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Photo Credit: Zimbio.com
Alexander the Great comes to Toronto with a win in mind. In our case tying the season series against the Capitals means prolonging what little is left of our playoffs hopes. However, even a win tonight canâ€™t win the war against numbers. If Buffalo manages to beat Tampa, or even if that game goes into overtime the Leafs will officially be eliminated from the playoff race. Grab your voodoo paraphernalia, tarot cards, whatever other mumbo jumbo you might have and hope, just hope.
This was the sixth and final Battle Of Ontario this season, and boy did the Leafs come out firing. Games against Ottawa are never easy (except when we beat them 5-0) and this one proved to be more difficult than it needed to be, but all in all, the run continues, and that’s really all that matters. Continue.
On a night where Boston was looking to clinch the division title, and the Leafs had to preserve their mathematical playoff hopes, you could cut the pressure in the air with a butter knife.Â This is how this team handled that pressure, do continue.
A character win when such a game was needed most to put a winning stamp on a great second part of the season.
Photo Credit: Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images
“For those who fight for it, life has a flavor that the protected will never know.” Tonightâ€™s scenario is pretty simple, win and the Leafs preserve a modest chance to get in, lose and weâ€™re practically on the golf course. Of all the must win games this season, this one probably takes the cake, as the stakes couldnâ€™t get any higher.
The players still believe there is a chance to make the playoffs so who are we to argue? But, in order to make things somewhat interesting again, they have to prove themselves on the ice. This is the sixth and final time we meet the Sabres this season. Letâ€™s make it count.
This might have been as close as the Leafs will get to a playoff game this year, but even having that playoff atmosphere in the air, that compete level on the ice and a great crowd at the Joe made this game worth watching. Continue.
Photo Credit: The Star
Tonight, the Leafs face a strong Detroit team, one that is expected to make a deep postseason run. However, if there was ever a time to exploit their goaltending woes and the injury bug thatâ€™s been very unkind to the Wings lately, itâ€™s now.
This will once again be a one and done meeting and both teams will look to make the most if it. No question that the Leafs need the 2 points more, but this Detroit team will look to show some early character and team spirit prior to the start of the playoffs.
Photo Credit: AP
Nikolai Kulemin isnâ€™t exactly what youâ€™d call a prototypical Russian born player. Iâ€™m never the one to succumb to lowly stereotypes but you have to admit that certain countries have a history of developing certain types of players and that solid two way, versatile forwards are few and far between in the more recent history of Russian hockey.
This was the only meeting between these two teams this year and in a time where a loss practically means crashing out of the playoff race for good, some mountain climbing proved enough for the W. Continue for belief.
A trip to the wilderness in a game of no mistakes. Actually, this game had more than its fair share, the Leafs just benefited from more composure and goalscoring prowess. Continue for some Optimus Reim magic.
This was a memorable evening for all Leaf fans. After 12 seasons and 878 games in a Leafs uniform, Tomas Kaberle returned. Many of us criticized his play in the past, many of us admired his crisp clean passes. Whatever the case may have been, I would just like to take the opportunity to once again thank Tomas for his time in Toronto. More than anything else, this night was about him. Continue for some rosy cheeks and a big bad blowout!
Welcome to the St. Patrickâ€™s Day edition of the Game In 10. Four Leaf clovers may be lucky, but nothing is accomplished without effort. Continue for a Leafs game thatâ€™s more vanilla than Ice Ice Baby.
Photo Credit: sportsnet.ca
On January 31, 2010, the Calgary Flames dealt Phaneuf, Fredrik SjÃ¶strÃ¶m and Keith Aulie to the Leafs in exchange for Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman, Ian White and Jamal Mayers. A move that will most probably shape the future of the Toronto Maple Leafs once again involved Calgary. Call it fate, call it coincidence, it really doesn’t matter.
On June 14, 2010, Brian Burke named Dion the 18th captain in the history of the Toronto Maple Leafs and that, more than any other transaction or move, signaled a new era for our beloved team. The Edmonton native became captain at 25 years of age, and although a vocal, running the dressing room type of guy, he still had to experience the expectations of a Maple Leafs captain first hand. I don’t mean this as an insult, but Calgary is no Toronto.
Hello, this is Xterratu, a former member of LeafsHQ and a lovable Croatian hockey dude. What, did you think Iâ€™d retire? Iâ€™m too young for that sh*t. An offer from the Hot Stove is too good to pass up, and this is my way of thanking MLHS for giving me this chance to write again. Thanks guys. I’m glad to be a part of the crew. Nothing is over, including the Game In 10 which is back and is more awesome than a big wombat in heat (ever). More for the biggest win of the season.
Mike Brown planking.
Mike Brown does his best Bobby Orr impersonation before later settling for a Colton Orr impersonation. Never underestimate the value of versatility.
Two games in, and the Maple Leafs are 2-0 for the first time in 11 years. While some might be tempted to find meaning within that number, the truth is that in terms of history the number is rather meaningless.
With still 80 games left on the docket, and the Leafs about to embark on their first road trip of the season, expectations must be tempered despite the hot start (and the rare sight of a 4th overall placement on the ESPN Power Rankings).
In other words, a 7-0-1 start (to counter last season’s 0-7-1) is probably just a little too much to ask. As if I had to tell you that. Then again, this IS Leafs Nation; somewhere, someone surely needed the reminder.
Follow the jump for a few first-week impressions and musings.
Week one of the Toronto Maple Leafs schedule is in the books, and while it only featured two games, there is plenty to talk about as far as the season goes. Â The Maple Leafs are off to a 2-0 start, having won their second game of the season nearly one month ahead of the time they got win two last season.
Through week one of the season, here are the Maple Leafs player power rankings, as seen by me.
After what seemed like a lifetime of waiting for fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the new look squad hit the ice Thursday night for their home opener against the arch rival Montreal Canadiens, and with it marked the true dawning of a new age in Leafs Nation.
While it’s true the hiring of Ron Wilson and Brian Burke will go down as the day the team began to turn the page on years of management misfortune, and the Dion Phaneuf day could very well end up being the trade that sparks the team forward much like the Doug Gilmour trade before it, Thursday night’s season premiere was really the first time since all this has taken place that it was truly a different roster.
Gone were the incumbents of past regimes, It was finally Brian Burke’s team. Â Having flipped the entire roster (sans Tomas Kaberle and Jeff Finger) Burke’s vision of the team could finally be implemented, his stamp beginning to form.
And it was, for one game at least, as advertised.
The wait is over. After yet another long off-season following a fifth consecutive year of missing out on the NHL post-season, the Toronto Maple Leafs are set to kick off the 2010-11 season against their oldest rival, the Montreal Canadiens.
Both teams have undergone an off-season where – despite the lack of a full-scale overhaul – crucial moves were made to bring in key players or (in Montreal’s case) provide a better opportunity for players already in the organization. Gone from the 2009-10 Toronto lineup are Viktor Stalberg, Rickard Wallin and Keith Primeau, replaced by Kris Versteeg, Colby Armstrong, and Brett Lebda. In Montreal, the most impactful move was the trade of playoff hero Jaroslav Halak to St Louis in exchange for Lars Eller, a move which paves the way for Carey Price to assert his standing among starting NHL netminders.
It is by no means the end of his career, strictly the next step.
On Monday, Nazem Kadri, 7th overall selection in the 2009 draft, was assigned to the Toronto Marlies. The player in whom a whole city had welcomed, became enamoured with and inked into their own starting lineup will not appear at ACC at allâ€¦ at least not yet. It will prove to be a powerful lesson for the 19 year old, if not the whole city of Toronto; the Toronto Maple Leafs are about winning hockey games, not necessarily selling tickets.
As we await the season opener for the big club, let’s see how some of the kids are doing:
- Greg McKegg is off to an excellent start with 8 points in 5 games played for the Erie Otters. Greg recorded two shorthanded goals and added another assist for good measure in a 5-2 win last night over the London Knights. McKegg is currently tied for 5th overall in OHL scoring.
- Brad Ross has also started well out of the gate with 4 goals and 5 points in 3 games played for the Portland Winterhawks. Without Nino Niederreiter and possibly Ryan Johansen this season, Ross will be counted upon to shoulder a much bigger offensive load. He’s responded well so far, taking a hold of the team’s scoring lead in addition to posting a team best +5 rating.
- Jesse Blacker is back with the Owen Sound Attack and has 2 points through 2 games played. It’s clear that Blacker has plenty of offensive potential, but he will have to work at rounding out the other areas of his game and improve upon last year’s team worst -22 rating.
- The Toronto Marlies have started their hockey season on a positive note with back to back preseason wins over the Rochester Americans. Forward Marcel Mueller has been an absolute force so far, recording 4 goals and 1 assist for 5 points through the pair of games. The much maligned Mikhail Stefanovich will look for a big rebound year and is off to a good start with a pair of goals in the preseason opener. James Reimer was the winning goaltender on Friday while Ben Scrivens stopped 21 of 24 shots for the victory on Saturday. Toronto will open the season Saturday, October 9th against the Rochester Americans at the Ricoh Coliseum.
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