In the debut edition of The Weekender, Derek Harmsworth takes a look at the week that was in Leafs Nation, glances ahead at the upcoming week on the schedule, and dishes out thoughts on the rest of the National Hockey League.
The Week That Was
On Monday night the Toronto Maple Leafs authored an amazing comeback in what could possibly go down as the game of the year when all is said and done. Â Losing 4-1 to the high flying Washington Capitals going into the third period, the Leafs stunned the Caps, scoring three unanswered in the third to force extra time. Â To cap off the memorable night, Mikhail Grabovski scored on the spin-o-rama in the shootout. Â Grabovski also scored in regulation to get the rally started. Â Clarke MacArthur had two goals on the night, including the tying goal, while Tim Brent also scored for Toronto. Â Jonas Gustavsson made 32 saves. [more…]
Forgive Leafs fans for seeming a little unappreciative. Â Certainly we appreciate the effort put forth by the team in two dramatic victories over the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals, but would it kill you guys to make it a little less dramatic?
After Monday's big come from behind win the Toronto Maple Leafs return to action tonight, continuing their treacherous week through the top teams in Eastern Conference. Â On tap tonight is a battle against Sidney Crosby and the Eastern Conference leading Pittsburgh Penguins at the Consol Energy Center.
This is the second meeting of the season between these two teams, both in Pittsburgh. Â The first saw the Maple Leafs take a 4-3 win on October 13th. [more…]
It can be safely said that Saturday night's tilt between the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs will go down as one of the best hockey games of the year. Â It had a little bit of everything; bone crunching hits, jaw jarring fights, ridiculous saves, last minute heroics, and a shootout victory that included a killer backhand, and a former Bruin getting at least some measure of revenge.
With all that action in mind, it is somewhat ironic that the player who stood out the most in my mind was someone who didn't even get his name on the scoresheet.
Colby Armstrong returned from injury and joined the Leafs top line, paying immediate dividends in the Leafs 3-2 shootout victory at home on Hockey Night In Canada this past Saturday. Â Armstrong had missed time with an injured hand. [more…]
Forgive Leafs fans for being a little cautious with their optimism these days as it relates to net gains between the pipes for the organization. Â After all, still fresh in the minds of those in Leafs Nation is the not too long ago time when the Maple Leafs boasted both Justin Pogge and Tuukka Rask in their goaltending stable, two goalies who were at the time highly touted following junior campaigns. [more…]
For the Toronto Maple Leafs and their fans, the last two seasons of hockey have combined for some roller coaster level of emotions. Â There was the bringing in of Brian Burke, the general manager with the pedigree to lead this team back to respectability, and back to the playoffs, with ultimately the goal of ending the Stanley Cup drought.
Then the hope was awash when the Leafs started the year off with a thud, winless in their first seven games, a stretch that they never did quite recover from. Â The trades in January that brought Dion Phaneuf, Keith Aulie, Fredrik Sjostrom, and J.S. Giguere to the organization brought about a new sense of optimism for the long suffering fans in Leafs Nation.
And when the Toronto Maple Leafs kicked off the 2010-2011 NHL campaign with four straight wins, the optimism levels couldn't have been higher. Â After a lengthy losing streak, the team is back to playing more consistently, and with complete confidence you can declare that the Toronto Maple Leafs of 2010-2011 are an improved club.
Just how much they have improved, and whether it will be enough for them to break the postseason drought this April, is another question altogether. [more…]
Week two of the 2010-2011 Toronto Maple Leafs schedule is in the books, and once again it was a week in which the Toronto Maple Leafs managed to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Rangers, both tough road wins in which the Leafs showed strong character.
With that in mind, here is week two of the Maple Leafs Player Power Rankings. Â The rankings will read the players ranking, their stats, as well as their last week's position. Â Spoiler alert: There's a new number one!
Week one of the Toronto Maple Leafs schedule is in the books, and while it only featured two games, there is plenty to talk about as far as the season goes. Â The Maple Leafs are off to a 2-0 start, having won their second game of the season nearly one month ahead of the time they got win two last season.
Through week one of the season, here are the Maple Leafs player power rankings, as seen by me. [more…]
After what seemed like a lifetime of waiting for fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the new look squad hit the ice Thursday night for their home opener against the arch rival Montreal Canadiens, and with it marked the true dawning of a new age in Leafs Nation.
While it's true the hiring of Ron Wilson and Brian Burke will go down as the day the team began to turn the page on years of management misfortune, and the Dion Phaneuf day could very well end up being the trade that sparks the team forward much like the Doug Gilmour trade before it, Thursday night's season premiere was really the first time since all this has taken place that it was truly a different roster.
Gone were the incumbents of past regimes, It was finally Brian Burke's team. Â Having flipped the entire roster (sans Tomas Kaberle and Jeff Finger) Burke's vision of the team could finally be implemented, his stamp beginning to form.
And it was, for one game at least, as advertised. [more…]
The following is a live, up to the minute game blog featuring the rookie tournament game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Â Remember to hit refresh for the latest updates.
The following is live, up to the minute coverage of today's rookie tournament game between the Ottawa Senators and the Chicago Blackhawks. Â Remember to refresh the page to get the latest updates.
The following is an up to the minute, live game blog of tonight's rookie tournament game featuring the Chicago Blackhawks and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Â Remember to hit refresh to see the absolute latest updates. [more…]