Gearing up for the World Cup of Hockey in today’s Leafs links.



Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen to miss World Cup (Toronto Sun)

Frederik Andersen will begin the month out of the Maple Leafs’ lineup with injury and miss the World Cup, but will be ready for the start of the NHL regular season. General manager Lou Lamoriello said Monday in a release that the club’s new goalie will be out three to four weeks with an upper-body issue.


The 23 minutes that shook the hockey world (Sportsnet)

It wasn’t easy from a reporting standpoint, either. Living in Toronto, it’s all anyone wanted to talk about — especially as the Maple Leafs started poorly. One fan mailed in a specially created deck of Steven Stamkos Toronto Maple Leaf playing cards. When he accidentally “liked” a December 2015 tweet about playing there, it created a firestorm. But Stamkos, Yzerman and agent Don Meehan — who has a strong relationship both men — did a great job of keeping information tight. There was very little to report; a lot of guesswork.


How the toughest roster to crack in all of hockey came together (Sportsnet)

Armstrong sat down with Mike Babcock at a Boston Pizza in Sarnia, Ont., in early September 2015. Babcock was commuting between Detroit and Toronto, tying up loose ends at his old job coaching the Red Wings. He’d faced huge expectations as the bench boss in the past two Olympics, bringing home gold in both. And he’d just accepted a position with the ever-scrutinized Maple Leafs. Armstrong knew that the pressure of coaching Canada at home in Toronto wouldn’t bother Babcock in the slightest.


Top 25 Under 25: Morgan Rielly stars at No. 4 (PPP)

Yikes.  Despite the designated role for Rielly as a “complete top pairing d-man”, that relative CA/60 is not good.  Rielly and regular partner Matt Hunwick routinely bled shots against.  It mitigates the benefit from Rielly’s superb offensive skills, and as you’d expect, the Leafs‘ blogosphere has been fretting about it.  If Rielly is going to move from a highly talented, one-way defender to the complete package, he needs to improve on the other side of the puck.  What’s going wrong, and how do we fix it?


Leafs will have at least one winner at the World Cup of Hockey (Toronto Star)

“We think we have a team that can go in and upset some teams,” said Rielly. “We’re looking forward to the challenge. We’re a young group with lots of talent that is highly motivated. We’re going to go in there and try to shock some people. We’re not expecting any kind of special treatment.


Team Canada’s blue line is under the microscope heading into the World Cup (Pro Hockey Talk)

When it was announced late last month that Duncan Keith opted out of the World Cup due to injury, he was replaced by fellow left-shooting defenseman Jay Bouwmeester. Again, the likes of Subban and Letang were left off the squad. The simple explanation is that head coach Mike Babcock is really all about the left-right balance on defense. As Canada opened camp on Monday, he explained in detail his philosophy.


Healthy James van Riemsdyk eager to get World Cup started (Sportsnet)

“It was a long road, but I have all that behind me now. Just ready to get going,” he tells Sportsnet. “It was definitely a trying experience, but it makes you all that much stronger for it, just to have those mental ups and downs in the day. You pick the positives out of it. It gives your body time to heal. You make use of the time.”


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