Archive for the 'Maple Leafs' Category

24
Nov
08

Front Offices Somewhat Busy This Monday

Ok, so of course the news of the Maple Leafs making the Steen & Colaiacovo trade for Lee Stempniak trumps all the other activity today. As a Leafs fan I have some mixed feelings about this trade.

First of all, I don’t think Steen was ever given a fair chance to play up to his potential. Being stuck on the 3rd and 4th line for the better part of your career is not going to give you the chance to put up a lot of points. Case in point, look at how well Stajan is responding to the increased ice-time. I just fear that Steen is going to be the next Brad Boyes. I don’t think Steen will ever reach the level that Boyes could reach, but I think he’s going to make an impact for sure. Colaiacovo for his part, well I loved the guy’s style, but that style isn’t going to help when his sitting in the booth because his style is realistically his undoing. If you can’t be healthy well then you aren’t much use, just don’t go pull a Wellwood and suddenly become healthy and one of the biggest surprises in the league! (Who can honestly say they saw Wellwood coming on like that? Vancouver didn’t, because he didn’t even make the team!)

Lee Stempniak, for his part, well I don’t know much about him. I do know he’s relatively young at 25, decent size at just over 200 lbs and is having an excellent, yet quiet season. Granted that season was in St. Louis and no the media-meca that is Toronto. He does have this though, which is quite fitting actually. Hopefully we can make that term a little more popular.

In my opinion, I think the Silver Fox could have gotten a little more, even if it was just a late pick. I think just a 4th or 5th rounder would have been better than two players for one. Truely, I think that the Buds are doing too good for Fletcher’s liking. If there is two things the Leafs brass want more than anything in the world right now, its Brian Burke, and Jon Tavares. If the Leafs keep playing like they are, they’ll go one for two, because mediocracy doesn’t bring high picks, and we know that all to well.

Oh yeah, before I forget, the other BIG news. The San Jose Sharks have agreed to a try-out contract with Claude Lemieux. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Good luck with that. I get that he’s been clutch in play-offs and whatnot, but he also hasn’t played in the NHL for FIVE years, and he’s no Chelios. At 43 years of age, I am pretty sure Lemieux’s playing days should be over!

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11
Nov
08

Toronto Is In Calgary tonight…

and I am lucky enough to go! Toronto is finally in Western Canada for the first time in 3 years, and facing Calgary for the first time in 2 years.

I paid a pretty penny for these tickets, so once again hopefully I see a good game, but once again I have my reservations. Toronto is coming off a huge 6-3 rout of the hated Habs, while the Flames are coming off their own rout, except it was them who got manhandled by the Hawks. For this reason, I’m not expecting a win from the Blue and White. The Flames will probably want to come out flying in order to get passed their showing on Sunday, meanwhile the Leafs will probably come out flat-footed after their huge win.

The only saving grace for the Leafs could be this single fact. Toronto is 3rd in the league averaging 35.2 shots per game,  while Kipper’s SV% is 0.888. So the Maple Leafs should score at least 4 goals tonight, and since the Flames average 2.94 Goals Per Game, this should be a win for Toronto.

Depends what school of thought you belong to I guess.

25
Oct
08

Big Night In The NHL Tonight

Gotta love Saturday nights. 15 games, 30 teams, all ready for action. Couple things to really look forward to however, and we’ll start in the East.

The team everyone loves to hate, and hates to love gets a big addition tonight. The big off-season signing, Jeff Finger finally makes his Maple Leafs debut tonight. Finger’s signing was a shocker, as Fletcher threw a lot of money at the Free Agent even though he’s really only in his second season, and was a healthy scratch at times during the play-offs last year. Ron Wilson and Fletch still contend that Finger is worth the 3.5 million per year. The Leafs also sent Jiri Tlustly down to the Marlies, which would probably mean that the Leafs will get at least 43 shots tonight, since Blake will be in the line-up.

Philly looks for their second win of the season, but if they want to win they’ll have to allow less goals which shouldn’t be too difficult since they are playing the Devils, but then again, it’ll be tougher to score too. Meanwhile Marty looks to inch closer to Roy’s records.

Personally, I think the match-up to look for in the East has to be the New York Rangers facing the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Rangers are off to an unbelievable start, and the Penguins… well, they’re the Pens. Anytime that you get Crosby, Malkin, J. Staal on the ice facing Gomez, Drury, Zherdev, and Naslund, there’s going to be one helleva game.

In the West, the high flying Red Wings are set to face the young Blackhawks in what should be a great Divisional Match-Up. I am torn on this one, but I gotta say, I hope the Hawks come flying out of the gates, and Toews puts up 4 goals, all of which are assisted by Keith and Campbell. That would get me up in the standings in my pool at work. Regardless, should be a good, high-paced game.

Other than that, another Divisional Match-up in the Northwest as the Kid Line and their Oilers take on the surprising Canucks tonight. Gillis’ weird made up team (honestly, what the hell?) are having a slow start to the season after ripping it up in the pre-season are looking to rebound, meanwhile the Oiler squad look are also looking to rebound after a couple losses. Oilers should take this hands down, but then again, anything can happen…

So one game is already underway, and hopefully the next 14 get off without any starting goalies tripping over rugs… Legace, idiot.

23
Oct
08

Schenn Sticking in T.O?

Kind of a slow newsday today, unless you want to hear more about Sundin and his maybe, maybe not dance again. But I don’t, and I really don’t want to even write about it, so I’ll have to write some other Maple Leafs stuff, because well, when in doubt, someone will care about Toronto.

So Luke Schenn. Lukey Luke. The Human Eraser. Should he stay, or should he go? I am torn on this one, completely, utterly torn. Part of me thinks that he should go down, but only because of contract purposes. If he stays, his contract obviously kicks in, meaning his entry-level will expire by the time he is 22, making him a RFA, and thus allowing him to reach UFA by the time he is like 25. If he goes back to Kelowna, well at least that buys the Leafs one more year, and let’s face it, Leafs aren’t going to win anytime soon.

Now, the other part. Luke’s development would be much greater if he stayed with the big club this season. He could go back to Kelowna and play 30 minutes per game, albeit against far inferior talent. Or he can stay in the Big Leagues, play 22 minutes per game against the best of the best. The biggest positive about Schenn going back to the WHL, would be his eligibility to play in the World Junior Tournament as a top-two defencemen.

So, as you see, I am completely torn and have no idea what should be done with a player of his calibre at such a young age. I just hope whatever desicion the Silver Fox and Ron Wilson come to, is the best desicion for Luke.

19
Apr
08

Brunnstrom Going To Leafs?

According to Darren Dreger of TSN, Fabian Brunnstrom is leaning towards joining the Maple Leafs after Vancouver GM Dave Nonis was fired. Apparently Brunnstrom, the 23 year-old Swede, is trying to choose between a couple of teams, but has narrowed it down to two; the Red Wings and the Leafs.

Brunnstrom is thinking that the Red Wings are just too deep up front for him to get decent ice time, but with the Leafs appearing to be heading towards a rebuild, the Leafs would be capable of giving Brunnstrom more opportunity to play.

Brunnstrom is an offensively gifted forward with a decent scoring touch. A speedy skater with soft hands and good technical skills. He combines speed and stickhandling in an impressive way. Hockey sense is pretty good and he is also strong physically with a good attitude. (Elite Prospects)

03
Apr
08

Leafs With Chance To Spoil!! (yawn)

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Bye Bye… I heard the Country Club serves a killer cheeseburger! 

I was hoping to write a deep, meaningful post today… but there is nothing to really write about. The only thing that seems to really be going on today in the hockey world is that the Leafs could nearly spoil the Senators play-off hopes… but hell. I’m a Leaf fan… and I could care less!

Even if the Sens make it into the post-season, they aren’t making it out of the first round, so who cares. The Leafs should be on the golf course already, and letting the Marlies play against the Sens and Habs this week.

So that is all I am going to say today, because I just don’t care about what is going to transpire in the hockey world today!

02
Apr
08

Sundin’s Career Over?

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Well not yet, but it may be. Mats Sundin, one of the most beloved Maple Leaf Captains of all time, has announced that his season is over due to his groin tear.

The question for everyone now, is whether or not Sundin’s career with the Leafs is over… He has made no secret that his decision will be made over the off season, and it will be a year-to-year decision.  Sundin has also said that he has not ruled out playing for another team, and that things may depend on what kind of direction the Blue and White are going to be taking.

Word is that Cliff Fletcher, the Leafs interim GM, has already approached Sundin about signing a contract extension, this coming a mere month after trying to convince to waive his no-trade clause.

So… is Mats done as a Maple Leaf? Personally… I think so, and that pains me…