Much, if not all, of the grief he received this weekend was in good fun. Still, it seems odd how many people forget that Kessel deserves the respect of … you know, a perennial All-Star.
James O'Brien: The hockey world's been awfully hard on Phil Kessel (Pro Hockey Talk)
As amusing as some of this stuff is, perhaps it should also prompt a moratorium on Kessel mockery. Let’s face it, the 27-year-old’s been receiving a disproportionate amount of grief for basically his entire NHL career.
Kevin McGran: Maple Leafs push centennial wishlist at All Star bash (Toronto Star)
The Maple Leafs, with...
Toronto Marlies head coach Gord Dineen on William Nylander's debut in last night's 3-0 loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs:
Maple Leafs Hot Stove: Eventful night for Phil Kessel at the NHL All Star Draft (Video)
The player least interested in the spotlight took center stage again at the NHL All Star Draft.
Mike Zeisberger: Phil Kessel wants to remain a Leaf, says 'I love Toronto' (Toronto Sun)
Yet, through all the scrutiny, all the Phil-bashing, all the white noise coming from the outside, Kessel is steadfast in his desire to remain in Toronto.
Sean Gentille: NHL All Star Draft -- Finally, it was fun...
Projected Marlies lines:
Marlies Head Coach Gord Dineen on Nylander's debut:
Anthony Petrielli: Leafs Notebook -- January 22 (Maple Leafs Hot Stove)
If the Leafs keep Nonis, they will do so with the hopes that he can help clean up his own mess, but the last two summers are an indication it is time for a change.
Elliotte Friedman: 30 Thoughts -- Points 4-9 on the Maple Leafs (Sportsnet.ca)
Phaneuf has a big ticket, and the Maple Leafs will need to get creative in dealing with it, but he could fit where he’s not expected to carry the load. I’d expect Shanahan and...
Jokes aside, there's two teams that all Leafs fans, whether motivated by playoffs or draft picks, unequivocally must cheer for their team to beat -- The Sens and the Habs.
Yesterday's Leafs lines, sans Bozak (missed practice due to personal reasons):
Corey Pronman: William Nylander the best prospect outside the NHL (TSN 1050)
ESPN NHL Prospects Writer Corey Pronman joins Mike Hogan and Jeremy Taggart to discuss William Nylander's rank among the world's top prospects and more.
Sportsnet Staff: Struggling Maple Leafs recall Josh Leivo, Stuart Percy (Sportsnet.ca)
The Leafs have recalled forward Josh Leivo and defenceman Stuart Percy from the Toronto Marlies, and reassigned...
Leafs in limbo after pointless California trip - The Globe and Mail
James Mirtle: This was always the danger in doing what the Toronto Maple Leafs did in the off-season.
Maple Leafs sliding fast as scoring troubles intensify - TSN.ca
Jonas Siegel: An empty spin through California has the Leafs fading further and further out of a playoff spot.
Nonis could have trouble trading Maple Leafs - Sportsnet.ca
"The Maple Leafs will have to take a salary they don't want,” Lavoie told The Jeff Blair Show Thursday on Sportsnet 590 The Fan.
Maple Leafs in the middle of the best and worst drafting teams...
Tonight, the Leafs play an Anaheim team they've found some recent success against by playing the firewagon brand of hockey they've started to rein in under Peter Horachek.
It'll be interesting to see which way this game goes tonight.
Anthony Petrielli: Leafs Notebook - What changes has Horachek implemented? Video analysis + the Leafs Notebook (MLHS)
Evan Dorey: Game 43 Scoring Chances - Kings 2 vs. Leafs 0, scoring chances not as close as the shot clock (MLHS)
Maple Leafs Hot Stove: Randy Horachek after practice - January 13 (MLHS)
Jonas Siegel: The Leafs are breaking habits, flipping styles (TSN)
James Mirtle: Is William Nylander ready for...
Leafs Scoring Chance Tracking – Halfway point - MLHS
Game Review: Game #43, Toronto Maple Leafs 5 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets 2 - MLHS
Game 42 Scoring Chances: Maple Leafs 5 vs. Blue Jackets 2 - MLHS
Game in 12 – Leafs 5, Blue Jackets 2 - MLHS
Peter Horachek – Blue Jackets Post-Game - MLHS
Darryl Belfry – Macko and Cauz – Jan.9 - MLHS
Brendan Shanahan Media Address – January 9 - MLHS
Rumors II: Oilers, Hurricanes, Leafs, Kings, Coyotes and Avs - MyNhlTradeRumours
Ferraro: Leafs need to surround Kessel with better talent - TSN
Leafs’ Phil Kessel makes NHL all-star cut - TheStar
Toronto Maple Leafs prospect report: January - Sportsnet
Last night was a good reality check for anybody expecting an instant turnaround with Randy Carlyle gone, but there were also a few positives.
The Leafs appeared to carry a slight edge in play in all three periods, and the numbers agree – Toronto had a couple more shot attempts per period. Peter Horachek mentioned after the game that there have been some nights when the team has allowed 40+ shots and over 25 scoring chances; last night he had the team down for allowing only 12 scoring chances on 26 shots against.
The effort was there, the Leafs just made...
Congrats to Team Canada and the Leafs' Frederik Gauthier on winning the gold on home soil.
Anthony Petrielli: On building around Phil Kessel and more in the Leafs Notebook (MLHS)
Bruce Arthur: Team Canada comes of age in world junior golden moment (The Star)
Neate Sager: Canada outlasts Russia 5-4 for gold, ending five-year drought (Buzzing the Net)
Neate Sager: For Slovakia, first bronze medal in 16 years brings indescribable feelings (Buzzing the Net)
IIHF: William Nylander finishes up tied for 4th in 2015 WJC scoring (IIHF.com)
James Mirtle: The Maple Leafs' core is fatally flawed (The Globe and Mail)
Jeff Blair: Have the Maple Leafs...
Another embarrassing game for the Toronto Maple Leafs, which makes this countless games this season where you can say that.
In World Juniors action, Sweden takes on Russia at 4pm, Canada takes on Slovakia at 8pm.
Yet another Leaf jersey hits the ice in Winnipeg (CBC)
Leafs Blown Out By Paul Maurice, Injured Jets 5-1 (PPP)
Maple Leafs’ awful road trip ends in loss to Jets (Sportsnet)
Leafs-Jets Postgame w/ Jim Tatti & Jeff O'Neill (TSN)
The Bruins rivalry seems to bring the best out of the Leafs, from Randy Carlyle's coaching and matchup strategies to their amped-up physical play; the Leafs employ their speed game well against the Bruins (giving up another two-goal lead aside). Nice result to wrap up 2014 with a welcomed return to the lineup for Uncle Leo.
Happy New Year's, MLHS.
Jonas Siegel: This could be it for the Leafs' core. And they know it (TSN)
James Mirtle: 2014 -- An unforgettable year the Leafs would like to forget (The Globe and Mail)
Jeff Simmons: Leafs' Lupul leaves Wednesday's game with a lower-body injury (Sportsnet)
The Leafs got lit up for six goals by a poor offensive team again last night, one of a few frustrating themes of their 2014-15 season so far. Conceding six to Florida comes on the heels of high-scoring losses to the Flyers, Hurricanes, Devils, and the Predators and Sabres back in November.
And it’s not particularly surprising when you consider the Leafs haven’t outplayed anybody in quite some time. The Leafs dance on a knife’s edge and they’re always one average – not even bad – night from their goaltender away from giving up a whack of goals to any team...
With the Christmas break in the rearview, a Sunday matinee versus the Panthers in Sunrise, Florida kicks off a furious five-games-in-7-days stretch for the Maple Leafs, all on the road. The Leafs had a hard time against the Panthers last season, losing three of four meetings.
Good news on Komarov and more in the Leaf Links.
Ian Dudgeon: Maple Leafs Prospect Rankings - End of 2014 (MLHS)
Rob Longley: Full practice for Leo Komarov (Toronto Sun)
Jonas Siegel: Komarov practices in full but not yet cleared for contact (Twitter)
George Richards: Florida Panthers suddenly rich at forward (Miami Herald)
Ryan Dadoun: PHT's Top 14...
Enjoy your day, ladies and gentleman.
Leafs prospects Gauthier and Nylander face different tests at world juniors
Drafted players by country for the 2015 World Juniors
Florida Panthers coming off hot streak ahead of matchup against Leafs
Rumors II: Hurricanes, Maple Leafs, Stars, Kings and Draisaitl
David 'Shoaltsie' Shoalts: A Caledon man in the heart of Leafs Nation
Nominations For Shaky Hunt Toronto Sports Media MSM Of The Year
Moneyball for hockey: How Guelph's HockeyTech is changing the game
From all of us here at MLHS, have a safe and happy holiday.
Anthony Petrielli: What Does the Future Hold for Jake Gardiner? (MLHS)
Evan Dorey: Game 35 Scoring Chances: Leafs 4 vs. Stars 0 (MLHS)
Jonas Siegel: New look duo (and Bernier) helps Leafs to victory in Big D (TSN)
JP Nikota: Game Recap - Leafs Down Stars 4-0 (PPP)
MLHS: Randy Carlyle Post Game - Leafs 4 vs. Stars 0 (Video)
Travis Yost: Maple Leafs in the abyss between contender and pretender (TSN)
Michael Langlois: Maple Leafs head into break with a win over Dallas (VLM)
Kevin McGran: Life on the road gives Leafs...
Dallas is currently the worst defensive team in the NHL, averaging 3.38 goals against per game. The Leafs, still the league's highest scoring team, have a good opportunity tonight to bounce back after getting shutout in Chicago on Sunday. However, the Stars are surging (four in a row), and with the Leafs struggling defensively themselves, it's hard not to picture this going the way of a Texas shootout.
David Johnson: Optimizing the Leafs Forward Lines (MLHS)
Jonas Siegel: Leo Komarov won't be seen again until January at earliest (Twitter)
Jonas Siegel: Carlyle's embracing analytics, Kessel's best year (TSN)
TSN1050: Steve Spott on Kessel, Leafs' challenges playing...
The Philadelphia Flyers are in town to take on the Maple Leafs, in what will be the last of a long home stand for the Leafs, who are vacating the ACC for the World Junior Championships.
Nazem Kadri: Is he a 1C? - Domenic Galamini
Leafs' Dion Phaneuf quietly putting together strong season: DiManno Star
Leafs' Gardiner may be odd man out vs Flyers Sportsnet
'Very erratic': Leafs' Carlyle on Gardiner's play Sun
Long road ahead for Maple Leafs Sun
Carter Ashton joins Marlies on conditioning stint Sun
Maple Leafs patient with William Nylander Sun
Leafs' Gardiner still under construction Sun
Mason injured at Flyers practice The Mercury
The Leafs and Marlies are hoping Brandon Kozun will have cleared waivers by noon; the Leafs are in Carolina looking to extend their win streak to seven, a game they should win but could be a trap after some big wins over good teams; Roman Polak is expected to make his return to the lineup, with Korbinian Holzer likely going to the press box for the time being.
Mike Johnston: Brandon Kozun on waivers as Polak set to be activated off IR (Sportsnet)
Jonas Siegel: The heavy workload of Toronto's no. 1 is suiting Jonathan Bernier just fine (TSN)
James Mirtle: The five ways...
Toronto ends their home heavy schedule this Saturday (to make way for the World Juniors at the ACC) and begins a 7 game road trip starting Sunday vs the Chicago Blackhawks.
The red-hot Anaheim Ducks are in town tonight to take on the red-hot Maple Leafs, in what could be a great matchup.
Much has been made about the Maple Leafs possession woes this season. While being abhorrent last year, they are making ground on becoming a better possession team through better personnel and, most importantly, through better systemic process and tactics.
During a Saturday morning chat, Mike Babcock was asked about the...
Audio: Dave Nonis on Leafs Lunch, Dave Nonis with Jeff Blair (TSN, Sportsnet)
Anthony Petrielli: Why the first line needs to be broken up, Kadri’s nice season & more (MLHS)
David Johnson: JVR, PDO, and the Leafs Defence (MLHS)
Evan Dorey: Game #30 Scoring Chances: Leafs 4 vs. Kings 3 (MLHS)
Jonas Siegel: Leafs cap whirlwind month by defeating Cup champs (TSN)
Michael Traikos: Maple Leafs benefitting from the evolution of Nazem Kadri (National Post)
Thomas Drance: Maple Leafs' William Nylander guilty of water bottle cruelty (The Score)
Kyle Cicerella: Leaf prospect Connor Brown playing above his rookie status (Kyle The Reporter)
Michael Langlois: On a...