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christmas

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    Waffle Guy of The Checking Line wrote his own rendition of the Night Before Christmas, but based it on the Leafs and waffles. I thought it would be a nice little read for all of us for the holidays. Merry Christmas and happy holidays. Hopefully Santa can bring us all more wins.

    Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Leafs nation
    Not a fan was cheering, and no standing ovation;
    The players were stung by a pair of quick goals,
    And had hopes of digging themselves out of their hole;

      15

      It’s that time of year again.  The most wonderful time of the year.  No, not Christmas, and no, you won’t see any of those silly Staples commercials.

      It’s time for the NHL playoffs.

      The annual spring tournament that features some of the most exciting hockey of the season.  It’s  triple overtime games that rage on long into the night, games so long that you’ll hope you saved some sick days.  It’s players skating through pain, all for the common goal of lifting Lord Stanley’s Cup.

      And the great fans of the NHL, well they have the best seat in the house.

      Around this time of year, especially the first round, marriages are postponed.  Assignments are left on desks unfinished.  Scheduled are cleared, or built around.  Kiss your wife or girlfriend, and tell her you’ll see her in a few months, a better person than when you last saw her.

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        With just 6 more games to go for the GFWE contest, get in your predictions and shoot for the chance to win some Leafs tickets!  Let’s all hope our team gives us a late Christmas present by taking the win tonight against Pittsburgh.

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          nullTo all in the MLHS and Barilkosphere community. Thanks for your continued support, and I look forward to what we can accomplish together in the new year.

          On a Leaf-related note this afternoon, sixth round draft pick in 2009 Jerry D’Amigo has been named to the WJC Team USA team. The winger has started off his rookie NCAA campaign strong with 14 points in 14 games for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His qualification for a highly-touted WJC U.S. squad comes after D’Amigo, as a member of Team USA at the 2009 Under 18 World Championships, led the team and finished tied for third in the tournament with 13 points in 7 games en route to a U.S. gold medal win.

            7

            I really tried to get this posted here, but for some reasons the pictures keep shifting the text over. If you’d like to read this for a laugh and a nice little Maple Leafs Christmas story, click here.

              173

              For the second time in a week, the Maple Leafs have felt the wrath of the Boston Bruins on home ice, only this time there were distinct differences from Saturday’s 7-2 beat down.

              The Leafs, after sleepwalking through two periods of the hockey game, decided to bring their game in the third and made things interesting with goals by Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin to pull them within a goal of the Bruins.  A late, costly penalty by Leafs winger Jason Blake sealed their fate however, as the penalty kill sagged once again, and Mark Recchi scored with under three minutes left to ice the game for the Bruins.

                242

                It started off as a fast paced and strong two-way game for both clubs, but the Maple Leafs just could not keep up with the Wild’s pressure for a full 60 minutes. Minnesota came into this game to make a statement, much like the Leafs did on Saturday night against the Red Wings. There were key chances for the Leafs to score, but a few bad breaks, including costly penalties, and missed opportunities cost the Leafs their 7 game point streak in a loss against the worst team in the Western Conference.

                  47

                  Jonas Gustavsson.  Phil Kessel.  Matt Stajan.  (Ok that last one was just to mess with you).  The Leafs continued their point streak and began a hopefully lengthy run of wins with a victory over the visiting Red Wings tonight.  It was an admirable performance across the board tonight as followers of this Maple Leafs squad hover in a state of trepid excitement.  One thing we can be sure about is that Gustavsson has given us a level of goaltending not seen in these parts for quite a while.

                    3746

                    It has been reported that Patrick Roy, who has been hovering around Denver these last few days, has been offered the head coach position for the franchise. I know what you’re thinking, “but doesn’t Tony Granato have that job?” No, not really. He’s been fired but everyone forgot to call him. I’m sure he’ll figure it out when he opens the paper sometime in the next few days and reads that he’s been replaced, unless he’s somewhere hockey isn’t mainstream. I hope he is, for his sake, because Day 1 of training camp would be awkward if no one bothers to let the poor sap know of his circumstance.

                    That brings us to the Worst Firings in Hockey History.

                      51

                      Brian Burke:

                      On the implications of the Leafs’ recent turnaround:

                      “I’m proud of the guys, they’re working their butts off and that’s important for a lot of reasons; a lot of what we’re trying to build here and reward our fans and our season ticket holders. They’re important wins, and I know people are saying we’re messing up our draft choice but we’ll happily accept that; we’ll take that trade off any time. If I could make a deal – I said this last week, and I’ll say it again today – if I could make a deal today that would put us in the playoffs, I would do it, as long as it was consistent with our long-term strategy. Those type of deals right now are not being presented, so I don’t think it’s going to change our approach.”

                        17

                        “Oh well, screw it.  It’s time to go on to the next one.”
                        Rinse and repeat Justin, as these words left the Toronto tender’s mouth after getting shelled for six goals in a loss to the Minnesota Wild last week.  One would hazard a guess that the young goalie will need some more of this good humour after seeing a similar fate tonight.  Likely exhausted from the extensive bus ride to Buffalo, the Maple Leafs as a team did very little to support their rookie netminder.

                          24

                          During my monthly fantasy hockey segments on Sportstalk Weekends with Rick Quinton on CKNW in Vancouver the fantasy scene always spills into analysis of real world NHL. Last night, with the segment winding down, knowing I’m from Toronto, the ultra-smooth basso-voiced host asked the question seemingly plaguing Leafs Nation.

                          Hey, B, where are the trades? Leafs Nation expected a roster overhaul with Brian Burke formally handed the keys to the franchise. So far, nothing.

                            27

                            fan

                            There are a ton of rumors flying around on the Toronto Maple Leafs. Some a downright ridiculous and some may very well have merit. This is a close outlook on a few of those rumors and speculation. We’re under 2 months away from Hockey Christmas, where all the wonderful surprises of wanted and undesired gifts are passed around. A shopping list is what we all hope the Leafs are after, but sometimes there’s other plans that could be in place which may not seem so attractive at first. Consider that the following is merely speculation and rumors.

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                              Firstly, an interesting item of news – the Vancouver Canucks have acquired goaltender Jason LeBarbera from the LA Kings in exchange for a 7th round pick. Update: Hat-tip to Sarah, who points out that Curtis Sanford has been placed on the IR alongside Roberto Luongo, necessitating the deal for another ‘tender.

                                3


                                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.

                                  4

                                  The Maple Leafs are looking to rebound from probably their worst effort of the season with a win over the John Tavares front-runners inside the Nassau Coliseum tonight.

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                                    Ed. Note: Thanks to all our readers and contributors for making the first four months at MLHS a success and cheers to a great year ahead. Merry Christmas!

                                    Merry Christmas folks…..this is a small attempt at poetic humour…hope you all enjoy. -Rib

                                      331

                                      It’s hard to imagine that by the Christmas break, the offensively-challenged, Sundin-less forward corps of the Toronto Maple Leafs would be sitting at 7th overall in league scoring. They’re averaging a robust 3.10 goals for a game, which is a marked improvement over their 2.74 goals for average from last season. And what’s even more impressive is that key roles are being played by some of the Leafs younger players.

                                        7

                                        Ed. Note: Lots of holiday reading going up today for you guys. Merry Christmas.

                                        Here we are the Christmas break, and I’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.

                                          13

                                          Team Quinn does exactly what the former NHL head coach always demanded from his team. An all out hard hitting war, and that’s exactly what fans have gotten.