It's certainly early but a week into the New Year the Maple Leafs have kept their scoring resolutions, popping 21 goals over the four contests since the calendar changed. Tonight's 9-3 win in Atlanta saw multi point nights from the following:
Grabovski - 2G, 1A
MacArthur - 2G, 1A
Versteeg - 1G, 2A
Kulemin - 2G, 1A
Kaberle - 4A
Armstrong - 1G, 1A
Notes after the jump. [more…]
Quick note: Complications resulting from increased university work, my job and sickness have combined to prevent me from doing any articles recently. The good news is I should have that stuff figured out, so expect some larger team articles soon.
Brett Lebda came into Toronto with a lot of praise from current Leafs VP of Hockey Operations Dave Poulin. The praise came from a familiar place; Poulin was the head coach for the University of Notre Dame for 10 years, where he initially scouted and recruited Lebda for their program. Lebda later chose Detroit as his destination for pro hockey, staying in their system for seven years, of which five were spent with the Red Wings themselves. He lived under the shadow and tutelage of great defensemen such as Nicklas Lidstrom, Mathieu Schneider and Chris Chelios. [more…]
31 games and a 12-15-4 record into the season, the struggling Maple Leafs find themselves the subject of several hotly-contested debates over many facets of the club. Is this the real Phil Kessel? Gustavsson or Giguere? And what of Ron Wilson?
My own responses to each of these questions are posted after the jump, and as always I invite you to share yours in the comments below.
(Toronto â€“ Gus Katsaros) I tried to put together something that leads to the state of the Leafs, but it gets pretty intense and too much for a single blog so Iâ€™ve broken it down in two. Before we move forward we should acknowledge what is happening with the current club and I do that with just some observations.
Iâ€™ve broken down what I feel are some of the more important points of the Leafs forwards and defensemen while not being entirely thorough, leaving something for future blogs. Iâ€™ll follow this up on Friday tying in the coaching, the Burke regime and vision of the team in the future.
Many of our writers here at Maple Leafs Hot Stove have twitter accounts, but until now we did not have a master account for the [more…]
The potential sports story of the decade for the city of Toronto, and more specifically, fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs is unfolding right before our eyes. Â The legitimacy of the potential sale of MLSE to Rogers should not be easily dismissed. Â The rumoured sale simply makes sense for all parties involved. Â The recent announcement of the pending retirement of MLSE CEO Richard Peddie now starts to bring the picture into focus and adds significant legitimacy to the Toronto Star report of MLSE share sales from the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP) to Rogers Inc. Â The fact that the Richard Peddie retirement was announced just before this story broke, absolutely stinks of premeditated public transition planning. Â Personally, I must admit, I knew there was much more to the Mr. Peddie pending retirement announcement, but, I simply had no idea how deep this rabbit hole would go. Â Speculation and associated questions today, from all corners of the sports and business communities is running rampant. Â Why would the OTPP sell off their stake in this cash cow? Â What Return on Investment can Rogers Inc garner on a $1.3B purchase of an asset generating an approximate $160M in profit each year, especially considering that the real estate assets are thought to be excluded from the deal?
Forgive Leafs fans for being a little cautious with their optimism these days as it relates to net gains between the pipes for the organization. Â After all, still fresh in the minds of those in Leafs Nation is the not too long ago time when the Maple Leafs boasted both Justin Pogge and Tuukka Rask in their goaltending stable, two goalies who were at the time highly touted following junior campaigns. [more…]
During the doom and gloom of a lengthy losing streak it can be easy to focus only on the negative aspects of a hockey team and I have noticed my last few pieces have done just that.Â Today I thought I would take a look at some of the positive and promising assets the Toronto Maple Leafs currently possess as opposed to what they ultimately lack.
Although they are much maligned and even despised by some the ownership of the Toronto Maple Leafs has never been a serious impediment to the success of the team, contrary to popular belief.Â Sure MLSE values a profit as most corporations do and yes they charge an arm and a leg for even a lousy ticket, but the fact is the market for all things Leafs is extremely strong.Â With the current supply and demand the way it is the pricing issue will not go away or change, ever. [more…]
It is a popular war cry teams will make when in the midst of an unlikely or unexpected championship run.Â But what exactly is needed to make a championship contending hockey club and just how far are the Maple Leafs from truly becoming one?Â I thought I would attempt to answer that very question while trying to look at how a successful championship contending hockey team is currently composed and then comparing it to the Leafs situation and roster makeup. [more…]
On this Remembrance Day, 2010, I'd thought it would be fitting to take a look back at the Toronto Maple Leafs during the years of the Second World War.
Having been on the losing side of the Stanley Cup Finals for three consecutive years (Chicago, Boston, New York) to close out the 1930s, the Leafs remained on the verge of becoming a championship team. Unfortunately, pending greatness would instead be put on hold as the roster would be decimated while players answered their country's call to duty in the early 1940s.
The following is a quick synopsis of the Maple Leafs' successes and struggles during the war years, and the glory that would ultimately follow.
Devastated by injuries and call-ups last season, the Marlies failed to make the playoffs for only the second time since the AHL club returned to Toronto. 425 man games lost. That equates to a 5.3 players sitting out each and every game of a 80 game season - so let's say, five and a backup goaltender.
Already this season the Marlies have seen talented forwards Christian Hanson and Luca Caputi get the call up to the show, as well as physical defenceman Korbinian Holzer. Ryan Hamilton joins Simon Gysbers and Danny Richmond in the press box, all suffering from separate ailments. All this is on top of Jay Rosehill, Alex Foster and James Reimer who had already spent time on the day-to-day list.
With the typical (and expected) â€œFire Ron Wilsonâ€ sentiment being thrown around after another tough loss (now five in a row) I thought I would enter the fray and share my opinion on the matter.Â It is often easy to blame the coach and the old adage â€œitâ€™s easier to fire one coach than 20 playersâ€ has certainly been applied in the NHL over the past 25 years but in the case of the Maple Leafs, is the coach really to blame?
I had written a story in the preseason that one of the potential problems I saw going into this year was the chance that Brian Burkeâ€™s general strategy really wouldnâ€™t mesh well with the roster given to Ron Wilson.Â The whole top-six and bottom-six forward approach is fine in theory when you have Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Marcus Naslund, Brendan Morrison and a prime Todd Bertuzzi at your disposal â€“ or Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Teemu Selanne etc. [more…]