The Leafs had the chance to control who they played in the 1st round of the 1st playoffs Toronto has seen in 9 years...but they forgot how to skate. They also forgot that they should be pounding the Habs into the ice every chance they got, and as a result, they had to wait for the outcome of a Sens/Bruins game to find out who the were to be matched up against.
As it turns out, the Bruins were not able (didn't want to) beat the Sens, which makes for a Leafs/ Bruins 1st round match up.
Good luck Kessel....hope you show up. This is your chance to either prove right the people who think you disappear against Boston, or finally make them shut their word holes.
And I really want someone to punch this guy in the face!
I think the Leafs have had offense for a few years now, but finally we are keeping the puck out of our net thanks in large part to the turnovers caused by Komarov, and the penalty killing of McClement.
I'll just say that tonight's game against Florida is huge in the buds efforts to get home ice advantage over the Habs.... hopefully they shook off their sun burns after that silly loss to Tampa last night.
Al Strachan is outta there! After releasing his book about the Leafs sucking, Strachan gets canned from the CBC Hotstove...
coincidence? Me thinks not.
ps. Oh and btw...games 2 through 7 sucked...well, 7 wasn't terrible...but...well...*sigh*
Game one wasn't terrible.
Lets start with the positives for a change.
Our first line of Blake / Stajan / Stalberg was great. Every time they were on the ice, they were a threat...now they just need to turn some of that threat into finish (Stajan got 2 though which was nice for him).
Our other 3 lines played an average game. I was impressed with the defensive back checking of newcomer Wallin. Rosehill had a good bought. Kaberle was awesome...so controlled with the puck...glad we still have him around.
Toskala played a typical Toskala game from last season. He looked decent at times, and way out of position at others. He made some big saves, but also let in a weak goal. All in all it was a typical Toskala game...and that wont be good enough going down the stretch. With The Monster itching to get between the pipes, Vesa will surely have to pick it up.
And now the real negative part of last night's game. The D.
With all the hype around this new D that Burke has brought in, great things were expected, but in now way were great things delivered. Komisarek took way too many penalties (in the box for 2 of the goals against). Beauchemin was often caught pinching way too deep, and was out hustled getting back to our zone. White was...well...he looked like White from 2 seasons ago. Out of place, coughed up the puck, chasing the forwards into the corners leaving the front WIDE OOOOPPPEEENN! Schenn looked nervous and unsure of himself. Too many times I saw both D men together with the puck (see the pic)...why aren't they playing their positions???
It's only 1 game and we did walk away with a point, but without some great work by Price, I think we could have had both points even with all the bad D play.
And that's why I am still happy about the game...We will get better on D...but the Habs will still be short...
ha ha ha
(like I'm one to talk)
a quick video of him in action -> 2 big saves in OT
he has decent #'s
what do you think of him?
He's got the Championship Ring...he is a proven winner...we are heading in the right direction...
edit: Sept 10, 2009 update...Engelage did not look good at all....shades of Raycroft...sigh
No other teams can be in Southern Ontario, other than the Maple Leafs.
If there is any doubt about relocation rules, please refer to MLSE for further clarification.
Jim...you are screwed...
I wonder if Gary owns a Blackberry...and could Jim revoke his right to use it?
Want Jonas Gustavsson?
Well he comes with a bit of a price tag. And that price tag's name is Swedish captain Rikard Wallin, who just happens to be friends with Gustavsson.
One theory making the rounds is that the Leafs offered Wallin a contract in the hopes of enticing the Monster to join his teammate in Toronto.
Wallin has played in the NHL before, doing a stint with the Minnesota Wild before hightailing it back across the ocean (but in all fairness, wouldn't you do the same?).
His stats from that time aren't overly impressive, although he has been doing some good things of late in Sweden. But in my mind he's not the goal scorer the Leafs need to really start competing in the NHL.
What do you think Leaf fans, is Wallin an upgrade? Or is he just extra baggage from the Gustavvson signing?
He's an upgrade without a doubt.
Wallin only played 19 NHL games...in those 19 games he got 10 points...
of those 10 points, 6 were goals...
those 6 goals were scored on a total of 17 shots.
not a bad ratio I would say...
In the SEL, he led his team as the Captain 2 years in a row...last year they won the championship.
He is well know in Sweden as being an incredible 2 way player who wins the majority of his face offs.
The Farjestad fans are not happy at all about losing him to the Leafs...this alone is a good sign.
Also, since this is a 1 year deal, it is a free test run...if he turns out to be a bust, we cut ties and are no worse for wear....but, should he turn out to be the next Pahlsson (as many in Sweden are comparing him) then, well...Burkie...you are the man!
If you are in Toronto on Friday July 10th, 2009...could you please grab me a pair of tickets to the Fan First Leaf game?
They are giving them out for free....watch mapleleafs.com to find out where to go....
I found this interesting read...it gives a glimpse into how Burke rates his defencemen:
"I have a system of rating players, "he said, "particularly defensemen. I rate them from one to six…six being the elite defenseman." He went on to explain that his objective is that of the six primary defensive positions on his team, he wants one from each point category. He claims that if you have one "six," one "five," one "four," etc., you'll have a team capable of competing at the highest level. If you add the numbers together (6+5+4+3+2+1) you wind up with 21 and that is your objective. "Now understand," Burke continued, "there aren't enough ‘sixes' to go around, but that's okay. If I have two ‘fives' and two ‘twos' I still get where I want to be (21)." He went on to explain that, the way he had it figured, he couldn't have too many defensemen, since he could almost always trade the excess for a forward and usually one with tangible skill. And generally speaking, history has shown he's right. Having an excess on the blue line is approximately the same as having an excess of pitchers in baseball. It doesn't happen often, but if you achieve it, you can always fill any other hole that might materialize.
So, with that in mind, what does the Leafs D add up to?
Is Kaberle a 5?
What # is Schenn?
Schenn is a 5, with the potential to be a 6. He needs a little more seasoning under his belt in order to reach elite status.
Hey, maybe you’ve met our 2009 – 2010 Maple Leafs. I wouldn’t say they’re knuckle draggers, but I’d hate to bump into them in a dark alley.
Burke has some ideas on what’s next for the Leafs, including the idea of trading some of that muscle for a player with a knack for scoring. Kaberle perhaps?
Also, Jonas Gustavasson is officially a Toronto Maple Leaf. I’d call that a step in the right direction.
As we near the end of another season I feel the need to point out some highlights.
Starting with our future...Christian Hanson is already a welcome new addition, and Tyler Bozak will come in next training camp and prove all the drafters of past years wrong...I hope...
Poni had a great season even though we traded Antropov away. Grabovski broke the 20 goal mark in his rookie season. Kulemin has shown major progress towards his development to the North American ice surfaces. His forecheck has become a major part of his game. Hagman has scored 20 goals even though he missed 20 games due to injuries. I hope he can remain healthy next season as he is a major workhorse on every shift. Blake had a much improved season. He and Moore had some great chemistry before Burke traded Moore away...and how could he not...Moore was asking for the moon...nice try Dom...Burke is not JFJ. Blake looks like he is having fun on the Leafs team this year...and I think it has a lot to do with the change in the room. All the players who felt they had "the right" to be Leafs are gone. What's left are a group of youngsters competing for jobs with a few good vets in place for leadership. Toskala had a terrible season that he put down to injury...but with his surgery this summer, he should be 100% next season...let's hope for the best.
Whatever happens over the summer will surely make the Leafs even more dangerous next season. No one is expecting the Leafs to compete next season again. They are expected to continue the rebuild. And so they might...but I see the competitive fires burning in Burke...and I think we will pick up a FA and maybe even another big college guy before long (Gilroy?).
It's a no lose situation...which is great...Leaf games have been very entertaining for just that reason....and we'll get 82+ more next season.
which equates to
41% win, 44% loss, 15% OT loss
you need on average 93 points to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.that means the Leafs would need to go 27-15-1 for the remainder of the season (or some combination like that which totals 93 points).
Which would mean they would need to turn it around to
63% win, 35% loss, 2% OT loss
that's a big turnaround!
But does it start tonight? With the return of McCabe, and Schenn, will the boys in Blue and White take charge of their own futures and force BB to pickup some players who might give us that extra push to make the playoffs?
Or will he trade away the present for the future?
Players like Chris Didimenico will soon be joining Schenn wearing the Maple Leaf. Chris was just traded today to a QMJHL team...one day after winning Gold for his country where he played a very impressive game along the boards. For someone as small as he is (like I'm one to talk) he played a very strong game in the corners and was a big part of many of Canada's scoring chances.
Will Burke send Antropov out West to join Sundin in exchange for even more picks...or maybe assets that will help him move up in the draft should we falter in the 2nd half of the season.
If we were able to move Antropov, Kaberle, Blake, Toskala...would that be enough to get both Tavres AND Hedman?
Do we want Hedman? His play at the Juniors was...well...meh.
Do we want Brayden Schenn?
I think the big fun will all start in Feb. After Burke waits out his current roster to see if they are going to make a go of it.
Oh...and...BOOYAH! take that Ottawa!...Even after Spezza speared Moore, we still kicked your asses!
What a game! Blake finally gets off his high horse and decides he better show up...and boy does he ever. He was all over the ice...forechecking, passing, digging in corners, mid-ice hits...doing everything except the one thing he was brought here to do which is score goals..but hey...who cares as long as he is givin' it out there...
Considering that this is the 2nd game in as many nights, I'd say this game was won due to the coaching of Wilson. He recognized that not all of our guys had legs for the whole night and he played the 4th line more than usual to make up for it and let his 1st line rest a bit more...the result was some great hard fore checking that led to a lot of scoring chances.I wasn't surprised that we looked a bit slow at times, but for the most part, Brodeur kept the Devils in this game. There were at least 5 times that Marty pulled out some magic tonight including one save where he snagged it with his blocker hand as the puck headed towards the goal line.Stajan and Moore had incredibly good games, and again, Schenn played a solid D game. The penalty at the end was bad luck. The reason we looked slow in the OT was because we were on the PK, and it took them a bit of time to get out of that mode.Great game...thanks for the win on my B-day boys!
That was a really good game for our guys...there were some big hits, and we stood up for ourselves. We won puck battles in the corners and best of all, we didn't give up after being down 2-0.
....son of a bitch...
Did....did....did the Leafs just win that?
Wow. Nicely done.
More energy than skill. But I don't say that to be negative. A win is a win. It was a great effort and despite all the roadblocks ahead of them I wish the Leafs the best.
Go Leafs go!
what do you think of the idea of having Cujo back to backup Vesa...maybe pass on some knowledge...and be a decent back up to rest Vesaeverynow and then...he wouldn't command a lot of $$...and could fill in for 20-ish gamesHoward Berger says he has a few sources that say that it is likely thatCujo will end up in Toronto tomorrow (July 1)
Cujo for one year at 700k isn't terrible.Then we bring up Pogge to backup Toskala with the eventual idea ofmaking him your starter.
exactly...I think it's a great acquisition.I'm on the fence about Jeff Finger...looks like he could turn out to begood, but that's a big chunk of coin for an unproven guy...
On Ron Wilson's say so it sounds.
he's got good #'s and i remember him in the play-offs and thinking thathewas a solid hitter...I think he's a good add simply because he is a stay at home Dman...whichissomething we have needed for a while...he doesn't do much offensively, but ...they say the best offence is a good defence!
I'm not sold on him yet.But he'll have lots of time to prove himself.
i just youtubed Finger (man...that sounds dirty)and a lot of his footage is big hits followed by fights, where Fingerstakes guys down to the ice...
So they're looking for a new Domi/Tucker
basically...I thought Mayers was the new Tucker...
it just looks to me that we are getting big guys that can play welldefensively which falls inline with Ron Wilson's style of coaching...I guess we are hoping that Blake and Antro and Stajan all turn it up anotch to core more goals..It makes sense since a lot of our losses were due to poor D play and notdue to lack of goals....I think we can score enough (especially if Kelumin turns out to be asgoodas his reports say he will...)...we just need to keep the puck out ofourown net...especially in the 3rd period..
I still say we need a better goal scorer
i don't disagree...but lets see what Fletch does...and Kulemin might be pretty damn good...
I don't see how Sundin can turn down the Canuck offer...so I doubt he iscoming to us...
screwed at trade deadline,...screwed in offseason...damn
20 mill for two years.Damn. I want him back but if that's his worth on the free market...
and Mats just announced that he isnt ready to make a decision yet about next year!http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=242264&lid=headline&lpos=topStory_main
that means even $20mil cant make him hurry up...crazyso..my thinking is that he is either going to retire, or is waiting to see what Fletch does...or..that he is thinking that even at $20 mill he is still not joining a cup contender...but he didn't exactly jump at the MTL offers did he?and Detroit took Hossa..so...that's out...
Or he could retire and then come back to a cup contender just before the
I don't see that happening as that would make him a Rental player...and we know how he feels about that...
Hey look everybody!!! Cliff is trading away draft picks again.
Jamal Mayer, 33 years old, 51 goals, 58 assists and 576 penalty minutes for a third round draft pick.
(Chris rolls up newspaper and waves it in front of Cliff's face)
No! Bad Cliff.
No no no...you gotta look at it like this
trade Kilger for 3rd round pick...trade that 3rd round pick for Jamal Mayers
which means Kilger for Mayers...
and Kilger was turning into a train wreck...didn't even report to camp for Florida.
So, although he is not the youth Fletch has been preaching, he is a bit of grit who plays with a lot of heart every night....unlike the person who, in my opinion, Mayers will be replacing...namely Tucker...
Tucker is afraid to drop the gloves these days and seems more bark than bite...while he still has a wicked shot, it's a one-trick pony show..and was defended with ease all last season...
not a bad move IMO.
ps. STL fans are sad to see him go...and say that it's a bad move on their part...
Oh for Pete's sake.
He's a third line player. At best.
He's 33 years old and that sound you hear when he steps on the ice isn't the puck hitting the mesh or his gloves dropping, it's his bones creaking.
I know Kilger has issues and I haven't the foggiest what those issues are. But this is not a Kilger for Mayer trade.
This was a third round draft pick that could have been used for anything else, attached as part of a larger trade for example, instead of picking up even more vet talent that we don't need.
I'm not running down Jamal or his abilities. But he's not the kind of player we need right now.
Ahh...see...you are so impatient...first of all...many STL followers are saying that if Jamal plays for toronto, that he will become a fan fave within 10 games.
Now the important part of that last sentece is the "IF" he plays in Toronto.
There is now talk of bundling Mayers with a later round pick for Cammalleri from the Kings...
that's looks alright doesn't it?
Trader Cliff is on the clock!
God help us all.
No surprise, Fletch is hanging on for another season as the Leafs GM. That means Leaf Nation has to resign themselves to waiting another year before any sort of significant rebuilding plan is in the works. It's clear that Cliff will be nothing more than a temporary steward for the organization, even if he did get to drop 'interim' from his title, as they wait to see if they have a stake in the Brian Burke lottery.
I don't mean to run Fletch down, but he's not going to be able to institute any kind of sweeping organizational change because he won't be kept around long enough to implement anything. Why bother putting the man's name on the office door, he won't be around long enough to earn it. Fletch'll be competent enough, chucking some of the dead weight overboard, and leaving his replacement with a better hockey club than he himself inherited. But essentially it's another season on pause as we wait for our real saviour.
It's a slap in the face. It says that we don't care enough about winning to turn things around now. We'd rather wait a year because we think the perfect man for the job wants us as much as we want him.
Memo to MLSE: He's just not that in to you. There are no guarnatees that Burke will come to Toronto next year. And if that's the case then we'll have sacrificed one more season to the altar of incompetence and organizational inertia.
It's time for some new blood at MLSE, and the first place they should start with is with their corporate governance.
From the Bill Watters Radio Show: Apparently there is a team willing to trade with the Leafs that would see Toronto move up in the draft, all the while still maintaining their seventh overall draft choice. It is likely the team interested is looking to acquire an NTC player.
From Leafs Lunch Radio Show:
Cliff Fletcher was a guest and said that since the team did not make the playoffs, they really only have three no-trade clause players on the roster. Cliff is of course not including Kubina, who is more than likely to be traded, or Mats Sundin, who is a free agent.Cliff later went on to say that a team has indeed offered him a first-round draft pick in this year's draft in exchange for a player. He, for obvious reasons, wouldn't name the Maple Leafs player going the other way, or who the other team involved was.He also said he is trying actively to move the remaining no-trade clause players before pursuing other avenues.
CTV just bought the rights to the Hockey Night in Canada theme. That's the corporate equivalent to knocking the other guy down and waving your reproductive organs in his face.
Way to go CBC, a classic piece of Canadiana has just been traded away to a corporation, who will milk that sucker for every last penny, because you were to cheap to pay royalty residuals anymore.
You'd rather pay 100,000 dollars to come up with a new theme song that won't have a fraction of the emotional resonance. The asking price couldn't have been that much, because less than one business day after your negotiations folded CTV was ready and willing to step up where you chose to fade away.
Congrats CBC, another step towards irrelvance. You make it really hard to support you.
Oh. And Ron Wilson is now the head coach of the Leafs. We'd better hope like hell Burke wants to coach here. Otherwise we run the risk of having another dysfunctional relationship between our GM and our head coach.
yeah the CBC screwed up...but ya know what...I dont care...I thought I would...and maybe I should...but TSN will have it on before every game...and they are showing more hockey this year than CBC ever did.. and every game will have at least 1 Canadian team..and a lot of the games are Leafs games..
So I think it is clear that TSN understands Canadians love of hockey more than the CBC ever did...even though HNIC has been the highest rated show on CBC since...well...ever as far as I know...I imagine having Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy will fill the void on CBC...ha ha ha ha ha
someone should be fired.
I'm gonna start writing on here again after a few months on nothing major happening. Now there is finally something to discuss.
Fletch has made some decent deals to get the Leafs some more picks and cleared up some cap space.
He wasn't able to achieve the BIG TRADE we were all hoping for due to the NTC's that JFJ handed out like candy. But, now the gloves can come off. Basically now, if you are unwilling to waive the NTC, Fletch is either going to buy you out, or send your ass down to the Marlies (who did really well this year!).
Sundin is still on the fence about his return...his latest comments indicate that he wants to see the Leafs make some real changes towards putting together a winning team. It looks as though Fletch is about to make the first big move.
A lot of rumours are pointing towards Ron Wilson (ex. Sharks coach) taking over the bench duties in Toronto.
I think this is a big upgrade from PM who could never really adapt on the fly during a game. He was also a soft coach who seemed really interested in being liked by the media more than disciplining his team for shoddy play.
Wilson is not like that. He's been known to bench star players when they don't perform. He calls players out in the media for poor work ethic.
I think the Leafs are about to say goodbye to the country club at the ACC.