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Morning Mashup

Morning Mashup

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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I don't want to belabor what's already been talked about last night but what in high hell was that?! As I'm sure most fans are doing these days, I've been incessantly checking the Eastern Conference standings just to get a snapshot of what the current match-ups are and to make guesses about how things might shake-out. Following last night's confounding loss, and before I lost my cool, I noticed something interesting about the recent records of the Eastern Conference playoff teams. In particular, if you combined the records of these playoffs teams' most recent games against non-playoff teams, you'll find...

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Good Day MLHS readers! How was your Sunday? Did you find that you got your best night’s sleep? Did the air feel a little crisper, the sun shine a little brighter? Does everything in your life feel significantly better? I sure found that to be the case. Why? THE LEAFS ARE IN THE MUTHA FUNKIN’ PLAYOFFS!!!1 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! (Deep Breath) Okay, I’m good now. This weekend is just the start of the good times, we’ve got at least four hockey games in May worth watching and I’ll optimistically say I think we’ll be seeing more than seven this year. We may not...

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A couple of days ago, I had a pretty interesting conversation with @Dudgee (solid MLHS guy, give him a follow) when he first stated that he thought the Leafs brass should withhold judgement on Kessel and Bozak until we see them in the playoffs. This got me thinking, because Bozak is due for an extension and Kessel is going into the final year of his contract, ultimately with the prospects of a massive raise from his current $5.400mn salary. So I wondered - is Bozak destined to simply be a rental player for the Leafs during the playoffs, or is there...

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A Toronto Maple Leaf hasn't won a major NHL award in an embarrassing amount of years. This year, however, it looks as if there could be a case made for 3 award nominations —major or otherwise, for the Leafs. The last "major" award was Doug Gilmour winning the Selke Trophy in the 1992-1993 season, 20 years ago. Dion Phaneuf (Norris) For me, the player leading the charge, as far as a realistic shot at a nomination, is Dion Phaneuf. Phaneuf has racked up points (he currently sits fourth the league in points and 4th for goals among defenseman) with the elite in the...

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The Leafs are presently sitting at 99.9% likelihood of making the playoffs, with a magic number of 5, and one point away from the number deemed by many to necessary to make the playoffs. Ultimately, we’re at the point where the Leafs can crash and burn and we can still count on hockey in May. At the same time, they’ve been gifted with a pillow soft schedule to close out the year, with only one game left against a team with a better record than them and that team has lost 3 of the 4 meetings this season (Montreal). The...

Mikhail Grabovski - 3/18/2013

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Without the ‘x’ beside their name in standings it isn’t official, but the Toronto Maple Leafs are tantalizingly close to clinching a playoff spot.  Even with their 49 points through 40 games, they may have simply outpaced the also-rans for playoff contention. The Winnipeg Jets sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, but have only six games to make up ground.  Every team above in the standings has at least one game in hand on the Jets.  They’re running out of race track.  The tenth place New Jersey, losers of eight of their last ten games; sit a nigh-insurmountable...

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In case you missed it, here's mORRganRielly's excellent Game in 22. What a heart-breaker that was. After some excellent chances from the top-line and Kadri, and the amazing stops from Reimer, the Leafs' shootout woes continued as the Norwegian Hobbit sealed their fate by beating Reimer through the 5-hole. Some positives can be gleaned from this loss, including a perfect 3-0 PK  and a solid performance from their goaltending. Special teams and solid netminding - two instrumental tools required to survive in the playoffs. I'm going to say that even with last night's loss, the Leafs looked like a hungry playoff team...

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With just ten games left on the schedule for the Leafs this season, here are ten thoughts I've been considering heading into those final games. We are entering the clichéd time when every game is the most important game (until the Leafs clinch a playoff spot), but really are there any more important games on the schedule than the two against the Rangers this week? Two wins would do wonders for creating space between the Leafs and eighth place and likely move them away from facing Pittsburgh or Boston in the first round. As pleased as I am that Carlyle seems to agree...

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Mirroring the trade deadline, it’s been a slow and painful week in Leaf land.  The club still sits in sixth place in the Eastern conference, briefly flirting with fifth without even playing.  Even with the loss, the Buds are sitting on a 20 – 13 – 4 record and play only four games against teams ahead of them in standings in their remaining games.  And one of those teams is the Washington Capitals so really it’s three.   Here are some Leaf thoughts to start your Friday off right. If you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much Though the Flyers and Luke Schenn...

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Trade Deadline 2013 is in the books. The Kiprusoff scare is over.  Leafs are still 5th in the East. “Sometimes the best moves are the ones you don’t make.”-Anthony Petrielli -(@APetrielli) For those of you who missed it and were doing something productive, yesterday's experience reminded me of a famous quote once uttered by an esteemed San Diegan news anchor. In what started off as an eerily quiet and inauspicious morning, things quickly turned into a maelstrom towards the end of the deadline at 3pm. I usually go solo on this piece but given the magnitude of the Trade Deadline, I...

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News broke yesterday via Aaron Ward that Miikka Kiprusoff has been approached by the Toronto Maple Leafs about playing for their team. It should be noted, before we start, that Kiprusoff has reportedly given no indication he has changed his stance on not reporting if moved by Calgary. With Iginla, Bouwmeester and Regehr shipped out for futures, the Flames have merely given the Leafs permission to talk to the Finnish goaltender about his options. With a lull in the schedule, this won't stop us from analyzing could-be news, of course. The reception so far has been generally negative. Kiprusoff has...

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With the trade deadline coming next Wednesday, and the Leafs settled snugly into sixth place, the team’s status as either buyer or seller is still unclear.  The team as presently assembled is not a legitimate contender for the Stanley Cup, and no Jarome Iginla could change that fact.  Compounding matters is that Dave Nonis has already iterated that the team is not going to sacrifice the youth movement filtering into the professional ranks of the club for the sake of the immediate future.  So even if the Leafs were to be ‘in’ on Ryane Clowe, they’d be priced out...

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WOW. What a turn of events in the Iginla sweepstakes. Mid-way through writing this piece, I paused to check for updates on Twitter and in an instant, Iginla had gone from a Bruin to a Penguin. Going back the other way to Calgary are college prospects Kenneth Agostino (20, LW), Ben Hanowski (22, LW), and Pittsburgh's 2013 1st-round draft pick. From the outset, Feaster isn't getting much credit for the return he's getting but, it appears that Pittsburgh was Iginla's call. Per Elliote Friedman: Feaster said Iginla made the call on PIT. Added the draft choice is not conditional.— Elliotte...

Joffrey Lupul

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What an impressive showing by Joffrey Lupul last night. Re-united with 2011-12 running mates Tyler Bozak and Phil Kessel after an in-game audible by coach Carlyle, he led the Leafs to a not-always-convincing 3-2 win over the lowly Florida Panthers with goals five and six in his last four games. I see in Joffrey Lupul a player who has come back with a point to prove after signing his big contract and falling to injury shortly thereafter; a player who has taken on a leadership role up front, where the Leafs could use a leader as the team heads toward...