I really wanted to write a wrap up notebook, but I wasn’t going to subject myself to watching that game again, nor do I particularly want to write about it. I mean, the only time I watched that Bergeron game winner was live and that’s how it is going to remain, so I wouldn’t be much of a source for insight or analysis.
It really was a great year for the Leafs, though. At the beginning of the season I didn’t think they would make the playoffs, and at the beginning of the first round I wasn’t sure they would make it much of a series. They proved me wrong both times. They proved a lot of people wrong.
In order for the Leafs to get better, though, they’ll need to have a strong offseason and smooth out some of their rough edges. [more…]
Toronto looks for their 1st win on home ice in this series (and in 9 years) and you can expect that they will be a little less tight in the 1st period than they were in their 1st playoff game at the ACC on Monday night. Toronto has been getting progressively better during the series and looks to be the match of Boston if they play their system and don't gift them goals like did the entire game on Monday. [more…]
It’s official. The Leafs will face the Bruins in round one.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping for the Habs on Tuesday. As much as the last four games against the Habs have been a mixed bag, the Leafs have been able to play their game and play to their strengths against Montreal. The Leafs have played the Bs much more competitively this season, but the Bruins have still been effective at negating the Leafs speed and skill up front, slowing them down and forcing them to grind for every goal. While the Bruins have backed into the playoffs, their forecheck is still top notch. For a Leafs team that struggles to diffuse a forecheck with efficient breakouts, that’s a scary prospect. The Bruins have experience, the core of a past Stanley Cup winner and play a tough playoff brand of hockey. [more…]
The Toronto Maple Leafs are officially in the playoffs.
I hope that felt as good to read as it did to write.
It has been a long nine years since Jeremy Roenick broke Leafs Nations’ hearts in 2004. The excitement that year was nuts. The Leafs traded for Hall of Fame defenseman Brian Leetch for a bunch of guys nobody knew existed and Toronto was buzzing with Stanley Cup hopes. I remember Leetch’s first game against the Islanders; Leetch had three points and the TV broadcast had this stupid iso-camera on Leetch every time he touched the ice. (Ironic side note: the only player traded in the deal who became relevant in the NHL was drafted with the expended second round pick, a player by the name of Michael Sauer - you know, the guy who had his career ended by Phaneuf). [more…]
The Leafs are all but set to make the playoffs for the first time in nine years, yet there is an inordinate amount of vitriol being directed at Toronto’s head coach Randy Carlyle, for some reason.
Considering pretty well everyone predicted the Leafs not to make the playoffs, it’s pretty funny to see the coach leading a surprising playoff appearance - and a team that's currently fifth in the East and 7th in the League - get chastised. [more…]
What a night for the Toronto Maple Leafs and their fans.
They're not contenders yet, but this is looking like an offensively-inclined, hard-hitting, glove-dropping, entertaining, winning hockey team; just like the vision Brian Burke pitched to us five years ago. Randy Carlyle spoke about injecting the pride back into this organization before the season started. We're getting there.
After the jump, take in the HNIC segment that capped off a great night in Leafs Nation - Nazem Kadri on Coaches Corner. In a great moment, Kadri is the recipient of the Dougie Kiss as a battle-worn Frazer McLaren gives the Grapes Thumbs Up and a smiling Colton Orr looks on. [more…]
In a matchup with big playoff implications, the Leafs could move ten up on the 10th-placed Carolina Hurricanes with a win in this four-point swing game. A loss in regulation puts the Hurricanes within six with three games in hand.
The Hurricanes are an opponent the Leafs have struggled with in both matchups this season. Their strength down the middle has played a key role as the Staal brothers have featured prominently on the scoresheet in a combined 7-2 win over the two games. Among teams the Leafs have played more than once, the Canes are the only opponent they have gained zero points off of. [more…]
It’s like déjà vu all over again.
And no, I’m not talking about “The Slide.”
Since we are almost at the halfway point, I thought now would be a good time to write some notes on each individual player thus far. Here is the close-but-not-quite-halfway Leafs Notebook: [more…]
While I had hoped the Komarov signing would have ended some of this speculation, it still lingers on and Iâ€™m really confused about something that seems to be a regular occurrence on message boards, Twitter, comment sections, etc. It is Torontoâ€™s love fest with the idea of signing George Parros. I honestly canâ€™t wrap my head around this mindset. My best guess is that the argument goes â€œDressing a big tough guy will keep their players from starting shit,â€ right? Or is it the more truthful, â€œWhen my team is losing and spent $200 on tickets I still want to get a show.â€ Does that sound more accurate?
Either way, I have a hard time getting on board with it. Even Jay Rosehill occupying a roster spot seems to irk me, and paying Colton Orr $1,000,000 a season for five minutes a night and an occasional scrap was an absolute waste. We all witnessed firsthand that it accomplished nothing other than one priceless moment where Matt Carkner begged for his life.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have been called plenty of things this season but I can honestly say there is one I have never heard until recently after reading a piece by an Edmonton sports writer, chicken.Â The writer said the Leafs played the role of chicken (and turtles) versus the Edmonton Oilers stating Colton Orr spent the â€œentire evening running away from Steve MacIntyreâ€ and â€œfound an escape hatchâ€ when he beat Oilers tough guy Zack Stortini â€œin a marathonâ€.
Where to begin?Â First off, Colton Orr runs away from no man, this I think most NHL fight pundits will agree with.Â Brand new NHL heavyweight contender (some say champion) Deryk Engelland has been wreaking havoc on the fight scene this season with some impressive knockouts and wins over some big time opponents.Â [more…]
Week one of the Toronto Maple Leafs schedule is in the books, and while it only featured two games, there is plenty to talk about as far as the season goes. Â The Maple Leafs are off to a 2-0 start, having won their second game of the season nearly one month ahead of the time they got win two last season.
Through week one of the season, here are the Maple Leafs player power rankings, as seen by me. [more…]