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Toronto Truculent

Toronto Truculent

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Did you know that Monday, December 23rd was the 190th anniversary of that famous Christmas poem? Neither did we. But if that isn't a good enough reason to create a parody version celebrating some sort of joyful holiday message that we can take away from the Leafs' horrible play of late, I don't know what is. HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM MLHS! The Plight Before Christmas T’was the plight before Christmas, when all through the team, Not a player was scoring – nary a Phil, David, nor #Kadream. The goalies were hung by their nets, out to dry, In hopes this “defensive system” wasn’t just some huge...

HBO 24/7 Maple Leafs-Red Wings

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What we consider to be “reality” television is far less real than you might think. Events depicted as authentic human drama are often at least partially scripted, with larger narratives and plotlines frequently influenced by hidden teams of experienced writers and producers. Rare is the day that the tribe actually does the speaking. Gripping and authentic as it may seem, HBO’s 24/7 series is no different. The purported documentary is designed to provide a look behind the scenes at hockey players fighting their way through early-season challenges on the road to the famed Winter Classic. A series of storylines are...

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HOCKEY. The Maple Leafs' annual Rookie Tournament is upon us. Toronto hosts Chicago Jr. tonight at the Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario. Toronto Maple Leafs new and 'not-so-old' will have a chance to display their talents for the Maple Leafs Brass in what should be an entertaining tilt of careful pre-pre-season stepping and spirited verbal jousting. For all your basic rookie tournament info needs, the Leafs' official website pretty much has you covered. View the roster and schedule breakdown. Read the primer for tonight's game, which includes broadcast details. Or watch an interview with Marlies coach Steve Spott in which he talks...

James van Riemsdyk

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It might actually be a Game in 9. Or a Game in 27. Who knows? I'm writing this sentence at 7:08pm. 1. The game just started, and I'm already sick of the TSN commentary dedicated to "PHIL HASN'T SCORED YET AND IT'S GAME #3!" He's been making plays amazingly well since Saturday and even backchecking. Like, a lot of backchecking, for him. I really hope this first point turns redundant at some point in the next couple hours. 2. I like Tyler Bozak. I really do. But a first line/Kessel-capable centre, he remains not. He's tenacious and full of energy, but...

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Brian Burke held his final press conference as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs' organization at noon Saturday, the hosting of which is a bizarre decision at best on the part of his still-employer and, at worst, a welcome dose of some universal justice to the fans who still aren't feeling all that great about this. I sort of eulogized his tenure on Thursday and thought that would be the end of it. Today's session, however, did offer a few salient points worth a brief follow-up. First off, the press conference in and of itself was a surprise. That...

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This feels like writing a eulogy. I hate it. You win. Let’s start with that concession, up front. A straightforward address to every fan who wanted Burke gone. I anxiously and hopefully await confirmation that this still-vague, as-yet-in-progress, largely-similar-but-supposedly-slightly-new direction will provide the amazing results that you’ve been adamant it hypothetically will. The proverbial sky has fallen in Leafland for the rest of us; those who believed that despite a few missteps (some of which were uncontrollable on the part of any general manager), the Brian Burke era rebuild was progressing at an expected and satisfactory, if disappointingly normal, pace. To me,...

A Maple Leafs Christmas Carol

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‘Twas the night before the slowest news day of the NHL season! This means one thing:  you’ve got nothing better to do than read this extra special, ridiculously long Christmas post from MLHS and The Toronto Truculent. “A Maple Leaf Christmas Carol” will hopefully be considered a timeless cautionary tale about greed, friendship, and how a passionate fanbase can challenge even the best NHL executive. More realistically, it is a nonsensical combination of holiday jokes that's destined to be ripped apart in the comments below for simply existing. If the reader feedback is as unimpressed and generally annoyed about the length...

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Gary Bettman spoke with the Winnipeg Free Press' Gary Lawless this past Sunday and delivered a fairly comprehensive interview about several major aspects of the continuing NHL lockout. Disappointingly: ego, greed, and stubborn posturing were not directly addressed. We have to give Lawless a good amount of credit here. He didn’t shy away asking pointed, relevant questions that any mostly informed and thoroughly disgruntled NHL fan would love to put to Bettman right now. Some of them are so direct and topical (referencing some of the most universally derided aspects of this labour negotiation) that you’d almost wonder if the...

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It seems safe to say that the NHL lockout’s PR battle is being won by no one. Efforts from both the NHL and NHLPA sides of the table lie in smoking ruin. In the eyes of many fans, pretty much everyone involved has been fundamentally smeared for their incapability to resolve the situation with anything approaching common sense, while the senseless waste of days ticking away destroys the hypothetical revenues they claim to be fighting over. But it seems, in secret, their efforts to resurrect their embattled public image may be changing. We (MLHS/The Toronto Truculent’s Matt Mistele and special...

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Photo: Steve Dangle/The Leafs Nation After reading this hilarious exchange between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady before their matchup on Sunday, I did a little poking around and came across Nazem Kadri's Facebook timeline. The results were outstanding... Yes, I'm pretty sure that @DownGoesBrown has done something like this before...so stick tap to him. Follow me on twitter @SantosDan

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Brian Burke is not a superhero. He doesn't have magical powers that allow him to move faster than everyone else. He cannot use pure energy to forge amazing things out of nothing. He's a normal man trying to do a well-intentioned job - one for which he is eminently qualified - by using the significant earthly resources at his disposal to sort out justice in an incredibly dark, cynical, and complex environment. He's trying to build future positives from the smoldering pile of ash that was past tragedy. Brian Burke is Batman. Yeah, this post is a longwinded beast. And it...

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Friends, we are gathered here today to honour the man and the legacy that is Jeff Finger. It’s hard to believe it’s been four years next Saturday, but Jeff Finger’s contract is finally coming to a close. It might have been easy to forget this momentous occasion, but luckily about three and half years ago I put a reminder in my Outlook calendar so I couldn’t let this day pass without celebrating it. Way back in the summer of 2008, Jeff Finger joined the Leafs on the strength of a breakout season with the Colorado Avalanche. A season that...

RealSports view from "what looks like VIP from downstairs", but is actually "just more tables."

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Don’t think for a second that just because the Leafs aren’t in the playoffs, they aren’t paying attention to the matchups. Many indicated during their end-of-year interviews that they would follow with great interest and, as it turns out, they have. MLSE has apparently embraced the idea, hosting VIP-only potluck parties at Real Sports Bar and Grill in downtown Toronto so the team can watch the games together, build some off-ice chemistry, and prepare for the experience if it ever – somehow - happens to them. As luck would have it, we’re able to offer you an exclusive glimpse into...

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For those that have or haven't been following Youtube user Jeremy Larter's Leafs Beefs video series (archive here), there were seven new ones posted today to laugh at. The pair's rants do a hilarious job summing up the emotions of Leafs Nation with a drunk Prince Edward Islander spin. Enjoy: Warning: not safe for work or the easily offended. The Playoffs: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btYy9eqlIj4&w=560&h=315] Hope: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rlnucxXPt4&w=560&h=315] Tim Thomas: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOgIiterXlk&w=560&h=315] Love/Hate: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4hS0DpROR8&w=560&h=315] Darcy Tucker: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgrnerp_x9Y&w=560&h=315] 1967: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrCzpOo7ZCk&w=560&h=315] Humiliation: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdi6-jGA2zo&w=560&h=315]

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A disappointing reality of which most viewers aren’t aware, modern “reality” television is – in fact – fairly scripted. “Soft scripting” is the technique a show’s producers use to vaguely outline what should happen to the show’s participants, and oftentimes, they will implore those contestants to perform as requested. Documentaries are no different, typically outlined based on extensive research and footage collection and them assembled to form a coherent, calculated point. Since the February announcement that the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings will compete in the January 2012 Winter Classic, many have assumed – correctly – that HBO...

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February’s losses devastated the 2011-12 Toronto Maple Leafs! The NHL’s most arrogant coach ever couldn’t save the flailing squadron from amateur mistakes – and was fired for it! The softest forward corps in the league is totally un-truculent! Jim and Gus couldn’t do their jobs if they went out pregame and found a 600-page guide entitled “How To Tend” sitting in goal! This team is junk, top to bottom! Fire Burke! Rebuild the rebuild! This is a SimCity nuclear meltdown, hail on summer corn crops, “I can see Russia from my house”-sized DISASTER! Hyperbole’s way too easy, people. This post won’t be...

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A few months ago, Brian Burke joined Twitter. He caved to fan and peer pressure, selected a username that will become instantly obsolete if he ever leaves MLSE for different employment, and took up social media residence on the popular frontier that has all but eliminated the need for news tickers and TSN alerts. He could have quit there. But Burke, a master of rhetoric and image control, took it a step further and offered fans a one-hour window in which they could submit questions that he would attempt to answer directly over the coming weeks (and, one has to...

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Or, "How I learned to stop worrying and love MLHS titles that are way too long." Every so often, an opinion thoroughly disguised as a mainstream news article presents itself - one that is so ridiculous, so utterly without basis, that the most appropriate response is to simply ignore it. In these situations, we are encouraged not to “sink to that level” by dignifying the position with a response. You know, to rise above - behave with a level of superior maturity. This is not one of those times. Steve Simmons contributed the piece in question earlier this week. Linking it...

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The Toronto Maple Leafs enjoyed a relatively injury-free training camp heading into the 2010-2011 season. Apparently, karma’s been waiting twelve months to deliver a shattering right cross of vengeance. We’ve poured over the countless Tweets, articles, and even contacted some unofficial sources to assemble the most comprehensive online report to date of the Leafs’ current injury situation. Brace yourself. It’s worse than any of us could have imagined. Player: Reimer, James Condition: Rapid offseason weight loss Cause: An intense nutritional regimen forbidding carbohydrate intake and relying solely on prairie foraging. Symptoms: Increased speed and mental reflex; for example, believing he’d completed all his duties...

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UPDATE (11:32pm) - Of course, 11 hours after I posted this, Drew Doughty has signed in LA. Early indications put the deal at 8 years for $7 million per. So, the obvious lesson for both sides: procrastinate something as far as you possibly can, because when you do it, the timing will be hilariously perfect. While enjoying patios and beer league baseball shenanigans this summer, Leaf Nation couldn’t help but keep one anxious ear primed for any news – or explanation – surrounding the lack of a Luke Schenn signing well into September. Now, late into training camp, fans of...