The Leafs were shut out by one of the league's worst defensive teams and goaltenders (statistically) on Thursday. Tonight they'll [more…]
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,
we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,
we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way."
-- Charles Dickens, "A Tale of Two Cities"
How aptly the great literary work of Dickens describes the experience of the rebuilding process. On one hand, there is hope for a brighter future; on the other, the reality of a present mired in frustration and despair. Such is the state of both the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs, who will face off tonight in the Battle Of The Perpetual Rebuilding Effort.
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.
The Maple Leafs will try to forget last night's defeat in Buffalo as they travel tonight to Scotiabank place to duel against their struggling provincial rivals. After kicking off the month of November with a 5-1-0 run, the Senators have since lost 5 out of their past 6 games including a defeat Friday afternoon at the hands of Sidney Crosby and the Penguins.
The Leafs have had a nightmarish time on the road this season, ranking dead last in the league in terms of road record and offensive production. The team has stumbled into a 2-6-1 record including a ghastly 16 goals for through those 9 games played. The Leafs have lost seven in a row on the road, as their last victory away from the friendly confines of the ACC came way back on October 15th against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. [more…]
The Leafs will be looking to their fresh faces and new identity to bust the curse of the HSBC Arena when they visit Buffalo tonight. Â These hopeful heroes include rookies Nazem Kadri and Keith Aulie, both of whom have not been exposed to the high-energy, fast-paced nature of these divisional games. Â Also encompassed in this group is former Sabre Clarke MacArthur. Â MacArthur will be looking to score against his ex-teammate Ryan Miller, who returns tonight to fuel a Buffalo team that is struggling.
The Dallas Stars and (future Leafs center) Brad Richards come into town tonight looking to extend a recent streak of hot play (2-0-1). Despite a respectable record and a potent offense, the Stars sit at the bottom of a very competitive Pacific Division. Meanwhile, Toronto will be eager to bounce back from a blanking at the hands of Carey Price and the Canadiens while regaining the offensive groove that had seen them win their two previous games.
What a difference a two-game winning streak can make. Â After a tidy performance against the New Jersey Devils for a second consecutive victory, there is optimism aplenty amongst both Leafs fans and the players themselves. Â This young Toronto squad is regaining their confidence, and Jonas Gustavsson appears to be progressing steadily along the path of a respectable NHL goaltender . Â They will have a tough test on their hands as they step into the Bell Centre tonight to face a Montreal Canadiens team that has somehow managed to stick around in the conference's upper echelon. Â As always, a Saturday night tilt between Montreal and Toronto promises to be an exciting one.
A second period outburst against the Nashville Predators dramatically ended the Toronto Maple Leafs eight game losing skid and lifted the weight of the world off of their shoulders. The win on Tuesday looked out of the question as the Predators attacked the Leafs for 3 first period goals, all but collapsing their confidence. A late first period goal from Luke Schenn seemed to lift spirits and sent the Leafs into the locker room with something to build upon. During the second period something clicked with the Maple Leaf power play and as a result they scored four unanswered goals and found themselves in the strange waters of the win column. [more…]
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.
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.
The Vancouver Canucks are hoping a visit to the ACC won't do much to halt their recent winning ways. Â Other than a brief speedbump against Montreal on Tuesday, Vancouver has been nearly unstoppable, going 7-2-1 in their last ten games. Â This makes it a tough assignment for the Leafs, who won't have an easy time snapping out of a six-game slide against Roberto Luongo and the Canucks. Â Toronto will be hoping that recent call-ups Nazem Kadri and Keith Aulie inject some life into their slumbering squad. Â Fans will be hoping that management didn't jump the gun with Kadri, putting him in the limelight at the peak (hopefully...) of Toronto's struggles.
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.