2 Words: Total Domination.
2 Words: Total Domination.
The school break for Kindergarteners to University students; holiday vacation time for the employed; Christmas celebrations; and finally, the start of the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships. December never feels the same without it.
Ed. Note: Lots of holiday reading going up today for you guys. Merry Christmas.
Here we are the Christmas break, and Iâ€™d like to take the time to look back at what we saw in September, what we expected by Christmas and what we envision for the future of the Blue and White.
Canada did all the right things in tonightâ€™s game. They played a great cycling game in the offensive zone and have gotten more creative in their passing plays. They continued their crash-the-net tactics and even moved the puck out for some big point shots. On the defensive side, they played the 1-2-2 trap system the Fins used Sunday night, and applied an aggressive attack in the defensive end to completely shut down Richard Panik and the Slovaks.
Itâ€™s their final exhibition matchup of the pre-tournament and Canada looks to apply the same pressure theyâ€™ve produced in their first two meetings. Sunday nightâ€™s game against Finland showed that this team can in fact change on the fly, and Iâ€™m not talking about the lines.
Canada came through the gate a bit slow and sluggish. They managed to escape the first period tied at 1, but as the game progressed with chances equaling out by the midway point, Canada began to come alive and pounded the Fins with shots from everywhere being both unpredictable and a deadly force on every shift in the third period.
As expected, the injured Dana Tyrell has been replaced with the WHLâ€™s Evander Kane, and Team Canada prepares for their second exhibition game tonight against Team Finland.
Team Quinn does exactly what the former NHL head coach always demanded from his team. An all out hard hitting war, and thatâ€™s exactly what fans have gotten.
Toronto Maple Leafsâ€™ prospect, Chris Didomenico (or Dido for short) is set to make his World Junior Hockey Championship debut this Friday as the team prepares for its first pre-tournament exhibition match against Team Sweden.
The NHL season is only a few weeks old and people are calling for the end to checking from behind, and with good merit.
What a fantastic game last night. A thrilling third period comeback on Hockey Night in Canada at home against an Original Six franchise. Doesn’t get much better than that! We’ve been seeing a lot of this exciting new hockeyÂ lately, haven’t we? A great comeback victory against New Jersey on the road, arguably the best gameÂ sinceÂ the Montreal knockoutÂ on the last game of the season at homeÂ 2 years back, followed by this doozy of a gameÂ against the Rangers. Gotta love it!
Let’s talk about the guy who kickstarted last night’s comeback, John Mitchell.
Sorry folks, been really busy over the past week or so. Let’s talk some breaking news:
“The Maple Leafs will announce as early as this afternoon that rookie defenceman Luke Schenn will be staying in Toronto and will not be going back to the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL. Teams can hold on to rookies for nine games before their contract as junior-aged players kick in. The 18-year-old Schenn has played well enough to stick with the big team.
There’s a little bit of the irony in the title because in fact, Christopher Didomenico has rarely been in the spotlight at all during his hockey career. He is the definition of an underdog, and a testament to what hard work and perserverance can lead to.
As a young Toronto native, he was passed over by the OHL draft, after playing just 4 games in 2 seasons with the North York Rangers of the OPJHL. So, he managed to hook onto a tryout with the Saint John’s Sea Dogs of the QMJHL, made the team, and has blossomed into a great young player since.
With Cliff Fletcher sticking around for the upcoming season, the Maple Leafs have gone forward in hiring new staff since the start of the off-season. It seems the philosophy among many franchises around the league is to create positions to fill with excellent hockey minds in order to improve their own hockey growth and knowledge above the ice surface. Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment has finally joined in on that idea by adding Al Coates as the Director of Player Personnel, Jeff Jackson as the assistant GM and Director of Hockey Operations in 2006 who focuses primarily on collective bargaining duties and contract negotiations, and an overhaul of the coaching staff other than Keith Acton, who has found a way to stay within the organization after stints under head coaches Paul Maurice and Pat Quinn.
With the imposition of the salary cap taking some clout away from the financial Super Powers (or so they say), the “new” NHL focuses upon the importance of successful drafting and a constant flow of young players on cheap, entry-level contracts. With scouts now being dispatched to all corners of the globe, it’s getting to be quite a small world. The boundaries of the Hockey Community are ever-growing, and we’re starting to find ourselves with a neat little global village forming in the NHL.
The team has confirmed the reported deal in a 5:41pm press release:
Van Ryn, 29, completed his seventh NHL season and fourth with Florida in 2007-08. A wrist injury in November and the subsequent surgery sidelined him for the final 60 games last season. The native of London, Ontario recorded two points (both assists) in 20 contests in 2007-08. He turned professional after signing as a free agent by St. Louis on June 30, 2000 and he was later traded to Florida on March 11, 2003 for Valeri Bure and Floridaâ€™s fifth-round choice (Nikita Nikitin) in the 2004 Entry Draft. Van Ryn set career-highs in goals (13), points (37-tie) and powerplay goals (six) in his first season with the Panthers in 2003-04. Internationally, he represented Canada at the World Junior Championships in 1998 and 1999 and he was a member of the University of Michiganâ€™s 1998 NCAA National Championship team.
Last season with Toronto, McCabe recorded five goals and 18 assists in 54 games with 81 penalty minutes. McCabe, 33 ranks sixth on the clubâ€™s all-time scoring list among team defencemen with 297 points by virtue of his 83 goals and 214 assists. He is tied for 33rd on the Leafsâ€™ all-time scoring list and he sits in 32nd spot on the teamâ€™s all-time games played list with 523 games.
In 917 career NHL games with the Islanders, Canucks, Blackhawks and Maple Leafs he has 115 goals and 303 assists for 418 points with 1,574 minutes in penalties.
McCabe was originally acquired by Toronto from Chicago in exchange for Alexander Karpovtsev and the Leafsâ€™ fourth-round draft choice (Vladimir Gusev) in the 2001 Entry Draft. He was the New York Islandersâ€™ second choice, 40th overall, in the 1993 Entry Draft.