Thursday, May 28, 2015
Authors Posts by Micheal Aldred

Micheal Aldred

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I am an avid hockey fan and a writer for The Score Federation. I own Checking From Behind.com and bleed blue and white. I hope to one day become Wyatt Earp.

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Phil Kessel made a statement today. A big one. It’s now put Brian Burke between a rock and a hard place. A decision must be made and it looks as though the Leafs (arguably) best sniper has put that responsibility on Brian Burke and only Brian Burke.

“It’s not working out here,” said a frustrated Kessel after being demoted to the third line during practice on Sunday. He’s now sitting on the right wing of one Darryl Boyce and one Joey Crabb. “Maybe there needs to be a change.”

Phil Kessel has sounded an alarm today, and all Leafs fans should be listening.

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    In early December, waffles were thrown after a Leaf game. Since then, waffles have become a bit of a statement in the Maple Leafs community. The media has called it “The Year of the Waffle” and “Waffle-Gate”, and at a mid-December meeting between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Atlanta Thrashers, one fan in particular felt the need to express his disapproval of the on-ice product. That man is Joe Robb.

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      Waffle Guy of The Checking Line wrote his own rendition of the Night Before Christmas, but based it on the Leafs and waffles. I thought it would be a nice little read for all of us for the holidays. Merry Christmas and happy holidays. Hopefully Santa can bring us all more wins.

      Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Leafs nation
      Not a fan was cheering, and no standing ovation;
      The players were stung by a pair of quick goals,
      And had hopes of digging themselves out of their hole;

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        Courtesy of The Star

        It’s a question that applies to both Leafs fans and MLSE with reports now out that the latest “waffle-thrower” has been charged with mischief and banned from all MLSE sporting events “indefinitely” – is the reaction from MLSE to start throwing legal proceedings at fans justified, and are the fans right to be throwing the breakfast treats on the ice surface in the first place?

        Obviously the main point that comes into place on the most recent events is due to the object being tossed to the ice during game play. It can be argued, as the announcer did during the game, that “someone could have slipped on that!”, but how often have we watched fans in Detroit throw an octopus on the ice? Quite often it’s been done during game play, but is there a big difference between a waffle and an octopus? Why are there no mischief charges by their organizations, or the oppositions organizations?

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        mapleleafs.com

        Nearing in on his first full year wearing a blue and white sweater, Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf is ready to return to his NHL roots as Toronto visits the Calgary Flames in their second game of a Western road swing.

        The Flames were a struggling team looking for a desperate change in their core and it came in a deal with Toronto that earned them Ian White (now a member of the Carolina Hurricanes), Matt Stajan (who has recently returned from injury), Niklas Hagman (who has, at times, shown brilliant chemistry with fellow countryman Olli Jokinen), and Jamal Mayers (who cares about him).

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        The Toronto Maple Leafs have become a team of inconsistency. In their quest to finish higher than last season, Toronto has rushed into certain games with speed and tenacity, while in others they have dwindled and failed to produce a single point. Over the last four weeks, the latter seems to have become the new identity of the team. Recently, the only true star the team possesses is one Jonas Gustavsson, but when the Tampa Bay Lightning and Steven Stamkos stroll into town for their second meeting of the season, the Leafs will have to be better than good.

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        According to TSN, Pat Burns, the only coach to ever win the Jack Adams Trophy with three different NHL clubs, has passed away due to complications with cancer.

        “For those who know me well, I’ve never backed down from any fight, and I’m not going to back down from this one,” said Burns. He was a man who was full of energy and determination both behind the bench and in life to the very end.

        We at MLHS send our condolences to the Burns’ family as we remember our favorite Leaf moments of the legendary head coach.

        “I know my life is nearing its end and I accept that,” said Burns. “As for my career, I always said to my kids, ‘you don’t cry because it’s over, you’re happy because it happened.’ That’s the main thing. I’m happy it happened.”

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        Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

        Update: Ron Wilson must read MLHS – After much outrage it appears Brett Lebda will not be in the line up tonight. Carl Gunnarsson and Keith Aulie will play.

        Tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs look to continue their recent scoring streak against the New Jersey Devils. Both teams are looking to escape the bottom half of the Eastern Conference, and each are sporting a similar record over their last ten games: New Jersey (3-6-1), Toronto (2-6-2). Jonas Gustavsson will get the start for the Leafs tonight as J.S. Giguere will be sidelined for a week or two with a groin injury.

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        The Toronto Maple Leafs suffered a bit of a loss in their win last night against the Nashville Predators. Midway through the third period, goaltender J.S. Giguere suffered an undisclosed injury (believed to be groin), and sat out the remainder of the game. He will now be out of the lineup for at least tomorrow night’s game against the New Jersey Devils. In his absence, Toronto has called up goaltender James Reimer from the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. Reimer has appeared in 9 games this season for the Marlies, posting a record of 5-3-1 with one shutout, a 2.90 goals against average and a 0.918 save percentage. Reimer will play the role of back-up goaltender to Jonas Gustavsson on Thursday night, but could see NHL action should Giguere’s injury be more long-term.

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        Frederick Breedon/AP

        Tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs host the Nashville Predators at the ACC and are looking to finally sever their connection with their mistress – Ms. Losestreak. Nashville enters the match-up looking to extend a small winning streak to three games, while Toronto has lost their last four games at home. Their last win at home was also their last 2 point game prior to the streak, when they defeated the Florida Panthers 3-1 thanks to Colton “The Magician” Orr. I went with magician because he did a fine job of making a goaltender suddenly disappear.

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        MLHS Update: Richard Peddie is out as MLSE President/CEO according to Greg Brady. Given the state of MLSE’s three sports teams at the moment, this can’t come off as a major surprise.

        The Toronto Maple Leafs complete their back to back Sunshine State games tonight as they visit the Florida Panthers, but there are issues starting to arise in the dressing room. During their 4-0 shutout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, I thought I would eventually see J.S. Giguere pull a Patrick Roy and start throwing the puck in his own net before demanding a trade from a Toronto team that does not seem to have any idea how to score a goal. Instead, he saved his frustrations for after the game when he called out his teammates for being lazy.

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        Rick Madonik/Toronto Star

        The Toronto Maple Leafs kick off a brief tour of the Sunshine State when they visit the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight before taking on the Florida Panthers tomorrow. Unfortunately for both clubs, their offensive capabilities have been absent from the hockey party as of late and each are on a losing streak (Leafs – 5 games, Lightning – 3 games). Tampa Bay has only scored four goals in their last three games, while the Leafs have recently put together a pair of shootout losses and have 8 goals in their last three games but have been unable to play a solid full 60 minutes to earn the victories. They will look to improve on that effort tonight.

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        Update: Enroth will start for Buffalo per Elliotte Friedman; he was pulled after one period in his only appearance this season after conceding 3 goals on 12 shots against Boston on Wednesday. Here’s hoping for a repeat performance.

        Tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs return home to host the Buffalo Sabres. After a thrilling come-from-behind shootout loss to the NHL’s offensive juggernauts – Washington Capitals – Toronto seems to be heading back into the right direction. The Buffalo Sabres, on the other hand, are sporting the league’s worst record and riding a three game losing streak. They are also coming off a loss against the Habs last night, so the Leafs certainly have an edge rest-wise heading into this one. The worry does remain that the Sabres have matched up really well against the Leafs in recent times (winning ten of their last eleven against the Buds), but these seem to be two different teams since the onset of the 2010-11 campaign.

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        It took the Leafs nearly 168 minutes to earn their first goal in three games in last night’s loss to the Ottawa Senators. It has been the story of the team in terms of points production as the club lost its fifth game in their last six outings. That said, the drive and scoring chances the team has created for themselves during that time made most of those games “close ones”. Tonight, with scoring hopefully back on their side, the .500 Leafs hope to erase their current three game losing streak by conquering the Capitals.

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        Tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs will play host to the Ottawa Senators at the ACC in a game that could be a nail biter for all the wrong reasons. For fans who are looking for a tight game, the Leafs have provided endless periods of “so close!” The Senators? They seem to be running down a similar path, despite blowing out two of their opponents last week with five goals for in each game (vs. Panthers and Coyotes). Unfortunately, they are coming off a shutout loss to the Bruins (surprise) and if they had not put up 10 goals in two games last week, their goals for totals (26) would tell the true tale of two cities who simply cannot score.

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        For the third time this season (and this month) the New York Rangers will clash with the Toronto Maple Leafs. In their first two meetings (4-3 OT win Leafs / 2-1 win Rangers), each have conquered the other on the road. Toronto will look to avoid recent history repeating by earning the victory in this match-up at home, and someone will be sporting pink skates.

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        Update: John Mitchell will step in for Kris Versteeg on the second line, who can’t go tonight due to a sore back. Should be interesting to see if Mitchell can bring some size and forecheck/board play ability to that line. Mike Zigomanis will line up at fourth line centre.

        Are the Maple Leafs’ winning ways back in front of them? Has their controversial victory over the Florida Panthers moved the club back into a mean streak? The scoring is certainly present for forward Phil Kessel, but the Leafs still need to stay aggressive in the offensive zone. Tonight, they’ll face their biggest challenge (in goal) as Tim Thomas leads the league in both goals against average (0.75) and save percentage (0.978). Thomas has yet to lose a game this season and the Leafs will hope to put a dent in that stat in particular. Thomas has played a large part of it (he’s undefeated at 4-0 whereas Rask is 0-2 so far) but the Bruins’ stingy defence boasts the lowest goals against per game total (1.83) in the league six games into the season.

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        Tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs will play host to the New York Islanders as they search for the fifth straight win to open the season. The Islanders are searching for their first road win of the season and hope to earn it tonight by crashing the Leafs’ winning party. The Leafs’ fifth win of the season last year came November 23rd and was accompanied by eighteen losses in regulation and overtime. J.S. Giguere is back between the posts while Brett Lebda sees his first action of the regular season in place of the shaky Carl Gunnarsson.

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        The Toronto Maple Leafs are set to visit the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at the Consol Energy Arena. The Penguins have yet to win at home this season and get another opportunity to erase that stat tonight against a Leafs team that is hoping to remain undefeated. Jonas Gustavsson will get his first start between the pipes according to Sportsnet.

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        Darcy Tucker has officially called it a career. “After spending the whole summer anticipating I would play, it got to a point where I knew it was time.”

        “I just knew, during workouts I didn’t have that same feeling,” Tucker told TSN, “and I needed to be fair with my family.”