Quantcast
Home Analysis

Analysis

In-depth analysis of the Toronto Maple Leafs from the Leading Leafs-centric website.

187

It is a popular war cry teams will make when in the midst of an unlikely or unexpected championship run.  But what exactly is needed to make a championship contending hockey club and just how far are the Maple Leafs from truly becoming one?  I thought I would attempt to answer that very question while trying to look at how a successful championship contending hockey team is currently composed and then comparing it to the Leafs situation and roster makeup. When I think of a model organization and a team I wish the Leafs would attempt to copy it is...

186

With the typical (and expected) “Fire Ron Wilson” sentiment being thrown around after another tough loss (now five in a row) I thought I would enter the fray and share my opinion on the matter.  It is often easy to blame the coach and the old adage “it’s easier to fire one coach than 20 players” has certainly been applied in the NHL over the past 25 years but in the case of the Maple Leafs, is the coach really to blame? I had written a story in the preseason that one of the potential problems I saw going into...

292

Relief, that’s the feeling I get when watching our young and improving defenseman Luke Schenn night in and night out this season.  Oh admit it you were a touch worried as I was that Schenn might not ever reach this day but I think we can all just say it and say it with pride, Luke Schenn is a stud.  Although he was never really that bad for most of last season the fact is Schenn was unfairly judged (as a 20 year old defenseman in his second season) by most Leafs fans.  The overall sentiment in 2009/10 seemed to be that...

418

The one area of weakness that was continually mentioned in the offseason centred around the Toronto Maple Leafs lack of scoring depth and the relatively lacklustre top six forward unit overall.  We heard it time and again as the team’s brain trust attempted to move our best defenseman over the past decade for any forward who could be added to one of the top two scoring lines.  At the same time we heard that the defence core we possessed was solid from one through seven and our goaltending should be hugely improved. So should it really come as any surprise early...

Jean-Sebastien Giguere

151

Following an unfortunate overtime loss to the New York Islanders on Monday night, the Maple Leafs came out flat against the New York Rangers last night in a 2-1 regulation loss. While some may be quick to conjure up memories of last seasons' oft-moments of ineptitude, the truth is a 4-1-1 record offers little reason to panic. After all, that first regulation loss had to come sometime. Does the fact the team has now lost two straight actually mean anything, in the grand scheme? At this point I would say no: consecutive losses, and flat performances, are something all teams...

199

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.  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. 1. Phil Kessel- 2G, 1A Kessel has looked the most dangerous player on the ice with every shift he takes.  The winger was...

135

It begins tonight - the 2010-2011 Toronto Maple Leafs season. New captain, new faces, new year, clean slate. Hope. The excitement of a new journey. Whatever level of excitement we the fans have for it, tonight is not a measuring stick. The Habs are somewhat undermanned, with Andrei Markov out of the lineup and Carey Price reportedly feeling under the weather. Moreover, last season's lengthy run in the postseason notwithstanding, I doubt whether anyone standing out of Pierre Gauthier's earshot considers the Habs to be likely to repeat that sort of performance this time 'round....

447

It'll probably be labeled as a "typical Leafs fan" debate given their status as lower roster players but there has been a number of questions arising out of yesterday's demotion of Christian Hanson and Luca Caputi in favour of John Mitchell and Tim Brent... and rightfully so, in my opinion, given the "earn your spot mentality" conveyed by Leafs brass and that both followed the off-season regimens recommended to them and came into camp by storm looking bigger, faster, stronger and more dynamic offensively. While it's too early to judge, I am not saying the decisions to originally sign either...

282

Perhaps the best part about Nazem Kadri's two-goal, three-point performance last night against the Ottawa Senators is that he can start the season with the Toronto Marlies with his head held high. Certainly, Leafs fans, management and Kadri alike will hope he can relay last night's performance on the wing into another strong showing against Detroit on Friday and make a case for a place in the big Leafs' top six for the October 7th date with the Habs. But should Kadri's play return to the form he exhibited in previous preseason showings - by no means terrible, but...

97

The Toronto Maple Leafs held their on-ice portion of training camp today. Players have been split into three squads to accommodate the 63 players invited to camp. Among the contingent of fans outside the ice surface at the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence was a throng of media and of course, Leafs staff. Before discussing what went down today, the Leafs squads are: Team Armstrong (A) NO Player NO Player 2 Luke Schenn 49 Danny Richomond 11 Fredrik Sjostrom 56 Dale Mitchell 16 Clarke MacArthur 59 Keith Aulie 18 Mike Brown 62 Jesse Blacker 23 Brett Lebda 64 Richard Greenop 26 Mike Zigomanis 70 Sam Carrick 28 Colton Orr 72 Andrew Engelage 35 J.S. Giguere 73 Josh Nicholls 36 Carl Gunnarsson 83 Andrew Crescenzi 37 Tim Brent 84 Mikhail Grabovski 45 Marcel Mueller     Team Kennedy (B) NO Player NO Player No. Player No. Player 4 Jeff Finger 47 Darryl Boyce 8 Mike Komisarek 48 Ryan Hamilton 9 Colby Armstrong 50 Jonas Gustavsson 15 Tomas Kaberle 51 Josh Engel 20 Christian Hanson 52 Greg Scott 29 Matt Lashoff 65 Brad Ross 30 Ben Scrivens 66 Barron...

135

No Leafs fan wants to be reminded of that most hated of Finnish goaltenders, Vesa Toskala. He was ushered into the organization as the next great goalie that would surely be the one to finally right this sinking ship. As any fan will tell you, this has been a disaster. In the nature of looking back at previous Leafs from yesteryear, I’m going to show you just how bad Toskala truly was. All stats not specifically referenced are borrowed from BehindtheNet.ca. We’ll start by taking a look at Toskala’s season in 09-10. Toskala ended his tenure with Toronto with a...

339

Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager, Brian Burke should have uttered one phrase to explain the situation, one simple little phrase to envelope the reasoning for the Phil Kessel trade; “Our picks in our vision of where we ended up are overvalued in accordance to the available crop of prospects.” But in Toronto, to admit that in what’s deemed as a ‘rebuild’ would have been a PR disaster. Despite popular opinion, he wasn’t wrong. The world is no longer flat, it’s round .. like a full-cirle (TORONTO - Gus Katsaros) We have to start this off with the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Generally described as...

281

One of the key questions surrounding the upcoming 2010-11 Maple Leafs season is whether they will be able to score enough to compete for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. An optimist will point to the Leafs' record following the acquisitions of Dion Phaneuf and J.S. Giguere as evidence that the Maple Leafs can compete. The cynic will suggest that although the Leafs played well over the final third of the season following those moves, there just simply isn't enough proven offensive production to buoy hopes for post-season play. A closer look at the Leafs performance over their past 26...

436

Leagues decision to battle Kovalchuk contract gives the NHLPA incentive entering the next round of CBA negotiations.

NHL Shield

630

There has been a certain degree of consternation among Maple Leafs fans of late regarding the number of SPCs (Standard Player Contracts) the team has on the books. Many have expressed concerns that the Maple Leafs are near the league maximum, and fear the situation could adversely affect the team's efforts to continue to re-tool the club into a playoff contender. A quick glance at the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), however, tells us the situation is not so dire as some would have us believe. The reason? A seldom-discussed clause, unofficially dubbed the "Slide Rule". In order to fully understand the...

195

It's easy to over simplify the removal of Kaberle's and Fingers contracts, but to do so negates the overall effects such ommisions would create.

594

Somewhat surprisingly, there has been a fair amount of debate over yesterday's signing of Colby Armstrong. I find this interesting because  much of the criticism seems to revolve around the notion of $3m equating to more than a 15 goal career average, even though Armstrong wasn't exactly acquired for his offensive prowess.   The main criticism seems to be, why would the team be willing to make a $9 million investment over 3 years, when similar production can likely be found at a cheaper rate? Now, it seems most decided to stop at that point and take the easy road; that being...

132

Instead of weighing the pros and cons, balancing the collective good choices of Burke and Wilson against the bad, MLHS is going to bring you into the event. Thousands of writers have provided their opinion but little time has been spent enabling the reader to form their own.

182

According to the Daily Herald, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets are believed to have expressed serious interest in Chicago winger Patrick Sharp. The author explains that Sharp would likely bring the highest return of any of the Hawks' players rumored to be on the trading block, in the form of a high draft pick of top prospect. One rival executive deemed Sharp to be "one of those players every team loves to have" and who has "no flaws in his game". The Toronto-Sharp connection has been red hot for over a year now, as the Daily Herald...

68

In a move that should surprise nobody, a Swedish hockey site has indicated that Rickard Wallin will not be with Toronto next year.  Wallin, who would have been a UFA for the Leafs, signed a four-year deal with his longtime European team Farjestads.  This ends a very brief return to the NHL for the Swedish centerman which saw one mediocre-at-best season with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Wallin signed with the Leafs in July of 2009, accompanying his countryman Jonas Gustavsson in the trip from Farjestads to the Maple Leafs.  While management referred to the pivot's defensive skills, faceoff prowess and...