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Luke Schenn

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    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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      Tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs play host to the Los Angeles Kings. Fortunately for the Leafs, they are back at home where they have a better record (9-10-5) than when playing as the visitors (8-16-5) this season. Unfortunately for the Leafs, the Kings have a better away record (15-10-1) than they do when playing as the host team (14-9-2)… also Kopitar. Yeah.

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        Since posting the parable of Owen the other day, and most especially since reviewing the commentary appended thereto, it has come to my attention that:

        1. The Tragically Hip suck or else the Tragically Hip are the very Platonic embodiment of the concept of “win”.   It is not at all clear which of these two statements concerning the properties of the Tragically Hip inclines towards truth, yet the truth is said to be obvious, immutable and beyond the realm of debate;
        2. It is a very good idea to proofread what you have frantically typed in a guilty paroxysm of nostalgic reminiscence before hitting the “publish” button.  Failure to do so may have the inattentive rookie blogger combining various teams, their nicknames and game results in a charming but utterly abstract and completely fictional goulash of confusion.  In the unlikely event this is not the effect one is really attempting to achieve, this little pro tip may help you avoid embarrassment;
        3. It is quite possible that I am the first person on earth and in the history of ever to reference both the Three Stooges and Waiting for Godot in the same sentence.  Now I’ve gone and done it in consecutive posts!  Don’t be expecting this level of achievement in every installment, kids, outstanding performances have a way of regressing to the mean;
        4. My theory of road trips, nascent and ill-developed though it may be, is fertile ground for graduate study.  Even more startlingly, the road trip is fertile ground for reality television.  How has there not been a Big Brother style reality show centred around the road trip.  And no, I haven’t forgotten about the Amazing Race; pay attention man, those dudes travel in pairs, not triads.  As an aside, I wonder how many other areas of human endeavour are equally of interest to academics and reality TV producers?
        5. I somehow managed to omit from the story the fact that my buddies and I attended a cocktail mixer at the IMF.  Trust me, you don’t know from fun until you’ve partied with international debt specialists in a brightly-lit impersonal and institutional room in the middle of the afternoon; and
        6. At least some of you are seeing some of the same positive developments in certain Maple Leaf players that I am.

        Before we get to the subject of today’s post, Luke Schenn, a preliminary word if you will about the title of these entries: 

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          I’m about as optimistic a person as they come, but tonight’s loss against a struggling Penguins team just hammers home the message that there simply isn’t enough skill on this roster. It was a pretty bland effort overall as they couldn’t capitalize on key scoring chances and made a few mental mistakes that resulted in the back of their net.

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            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.

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                Good to be back! It’s been a little while since I’ve had the opportunity to post anything.

                The following are some random thoughts I’ve had of late, including Luke Schenn’s banishment to the press box, the Leafs’ recent winning ways, the status of the trade front, and more.

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                  It took a while, but the Toronto Maple Leafs are finally starting to look comfortable on home ice, and on the ice in general, as one of their better overall team efforts led to a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders on Wednesday night in front of a joyful, loud crowd at the Air Canada Centre.

                  Jason Blake scored the winner with just under five minutes left in the third period as the Leafs skated away with a hard fought 3-2 win.

                  Francois Beauchemin and Ian White also scored for Toronto, who improved to 7-2-2 in their last eleven games.  John Tavares scored both goals for the Islanders.

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                    After recovering from the initial shock of the Leafs trading yet another highly rated, potentially top end prospect (Tlusty in this case) for picks, prospects (Paradis in this case) or players who at best can be defined as “depth” acquisitions, I decided to sit back, absorb all of the feedback and coverage from this transaction and form an opinion based on rational thought processes and any available factual information.  Past my initial, oh no, here we go again feeling, I was uncertain as to my actual opinion on this deal.  After all, I have never seen the young Paradis play, knew very little about this prospect, and the only information I had available was that he was a late 1st round pick in last years entry draft.  So, I decided to err on the side of caution and keep my initial opinion on this transaction to myself.  After researching this prospect, reading the various scouting reports and watching some film, it became rather apparent that Mr Burke had traded a potential top 6 type of sniper for a 3rd-4th line character guy.  Someone who was physical, had speed, was fearless and could become a real heart and soul leader on an NHL roster one day.  Considering the intangibles this player could potentially bring down the road, I was willing to overlook the obvious imaginary offensive upside Mr Burke was touting with this prospect and the projections of a top 6 “power forward” type in the NHL and was settling in with a comfortable neutral, “Wait and See” decision on this transaction.

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                      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.

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                        Tonight’s  loss against the Northeast rival Buffalo Sabres seemed to play out like the typical Maple Leaf ’09-’10 regular season game thus far. A fairly decent effort for about 75-80% of the game, a few brain cramps here and there, a ton of unconverted offensive opportunities, an unlucky bounce or two, along with the end result of an “L” in the record books.

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                          After a sloppy first couple of periods, the Maple Leafs held on for a 4-3 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Leafs blew a 2-goal first period lead, as well as a 1-goal lead in the second, but played a solid third period and came out on top. It surely wasn’t the Leafs’ best performance of the season, but it was nice to see them emerge on the right end of a tight scoreline for a change.

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                            Its the fourth installment of Stick Work with Fab & Kats.
                            Guests on this show include Brian Metzer, stalwart XM Radio correspondant and featured Penguins bloggger on Network Pittsburgh and hockeybuzz.com. We’ll touch on some Penguins rookies, the injury-ravaged defense, as well as two underperforming forwards.

                            Edward Fraser from The Hockey News chimes in on the Los Angeles Kings, Leafs opponent Carolina, Chicago and Luke Schenn.

                            Fab and I discuss our choices for Torontosaurus Rex, and boy, did Fab ever make a stretch this one …..

                            We like to give our guests the opportunity to choose their own intro theme music … while Brian’s is more recent, we’ve given Fraser’s request for Rage a different twist.

                            StickWork

                            Download as mp3

                            Enjoy the Leafs/Carolina game and make sure to view Micheal Aldred’s preview – despite the warnings.
                            [email protected]
@katshockey

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                              Warning: The following could make your eyes fall out, your ears explode, and cost you years of therapy. How’s that an introduction for you?

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                                Ian White took a personal day today and missed practice. Ron Wilson decided to try some new lines as the Leafs prepare for their road game against the Ottawa Senators tomorrow night. Cory Clouston defines his perception of the Maple Leafs.

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                                  The Leafs were down early as rookie phenom Jonas Gustavsson was lit up for 3 goals on 5 shots. Poor defensive coverage, a terrible line change, and a lucky bounce on a shot that Gustavsson likely should have had forced the Leafs to swap the goaltenders and bring in Vesa Toskala. The goaltenders tapped sticks at the bench in the shuffle. “Tag, you’re it” can be described at the outcome.

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                                    For the second time this week, Mike Komisarek has missed the team practice. He also left early on in the game against the Wild on Tuesday and now Ron Wilson isn’t sure when he will return, or if he’s even able to play this weekend.
                                    Update: Burke’s reaction after the GM’s Meeting.

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                                      I’ve been watching Luke Schenn closely this season, looking for creep of the sophomore jinx. Everyone is a little banged up at his junction of the schedule, but he might be playing through some hurt. The rust is off in the NHL, and players are hitting stride, making the young blueliner vulnerable as the games get more intense.

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                                        Watching the Leafs play this season has already clearly demonstrated 3 distinct and separate teams.   Team1 started the season on a dreadful 0-6-1 streak.  Team2 surfaced on the teams first extended raod trip, and although losing the opener by the closest of margins in Vancouver, they managed to rally off a string of impressive games, still falling short and losing in extra time or in a shootout.  Team3, continued to pick up a point in games and more recently have managed to win their last 2 in a row.  But, I was left asking the question, why the turn around?  If one was to read the various media reports, 1 man alone was responsible for the Leafs woes early on (Toskala) and now one man alone is the saviour and is responsible for the Leafs turn around (Gustavsson).