I attended practice at the MasterCard Center for Hockey Excellence, watching a loose group of players reveling in the 4-1 win over their provincial arch rivals. It all began with a loose skate, just a warm-up involving firing some pucks off the boards along the way.
KULEMIN with the game winner, and that’s all folks!!! Leafs win 4-3 in a thrilling overtime victory!
Now, wasn’t that an appropriate Torontosaurus Rex?!
That was the Leafs first OT victory of the season. (1-9)
It feels like a spring day, almost like a playoff date.
This isn’t a playoff game by any stretch .. There are some interesting scenarios playing out even before puck drop.
Here’s the game thread … you can also follow along on Twitter, @KatsHockey
This is the first game At home for newest Leaf, Luca Caputi (Now with his first goal as a Leaf!!).
This is the first game after the devastating hit my Matt Cooke taking out Savard.
This is the first game At home that will not feature Alex Ponikarovsky as a Leaf.
This is the first game in which Phil Kessel scores his first point as a Leaf against his former club (maybe) … (Yes! After a change in scoring on the second goal, he got his first assist versus his old team)
The Leafs have given up powerplay markers in consecutive games after going five games without letting in a power play goal.
Despite being one season removed from having won the Vezina Trophy this is the second consecutive start for Tim Thomas I the last games.
And the Puck has dropped .. I’ll be refreshing about every 10-15 minutes
Look, I’m not saying I’m a good luck charm, but I attend the game in the press box and a whole lot of good happens .. Caputi’s first as a Bud, Kessel registering his first assist .. Just call me lucky Kats.
They’re not only funny, but legendary. True comedic (and patriotic) genius.
I was proud to add a prospect scouting report to his creative visuals for a Tuesday Prospect Report. Leading up to the draft in June, we’ll be looking at a Leafs prospect in a unique way. the first one features newest Leaf, Luca Caputi originally on the Bloge Salming site.
A reminder, I will be Live blogging the Leafs/Bruins game from the ACC press box tonight. Make sure to come on by and have some fun with all of us at Maple Leafs Hot Stove. Jonas Gustavsson gets the start and according to MLHS’s own Daniel Santos Mikhail Grabovski also returns to the lineup from a wrist injury.
Before we get to the T-Rex, make sure to stop by Maple Leafs Hot Stove Tuesday night.
I will be live blogging the Leafs/Bruins game from the press box at the Air Canada Centre.
Stop by, bring the funny and join us for a good time. Boston will be without Marc Savard after the devastating headshot from Matt Cooke, and the Bruins have had scoring woes all season long. Will this be the game Phil Kessel finally get his first point against his former team?
A quick look at the NHL standings at the Olympic break offers some interesting contrasts from expectation, with some teams surprising, others disappointing.
In the East, Ottawa sits atop the Northeast Division and third in the Conference with Buffalo right behind them due to a recent cold streak. In the West, the Phoenix Coyotes with an amazing 37 wins sit in fourth place in the conference, only one point ahead of the LA Kings. Colorado may have outperformed expectations the most thus far, with the Yotes making a case.
Then there’s the Detroit Red Wings looking from the outside and Columbus floating around near the bottom.
A look at these clubs records in one-goal games provides good insight as to how the Kings/Senators sit high, and why the Red Wings/Blue Jackets sit outside of a playoff spot, and the Leafs trail the NHL sitting dead last.
The most important person involved in the Mike Green snub from the Canadian Olympic team is perhaps the defenseman himself.
Reasoning used by the Canadian contingent isnâ€™t likely similar to that of the general public, although the overwhelming sentiment of a lack of defensive game (often incorrectly portrayed as â€˜liabilityâ€™ in some circles) seems to be mostly prevalent.
A shining example and further proof of New Jersey’s dominance recently. Even when blanked for the first time this season, the Devils still ended up with a win, the full two points, and Martin Brodeur extended his record string of shutouts.
Last season, Phil Kessel registered 14 of 24 assists in an 18-game span, with 10 more over 58 games. He battled an ugly 14-game goalless skid (14-0-3-3), three games before going down to a case of mono in January, and 11 games after his return.
In short, assists arenâ€™t his strong suit. Heâ€™s had more goals than assists in every season except his rookie season.
Well, break your selfish streak, Mr. Kessel and you’ll break your slump. One assist at a time.
The Toronto Maple Leafs were amongst leaders in 2009 for all the wrong categories. The Buds were the most scored upon team in 2009, playing an NHL leading 13 overtime games (2-11) record, and NHL trailing overtime winning percentage (.154).
Broken down after the jump is how the Leafs fared in the calendar year 2009.
My Team Canada Roster selections may seem a little vanilla, but they’ve been selected to play out various situations. Penalty killing, power play and balance on all the forward units took precedent over sheer offensive/defensive ability.