Saturday night in Montreal, Tyler Bozak pulled off an assist for the highlight reel just before Phil Kessel’s go-ahead 3-2 goal.
(The goal, Bob Cole’s call, and Kessel’s celebration were grade-A Leafs porn. It’s a shame there was horrible officiating the Leafs can’t protect leads, preventing this from being a game winner).
Note Bozak’s first pass into Kessel in the slot on the initial opportunity before the puck left the zone. Granted, the pass just before the goal was as lucky as it was good. There’s two Habs between him and Kessel, it actually went through Deharnais’ skates, and it’s a...
The Olympics have come and gone with Team Canada bringing home the gold medal in ice hockey, successfully defending their Olympic title. But despite dominating international hockey, the men’s team is not positioned at the top of the IIHF rankings. Instead, Canada is third behind Sweden and Finland. Why?
It’s a ranking that baffles many – including the record-breaking 15 million Canadian viewers who tuned into the Sochi 2014 final at very unpleasant hours. Combined, Canadians watched in excess of 14 million hours of the Winter Games to see Team Canada come third overall which included both the men’s...
With tonight's blockbuster between the Blues and Sabres cranking up the heat on trade speculation across the League (DOMINOES!!!), let’s take a quick look at one of the names being batted around the rumour mill as it pertains to the Maple Leafs.
Alex Edler Scouting Report
Courtesy of McKeen's Hockey:
Why the Leafs Might Want Him
There is the familiarity factor when it comes to Dave Nonis potentially dealing for a Vancouver Canuck. Alexander Edler was a 91st overall pick under him in 2004, meaning Nonis was around to see Edler’s first 97 games as an NHL defenceman in 2006-07 and 2007-08.
Centerman Peter Holland has been sent down today to accommodate for the return of Dave Bolland, and potentially Trevor Smith, to the Leaf lineup.
Holland has shown promise and will hopefully factor in more prominently next camp (or come the next injury), but had posted one point in thirteen games before a lace bite injury which kept him out for three games prior to the Olympic Break. He has 11 points in 35 games this season.
For the first time since October, the Maple Leafs will have Tyler Bozak, Nazem Kadri, Dave Bolland and Jay McClement lined up down the middle...
Before the NHL broke for the Olympics, the Toronto Maple Leafs appeared to be playing some of their best hockey of the year at the right time of the season. We'll have to see what happens if and when the top line cools off from the blazing pace it was enjoying when it left off, but the goal production has turned around in a big way in the past 13 games. Leaf sticks have been even hotter in the last 13 games than they were in the opening 14 games back in October.
While every 82-game season features ebbs and flows,...
The Maple Leafs have cleared some cap space with a number of players set to return from IR shortly (Smith, Clarkson, Bolland).
Oilers acquire Mark Fraser from Leafs for Cam Abner and Hartikainen.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) January 31, 2014
always impressed with Hartikainen .. projects to a good lower roster player if he can be brought back to N America.
— Gus Katsaros (@KatsHockey) January 31, 2014
Overall a very good little move by Leafs, especially if Hartikainen ever returns to North America. Fraser would have cost cap space in AHL.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) January 31, 2014
Most importantly, the Leafs have added wiggle...
Maple Leafs capologist Claude Loiselle discusses the Mark Fraser trade today and the Leafs' cap situation going forward, with four players (including Trevor Smith, Dave Bolland, David Clarkson) set to return from IR soon.
Randy Carlyle updates the latest injury situation and lineup decisions after Friday's practice.
This is amazing: With another multipoint game last night versus the Florida Panthers, marking his 18th and 19th points in his past 11 games, Phil Kessel now sits fourth in points over the past three seasons. He's only four points back of first-placed Evgeni Malkin, meaning Kessel becoming the scoringest player in the National Hockey League in the past three seasons (start of 2011-12 to current) is an actual possibility, should he finish the season strong (-er than the other guys).
Un-frickin’-real, and it speaks to the evolution of this complete, elite offensive threat, as he’s also in the top-15...
The Maple Leafs have reportedly recalled 2010 third round pick Greg McKegg from the Toronto Marlies. This appears to be an insurance policy for tomorrow's game vs. the Senators in case Peter Holland can’t go, as he was nursing a minor injury from yesterday’s win over Florida.
James van Riemsdyk and Carter Ashton are also banged up at the moment.
Sounds like Greg Mckegg is on his way up to the #Leafs— Andrew Walker (@FAN590Walker) January 31, 2014
Greg McKegg has been centering the Marlies’ top line for most of the season and has quietly compiled an impressive 26 points in 35...
Why is the Leafs' PK struggling so heavily?
Plus much more on the week that was in Leafland.
It's kind of amazing how the Leafs' awful penalty kill has flown right under the radar this season.
Yeah, everyone knows it's bad, but when it was bad under Ron Wilson there was a constant reminder of how bad it was. It was a cloud of negativity hanging over Wilson's teams.
This season, though, it just doesn't seem like it's being made out to be nearly as big of a deal. But how bad is it? The current 76.8% success rate is a lower success...
The Maple Leafs have four games against the Panthers and Lightning coming up in the next two weeks, along with games against Canadian rivals Ottawa and Vancouver, in a six game in 12 days stretch. From there GM Dave Nonis will have three weeks to consider the state of the team during the Olympic break, after which the team will play just three games before the March 5 trade deadline. Interesting decisions lie ahead.
Petrielli's Notebook will arrive in time to consume your entire afternoon. Until then, some links...
A compilation of Kessel's 27 goals so far this season
A lot more...
The Maple Leafs look to put the Dallas debacle behind them tonight in Winnipeg. As far as the playoff race goes, Montreal lost their third in a row last night and the two teams remain tied on points for 3rd in the division. The bad news is that Detroit and New Jersey both won last night and are sniffing at the Leafs' heels in the wildcard race.
- This quote isn’t conclusive at all re: tonight’s lineup, but after a blowout like Thursday’s loss, it might indicate a change is coming on the backend tonight.
Carlyle asked about his two...
According to @themayor, the Maple Leafs have acquired Manchester Monarchs right-winger Brandon Kozun from the Los Angeles Kings. The 23-year-old Los Angeles native was drafted in the sixth round of the 2009 draft.
#LAKings have traded Brandon Kozun to Toronto Maple Leafs. #TML
— The Mayor John Hoven (@mayorNHL) January 22, 2014
The 5'8, 180-pound Kozun has been a regular AHL points contributor but has yet to play an NHL game. He has amassed 179 points in 264 AHL games. Some offensive firepower for the Marlies here, from the looks of things, as Kozun is from all reports a skilled little winger...
Dave Nonis stopped by TSN 1050 a few minutes ago.
Here is the rundown of the topics discussed:
How good is this team?
"I think we have a quality team, but we still haven’t played to our potential. We have at times, but in terms of consistency, we haven’t seen it. The last little stretch I think we have played our best hockey of the year. Our game in Washington was the best road game of the year. I would like to to see us get healthy and the lines where they want them, and then evaluate where we are. There is...
It’s a simple question with a scary answer: how important are the next two games to the Toronto Maple Leafs? The Leafs are kicking of a stretch of five games in seven nights tonight in Carolina, one of their busiest portions of their season. The Leafs have held playoff positioning all season, but months of mediocre play have whittled its foothold in the East’s hierarchy. While it’s impossible to say that these are the two most important games of the Leafs season, it could very well be the two most important games of the season so far.
In the next...
Just a $10,000 maximum fine and no missed games for Joffrey Lupul after his cross check on Patrick Eaves in the Winter Classic.
As Lupul and Eaves tried to locate the puck inside the Red Wing blueline in the first period, Lupul went to push Eaves with a cross check and caught Eaves in the neck/side of the face area. Lupul’s focus is on the puck in Eaves’ feet and Eaves is hunched over, but Lupul was reckless in his application of the cross check.
That the conditions were brutal and the players were having to search through the snow for...
Amid the memorable, record-setting event in Ann Arbor, Dave Nonis snuck in a trade with Carolina: The long-rumoured swap of bad contracts involving John Michael Liles and Tim Gleason.
First off, we’ve heard nothing but great things about John-Michael Liles the person. The way he handled the demotion was in stark contrast to how, say, Tim Connolly appeared to respond to the same situation. Liles, according to Steve Spott, was much like his assistant coach and was quick to take many of the fledgling D on the team under his wing. The Safe School Network is a charity initiative Liles...
Pending call. Gleason to Toronto for Liles and Robertson (d-man).— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) January 1, 2014
Gleason is a $4 mil cap hit who will earn $4.5 mil next year and $3.5 mil the year following.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) January 1, 2014
Tim Gleason is about to be a Maple Leaf.
A quick Tim Gleason scouting report from Hockey Forcaster:
Assets: Is capable of playing a shutdown role, due to a combination of hockey sense, mobility and an aggressive nature. Also has a little offensive acumen. A good team player, he always works extremely hard and sacrifices his body.
Flaws: Doesn't take enough shots to...