In Round 1, this is how the Leafs need to handle Chara...Komarov...i'm looking at you buddy!
Reimer didn't play so good on Saturday night...

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!


No Bozak...no ... problem?

Tyler Bozak didn't play in the game last night. The Leafs said it was a maintenance day for him...but now it turns out that he may also not play on Saturday against the Habs. Now, while the Leafs did look good on Thursday, lets keep in mind that it was against the league worst Florida Panthers (who had serious trouble even crossing the blue line). Kadri looked good...but somehow, Phil didn't seem to enjoy scoring quite as much without his buddy on the ice with him. That could actually be a real factor in the negotiations with Bozak the Free Agent this summer.

Leafs kick the Panthers while they are down. Win 4-0

So lets start with this guy. Leo Komarov. Between him and McClement, I don't know who I like more in the blue and white. Leo hits everything, everywhere, all the time. Every defenceman is starting to dish the puck just a little bit quicker knowing that they are about to be run. Most of the time the hits are clean...sometimes, not so much. But when Leo gets into penalty troubles, guess who is there to bail him out... that's tight Jay McClement.
Jay has brought our PK out from the basement and into the stratosphere. The guy is money on the PK. He is so smart with his positioning, his stick work, and his play reading. 

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.


since the last post... a lot has happened

So many things have happened since I last wrote anything on this thing (for example, I beat Chris in meeting EC)... We have a totally different team. I wont try to list all the changes...there are too many.

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.



we took a break for a while...I'm starting this beeyatch back up...we'll see if CF gets back on board


mess with CBC and the Leafs? You're Fired!

Steve says:

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 1

Steve says:

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)


The new comeback kids

Steve says,

well, we started off good...
then it got sloppy...
then it got even more sloppy,
then we started kicking the snot out of people,
then they started taking penalties,
then we scored 3 unanswered goals for the win.

and what a clutch save by Toskala in OT...makes up for some of the sloppy play I mentioned earlier...

and a sweet goal by Hagman, using the D man as a screen...smart move.

nice to have a winning record for now...

these guys are fun to watch even when losing...

Kaberle and Beauchemin look great together ...lots of communication...nice to see a good tandem on our blue line...

Oh...and in case you've been living under a rock...we got Kessel!


Behind the Draft

On Monday Sept 28 @ 6pm, Leafs TV is showing some behind the scenes footage of the latest Draft in Montreal...here is a quick preview...should be interesting




Steve says:

This will be the Leafs this season...

We may not win Lord Stanley, but you will know when you have played Toronto because the whole bus ride home you will have ice packs on everything.

In the first preseason game the new look Leafs came out with something to prove. Many of our "1st liners" were not in the lineup which was expected but we looked solid defensively which is something I have not been able to say for a looooong time.

Toskala played a great game, very aggressive on the PK with the puck which I loved.
Beauchemin was pretty solid on the blue line which is such a nice change to have.
Stalberg and Bozak looked good out there, and Kadri improved as the games went on which was nice.

White actually looked a bit shaky which was surprising considering he was one of the more steady guys at the end of last season.

Joey Mac took over for Toskala half way through the game which is never easy, and he looked a little loose...I'd like to see what he can do when starting a game..

even though they lost, the boys in Blue and White looked good...games will be a lot of fun to watch this year.


T.O. says no...over and over again

Steve says:

So it has come to light that T.O. does not want hockey in Hamilton...no big shock right? But it has never really been said outright...there have been hints towards this thought, and veiled references to a mysterious "VETO" owned by the Leafs but nobody has come out and said NO.

or have they?

In an open letter to Jim Balsille, Gabe Macaluso, the former CEO of Copps Colesium in Hamilton points out numerous occasions in which he was told by MLSE and others that any attempt to relocate or start an NHL franchise in Hamilton would be met with considerable resistance.

to read the letter, click here
VEsa TOskala...coincidence? I think not!


Andrew Engelage invited to Leafs Rookie Camp

check this goalie out...from the Windsor Spits
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?



Gary disses Jim !

well...only sort of in a roundabout way...but he points out the fact that the Govenors rejected Jim's bid based (mainly it would appear) on the section that says "the league can reject potential owners if it does not believe they are of "good character and integrity," as well as for financial reasons."

ohhh SNAP!

Maple Leafs July 2009 Development Camp

Steve says:

Here is a short video from the Maple Leafs July 2009 Development Camp. I wish they would post more of this stuff...hopefully they will through the summer to keep us going through the "dry season".


Can we get Howard Berger fired?

Steve says:

Now before you say "that's crazy talk", hear me out.

We know Howie's rants against anything blue and white and we have read them like blind sheep...and therein lies the problem.

We keep reading his garbage spewing.

The only reason that guy still has his job, is that he writes material which causes Leaf fans to rise up in anger and respond.
but what if we stopped?

What if we banded together and asked our fellow Leafers to follow suit and instead, write a daily email to his various employers (fan590, hockeybuzz, etc) and let them know that they will not have the support of Leaf Nation until he is removed.

Again, I know it sounds like crazy talk...trust me ...I know it sounds like another rambling anti-Berger rant...and yet....think about it...
what if....
what if we ended up with a writer who was actually able to write an objective piece, with actual insight and discussions from the players, coaches, and management.

Can you even imagine what such a thing of beauty might look like?



Chris says:

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?

Steve Says:

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!


The return of the Fan First Coca-Cola free game

Steve says:

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....


Burke's rating System

Steve says:

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?

Chris says:

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.

Pot shots

Chris says:

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.

The Kaberle Debate

Steve says:

So with all the new additions to the Leafs, the big question now is: What to do with Kaberle?

He's a good puck moving D man with a good cap hit, and is signed on for 2 more seasons. That makes him very attractive to a lot of teams...but for that reason, should he not also be attractive to the Leafs?

Kaberle has said on many occasions that he likes to play in Toronto. Now, media training aside, I believe that to be the truth. Not sure why I think that...it must be something about the way he carries himself during interviews, etc. He seems to be the kind of guy that likes to stay put. He has been here for a while now and has probably laid down some pretty deep roots in Toronto. He knows his role on the team and executes it quite well. He is dependable in his position and well liked by management, and the fans. He makes a good living playing hockey...why leave and risk all of that?

Now the flipside to this discussion is that last season, Kabs had an average season. It wasn't great, but it also wasn't terrible. If he were to have a repeat performance this season, his stock would likely lower. But does that mean that we should cut bait and get a trade for him while the iron is hot? Or do we sit back and look at the team and decide if we are better with him or without him.

There are options for the Leafs with regards to the logjam at the blueline. White played a part of last season as a forward, and was actually pretty good up there. Could he (would he) move back up to the front lines and maybe provide some defensive minded offense?
What other options are there? Could we move the Finger contract? He played a solid season, but now it seems ridiculous to spend that much money on a 5/6 Dman...


The Future

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.

Go Leafs!


and so continues the downward spiral

The Leafs are now 4 games under .500 for the first time this season. And while we played a hard physical game and had some pretty good chances, we just couldn't slow down the...Flyers?!?
Wait...weren't they in last place just last season...wtf?!

Poni's goal between the legs was a lone highlight...

The next few games should be interesting as Kulemin will be back in the lineup without Grabovski...some extra ice time will hopefully help him out...he is doing well for a rookie, but I think even more is expected of him.

ps. I love that Grabovski hates the Habs so much...finally, a rivalry with some teeth.


The Leafs grow a pair

yes...they lost...bad...but we finally grew a pair and kicked some Hab ass...and it's about time!

Brad May joined the ranks and basically became a steamroller knocking over anyone with a Ch on their chest last night...

and little Grabovski continued his feud with the brothers Kostitsyn...and in a brilliant moment of clarity...he gave a double F-U to the entire crowd at the Bell centre!..wow!

When asked about the rivalry he stated :

"If he wants to fight, we'll go in the street and every minute of every day I'll wait for him and we'll fight."

That's what I'm talkin about!

a side note about the Brad May trade...he was traded for a conditional 6th round pick...a lot of people were all up in arms about this saying that Burke is trading away our future for a goon...well..now we know the "conditions" of the pick...and they make Burke look like a genius.

The conditions are that the Leafs will have to give the Ducks the 6th rd pick IF May resigns with us before July 1st of 2009. That means that if he doesn't resign, or resigns AFTER July 1st (ie. July 2nd) then we got him for this season for free!

Not bad Burkie...bring in some muscle and leadership and get it for free.

JFJ would have given May 3.5 mill and a no movement...and then would have sent the Ducks our next 2 1st rounders...lol


the percentages

So far this season, the Leafs have the following record
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!


Happy New Year!

Steve says:

Happy New Years bitches!

A great game for Canada vs USA. ...a great end to 2008 as the Leafs win in OT on a sweet shot by Kubina.

but 2009 brings us back to earth as the Sabres show us why they are in contention for a playoff spot right now, and we need to work harder to get there.
I don't know if the team was hungover...but that was one of the handful of performances  by the Leafs that just didn't cut it.
Even when they have lost this year, it's been OK for the most part because they still tried right to the end...but not on Jan1 of 2009....I think the champagne hangovers  set in around the 2nd period.

I imagine Burke has made a New Years resolution to build a Cup contender...let's hope he keeps his promise.


A Little Warmth on a cool Day

Steve says:

Well, the snow has fallen from the sky over the last couple of days...in Ottawa, we got 31cm in a day and a half...which made for a lot of shovelling...and some hot chocolate and back rubs afterwards.
I got a scoop which made it a lot easier to clear my 5 car driveway...and it will really come in handy this weekend when I prepare the backyard for the ice rink I am putting in this year...

but enough about me...
here's some warmth to get you through the cold winter days...


The Future!

Steve says:

It will be very interesting to see what teams do this trade deadline. Not only from a trading point of view but more importantly from a re-signing standpoint.
The reason is this. With the worlds economy going to the shitter, and teams all over the US struggling, it is expected that the NHL and the NHLPA will have to discuss lowering the salary cap to be more in line with the projected economy. They are looking at dropping it 3-5 million.

Where that comes into play is the salaries of current players will not go down relative to the salary cap reduction. which means teams that have signed players to long term deals for HUGE amounts will have to move a lot of other players to fit under the cap.

That makes situations like the upcoming Jaybo deal very intriguing...



GILMOUR has left the Marlies to be the Head Coach of the Kingston Frontenacs 

tonight is expected to be Fletch's last game as the GM...Burke expected to take over mid-week


Leafs strike Oil (ers)

Steve says:

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...
Toskala was pretty good also. After a pretty rough start, I am starting to see Toskala get back into the form that made me like him as our goalie...hopefully he can bring his A+ game against the Nucks...not so much because of their offense, but because I think for the Leafs to win, it will be a close one...Robbie Lu is pretty hot between the pipes these days.

oh..and the Sens got schooled by...wait for it...the Islanders....!

some days it is really good to be a Leafs fan in Ottawa...today is one of those days.


Leafs steamroll the Habs

Steve says: 

Well that was a much better result compared to the last time we met the Habs. Those Canadiens are dirty dirty dirty. several hits from behind, tripping up players going into end boards, slewfooting...terrible...but the Leafs weren't exactly sparkling clean either...Grabovski nailed Price with a butt end that wasn't warranted...but I guess he wanted to show his old team that all ties were cut.

good work by all...too bad about Van Ryn broken pinkie finger...that will keep him out for a month or more.

Now the boys head west..

Go Leafs!


History is made...and The Comeback (almost) Kids

Steve says:


down 3-0....we get 1
then down 4-1...and we storm back to tie it
a goal by Blake is called back (early whistle)

only to have a shot from the point go in past a screened Toskala.
Another painful loss after a storybook comeback.

Seems these guys love to bounce back in the 2nd period.

That Grabovski / Kulemin / Hagman line is deadly!


Leafs beat Brodeur 6-5

Steve says:

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!

Stamkos' first NHL point

Steve says:

There's some trivia for you...against what team did future NHL star Steven Stamkos get his first point.....wait for it...oh yes...it's the Leafs.
It was a good game spotted with a bit of sloppy D which I am not used to seeing from our guys anymore....also some blind passes in the Offensive zone that didn't pan out they way we'd all hoped it would...

but really it was a good effort by the Tampa netminder, Smith, and a couple of highlight goals by Lecavilier that won the game.

The Lightning were due for a win...and our guys just could not finish on all the chances we generated, and there were many chances.

The next game should be interesting against the Devils...we're up against a goalie who is on the hunt to break Patrick Roy's win record....

hopefully he doesn't get one game closer tonight.

ps. the pic is of Lecavilier scoring with Stamkos behind him just after the pass...



Chris says:
For once I agree with my colleague. The Sens\Leaf game was beautiful.


The Battle of Ontario - Round 1

Goes to Toronto!


a picture is worth a thousand words...


Win #2 ! 4-2 vs. Boston

Steve says:

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.
No Blake in the lineup didn't stop us from having a lot of shots on net, but this time some of them went in...
Toskala got his 100th win which is cool.
Van Ryn got his first goal as a Leaf.
Hagman played another solid game.
Schenn was pretty solid for the most part. He took a couple of penalties standing up for teammates which I am totally OK with and he was cool and collected on the PK. Great future for this kid...and it looks like he'll stay up with the big club for the duration.


A Good Effort

Steve says:

well finally we have a Leaf team that doesn't throw down their sticks in the 3rd period. in fact, quite the opposite. The Leafs held the Ducks off the shots list for the entire 3rd period ...and most of the 2nd as well...that's pretty cool.

they still lost, which sucks, but at least we fought back which is something this team has been missing for a long time, namely, the desire and beleaf that they can come back from anything.

Not sure I would have switched out Toskala for Cujo, but at least they are trying new things...#'s wise it's a smart play...but Cujo looked pretty cold out there...hopefully Toskala picks up his shootout skills...it looks like there will be a lot of ties this year.


between the #'s

Steve says:

Hollweg runs a kid from behind. The kid sees the hit coming and turns his back (rookie mistake). Hollweg gets a match penalty, and a 3 game suspension and all of Leafs Nation starts to turn him into the new whipping boy.

Malkin, one of the NHL's poster boys, runs Semin in the back. Malkin gets a 2 minute boarding penalty.

Kostitsyn, on the glorious 100 year old Habs team, runs Wideman into next week...he starts his charge at the blue line and ends it somewhere around row 5 in the stands...verdict? 2 minute boarding.

Now you may make the argument that Hollweg has a history and I will give you that. This guy has got to stop hitting like that. He must adapt his game if he hopes to continue on.
But, the whole point of the stiff sentences is to not only get Hollweg to change his ways, but also to send a message to all players that the league will not tolerate hits from behind.

I cant see how the message will ever get across if the only player being actually punished for doing this is Hollweg.


HNIC Theme Song

Chris says:

I'm....okay with it. Now, go out, vote and be merry.

Steve says:





and it does not flow smoothly from the voice over at the start...
I preferred the one by the kid...

oh well...


Game 1 - Win #1 3-2 vs. Detroit

Chris says:

....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!

Steve says:

I actually missed the game because I had to play a gig with Shannon Rose...but during our soundcheck, I was able to sneak off to a nearby pub that had the game showing on their patio. I managed to see the 2nd goal the Leafs scored and, while not a pretty goal, it showed that this team is going to fight the other team for every inch of ice out there...
then I was distracted by the group of Uni students that arrived...all the women were in bras and panties...not sure what was going on, but I knew it was going to be a good night all around...

played a great show, and then found out from a buddy that we had actually won!...I was totally shocked!

Great goal (and steal) by Kulemin....

Go Leafs!

next up, the Habs...



here's a list of all our guys and their stats for preseason

Jason Blake is a Point Pre Game guy!...and a +1
woo hoo!


Is Schenn in?

found this in an article by Mike ulmer on mapleleafs.com today...


Unless he completely regresses, Luke Schenn seems sure to make the Leafs. The Leafs are sure to carry Pavel Kubina, Jonas Frogren, Tomas Kaberle, Anton Stralman and Jeff Finger. That likely leaves two or three sports for competition between Carlo Colaiacovo, Ian White (ugh), Mike Van Ryn and Staffan Kronwall.

Chris says:

Don't believe everything you read. It would be better for the Leafs over the long hall if they sent this guy down for a little seasoning.


Elisha Update

Ok...so the footage was obviously shot a while back as she is with the Goon Avery...
but she gets Punk'd...it's kinda weak though IMO


pre-season game #2

Leafs lost, but it was a decent game...
2 of the Pens goals went in off our Defenceman's skate...so that's just bad luck...
the 3rd Pens goal was a bed turnover by Stralman...he fell down coughed up the puck to Malkin...big mistake...

Our goalie had no chance...2 on 0....besides that, he was awesome in nets...

Our forwards didn't do a whole lot until the 2nd half of the game...then Blake and Kulemin started to really turn it on...the Pens goalie kept them in the game for sure...Antropov started using his size which was good to see...knocking around the Pens defenders :-)

2 late goals (including a highlight goal by Grabovski)  made it close, but no cigar...

I'm ok with the loss...at least we didn't give up like we have in years past....and Grabovski showed that he could be an offensive power with some more ice time...woo hoo...


Free Agency rant

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
trade deadline.

I don't see that happening as that would make him a Rental player...and we know how he feels about that...


The Silver Fox does it again, unfortunately


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.


Say hi to the new boss, same as the old boss

Chris says:

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.


Steve says:

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.


Theme Song

Chris says:

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.

Steve says:

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.


Here we go again!

Steve says:

Hey Leafers!

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.