Toronto saw a hard fought one-goal lead disappear in the third period against Pittsburgh, as
the Penguins Sidney Crosby staged a second consecutive third period comeback to steal the game in regulation. It's a tough loss to swallow after a thorough effort across the lineup kept the Penguins scoreless until the final eight minutes of the game. [more…]
With just over three weeks to go until the trade deadline, I feel as if I can get away with a rosterbation post without too much scrutiny. I’ll do my best to not go full HFBoards with my ideas, but certainly have a few players in mind that I’d like for the Leafs to target, and a few that I’d like Nonis to jettison. While I’m sure this won’t be the most intelligent post you’ll read this morning, hopefully it will at least spark some Monday morning conversation. [more…]
Tickets: Are you watching or going to tonight's Leafs game? RSVP here and be entered to win $200 in free tickets.
We’re at the half way point and the Leafs are in great shape at 15-9-0, sitting in fifth in the East with 30 points. .500 hockey from here on in, while not the best way to enter the playoffs, gets the Leafs back to the post-season.
The Leafs recent form, on paper, has also been dandy, with three wins on the trot. On one hand you’re happy with those final results, with the team finding different ways to win whether coming from behind or holding on for dear life, on the other you’re concerned with the significant portions of game in which the Leafs have been outplayed, outpossessed and outchanced. [more…]
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…]
The plan? First make peace with the fact that the NHL latest work stoppage will become a reality. Check. Watch as much non-NHL hockey as I could get my hands/eyes on. Check. During these couple of months Iâ€™ve watched the KHL, AHL, SM-liiga, Elitserien, Czech Extraliga, OHL, QMJHL, EBEL, NCAA, and the CHL vs. Russian selects Super Series.
All of this gave me more insight about our beautiful game as well as new appreciation of both the NHL and hockey in general. Here are some of the things that stuck with me as I
video traveled across the international hockey stage. [more…]
In case you haven't noticed, there is a lockout going on. As the league continued to chop of more bits from the 2012-13 NHL season the fans are getting increasingly frustrated. During work stoppage, those frustrated people tend to talk about various things. One of those things is
pending expansion. As Ken Campbell wrote in the latest edition of the Hockey News, the league has gone 12 years without expanding, making it the longest expansion drought since it grew to 12 teams.
Sure enough, there are plenty of reasons in favor of not expanding. The league needs to control its suffering markets before it can ever think about adding teams in new ones. It also needs to accept that appeasing the fan bases deprived of hockey to lessen the negative impact of the lockout isnâ€™t really a solid motive for expansion.
This list is long and could go on for another few paragraphs so letâ€™s end it here.
Editor's Note: We're pleased to welcome Ian Dudgeon to the MLHS blogging team. Ian was one of the co-founders of McKeen's Hockey.com. He's been busy at work assembling a database of profiles on Leafs prospects for MLHS, which you'll be able to enjoy before long. He's also going to be chiming in with a blog here and there.
Everyone please calm down and resume taking your medication. I have some extra Valium if you need some. There is no imminent NHL lockout. You will not be forced to watch basketball in October or November, or whenever they start playing that alleged sport. I think we will have hockey when we are supposed to and the threat of a lockout or strike is being artificially inflated by sports media who love, live for and need controversy.
The NHL tabled a proposal to the NHLPA this weekend and the collective reaction was as if everyoneâ€™s favourite commish, Gary â€œThe Countâ€ Bettman took the Stanley cup and used it to prop up his car while he rotated the tires. From fans and media alike, it was one of the craziest overreactions I have heard since.. well since the Leafs last made a move. But really, I should stop being surprised at how sports media react to things and how fans take their cues from them. The little picture numbers seemed scary but stepping back and seeing the bigger landscape, the NHLâ€™s proposal was really not that concerning. [more…]
Some more charts coming your way.
I'll let these charts paint the picture .. after all, if a picture is worth 1000 words, then consider this a 3000+ word blog post.
Whew ... I'm exhausted! You know what it takes to put together 3000+ words? Find out after the jump.
On 17th of December 2011 Zagrebâ€™s most prestigious hockey club, MedveÅ¡Äak Zagreb, celebrated their 50th anniversary. To mark and celebrate this event the KHL sent one of their most decorated and historic teams - Dynamo Moscow. To put it in North American perspective, Dynamo is close to the Leafs or Canadiens in terms of their European rating.
16th of December 2011. I am invited to attend the press conference which is going to be held at one of the hotels closest to MedveÅ¡Äakâ€™s home arena, Dom Sportova (Home Of Sports). Itâ€™s only logical since the Russian team will have to depart soon after the game to meet their demanding KHL schedule. I feel extremely honored and lucky to be able to attend because even if hockey is still a growing sport in Croatia, it was always my dream and where I live opportunities like this one donâ€™t come along very often.
There was a lot at stake last night, with two game sevens on the docket, and several second round berths still up for grabs. With four teams already securing spots in the conference semi-finals, the anticipation leading into last nightâ€™s game was even greater because of the uncertainty.
The Vancouver Canucks came to play in Game 7. Alex Burrows scored early inthe first period to give the Canucks an early one goal lead, which they held well into the third period. Two players on particular - Robero Luongo and Ryan Kesler competed hard and both had strong performances. Kesler was all over the ice and getting to the dirty areas to generate scoring chances. Although he wasn't as flashy as goaltending counterpart Corey Crawford, Luongo was poised between the pipes and avoided his trend of crumbling under pressure. Unlike the previous three games of the series (all Vancouver losses), the Canucks managed to bring a physical element to the game, out hitting the Blackhawks 37-14 midway through the third.
After last night's outcome, the second round of the Western Conference playoff picture has been determined. The Eastern Conference wraps up tonight, with Game 7 of the Boston/Montreal and Pittsburgh/Tampa Bay series.
What are your thoughts on the matchups on the West and who which teams will win tonight in the East?
After watching the playoffs from the sidelines for the past few seasons, the Lightning have made the most of their first post season appearance since 2007. Tampa Bay looked shaky in the first two games of the series, but has settled into the series and have given the Penguins all they can handle.
Head coach Guy Boucher, one of the most promising young coaches in recent memory, has had a calming influence on his team. He has prepared his team to overcome back-to-back elimination games and fought back to tie the series at three games apiece. Led by Steve Downie's game winner and a series of terrific saves from veteran backstopper Dwayne Rolson, the Lighting earned a 4-2 win to force game 7.
With all of their momentum of their side, Tampa looks to secure a spot in the second round when they visit the Pens in a do-or die situation on Wednesday.
I hate to direct traffic towards Glenn Healy's employer but there has been an MLHS Playoff Pick 'em Pool set up over at CBC Sports. Register for an account, locate the league entitled "Maple Leafs Hotstove" and fill in the password "MLHS" to enter. From there, you pick six forwards (three from each conference), four defencemen (two from each conference) and two goaltenders (one from each conference) while staying within the 30 point "player value" limit. CBC has a grand prize of a KIA Optimus Turbo up for grabs but given I'll be driving that home MLHS is offering up a prize of its own. The winner of the Maple Leafs Hotstove pool will receive a Pucking Hilarious t-shirt of their choice. Toss your pool picks and playoff predictions in the comments section. The final first round playoff matchups for your referral: [more…]