Morning Mashup

Morning Mashup

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,...

245

I was one of the more deflated Leafs fans after witnessing game 1 of this Leafs-Bruins playoff series. I knew Boston previously matched up like kryptonite against the Leafs, and the game went pretty much exactly as I envisioned in my head; essentially, it was an extension of the last dozen or so matchups against the Bs. Then Game 2 happened. And, even after last night’s Game 3 loss, I now consider myself considerably less pessimistic. Let’s break down the goals against from last night: Goal #1 was of the “shit happens so flush it” variety. A lost draw, a strange...

411

Lee Stempniak, Andrew Raycroft, Vesa Toskala, Jonas Gustavsson, Brett Lebda, John Ferguson Jr. Those and others like them have plagued the Maple Leafs for the past eight seasons and gave us fits of hopelessness, despair, and rage. Tonight represents the the culmination of Toronto’s retooling; the first playoff game in the Air Canada Centre since May 4th, 2004. As much as our excitement over a first round series has been mocked , it’s generally falling on deaf ears. Are we over doing it for a first round series? I don’t think so. I think the hockey world is just getting...

581

With Wednesday night’s beat down in Beantown still bringing up bruises, it sure looks like the Toronto Maple Leafs are punching above their weight class in their pursuit of the Stanley Cup.  Such are the wages of glory.  Thankfully, the Leafs have some time to lick their wounds and regroup ahead of Saturday’s matchup.  Looks like they’ll need it. Here are some thoughts to get you through your Friday. Sharp learning curve costs Leafs One of the greatest imbalances between the Maple Leafs and Bruins was experience and it showed up in just about every facet of Game 1.  On Wednesday, 10...

528

Game 1 is in the books and after a brief moment of post-season exaltation that was nine years in the making, the Leafs were handed a 4-1 drubbing from the Beantown Bruins. ICYMI, here's the first ever Playoffs Game in 10 in MLHS history via Mislav. Not shockingly, this game resembled those from prior seasons, where 5-on-5 hockey looked like a Bruins powerplay, giveaways were in abundance, and the Leafs' top offensive players were unable to gain the Bruins zone with any sort of speed, aggression or consistency.  At certain points in the game, even the Bruins' fourth line had...

746

Look at that glorious playoff ice paint. I haven’t been this excited about ice paint since... well, when the Leafs painted on their logo at center ice and streamed it online during the lockout. Desperate times, let’s not talk about it. After all IT’S PLAYOFF GAME DAY! We received a good reminder last night about what playoff hockey is all about. Game 1 of St. Louis/LA was war, a game fought on the boards as the Blues brought an intense forecheck and cycle game, bringing it to the Kings for much of the game before Jonathan Quick went from hero...

457

Beggars can’t be choosers I guess. And thanks to the Senators, instead of a historic matchup against the Canadiens the Leafs will be facing the bastards from Bean town. (Here’s a great recap of all of this seasons matchups). One year ago the articles on this series would be darker than Marc Savards house, but thankfully the Bruins have been falling down to Earth to the point that the Leafs have finally been able to grab a win off of them. Led by Chara, Bergeron, Rask and Jagr, it seems they’ll have the Leafs outmatched, and when you add in the...

476

Despite splitting the state of Florida, it’s been a pretty terrific week for the Toronto Maple Leafs.  The club finished the road portion of the regular season with a record of 13 – 8 – 3, earning a respectable 29 of their 57 points on the season away from the ACC.  James Reimer recorded his fourth shutout and 19th win in only his 33rd start of the season.  Phil Kessel scored three goals in the two games to leap into sixth in the league in scoring with 51 points. Are you ready for the most uplifting (small sample size) Four...