Noun pl. loyalties -Â·ties
Defined as a quality, state, or instance of being loyal; faithfulness or faithful adherence to a person, government, cause, duty, etc.
In the midst of one of the worst blowout losses (7-0) in the history of the beloved Toronto Maple Leafs I thought I would pose a question, what does loyalty mean to you?Â The idea came to me after I simply asked on my twitter account if there was actually a team in the NHL right now that you wouldnâ€™t trade roster for roster with the Leafs?Â [more…]
No the Toronto Maple Leafs are not trying to reacquire Jiri Tlusty but they are quickly turning into one of the streakiest teams in the NHL this season.Â Â With their current four game winning streak going strong I thought Iâ€™d take a look at just how streaky they have been â€“ Toronto now has 18 wins, 20 losses plus 4 overtime/shootout losses.Â
Of the Leafs 18 wins, eight have been garnered on some form of a winning streak as the Leafs started the year on a four game winning streak.Â However, the losses have also come in bunches, greatly counteracting the impressive win streaks, and then some.Â [more…]
One of the more polarizing players on the Toronto Maple Leafs roster, Mikhail Grabovski has been on the tongues of Leafs Nation with his current hot streak in full effect. He suddenly has a lot of new and of course the old diehard â€œalways believed in himâ€ fans on his side with his torrid scoring pace over the past month.Â Another game tonight, another two goals... the hot streak is borderline madness.
Just how hot has â€œGraboâ€ been?Â Think back if you will to last season when enigmatic (for Toronto anyway) scoring winger Lee Stempniak was dealt to the Phoenix Coyotes (for nothing) and was almost literally in the news every day for his scoring exploits â€“ 14 goals in 18 games!Â Well since December 6, 2010 Grabovski has scored at an even more ridiculous clip with 12 goals in 14 games, the hottest player in the league over that time span. [more…]
Brian Burke has been oft-criticized for various moves since beginning his tenure as the GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs but after witnessing the recent Brian Rolston waiver situation I think we should start to also give him at least a tiny bit of credit.Â Burke has gone on record as saying he doesnâ€™t believe in the long term contracts that NHL teams are throwing around in recent years and he wonâ€™t be giving any Leafs player this type of deal anytime soon â€“ though hard to say if any of the current Leafs are worthy.
When asked about the Kovalchuck circumvention case he was quoted as saying â€œThe risk a team assumes with a long-term deal is a different issue [than] whether itâ€™s permitted under the CBA. So thatâ€™s a different issue.â€Â Itâ€™s clear he doesnâ€™t believe this is a prudent way to do business and although I wish we actually had a Jeff Carter to lock-up, maybe he is right.
â€œWeâ€™re two years away from expiration of the CBA. My mindset hasnâ€™t changed. The league sets the rules here, theyâ€™ve given us the rules and now weâ€™ll go forward under those rules. Iâ€™m not going to rule out anything thatâ€™s permissible under the league bylaws or under the CBA.â€ [more…]
So the Toronto Maple Leafs did the inevitable and sent down there 2009 1st round selection Nazem Kadri to the AHL (Toronto Marlies).Â Whether it is longer term or just to get his 2-game suspension off the books remains to be seen but I for one hope he is firmly entrenched down there, for his own good.Â I still have hope that Kadri can develop into a serviceable and possibly even productive second line centre but for now he is not even close to being NHL ready.
To really drive home that point letâ€™s head to Alberta and take a look at Jordan Eberle.Â [more…]
I awoke last night in a cold sweat with cloudy thoughts of a Jeremy Roenick game winner, Dominik Hasek and Arturs Irbe standing on their heads and an unusual amount of players screaming at NHL referees.Â Ok, so I had a strange dream, our old GM Pat Quinn had actually taken over Brian Burkeâ€™s mind and body and was in actuality our current GM in the form of Burkie.Â Now that I have lost most of you, to the remaining readers let me at least explain further. [more…]
You can never give up hope especially with 51 games remaining in the NHL schedule but with the Toronto Maple Leafs currently eight points out of a playoff spot with four teams also ahead of them to get there the odds are pretty stacked against them.Â Last season I believe only one team made the playoffs that werenâ€™t already officially among the top eight seeds as of December 1/2009 and that was the Philadelphia Flyers and we all remember how they managed to squeak in.Â
One could argue that they [Flyers] probably should have been in the race from the first game of the season given the roster of talent they possess and eventual trip all the way to the Stanley Cup finals.Â Nobody would make that same argument for this yearâ€™s version of the Leafs and while there is always a chance, I am not overly optimistic.Â
So if we arenâ€™t looking at a playoff berth what are we playing for? [more…]
The Toronto Maple Leafs have been called plenty of things this season but I can honestly say there is one I have never heard until recently after reading a piece by an Edmonton sports writer, chicken.Â The writer said the Leafs played the role of chicken (and turtles) versus the Edmonton Oilers stating Colton Orr spent the â€œentire evening running away from Steve MacIntyreâ€ and â€œfound an escape hatchâ€ when he beat Oilers tough guy Zack Stortini â€œin a marathonâ€.
Where to begin?Â First off, Colton Orr runs away from no man, this I think most NHL fight pundits will agree with.Â Brand new NHL heavyweight contender (some say champion) Deryk Engelland has been wreaking havoc on the fight scene this season with some impressive knockouts and wins over some big time opponents.Â [more…]
The big question that will need to be answered by Ron Wilson and company over the next couple of games is who sits?Â With the return of captain Dion Phaneuf the Maple Leafs officially have a logjam on the backend and not only will one of Keith Aullie, Carl Gunnarsson or Mike Komisarek have to sit but a guy like Francois Beauchemin might also be forced into a less meaningful role.
Will this finally force the hand of Brian Burke and the need to move some of the excess bodies and salaryÂ on our backend?
The Maple Leafs express fresh off a huge 3-2 comeback victory over their division rivals from BeantownÂ hit the road hoping to find the rarest of rare for them this season, a victory on foreign ice in Washington, D.C.Â The Leafs are 0-7-1 in their past eight games away from the friendly confines of the Air Canada Centre and are hoping to avoid their first 8-game losing streak since Nov 7 â€“ Dec 6 / 1996.
That might be easier said than done as standing in their way are the explosive Washington Capitals and their impressive 12-2-1 record at home, tops in the Eastern Conference.Â Staying out of the penalty box will be of the utmost importance as the Leafs porous penalty kill is downright sieve like on the road with a 64.7% success fail rate.
Toronto is 0-2-1 in its last three visits to the Verizon Center, allowing 17 goals. After a beastly return to the lineup on Saturday, Armstrong has been promoted to line one with Kessel (who is back at center ice ) and Versteeg. Lines after the jump courtesy of TuckerThomas: [more…]
To quote the legendary Jim Mora, â€œYou kidding me?Â Playoffs?Â I just hope we win another game!â€Â As the Leafs struggle to find ongoing consistency in the goal scoring department I thought I would have a look at their scoring output compared to the post-lockout playoff teams to see if there is any hope at actually making the big dance at seasonâ€™s end.Â First, some key Leafs stats through 22 games this year:
|8-11-3||2.18||2.68||0.89||15.2 (22nd)||73.1 (29th)|
During the doom and gloom of a lengthy losing streak it can be easy to focus only on the negative aspects of a hockey team and I have noticed my last few pieces have done just that.Â Today I thought I would take a look at some of the positive and promising assets the Toronto Maple Leafs currently possess as opposed to what they ultimately lack.
Although they are much maligned and even despised by some the ownership of the Toronto Maple Leafs has never been a serious impediment to the success of the team, contrary to popular belief.Â Sure MLSE values a profit as most corporations do and yes they charge an arm and a leg for even a lousy ticket, but the fact is the market for all things Leafs is extremely strong.Â With the current supply and demand the way it is the pricing issue will not go away or change, ever. [more…]