The Toronto Star is reporting that Jonas Frogren and Mike Van Ryn are with the Leafs on their west coast trip, and that both have been skating well.
It is also being reported that Jason Blake (listed as headaches even though we all know it is post-concussion syndrome) is ready to play, and that Matt Stajan is winning The War On The Flu Bug.
Quote of the Week
“I feel great … I’m as normal as I’m ever going to be.”
- Jason Blake, talking about his recovery from an upper body injury.
An ailing crop of defenders, a change of scenery, and a night off.
During Saturday night’s home game against the Canadiens, Mike Van Ryn went back in his own end to play the puck, and was subsequently hit from behind by Kostopoulous squarely on the numbers, sending Mike face first into the boards. The impact was tremendous and right away you could tell that it was serious as Van Ryn collapsed immediately in a heap, holding his face with blood spilling onto the ice. The hit occurred at 7:03 into the first period, and Kostopoulos received a 5 minute boarding major and a game misconduct.
This evening’s 3-2 loss was another tough one to swallow for a Maple Leafs team that largely outfought the Tampa Bay Lightning throughout the course of the game. There appeared to be only one real area where the Maple Leafs fell short in this one… star power. The Tampa Bay Lightning’s Vincent Lecavalier pulled off a few moments of magic which proved decisive. Backstopped by a stingy Mike Smith, the Lightning were sturdy defensively, but on top of their 39 shots on target, the Leafs missed the 6×4 on an inexcusable 19 occasions (believe it or not, only 2 were off the stick of Jason Blake).
A couple of weeks ago, Leafs defenceman Mike Van Ryn was battling for a spot on the Toronto blueline. Perhaps he still is.
Recent discussions have tempers flaring wildly in Minnesota, while the Maple Leafs look to trade leaves before they fall.
In the ultimate act of callousness by league schedulers, the Maple Leafs will open their regular season account inside the Joe Louis Arena, where they will endure the pre-game banner raising ceremony for the Stanley Cup winning Detroit Red Wings.
The Maple Leafs are ready to set the upcoming season stage for the Detroit Red Wings tonight at the Joe Louis arena and quite a few regulars are ready to pull the jersey back on.
The Leafs are looking to put up a strong performance after back to back stable appearances against the defending champs. With a similar roster, it will be interesting to see how Toskala fairs in net behind the crop.
A few notes on the Leafs recent demotions, Wednesdayâ€™s roster tidbits and a quick review of Monday nightâ€™s affair with the Blues.
It certainly seemed like a new era tonight in the ACC as a much more motivated and industrious Leafs team took to the ice and out-played the Buffalo Sabres in a 7-4 win for the new-look Blue and White.
Neither team could honestly say they put forth the best they could offer, but that’s the nature of these early pre-season games. It still can be said that there were some promising signs from a Leafs stand-point.
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Theyâ€™re out there. Everywhere you look.
The predictions that place the Leafs anywhere from 10th to 14th in the Eastern conference for the upcoming NHL season. Most hockey pundits are not giving the Maple Leafs much of a shot at a playoff spot, and based on recent history with the club, they have every reason not to.
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It wasnâ€™t more than a year ago that head coach Paul Maurice announced his team would make the playoffs and compete for the Stanley Cup. Players such as Simon Gamache and Tony Salmelainen were recruited from Europe by general manager John Ferguson Jr. and provided solid try outs. Colaiacovo was announced to not be in full form for the season opener, which we later discovered he would not be ready until late December, after arthroscopic knee surgery and an awkward fall in a pre-season practice after attempting a slap shot.
The team has confirmed the reported deal in a 5:41pm press release:
Leafs Acquire Mike Van Ryn
Toronto Maple Leafs
Sep 2, 2008, 5:41 PM EDT
Cliff Fletcher, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Tuesday that the team has traded defenceman Bryan McCabe and their fourth-round draft selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft to the Florida Panthers. In exchange, the Maple Leafs receive veteran defenceman Mike Van Ryn.
Van Ryn, 29, completed his seventh NHL season and fourth with Florida in 2007-08. A wrist injury in November and the subsequent surgery sidelined him for the final 60 games last season. The native of London, Ontario recorded two points (both assists) in 20 contests in 2007-08. He turned professional after signing as a free agent by St. Louis on June 30, 2000 and he was later traded to Florida on March 11, 2003 for Valeri Bure and Floridaâ€™s fifth-round choice (Nikita Nikitin) in the 2004 Entry Draft. Van Ryn set career-highs in goals (13), points (37-tie) and powerplay goals (six) in his first season with the Panthers in 2003-04. Internationally, he represented Canada at the World Junior Championships in 1998 and 1999 and he was a member of the University of Michiganâ€™s 1998 NCAA National Championship team.
Last season with Toronto, McCabe recorded five goals and 18 assists in 54 games with 81 penalty minutes. McCabe, 33 ranks sixth on the clubâ€™s all-time scoring list among team defencemen with 297 points by virtue of his 83 goals and 214 assists. He is tied for 33rd on the Leafsâ€™ all-time scoring list and he sits in 32nd spot on the teamâ€™s all-time games played list with 523 games.
In 917 career NHL games with the Islanders, Canucks, Blackhawks and Maple Leafs he has 115 goals and 303 assists for 418 points with 1,574 minutes in penalties.
McCabe was originally acquired by Toronto from Chicago in exchange for Alexander Karpovtsev and the Leafsâ€™ fourth-round draft choice (Vladimir Gusev) in the 2001 Entry Draft. He was the New York Islandersâ€™ second choice, 40th overall, in the 1993 Entry Draft.