MLHS Notebook

MLHS Notebook

Since 2011, Anthony Petrielli has been providing his weekly long-form breakdown of the Toronto Maple Leafs' games.

625

Forty one down, forty one to go; the Leafs have shown a lot so far this season but now is when we really begin to see how far they have come. There used to be a substantial difference between the top teams in the league and everyone else within the standings. Crunch time in the season would begin with around 20 games left in the season. Not anymore. There is too much parity, too many points on the line, and one bad week could bring you from contender to pretender status at the snap of your fingers. From here on out, it's...

229

Happy holidays, everyone! In light of the holidays, it seemed like a good time to thank everyone for the warm reception I've received since I began writing here. Half way through writing the first Leafs Notebook I ever drafted for MLHS, I remember apprehensively wondering how would it be received and if I would get ripped apart, but you guys have been great. I enjoy the conversation and for those of you who don't comment, I appreciate the time you put in to read it. Due to being out of country I won't be writing the Leafs Notebook next week, and...

439

Last season Brian Burke boldly stood in front of the media after trading Tomas Kaberle and made it clear, “Getting into the playoffs by the skin of your teeth and getting your ass kicked in the first round is not my idea of building a championship team here.” A little under a year later and 32 games into the next season, it's fair to begin evaluating whether the Leafs are playing hockey that would make them competitive in the playoffs or if they're doing just enough to make it and subsequently get their "ass kicked in the first round." At...

312

NHL realignment, more Burke & Wilson vs. Cox & Simmons, new owners and, oh yeah, the Leafs played some hockey games, too. Quite the week and a lot to discuss, so we'll get right to it. The most important thing to happen this week, believe it or not, was not the new ownership change, it was NHL realignment. The Leafs will of course be playing the Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Buffalo Sabres, Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning six times a year now, each. They already play four of these teams six times a year, but now they're adding 12...

419

If the Toronto Maple Leafs ownership group was one person, it would be pretty safe to say that win or lose, that one person is not losing any sleep over it at night. I'm okay with that. And you should be, too. Full disclosure is necessary, and that's to say the John Ferguson Jr. hiring was terrible. There is no hiding behind that, and it is far and away the worst decision MLSE has ever made. To their credit though, they turned it around and signed one of the premier General Managers in the NHL to follow that up, Brian Burke. Whether...

780

Something very interesting is unfolding with the Toronto Maple Leafs and it has nothing to do with anything they've done on the ice, or any of their players for that matter. On November 19th, Brian Burke joined his friend and co-worker Ron Wilson by entering the Twitter world. They then proceeded to have a now-notorious exchange with Sun reporter Steve Simmons. The interesting thing here is not the exchange - that was immature, pitiful, funny, take your pick - what's intriguing is the new dynamic Twitter is creating and the paradigm shift that is beginning to take place. Now, I should...

885

Phil Kessel is tired of losing, that much is clear. In layman's terms, there are two types of hockey players: Those who love to win and those who hate to lose. It took Kessel some time, but he's become the second one. Justin Bourne, who now runs The Score's blog "Backhand Shelf," discussed this concept last season over at Puck Daddy (view here). In it he says, "Here's the difference: It's like putting a cupcake between a chubby kid from a mansion on the hill, and some wiry starving kid from the streets. They both want the cupcake. But our portly friend...

609

Everyone collectively take a deep breath, and hold it.. ....Hold it a little longer... .. Now, exhale. You can relax, there is no need to panic. The Leafs are 17 games into the season, they are 10-6-1 and they've hit a rough patch. Nobody thought this team was going to play great all season, did they? Yes, there are many troubling signs (which I'll get to), but there are also a ton of positives (which we'll look at first). All the Leafs have managed to do at this point - and it isn't much - is not blow their playoff chances. They've built up...

146

Happy Halloween, everyone! Quite a four games of hockey for the Leafs. I said last week that I would be interested to see how the Leafs did against some formidable competition and they finished 2-2-0 on the week. That's not bad at all but there's certainly room for improvement. There were a lot of positives from this week (that have probably been lost in translation considering the Leafs lost Sunday night) to go along with some glaring negatives too. Let's take a look at some of the things that have been going on. - Since it's fresh in everyone's mind, we'll...

298

I wasn't really sure how to start my first post here at MLHS as half of me wanted to completely introduce myself, and the other half wanted me to just get right into my first article. I guess I'll settle somewhere in between.I've been doing my own blog for quite some time (called the Leafs Dressing Room) and Alec saw it and approached me about writing here. First and foremost, that's really humbling. Secondly, I think this site constantly pumps out quality work and has great readership. I enjoy reading the articles here as much as I do the...