Tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs will host the Atlanta Thrashers at the Air Canada Center. Atlanta is hoping to catch the Boston Bruins for the 8th seed in the East and snag a post-season berth, while the Maple Leafs are looking to continue a playoff of their own - the quest to get out of the bottom five.
NOTE: Newly signed Brayden Irwin will not make his debut tonight. He will likely see action Thursday or Saturday.
- The Toronto Sun has an interesting article up, talking about the future of several Maple Leaf players leading up to this year's trade deadline. [more…]
Tonight, the Atlanta Thrashers will visit the Toronto Maple Leafs at the ACC, and it will be the return of both Nik Antropov and Pavel Kubina. Exelby is in for Finger, so he'll get a chance to face his former team. For those with their fingers crossed, I also hope Exelby will fight Eric Boulton.
With the Toronto Maple Leafs failing to garner at least a point against the Chicago Blackhawks last night after an admirable performance from goaltender Vesa Toskala, there was an issue with the Leafs' offensive squad that became increasingly visible in the dying minutes of the game.
Wanted to take a minute and congratulate our very own Gus Katsaros on his segment on the Fan590 this afternoon.Â Outstanding analysis of both the Phil Kessel/Savard relationship and analysis of the Boston Bruins schedule last year vs this year.Â The little snip at Mr MacLean at the end was priceless as well..Â Congrats Gus, and again, wonderful work..
By now, I'm sure many of you have seen ESPN's report of a significant offer by the Maple Leafs for Phil Kessel: two 1st round picks and a 2nd round pick. The general reflex reaction that we've been conditioned to by the Toronto media the last few seasons is to avoid moving 1st round selections by any means necessary. The thought of moving two such commodities is beyond horrifying. I've seen the name Taylor Hall used as the backbone of many an argument over the last few days, often associated with the "chance" of landing said player. If we're gonna turn this into a game of chance, let's at least get all the cards on the table. [more…]
Amid speculation that Brian Burke is positioning himself to extend an offer sheet - perhaps to long-rumoured target, 22-year-old winger Phil Kessel - after swapping picks to recover the Leafs' 2010 second round pick in a deal that would seemingly make little sense otherwise, there is another possibility to consider in regards to trade negotiations.
Adnan Virk of Leafs TV recently caught up with GM Brian Burke for a brief chat and in his latest blog on mapleleafs.com, dishes out a few very revealing and interesting tidbits. Among the hot topics of discussion are: Burke's projected top six defense core (including a few surprises), his expectations and hopes for Alexei Ponikarovsky, and the possibility of the Leafs '09 7th overall pick Nazem Kadri cracking the roster out of training camp. [more…]
With Brian Burke opting to bolster the Toronto Maple Leafsâ€™ defense this off-season, many critics have pondered whether the current group of forwards are talented enough to propel the Leafs into the playoffs.
That question depends largely on the Leafsâ€™ young forwards, such as Nikolai Kulemin, Jiri Tlusty, Matt Stajan and Mikhail Grabovski. But amongst those listed, one player in particular will be expected to lead the charge offensively. And that is the ultra-talented but inconsistent Grabovski.
"Burke loves the guy...very low maintenance.Â It's obvious this is not going to be a slow rebuild.Â Burke is too competitive.Â He believes his chances to make the playoffs are very good and wants to win now.Â Rumblings are that Kabs was very overvalued.Â He's talented but not a game changer like Pronger, etc. Teams believed he would be a nice asset but not the franchise type guy who would put a club over the top... plus he had a bad year last season.Â The best deal Burke was offered was a touted prospect (Jakub Voracek) plus maybe a second round pick.
In the MLSE land of unreasonable expectations, even a superstar troupe like Burke and Wilson will not be afforded another record breaking season; at least not if said record is a fifth consecutive season of playoff free hockey. Subsequently Burke is going to be looking for a catalyst to the rebuilding project come summer and the most obvious route will arrive in early July, not a week earlier in Montreal.
It was something that immediately popped into my head when it was announced that the Ponikarovsky to Nashville rumors were untrue and Antropov was dealt to the Rangers minutes later â€“ did Antropov do for the Leafs what Sundin never would? The Leafs were only looking at a pick for Moore and a 4th rounder they purchased from the Lightning. The deadline was looming over their heads and off went Antropov and the remainder of his one year deal.