mistakes that we made your looking at what happened last night in
4:11plays a role in your diabetes composes
4:14were for I think it I think again desperation has to take place and that
4:20it takes place a different levels you know we’re the benefactor to
4:24about catching it even a second I have a back to back we can ignore that that’s a
4:27fact you know
4:29so we should be fresher we should be you know
4:32we should be jumping on our toes we should be aggressive in
4:35in love in the areas where you can tell they’re a veteran team
4:39that methodically the way they will the park in the way they play their big
4:42strong hockey club that has played well and played together for a long time
4:47you touch up look come back
4:50today difference makes the lineup a
4:53no I didn’t it in with loops its it’s always a
4:57with guarded optimism because if he’s
5:01been able to come back and get hurt come back get her so we’re
5:05you know we’re going with crossed fingers at you can maintain it obviously
5:08gives us another dimension
5:10he had a review 3-4 scored test scores gorgeous
5:14so the searching for
5:18loss much closer to the what we need
5:21and as I stated earlier that the the
5:25work on the of it subsided and we explain to our team I think we’re third
5:29in there in their Eastern Conference in office
5:34were third so we can provide enough of us to have success
5:38it’s the defensive side that are our work ethic and our commitment
5:42has been there right