Not much left to say at this point.
We've got quotes like this surfacing:
Which, while anonymous, do match those of late last season.
The Leafs clearly sense the end is near, who doesn't, and so far knowing the season is over and the team is soon to be dismantled hasn't seen them loosen up and play better hockey; it's seen some of their best players check out entirely. Not a bad thing for the ubiquitous pro-tank faction of the fanbase, but it's been the toughest stretch of Leafs hockey to watch, arguably ever and certainly for those born after the 80s.
Phil Kessel spent good chunks...
A major story breaking this morning from The Globe and Mail’s Cathal Kelly, with some big implications for the coming weeks and months ahead.
According to Kelly, Brendan Shanahan concluded last Spring’s initial evaluation period and asked the new ownership group for the mandate to strip the team down. Reportedly, the board wasn’t yet ready to commit to a likely 3-5 years without sniffing the playoffs, and voted to give the core of the team once last chance after attempting to shore up the depth with some low-commitment adds to the bottom end of the roster.
Mr. Shanahan and his lieutenants...
Four roster players of name value plus three prospects and a first round pick changed hands in a rare modern day multi-player NHL blockbuster.
Buffalo may well end up with the two best players in the deal if Bogosian and Kane can stay healthy and progress, with the convenience of Kane not being able to hurt their draft position at all for the rest of the season. For Winnipeg, Tyler Myers has flashed a lot of upside in his mixed career to date, plus there's futures heading Winnipeg's way, and for the stretch run they add a veteran scorer in Drew Stafford...
Toronto had a horrible opening period, out-chanced 12-2 at even strength, but after a late power-play goal they managed to get out of it down by a single goal.
The second was much more even, but the Rangers managed to extend their lead after former Leaf Dominic Moore scored New York's fourth. The Leafs then had a great third, scoring twice in the first seven minutes, setting up a great last part of the game. The two teams both had great shifts, and exchanged a number of chances, but it was the Rangers who got the winning goal, off the...
New York Rangers Projected Lineup
Mats Zuccarello – Derick Brassard – Rick Nash
Chris Kreider – Derek Stepan – Martin St. Louis
Carl Hagelin – Dominic Moore – Lee Stempniak
Tanner Glass – Kevin Hayes – J.T. Miller
Ryan McDonagh – Dan Girardi
Marc Staal – Kevin Klein
John Moore – Dan Boyle
Scratched: Matt Hunwick
Injured: Henrik Lundqvist (neck), Jesper Fast (knee)
Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lineup
James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel
Leo Komarov – Peter Holland – Joffrey Lupul
Daniel Winnik – Nazem Kadri – Mike Santorelli
David Booth – Trevor Smith – Richard Panik
Morgan Rielly – Roman Polak
Korbinian Holzer – Stephane Robidas
Jake Gardiner –...
Strange goings on with the goaltending situation as of late, with Jonathan Bernier missing last Saturday's game, giving Reimer both games in the back to back, and then Bernier himself being the first to announce James Reimer as the starter for the third consecutive game tonight versus the Rangers.
That alone is not much to go on, but there was also this surfacing yesterday on Twitter:
Still far from definitive, especially in the climate of rumour season, but some inconsistency and Bernier struggling with injuries later on in the season has been a two-year pattern since he got to Toronto, and with him...
Mike Johnston: Leafs could trade Bozak before trade deadline (Sportsnet)
Damien Cox reported, via Elliotte Friedman, during the Headlines portion ofHockey Night in Canada that the Maple Leafs are nowhere near close to coming to terms with pending unrestricted free agents Cody Franson, Mike Santorelli and Daniel Winnik and that all three could be dealt. In addition to Franson, Santorelli and Winnik, centre Tyler Bozak’s name is out there and could potentially be moved by the deadline, according to Cox.
Jonas Sigel: Rielly shines as Leafs' slide ends (TSN.ca)
Rielly has been one of the rare bright spots from another epic Maple...
The Toronto Maple Leafs finally managed a win, as the Edmonton Oilers showed that the Leafs still have a lot to learn about being a truly bad team.
Toronto dominated the chances in the opening period, but weren't rewarded. They did finally manage a break-through, midway through the second period, Panik getting a power-play goal. At that point, Toronto led the ES chances 9-4, and they kept up the pressure after that, Kessel and Rielly adding goals to give the Leafs a comfortable margin. Edmonton had the best of the chances in the third, but the game was out of...
It looks like James Reimer will play his second game in as many nights as Jonathan Bernier appears to be unavailable due to injury or illness.
In other injury news, Cody Franson is banged up and is considered a gametime decision, with Petter Granberg at the ready if he can't go. Hopefully this setback is nothing serious because the timing could not be worse with the deadline approaching.
There is an alarming lack of professional pride kicking in with this Leafs team at the moment; Reimer said they needed to man up after the loss in New Jersey last night and Peter Horachek called...
Toronto's struggles continued in New Jersey, as they stretched their losing streak to a new franchise record.
The Leafs had a poor first period, falling behind and getting out-chanced 9-5, and gave up the first two chances of the second as well, along with another goal. Toronto were better after that second goal, but couldn't score, and the Devils added a third going into the final period. The Leafs then earned a couple of power-plays, and were actually able to generate quite a few chances, but it wasn't enough, as they only scored one goal.
The Leafs were badly out-chanced while...
Peter Horachek is going with James Reimer in net as the Maple Leafs look to avoid sole ownership of the longest losing streak in the Leafs' near-100 year history.
What's really dejecting is that it's debatable where this latest tirefire stands on the spectrum of Leafs lowlights in the just the past four seasons. The Game 7 collapse was also record-setting, for largest lead forfeited in the third period of a game 7, but starting the year 19-9-3 through 31 games before setting a franchise record for consecutive losses might be the worst of the worse; even more accentuated and dramatic than the 2011-12 and 2013-14...
Previously sitting at the 50-contract maximum, the Maple Leafs have freed up two Standard Player Contract slots by moving Carter Ashton and David Broll for the closest thing to a bag of pucks in hockey trade terms.
Broll, a sixth rounder in 2011, was signed to a pro contract earlier than expected (just a month after getting drafted), and was tracking along fairly promisingly after finishing his junior career in Sault St Marie and having a pretty good rookie season with the Marlies, as well as coming up for a five-game stint with the big club to start the 2013-14 season. He has...
Rumour du jour:
Bob McKenzie's full segment with lots of Leafy bits can be found here.
Elliotte Friedman: 30 Thoughts: What's Happening with Evander Kane and lots more (Sportsnet.ca)
While the McDavid/Eichel watch has everyone fixated on the bottom of the standings, there is another effect. Pittsburgh was unafraid to deal its first-rounder, because the Penguins know they will be in the playoffs. (The Blues, Islanders and Rangers already traded them last year.) But, teams who are uncertain of a post-season position are loathe to give up such a pick, knowing if they don’t make it, they’ve given up a lottery spot. And...
10 straight losses ties a franchise record, but last night's game worked out nicely for a number of rooting interests, current realities considered. The Leafs played the top team in the League tightly, scored some goals finally, their potential deadline trade chips all played well and produced (Santorelli, Winnik, Franson), and they ultimately lost their tenth straight to keep the tank alive (lottery odds can be tracked via the MLHS sidebar).
Onto the links.
Anthony Petrielli: Goal scoring problems under Horachek, Reimer, Bernier, Notes, 5 things I’d do & more (MLHS)
The other interesting thing is how the Leafs are playing, and how it...