Here's a crazy statistic courtesy of CBC Sports. From the beginning of the season through only December 24th (the Maple Leafs had played their 35th game of the season the night before), 457 man-games had been lost to concussions; players had been suspended 77 games, forfeiting nearly $1.3 million in wages.
But what does it mean to have a concussion? How do we get them? Here's your guide to a basic understanding.
I wasn't sure what questions I would receive, but you guys stepped up to the plate here big time. I got a lot of quality, thought-provoking questions with far from "gimme" answers. There were a lot of similar questions (i.e., What do you think of the goalies, should we trade a goalie, etc) so in that case I picked one of the actual questions and fit in numerous answers in my reply. So if you don't see your specific question but you do see your topic, I probably tried to say something about your question too. Please don't take it personally if I did not pick your question.
Anyways, without further ado: [more…]
The decision to call a press conference upon Colton Orr's waiver clearance was curious to many, but it became clear once Brian Burke started speaking: the move left the Leaf GM with a bone to pick. Between his admiration for Orr's character and the game's direction such a roster move symbolized, it was obvious Burke really didn't like having to do this. You got the sense it was an admission from Burke that his vision of building a truculent winner is a thing of the past. Orr, his first signing as GM of the Maple Leafs - the guy that summed up Burkian truculence to a T - will be plying his trade with the Marlies.
On the one hand, we can be glad Burke is, if reluctantly, adapting to a changing climate in the National Hockey League. Nazem Kadri wasn't sent down in order to keep Orr in the press box, and that's probably a good thing for both the Leafs and hockey. Burke said he doesn't like that a player with Orr's character no longer has a place in the league, but as a fan of winning I can't say dislike that skill is trumping a player who has played five of 39 games and fought once - an unspontaneous, fairly meaningless bout with Shawn Thornton. Like it or not, the NHL is a results business in which the old Conn Smythe beat-em-in-the-ally adage no longer applies. [more…]
It seems frustration with penalty kill ineptitude has reached a boiling point in Leafland. After conceding at least one PK goal in six straight on their way out of a playoff spot for the first time this season, Phaneuf and Cronin have been heard arguing over the specifics of shot blocking, David Steckel has been swearing again, and Wilson says the PK units are dreading their own demise pretty much the moment they step on the ice.
My thinking in regards to solving this (quite literally) season-dissolving issue is to go a little more drastic. Why hasn't a totally new look in terms of personnel been employed (What's Einstein's definition of insanity again)?
The likes of Joey Crabb and David Steckel are not getting the job done. Worse than that, it seems the current units have experienced so much failure they're lacking confidence, fearing the worst, and second and third guessing themselves as a result. [more…]
Among all the things Brian Burke said in his mission statement when he was first named General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, there was one thing that really made fans shake their head in agreement - "we want to justify the price of the ticket." As the Leafs have continuously gotten better, perhaps fans think Burke's staff has met that guideline. I'd disagree.
As the new owners of the Leafs were announced, there was no mention of winning the Stanley Cup, and there was also no mention of improving the ACC game experience. It's pretty ironic that Bell and Rogers are now going to be making a game better to watch on TV than at the arena, considering they now own the Leafs.
That's a real issue in this market. Other than being able to see the Toronto Maple Leafs live and in person, what, exactly, do the Maple Leafs offer their fans that make going all the way to the ACC worth it? You buy the most expensive ticket in hockey, you pay for what is presumably the most expensive parking in hockey, and you watch the Leafs play with a crowd full of corporate ticket holders and ushers who will actually tell you to be quiet. [more…]
Anyone surprised the Leafs got lit up by the Nucks last night? Well, you shouldn't be.
Vancouver's 5-3 victory was just the latest in a long line of high scoring Leaf losses against competent offensive teams. On Friday, Buffalo, 13th in the league in goals per game, beat the Leafs 5-4. Vancouver (4th) then scores five the next night. Philadelphia (1st) put in four in an October 24th 4-2 loss. Boston (2nd) popped 4, 6, 7, and 6 goals respectively in their four beatdowns on the Leafs this season. Ottawa (8th) has scored a combined 13 goals in their three meetings with Toronto. Florida, right on the median at 15th in goals per game, put up five goals in a 5-1 November 8th loss. [more…]
Imagine if you will, being a free agent and having teams covet you; imagine Brian Burke wanting to sign you. Imagine scoring your first goal in the ACCÂ putting the puck through the legs of a Flyer defenseman and burying it top shelf with Phil Kessel providing the assist. Must be hard to be Tyler Bozak, right?
It was much harder than even he knew at the time. Bozak was â€œforcedâ€ to play No1 center position in only his second NHL season and thatâ€™s a lot to ask from a guy not named Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. There is no denying the pressure was overwhelming, as it often is in Toronto. Not having the poise or the confidence to play with Kessel that season, he found himself in a hole, finishing the season with a -29 and 32 points in 82 games. Ah the perils of being Tyler Bozak.
In the wake of the recent collision between Bruins' winger Milan Lucic and Sabres' goaltender Ryan Miller, in which Lucic escaped a suspension while Miller remains out with a concussion, many among the Maple Leafs' fanbase were quick to recall the October 22nd collision between Canadiens' winger Brian Gionta and Leafs' goaltender James Reimer.
Although the temptation to directly compare the two incidents is understandable (player colliding with goaltender attempting to make a play, goaltender sustains a head injury, player is not suspended), they are in fact two quite different incidents subject to different sets of rules.
Through the course of examining these two incidents, and the reasons for a lack of supplementary discipline in light of the NHL rulebook, we stumble upon a significant debate: does the current iteration of the NHL's illegal contact rules do more to protect goaltenders, or to hinder them?
Led by Phil Kessel and Ben Scrivens, another good "part game" from the Maple Leafs proved enough to escape St. Louis with the two points and put the Buds into a tie with Pittsburgh for second overall in the league standings, and first in the East.
That really is something, as outside of their win against Pittsburgh, we're still awaiting that ever elusive convincing, 60-minute performance. Nevertheless, the Leafs sit 10-5-1. Let's talk about how they got here; it certainly is an interesting story. [more…]
As things stand right now, Joffrey Lupul is turning out to be quite a coup by our general manager. Personally, this writer was always convinced that Lupul was more than just a throw in or a salary dump in the supposed "Gardiner-Beauchemin" deal. At the time of the deal I compared him to an expensive used car that came with a ton of cool additional features (Gardiner). If the car performed as expected, nobody would knock the car, regardless of the money it cost to buy it or the miles it had already logged. It would only get better when you put some miles on it and got used to how it runs.
I argued on his behalf on numerous hockey forums, twitter, etc., mostly because I believed a player with his talent and sublime shot deserved a better look than what he got with the Ducks after he came back from a blood infection incurred during back surgery. Just to jolt the memory, injuries limited Lupul to just 23 games during the 2009â€“10 season, as he missed the final 59 games along with the first 28 games of the next season due to the infection.
Andy Arias, better known as @rallycap_andy in the Twitter-verse, is a self-proclaimed "mahoosive sports tweeter and jersey enthusiast/snob." He agreed to share some tips with the MLHS community on the fine art of spotting authentic jerseys versus knock-offs when considering a purchase.
First and foremost let me say this: I understand. Buying a jersey isn't cheap and if there is the possibility to save a few bucks of course you're going to take it. A quick check online at the Maple Leafs Shop and you'll find out that a replica jersey with your favourite player's name on the back will cost you around 200 dollars. An authentic? North of 300. You love your Leafs, but paying rent this month sure would be great too. So you Google "Cheap Leafs jerseys" and you get all sorts of options. But how do you know if what you're looking at is the real deal?
The Toronto Maple Leafs met their first serious opponentÂ this season, facing the defending champions, the Boston Bruins, last night at TD Garden. It was a wake-up call for the Leafs, who have mostly faced non-playoff teams as opponents and have receivedÂ out worldly performances from Phil Kessel to save the game for them, game-after-game. Toronto has had glaring issues with their specialty teams, and even their 5-on-5 play, that has to be raising big concern for the players and coaches involved despite a 4-1-1 start. Facing the Boston Bruins brought this team back to earth and revealed a number of areas in need of work, merely covered up by Phil Kessel's dominance in the four games preceding last night's tilt.
It's not inconceivable that the Leafs would have had a 1-4 or 2-3 record going into the game against Boston if not for their offensive leader's best streak in a Leafs sweater. This team has not clicked as a unit from game one and it finally caught up with them in the form of anÂ embarrassing 6-2 loss.Â There was very little to like about Toronto's game and, as has become tradition, Toronto's stacked defence core largely underperformed. [more…]