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Jeff Finger

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    The Toronto Maple Leafs look to put a streak together tonight, while the Devils are seeking control of the Atlantic division. Tyler Bozak and Phil Kessel each have 6 points in their last 4 games, while Nikolai Kulemin is showing signs of becoming a promising top two line player with 7 points in his last 5 affairs. He has arguably been the Leafs’ best player for the second half of the season.

      506

      The Toronto Maple Leafs continue their homestand tonight against the visiting Oilers, in a game that marks former Leafs’ coach Pat Quinn’s return to the Air Canada Centre.

      The Oilers have had a disappointing season, to say the least, and are the leading contenders for the Hall/Seguin sweepstakes this summer. Edmonton fans are salivating at the thought of Taylor Hall one day lining up alongside Canadian Junior team hero Jordan Eberle, wearing copper and blue.

      For the time being, however, the Oilers are a team in the midst of yet another rebuilding phase, a process with which Leafs’ fans can certainly relate. In many ways, the two teams are quite similar: inconsistent youth, underachieving veterans, untimely injuries and weak goaltending have plagued both rosters throughout the season. The Leafs look to have begun the process of righting the ship; the Oilers will look to make similar moves (purging of veteran contracts in favor of youthful exuberance) during the summer.

        462

        KULEMIN with the game winner, and that’s all folks!!! Leafs win 4-3 in a thrilling overtime victory!

        Now, wasn’t that an appropriate Torontosaurus Rex?!

        That was the Leafs first OT victory of the season. (1-9)

        ******
        It feels like a spring day, almost like a playoff date.
        This isn’t a playoff game by any stretch .. There are some interesting scenarios playing out even before puck drop.

        Here’s the game thread … you can also follow along on Twitter, @KatsHockey

        This is the first game At home for newest Leaf, Luca Caputi (Now with his first goal as a Leaf!!).

        This is the first game after the devastating hit my Matt Cooke taking out Savard.

        This is the first game At home that will not feature Alex Ponikarovsky as a Leaf.

        This is the first game in which Phil Kessel scores his first point as a Leaf against his former club (maybe) … (Yes! After a change in scoring on the second goal, he got his first assist versus his old team)

        The Leafs have given up powerplay markers in consecutive games after going five games without letting in a power play goal.

        Despite being one season removed from having won the Vezina Trophy this is the second consecutive start for Tim Thomas I the last games.

        And the Puck has dropped .. I’ll be refreshing about every 10-15 minutes

        Look, I’m not saying I’m a good luck charm, but I attend the game in the press box and a whole lot of good happens .. Caputi’s first as a Bud, Kessel registering his first assist .. Just call me lucky Kats.

        End of Regulation 3-3

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          With the Olympics wrapping up (and in the process Canada securing the record for most gold medals, capped off by our Men’s and Women’s hockey teams), the focus among hockey fans now shifts to the NHL trade deadline.

          While there are few untouchables on the Maple Leafs’ roster, speculation is that only a handful of players are likely to be dealt between Monday and Wednesday. Here’s a look at some of the speculation surrounding the most-talked about candidates to swap jerseys.

            285

            The Toronto Maple Leafs visit the St. Louis Blues tonight, in the Leafs’ final game prior to the NHL’s Olympic break.

            The Leafs are coming off a narrow loss to the West-leading San Jose Sharks, a game which left the team with much to feel good about.  Tonight, the team will look to resolve their road woes and enter the break on a high note, by capitalizing on what has been an inconsistent and underachieving Blues squad.

              71

              For the second time in four days the Maple Leafs will face off against the New Jersey Devils, this time at the ACC. In what seems to be the most nonsensical decision made in recent memory by NHL schedulers, come this Friday the Leafs and Devils will have faced off three times in one calendar week. What’s up with that?

              As you are all undoubtedly aware, the Leafs have a few new faces in the fold, and we are all eager to see what Phaneuf, Sjostrom, and Giguere bring to the table as members of the blue and white.

              Note: I won’t get into trade analysis here; that has already been covered in excellent fashion by the MLHS crew in prior posts.

                239

                In the wake of Sunday’s blockbuster trades, one cannot help but wonder what’s next for the Toronto Maple Leafs? Who’s next to go? Who stays?

                In any case, I think that it’s pretty safe to say that this season is a write-off. We’re not making any moves to make a run at the playoffs this season. So, let’s look forward and take a look at what the Maple Leafs should look like next season.

                  727

                  The Leafs took to the ice today in preparation for Martin Brodeur tomorrow night. It featured some interesting one on one drills for a few key players, and one defenceman who claims the future of his career and the Maple Leafs would be better suited if he were traded.

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                    The Toronto Maple Leafs, spiralling of late with a 2-7-1 record in their past 10 games, will to right the ship at home tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers.   The Leafs will also be looking for revenge in this matchup, having been on the receiving end of a 6-2 thrashing at the hands of the Flyers only a week ago.

                      65

                      Submit your GFWE predictions here.

                      It’s no secret that the Leafs’ biggest disappointment amid a conference-second-worst 15-20-9 first half of the schedule is a total lack of progress in the area of goals against and special teams, where Brian Burke focused much of his off-season efforts.

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                        Just a quick update:

                        The Maple Leafs have recalled Viktor Stalberg from the Marlies and are sending down Joey MacDonald, as Jonas Gustavsson is ready to back up Vesa Toskala Friday night in Buffalo.

                        Probably a good idea to start Vesa on Friday. Give Jonas an extra night off (hopefully, anyway) and keep Toskala away from the Bruins Saturday, as he’s had trouble with them this season.

                          479

                          The Toronto Maple Leafs begin a 3 game road trip tonight as they visit the long time rival Montreal Canadiens tonight for an Original Six Battle. This is the third time these two clubs have met this season, with Montreal taking the first two games by scores of 4-3 in overtime, and 5-4 in a shootout. The Habs will celebrate their 100th anniversary on Friday against another original six club in the Boston Bruins, but will first have to deal with the always threatening but rarely scoring Leafs.

                            247

                            The Leafs hope to get their first three-game winning streak of the season tonight when the Buffalo Sabres roll into the Air Canada Centre.  Toronto has gone five straight games without a regulation loss (3-0-2) and hope to continue their stretch of strong offensive performances (3.8 goals per game).  They’ll be in tough against a Sabres team that is back on the winning track after a slight skid, supported by one of the hottest goaltenders this season in Ryan Miller.

                              101

                              It’s been widely reported the past few days that Leafs’ GM Brian Burke is working on at least two trades in an effort to provide a much-needed shakeup to the team.

                              Sifting through the vast amounts of information, misinformation, and fanboy longing, two teams keep getting repeated over and over … enough to raise at least one speculative eyebrow.

                                229

                                Maple Leafs defenceman Mike Komisarek is expected to miss 3-4 weeks due to a small quad tear. He got hurt in Saturday night’s game against the Red Wings and left Tuesday’s game versus the Wild early as well.

                                  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.

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                                    Tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs will try and make it 3 wins in a row as they host the Minnesota Wild. Toronto is just 6 points out of a playoff position with 2 games on hand. A win tonight would add to their current point streak of 11 points in their last 7 games.

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                                      Despite an encouraging 3-0-4 record in their past 7 games, the Maple Leafs continue to explore ways to improve their roster with an eye to both the current season and the future.   The following is a rundown of the latest rumours making their way around the campfire in reference to the boys in blue.

                                        246

                                        The stats were not in Toronto’s favor. The Red Wings current streak was not in Toronto’s favor. Chris Osgood’s recent play was not in Toronto’s favor. But the Leafs came out last night with such, dare I say it, truculence that fans gave them a standing ovation for their efforts, as well as the Leafs first win at home this season.