The Maple Leafs' OT victory over the Avalanche in Game 4 of the season counts among the best possession games during the Randy Carlyle era, as the Maple Leafs owned 58% of the shot attempts in that game and came out on the right end of a 40-24 shot count.
The Maple Leafs will hopefully have a semblance of a blueprint as to how they went about dictating the game against this Avs team, especially over the final 40 minutes, when they outshot the Avs 31-12.
A 3-6-5 start with too much time spent in their own end inspired an early tweak by Patrick...
The Leafs are looking to stay undefeated in regulation on the road (3-0-1) in tonight’s meeting with the Western Conference’s last place team the Arizona Coyotes.
The Coyotes have been a middle of the road possession team getting let down by its defense and especially its goaltending in the early going. Mike Smith’s .873 leaves him fourth from the bottom in save percentage among goaltenders with a minimum of 3 starts. Expected to start tonight, the Leafs would be wise to test him early and often.
The Coyotes will be feeling a little better about themselves having most recently picked up...
The Blackhawks have been waiting in Toronto since their shootout win over Ottawa on Thursday, but the good news is that Randy Carlyle was able to limit the minutes of his top guns in a convincing win over the Blue Jackets last night.
The Leafs will also be injecting some fresh legs on the fourth line in the form of Sam Carrick, who has probably had to wait 10 games too many to get this chance given the preseason he had. He's hinted at maybe getting some looks on the Leafs' excelling penalty kill as well, but first and foremost,...
The Blue Jackets are riddled with injuries, but the Maple Leafs would need short memories to take them lightly; they were thoroughly outcompeted by the Blue Jackets in their three meetings last season, losing by a combined score of 13-3.
There are some rumblings of 7D, and of Carter Ashton's season debut, but that's been the case for almost every game this season.
Joffrey Lupul - Nazem Kadri - Phil Kessel
James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - David Clarkson
Leo Komarov - Mike Santorelli - Daniel Winnik
Carter Ashton - Peter Holland – Richard Panik
Dion Phaneuf - Cody Franson
Jake Gardiner -...
You have to figure the Maple Leafs are going to be a little tight having lost four of five at home, all handily, and having to now enter a game that is a 'should win' versus the worst team in the League.
Fan patience in the ACC tonight will be even shorter than usual. It's only 9 games in, but the Leafs need this one.
From James Mirtle today, who wrote on the Sabres' rebuild plans versus the Leafs' less-than-clear current blueprint.
These Sabres aren’t merely bad; they’re historically bad, scoring only 1.1 goals per game, being outshot by 13.6 a night...
Phil Kessel hasn't played a game against the Boston Bruins without Big Z starting the majority of shifts against him or hopping the boards shortly thereafter.
The Maple Leafs will look to capitalize and get the season series started off with a win against the underperforming Boston Bruins (4-5-0). While it still doesn't feel as though the Maple Leafs have bucked the Bruin off their back after losing eight of nine regular season meetings followed by the traumatizing 2013 playoff loss, they did manage to split the season series in 2013-14.
The Bruins remain a top 5 possession team at even strength, but Tuukka Rask hasn't been...
The Toronto Maple Leafs (2-3-1) are in New York to take on the Islanders (4-1-0).
Toronto is looking to rebound after two back-to-back losses against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday and Saturday with a better effort against the Islanders tonight.
Toronto's top lines have come under fire for not producing and need to pick up their output if the team is to improve their recent play. New York has been playing well, but has allowed 3.00 goals a game, ranking them 19th in the league, just ahead of the Maple Leafs in 20th place.
Where they are succeeding is in goal scoring, ranked...
The Maple Leafs are going to have to manage the puck more effectively through neutral ice and find an answer for the Gustav Nyquist, Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen (who may not play... game time decision after getting injured last night) line or else it could be four points dropped to a division rival in 48 hours.
The Wings' top line scored all four goals on the Maple Leafs last night, with Justin Abdelkader getting in on the action in the third after taking Franzen's spot on the top line. Zetterberg walked away with four assists on the night. The...
The Maple Leafs are looking to get on the right side of .500 in their first 2014-15 meeting with division rival Detroit.
The Maple Leafs are coming off their best 'possession' performance in over 25 games on Tuesday, but did so against the reeling and typically puck-poor Colorado Avalanche. How will they fare against a more respectable possession team in a divisional back-to-back this weekend? The Leafs were decidedly outplayed by the Wings last season in losing three of four to Detroit outside of their shootout Winter Classic win.
There will be no Pavel Datsyuk for Detroit, and there will be a Jake Gardiner for...
The Colorado Avalanche (1-2-0) come into town tonight on the 2nd half of a back-to-back and look to improve upon their poor start to the season—much the same as the Toronto Maple Leafs (1-2-0).
The last time that these two teams met, the Maple Leafs blew them out 5-2 and it was a wide-open affair. It was a game of turnovers and end-to-end action, and more of the same should probably be expected.
Colorado has gotten off to a slow start; Minnesota dominated them in two back-to-back games and outshot them heavily. There are a number of parallels between these two...
Funny how much two games can change.
The context of James Reimer’s first start of 2014-15 is such that he could make the goaltending battle a battle again if he comes out with a big effort tonight in New York. With an effort from his teammates comparable to last night’s, however, he won’t stand much of a chance.
It’s time for the Maple Leafs’ best players to play like their best players. Two Tyler Bozak goals aside, the top line has been nothing short of horrendous to the point of borderline embarrassment; at one point last night, they were hemmed in...
Maple Leafs and Penguins meetings rarely leave the audience wanting for goals.
The two teams have combined for 38 goals in their last 6 meetings, with the Penguins winning four of the meetings, two via the shootout.
Randy Carlyle will be looking to the pairing of Dion Phaneuf and Stephane Robidas to get the job done against the Crosby, Kunitz and Hornqvist line, who went off for four goals against the Anaheim Ducks in Pittsburgh's season opener. Toronto's de facto shutdown pair looked a little rough around the edges against Montreal on Wednesday.
Toronto will also be looking for better games from...
The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montréal Canadiens met for the first time on December 26, 1917 – almost 100 years ago — and Toronto won 7-5. Since then, the teams have met 789 times.
Hockey's oldest rivalry hasn't met in the playoffs in nearly 35 years, and that has taken a little bit of the intensity of these match ups, but not much. Toronto has had Montréal's number in recent years, winning four straight home openers in a row dating back to the 2010-2011 season. New in this near century-old rivalry will be the debut of Sportsnet as the home...
The Maple Leafs were true to their off-season words yesterday, starting the season with four (and change) lines that can all play a regular shift. The tone was rather giddy across the blogosphere:
Toronto Star: Maple Leafs' ACC experience gets overhaul for opening night
National Post: William Nylander heading back to Sweden: 'I need to get stronger'
Toronto Sun: Cut Nylander vows to be back with the Maple Leafs
PPP: Maple Leafs waive Colton Orr & Frazer McLaren, reveal roster
TLN: Cut Day -- No M'Orr Goons
VLM: Nylander decision good news for Leafs fans; other roster decisions may bode well, too
CBC: Colton Orr,...
The Toronto Maple leafs (4-2-1) take on the Detroit Red Wings (3-2-1) At the Air Canada Ctr. tonight.
Both teams will be without their star players; Pavel Datsyuk and Phil Kessel will not be playing. Tyler Bozak, Cody Franson and David Clarkson are also not dressed due to injury.
Three players on the Maple Leafs that are looking to have strong games are Carter Ashton, Matt Frattin and Peter Holland. All have had quiet preseasons; Carter Ashton in particular was rumoured to be shopped by the Leafs instead of losing him for nothing to the waiver wire. Head Coach Randy Carlyle...
I don't think anyone's shedding a tear over the winding down of preseason, but we will get our first look at Stephane Robidas and what is pretty much a full lineup for the Maple Leafs as they tune up for the final time before the October 8th 2014-15 season opener.
Here are tonight's (projected) lines:
Jonas Siegel: Why William Nylander isn't ready to be a Leaf just yet
Globe and Mail: Globe Hockey Podcast -- MLHS mention 12 minutes in
PPP: New Rogers broadcasts are just more of the same
Mirtle: 2014 NHL Training Camp -- By the Numbers
TSN: Ready to return, Stephane Robidas won't be...
The Maple Leafs trimmed the roster down to 29 earlier today, but even subtracting William Nylander and one of Colton Orr and Fraser McLaren, the Leafs still have 16 forwards vying for 12 spots. David Booth's foot fracture (out for at least a month) brings that total down to 15 for now. Still lots left to sort out with two games to go.
We'll update with the defence pairs when they're known.
With three preseason games remaining, the pace should start to ramp up as the vets begin to ramp things up to regular season intensity and the roster spot battles come down to the wire.
Stephane Robidas has been cleared for contact, so he'll begin participating in the battle drills, but he won't play tonight.
The Leafs' top line from last season is expected to play together for the first time in preseason.