Toronto Maple Leafs
At some point in the near future, some of you are going to find out who the real James Reimer is. I wrote a post not too long ago about Reimer’s upside and long-term projections and made it clear that I have a great deal of faith in Reimer’s future with the Leafs. Not only does he give the team stable and consistent goaltending, he’s capable of stealing games.
So at what point does the rest of the fan-base follow suit and believe? [more…]
I’m sure I’m not the only one struggling to care about the playoffs. As talented as the remaining teams are, I’m not interested in the hearing the winner of the Stanley Cup become dubbed the next great NHL dynasty. The fact that Boston could claim that honour makes it sting a little worse, as I’m sure another reason I have completely tuned out of the playoffs is the absence of the Leafs after believing it was a real possibility they would be in it for at least four more games.
So, truthfully, I haven’t been watching too much hockey and don't have much to say today. Rather than weigh you down with my thoughts on the Leafs when admittedly I haven’t been paying too close attention, I’ll turn it over to the comments section and the spiffy new Livefyre comment system to find out the more popular outcome of a few different scenarios: [more…]
Let's start this off with a bold proclamation: Dion Phaneuf's 2013 campaign was his best season in the NHL to date. I really believe that. Phaneuf has rounded into the complete, 1A defenseman that Brian Burke and Dave Nonis envisioned when they swindled the Calgary Flames into one of the most lop-sided trades in recent NHL history. [more…]
I really wanted to write a wrap up notebook, but I wasn’t going to subject myself to watching that game again, nor do I particularly want to write about it. I mean, the only time I watched that Bergeron game winner was live and that’s how it is going to remain, so I wouldn’t be much of a source for insight or analysis.
It really was a great year for the Leafs, though. At the beginning of the season I didn’t think they would make the playoffs, and at the beginning of the first round I wasn’t sure they would make it much of a series. They proved me wrong both times. They proved a lot of people wrong.
In order for the Leafs to get better, though, they’ll need to have a strong offseason and smooth out some of their rough edges. [more…]
I keep repeating that word in my head. Just letting it marinate until I can chew on it and get it through my system. My body is shaking from emotional exhaustion. This is the adrenaline wearing off, I’m pretty sure.
Seeing Reimer on the ice face-down in despair… crushing. [more…]
Strap yourselves in. The biggest Leaf game in nearly a decade is just a few hours away.
Do the Leafs have the momentum, is Boston frustrated, does Boston feel the pressure more, did their delayed flight help them or hurt them? It's all academic. Come puck drop tonight, this series is reset to a best of one and it comes down to who executes better over the 60 minutes. [more…]
We’re going seven.
How many Leafs fans would have gladly accepted a one-game winner takes all scenario for the Leafs at the start of this series?
That’s where Toronto finds itself today. [more…]
After such a critical shortage of meaningful moments in the last decade for this hockey club, these last few days have been almost too much, too fast. Last night, the Leafs earned their first playoff home win in 9 years and the city went bonkers. Dion Phaneuf redeemed himself for his role in an OT loss last playoff home game - which at the time could have been the last this season - splatting yolk on the faces of certain media members eager to get an early start on their postmortem scapegoating of the most valuable members of the hockey team. Phil Kessel scored his third of the series in what proved to be the game winner, of which he now has two against the Bruins in this series. Now, there is a less than 24-hour turnaround to get ready for Game 7, the next biggest game for this fanbase since 2004.
My oh my. [more…]
These Leafs will not go quietly. After another hard fought, fast-paced game with excellent goaltending, Toronto eked out a 2-1 win that has forced a seventh game tomorrow night back in Boston. With standout performances from Reimer, Gardiner, et al., the Maple Leafs secured their first win on home ice of this postseason. Hopefully, it won't be their last.
With their backs against the wall, the Maple Leafs will look to force a seventh game by winning at home for the first time this postseason.
Toronto will undoubtedly play with the desperation they showed for most of Friday night. The difference tonight will be that the Bruins are also starting to feel the pressure. Boston will be throwing everything and the kitchen sink at the Leafs and James Reimer in an effort to close out this series. With the continuing struggles of Seguin and Marchand, the offensive load will likely be carried by the Krejci line.
At the other end of the ice, two feisty Leafs centers in Mikhail Grabovski and Nazem Kadri earnestly want to make a contribution of their own to their team's success. With the way Grabovski has elevated his game in these playoffs, it should only be a matter of time before the Belorussian finds his name on the scoresheet. [more…]
The Leafs are back in Toronto down 3-2 in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series. One more win and it is back to Boston to determine the winner of what has already been an excellent display of hockey.
I want to take a moment to praise Gardiner. Friday night’s game was the best I have ever seen Gardiner play. I noted a while ago that there were many issues plaguing Gardiner’s game that the coaching staff needed to iron out. From missing assignments to giving up strong body position on the walls, or simply not being physically engaged, it was a really rough stretch for Gardiner. [more…]
If you have been following along with my Notebooks since the playoffs started, you’ll know that I’ve continually asked if James Reimer was going to steal the Leafs a game at some point in this series.
Well, he’s officially stolen one. [more…]