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Morning Mashup

Morning Mashup

346

It must almost be the offseason, because NHL Awards have once again caused a stir regarding the voting structure and overall legitimacy of the accolades.  Nowhere is this more apparent than with the Norris Trophy, where the Montreal Canadiens’ PK Subban won out by a hair over Minnesota Wild’s Ryan Suter.  He did so despite the words, “awarded to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-around ability in the position” right on the darn trophy.  Alas, with the results of the past two seasons, the statement about ‘all-around ability’ is looking demonstrably untrue for Norris...

668

With over a week and a half left before the NHL Entry Draft which will take place in Newark, New Jersey, things have started to heat up around the league.  If you won't take my word for it, check out what Allan Walsh, a player agent from Octagon Sports Management, had to say yesterday: Also, here are some quotes from Nonis via Kevin McGran: Since Alec already covered the Bernier rumor yesterday (and Anthony will have a few of his thoughts later today), I thought I'd bring together a couple of snippets of what some of the general managers are saying...

1042

It's been awhile. How do these work again? Seriously. Despite Tweeting up a storm during the playoffs, I haven't written anything since January. Call it a combination of hell the lockout sucking the passion out of me and Burke's firing amounting to a platinum-knuckled gut punch at the time. But new posts are coming, and I need your help! (Not really. But it will be a lot easier and quicker if I crowd source opinions and call it research!) Sometime soon, I want to go in-depth on compliance buyouts options for the Leafs. Because, y'know, we haven't talked about those nearly enough....

3

Not saying the Cup Finals are over at 2-1 Bruins, but you had to know, after the Leafs let a team come back from 4-1 down with 11 minutes remaining in Game 7, that team would go on to win the Cup, right? Right. Of course. The pain will soon be over and off-season activity will follow very shortly thereafter. Should the Stanley Cup Finals go seven games, the Entry Draft will take place a mere four days later. The delayed, compacted schedule and the lowering of the salary cap means that under a week after winning the Cup, the...

740

A couple of days ago, the CHL, in consultation with Hockey Canada, decided to ban goalies from the import draft beginning in 2014.  Due to the lack of Canadian goaltenders succeeding at the pro level, and in junior hockey, banning foreign goaltenders from playing in the CHL would afford more focus to and opportunity for Canadian goaltenders.   Said differently, the CHL believes that by banning foreign goaltenders, Canadian goalies, in turn, will get more playing and development time. I'm proud of my country and I consider the sport of hockey to be one of Canada's greatest gifts to the...

359

With the NHL Entry Draft 2013 less than a month away, many Leafs fans are amusing themselves with thoughts of who the Leafs should draft with the 21st overall pick,  or of how we might be able to trade-up to grab a more desirable player.  Leading up to the draft, I've tried my best to keep up with the prospects and have gotten a sense of where the "experts" think these young hockey players might be selected.  We've also started our NHL Draft Profiles, with the next coming later on today.  Many have compared this draft to the 2003...

1128

I’m sure I’m not the only one struggling to care about the playoffs. As talented as the remaining teams are, I’m not interested in the hearing the winner of the Stanley Cup become dubbed the next great NHL dynasty. The fact that Boston could claim that honour makes it sting a little worse, as I’m sure another reason I have completely tuned out of the playoffs is the absence of the Leafs after believing it was a real possibility they would be in it for at least four more games. So, truthfully, I haven’t been watching too much hockey and...

477

As most of you know, we usually have the Leafs Roundtable on Thursday morning and it's something we plan, and hope, to continue with in the future. I love asking questions but sometimes the lull of the off-season, and the breadth of analysis in our blogging community, leaves you with a limited number of questions and in a state of psychosis (probably induced by my finals). Now, all this is going to change as the 2013 Entry Draft approaches and we've still got tons of Player Reviews and NHL Draft Profiles lined up for you guys, so stay tuned. Today,...

181

Good news, everyone! Over the next couple of weeks, MLHS will be releasing Player Reviews for the Toronto Maple Leafs 2012-2013 season.  Every day leading up the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, we’ll profile one Leaf player that will reflect upon their peaks, valleys and overall performance this season.  The goals, the hits, the glory and the heartbreak that led to the first post-season berth in nine years. But these write-ups will be different from years past, for two reasons.  The first will be the frequent use of the word ‘playoffs.’ The second will be the role we need you, the...

549

It's not often that a tectonic shift like realignment occurs in the NHL, but when it does the competitive landscape is bound to shift, with winners and losers emerging from the rubble. From a scheduling and time-zone perspective, Detroit, Columbus, Winnipeg and Dallas stand to benefit the most.  The new scheduling mandate will also ensure that fans in every city will get to watch every team play in their home building at least once, thereby allowing Coyotes fans to fill half the stadium to watch Sidney Crosby torch their team. All joking aside, this will be great for the...

240

I was just getting back into the playoff swing of things and looking forward to taking in a Marlies game at the Ricoh, hopefully... Then the Marlies gave up three goals with under ten to go in Game 6 last night and lost out to the Grand Rapids Griffins. Meanwhile, the Bruins are walking over the Rangers in their round 2 matchup. I'm sure how to feel about this. It's kind of bittersweet. Sweet in the sense that it's impressive the Leafs did have these Bruins - who are probably the favourite to emerge out of the East at...

518

Over the course of the year I have been tracking the Leafs goals in a spreadsheet, largely for the purpose of looking at primary/secondary assists but also for tracking situational statistics. It was through this spreadsheet that I noticed the most amusing fact of the season; that Tyler Bozak finished the year never having had a primary assist on a James van Riemsdyk goal. Amazing since he was his centre for most of the season, and presumably at some point he might have tried passing to him instead of Kessel. I’ll build my case against Bozak some other time,...

522

The Marlies are on the ropes against Grand Rapids after a 4-1 loss last night in Michigan. They're down 3-1 in their series headed into tonight. If they can take Game 5, the series would come back to Toronto for Games 6 and 7, so you never know. Also on the upside, Carter Ashton has goals in two consecutive. Audio to tonight's game will be available here. Some long weekend links...  Good Marlies-related read on Morgan Rielly from earlier this week. Here's your list of pending UFA forwards. There are some interesting bottom six options on this list. Matt Cullen is an experienced...

472

I'm finding the playoffs much harder to enjoy now that I've been reminded what it's like with the Leafs in them. Links after the jump. - From yesterday's media day: End of Year Address: Randy Carlyle and Dave Nonis Locker Clean out Interviews: Mark Fraser, James Reimer, Nazem Kadri, Dion Phaneuf. - Game 4 goes tonight for the Toronto Marlies. The Marlies are down 2-1 to Grand Rapids in their best-of-seven Western Conference Semifinals series. Audio will be available here. - Thoughts from Dave Nonis' end of year presser. Nonis was pretty tight lipped as per usual. Negotiation tactic or not, he did seem to make...

334

I hope everyone is starting to feel a little better this morning.  Plenty of eulogies were written and the last couple of days have been brutal to say the least. I haven't seen the Game in 6 or any of the player interviews. I barely have any idea what's going on in the playoffs right now, even as two two-way titans, Toews and Datsyuk, square off in the West. Two things in my mind were abundantly clear following Monday night. You know that cliche players like to use after a tough loss? "Oh yeah, that was a character building game...

313

Just a little over 24 hours since the Game 7 letdown, it’s become clear to me I am way too emotionally involved with a damn hockey team; so much so that I start to wonder about myself for being this brutally devastated over a game. But I want to say that Leafs Nation is a special, special thing. I enjoy the fans of this team almost as much as I enjoy the team itself. That's a weird statement to make, but for those that don't live here or haven't experienced playoffs in Toronto, it's a beautiful, crazy thing. Just...

218

After such a critical shortage of meaningful moments in the last decade for this hockey club, these last few days have been almost too much, too fast. Last night, the Leafs earned their first playoff home win in 9 years and the city went bonkers. Dion Phaneuf redeemed himself for his role in an OT loss last playoff home game - which at the time could have been the last this season - splatting yolk on the faces of certain media members eager to get an early start on their postmortem scapegoating of the most valuable members of the...

446

The Leafs are back in Toronto down 3-2 in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series. One more win and it is back to Boston to determine the winner of what has already been an excellent display of hockey. I want to take a moment to praise Gardiner. Friday night’s game was the best I have ever seen Gardiner play. I noted a while ago that there were many issues plaguing Gardiner’s game that the coaching staff needed to iron out. From missing assignments to giving up strong body position on the walls, or simply not being physically engaged, it was a...

274

I remember it like it was last night. An ill-timed pinch, two Bruins streaking out of the zone, and a "dagger" into the heart of Leafs Nation after an overtime in which the Leafs carried the play. This one is going to take some time to digest. Although the boys battled their tails off, and went toe-to-toe with one of the favourites in the East,  some mistakes and puck misfortune ultimately sealed the Leafs' fate after starting 2-0 up in a brilliant first period. I know this series isn't yet over, but here's what I learned about the Leafs after...

422

Alright ladies and gentlemen, it’s down to this. The stakes are high as the Leafs have lost their home-ice advantage after a 5-2 Game 3 loss, and if the they lose tonight we might not see them on ACC ice until next season. As I'm writing this, I'm currently watching the Vancouver / San Jose game – it’s the 3rd period and the Canucks have just taken a one-goal lead.  As much as I dislike the organization and the fan-base that cheers for them, it’s impressive how Vancouver continues to throw themselves with abandon in front of pucks, along the boards,...