Jackass Alert

I don’t care how young you are, how badly you want to make the cut or that you got dumped to the ice yourself mere moments ago Steve Downie’s hit on Dean McAmmond was absolutely disgusting.

I disagree with those who say fighting and hitting have no place in hockey. In my opinion, they do. At the very least, they’re a part of the game and to remove them would make that game less enjoyable for me.

But there’s a rule. An unwritten rule. And that rule says dirty hits are not allowed.

Downie left his feet to hit McAmmond. He leapt at him with the intention of hurting McAmmond and making a bit of a splash for himself in doing so. About the only thing I’ll give Downie is that he probably didn’t mean to hurt McAmmond as badly as he did and in his post game interview he seemed genuinely repentant.

Doesn’t cut it.

Actions speak louder than words. As far as I’m concerned they can turf this little Bertuzzi wanna-be out of the League for the rest of his life. It’s the only way he’ll learn.

Steve says:

Steve Downie as a Canadian Hero....remember?

Normally Chris and I agree on stuff like this, but this time I gotta say that I am not 100% on board..
Was it a dirty hit ....yes

Did he leave his feet...yes

Was it a bonehead move and should he be suspended...yes, of course


Was MacAmmond wearing a mouth guard and did he have his chinstrap done up properly which would have probably kept his helmet in the prop position to protect him from injury (CSA approved remember)...


Hockey is a tough game. There are hits on every shift of every period of every game. People are bound to get injured...it's a simple fact of numbers...

The gear is there to protect you choose to take the "cool look" over the "safety" then you are putting yourself at risk.

I agree that the hit was dirty and done with rage, but I don't believe there was intent to injure...intent to put a Senator on his ass? YES of course, but to injure...I don't buy it.

We were all cheering this guy last year when he was leveling Russians as part of Team Canada. If a Russian player had been injured, people would probably start spouting about how they cant handle the physical aspect Canadians bring or blah blah blah.

Look at both sides of the incident.
I think he should get 10 games and the Flyers should be penalized as well...Once the NHL starts holding teams accountable for thugs, you will start to see less of them. It's only because the owners don't lose out in anyway that guys like this are still around.

Chris says:

He left his feet with intent to hurt McAmmond. How much he intended to hurt McAmmond is irrelevant.

There's a check and then there's thinking you're Superman and that you can fly.

well...that was painful...

Steve says:

Ok...well....they pretty much sucked all around last night...uhm...*searching for a good point to last night's game*

oh yeah...here's a good point...Ed Belfour lost 7-2 to the Ottawa Senators in the preseason the same year he owned them in the playoffs....so...hopefully this will be a serious kick in the ass for Toskala et al to wake the hell up and play some real hockey.

They were beaten by Derek Roy alone!

I just don't know...maybe these boys needed a good schooling like that. All the preseason games have been decided by one goal...so maybe they always went back to the dressing room thinking that they were actually in these games ...until someone came along who decided to really take it to them...and last night was the result.
But, that being said, it is pre-season, and perhaps they were trying new things...

unfortunately, losing is not new anymore...


We won't get fooled again...

Chris says:

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

The Leafs have decided to bench Colaiacovo for the remaining Pre-Season games in fear of exacerbating his sore knee. Granted I’ll take sore knee over lingering concussion symptoms almost any day of the week.

But wait, isn’t this the same Leafs organization who was resting Wellwood because of a sore groin that they didn’t to get any worse?

“Sore” doesn’t begin to tell us if Colaiacovo just pulled a muscle or if it’s something much worse.

Steve says:

The injuries are already starting again. When can we get rid of some of these guys who spend half the season at home injured and get some guys in who can actually manage to show up to work for a full season.

Crazy thinking isn't it?


The first battle of Ontario

Steve says:

The first battle of Ontario goes to those bastard Senators.....argh..
I can't even begin to put into words how upset I am with that last call the ref made...there was no tripping...the Senator player tried to split the Toronto D and fell in the process...in the replay it clearly showed no Leaf player held him, or even had a stick near him.
But, also...that last play by Spezza made the Leafs look like real amateurs...they just stood there and watched the guy literally skate circles around them. Disgusting.

Blake and Sundin look like they will live up to the expectations though!

Chris says:

That stench in your nostrils this morning? That's the smell of the Leaf's Defense trying to contain Spezza. Smells pretty bad don't it?

Almost as bad as our powerplay. 0 for 5.

Work. In. Progress.

Under the Knife

Wellwood goes under the knife again.

Remember how great Kyle Wellwood was playing last year? Neither do I. The oft injured Wellwood is apparently out for the count, at least for the beginning of the season.

The culprit? More groin surgery.


Wellwood is often touted as the Leaf’s next “playmaker” a role that’s gone unfilled in the organization for quite some time. Unfortunately he hasn’t been given the chance to live up to his tremendous potential as he was riding the pine for what felt like the majority of last year. When he did come back last year it was too little too late as the Leafs weren’t able to put together a big enough string of wins to get us to the holy land.

What makes it worse is that Wellwood didn’t even make it to the Pre-Season before he had to go for surgery. Benched, with an undisclosed tightening of the groin muscles MLSE downplayed the sitch until they were forced to come clean by curious reporters.

With no return date set for Wellwood, who knows how long we’ll have to wait and see whether or not this man can live up to all his hype.

Steve says:
There should be some kind of insurance off the cap when a player has this many injuries. Losing this guy this many times has put in the financial hole without even a whiff of a chance to make it worth it. Frustrating to say the least.

Beantown goes down...barely.

The Pre-Season matchups continued on Saturday with Toronto spanking Boston 4-3.

New man on campus Scott Clemmensen was the net minder for the affair. Initially the Leafs were up 2 – nil on Bruins before finding themselves on the short end of stick, down 3 – 2 in the third. However, Pohl scored early into the third period and that was enough to send the game into a shootout.

14 shots later Kubina finally managed to score and the Leafs were able to notch another win on their belt.

Goal scorers for the game were Mitchell, Kilger, Pohl and Kubina

I don’t know about you but in my mind one of the Leafs weakest areas is their shootout game play, offensively and defensively. Last year Raycroft would hunker down in the crease rarely, if ever, coming out to challenge players. And frankly we let way to many games slip out of hands when our team couldn’t manage to find the back of the net.

It may not seem like much but when you add up all the points that we could have taken from a successful shootout, who’s to say how the season would have ended if we’d have been a little more proficient at dealing with this “new” tie breaking format.

Steve says:
The funny thing is that Clemmenson was the guy who ended up deciding the ultimate fate of the Leafs last season. I find it so weird that he is a Leaf now...


Pre-Season: Game 3 Phoenix v. Toronto

Chris says:

What goes around, comes around.

After beating the Coyotes 3-2 in their last pre-season match up Wednesday, the Leafers found themselves on the short end of the stick against the very same team dropping last night’s game by an identical score.

Most disturbing element?

The Coyotes scored on Toskala with their first shot on net. If that doesn’t say humbling I don’t know what does. Now, the man isn’t completely to blame. There was some pretty lackluster D being played by the Leafs throughout. But I have to say this was supposed to be one of our big off-season upgrades and with Raycroft performing about as well as he normally does, I’m not seeing out of Tosk to put my faith in him quite yet.

This is what the Pre-Season is all about, finding your rhythm and getting familiar with your new teammates’ style of play. I just hope I don’t have to wait too much longer in order to see some tangible results.

Steve says:

So last nights game was not exactly what most of us had in mind when we thought of Vesa Toskala's first game as a Leaf.
First shot = first weak goal.
Some people actually booed Vesa for that.
But, just for a minute, try to imagine the nerves that must have been working overtime for Toskala.
He comes from San Jose, where their average attendance was probably in the ball park of 7-10,000. And reporters after the game? Maybe 1 or 2 here and there...
Now move to the centre of the Hockey universe where thousands of people spend their entire day either chatting on forums, or talking on the radio, or TV or in coffee shops and bars about every single move the team and the management make. At every practise there is a swarm of media. At game time, the ACC is exploding with energy.
Add to it the fact that Vesa sat on the pine for most of the games in SJ, and that it was the first game after a long summer.

I think if you take that all into account, Vesa can be forgiven losing game one.

Just don't let it happen again, or Toronto will have your head!


spin..or sadness...Elisha Watch '07

Steve says:
Apparently, E.C.'s people issued some kind of statement which said that there is no tape and that it is all made up.

So either it is spin, and they hope to somehow stop it from getting online (yeah...like that will happen), or there really is no tape and some guy deserves to get his ass kicked for starting such a rumour with nothing to back it up with...

Pre-Season: Game 2

Chris says:

For those of you keeping track at home, our Pre-Season stats are 1 win and 1 loss. Of course no one is breaking out the champagne quite yet. A 3 – 2 win against the Coyotes, a team widely expected to make a run for the bottom, is hardly conclusive proof of anything. But we here at Hockey Talk are eternal optimists and even a win at a glorified game of shinny has us dreaming of the Cup.

I’m feeling good so far about the Sundin-Blake line. I think having a 40 goal scorer on his flank will go a long way to relieving some of the pressure he must feel to carry the line as well as creating a double scoring threat. Last night seems to bear that out.

Goal scorers last night? Blake, Steen and Kilger.

Here’s to 2008.

Steve says:
That's a bit better boys...The Sundin-Blake combo is starting to look really good, but damn we have got to stop giving the puck away (Gill, I'm looking at you).
although Gill had 2 helpers in the game, he also did a tape to tape pass right onto a phoenix players stick....
I mean, come on,...that's basic stuff we are dealing with here...Don't pass the puck to the other team.
If you lose the puck in a battle on the boards, OK
If you lose the puck scrambling in front of the net, OK (not great but OK)
If you are in your zone and you PASS it to the other team, NOT OK!
We need to work on D still, but it should come with time....and Raycroft looked shaky in the last minute, but had much better rebound control for most of the night. The go ahead goal scored by Phoenix was , yup you guessed it , short side glove hand!..dude...practise using your glove ...PLEASE!!!!

so, overall I'd say that was a below average game, with some moments of offensive greatness against a mediocre team.
We will need to do better against other teams.
but a win is a win...I'll take it....and yes, I am wearing the Blue and White today!


1st game...1st loss

Steve says:

well...it didn't end as I would have hoped, but wow, what a game...the future really does look good for the Leafs....great plays, lots of grit, and the goal tending was outstanding..
I will say the ref called way too many penalties, especially for a preseason game....
and we spent a lot of time in the box...i guess that issues is still carrying over from last year...that's gotta stop...
Justin Pogge stole large parts of that game for us...just awesome to watch...

kudos to NHL TV for putting these games online for free!

Chris says:

I'm a bad commentator.

I missed the game because I was playing one of my own. But I did read the wrap up. Apparently Paul Maurice is none to happy with his Top Line not playing the way he'd like to see. It's one game and waaaay to early to read into it. Mo is probably just trying to make sure he's lit a fire under the collective asses of his team early on.

be a coach

Steve says:
Hey you...volunteer to be a coach in a kids minor hockey league...be part of the game instead of just a spectator...I am the assistant coach on my son's team...it is crazy amounts of fun...get involved ya lazy bum!

free on line games

Steve says:

watch all preseason games free on-line...

create your account from where you will be watching the games cuz they base it on IP address...

Go Leafs

Game 1

Steve says:
Tonight Justin Pogge will be in nets for pre-season Game #1 vs. Edmonton...it should be good!

Our lineup looks like this:

blue and white game

Steve says:

argh...whole post just disappeared..so now you get the short form version...
saw the blue and white game
sundin-Blake combo....great passing and playmaking
Toskala and raycroft leaving the net and being so bad with stick handling the puck
also, the Defense barely cleared rebounds

also heard that Sundin tweaked his wrist catching a Darcy tucker pass...hope that doesn't bite us in the ass later...

and as a side note...i heard a fight broke out at the Sens intersquad game...idiots....

Chris Says:

Say it loud now, "Sens Suck!"

Elisha Watch '07 cont.

Steve says:

On my way into work i heard on the radio that there is in fact a soon to

I imagine it is the result of one of two things
Either a) she needs a boost to her career...her last few movies have not done so well...actually what movie (besides Girl Next Door) has done well...?
or b) Sean Avery is pissed she dumped him and ..oops leaked it...

either way...Elisha Watch '07 in full effect!

totally un-hockey related..but who cares...

Chris Says:

We here at Hockey Talk are always striving to regurgitate the stories that TRULY interest you. We don't pigeonhole ourselves into just one one genre. We're a full access blog.


carlo carlo carlo

Steve says:

Apparently Carlo had knee surgery in June...something minor, but he MAY not be able to start the season....AGAIN!
What does this guy have to do to stay healthy?

Chris says:

I was at the Leafs\Sens game two years ago when he took that vicious hit. That hit really seems to have marked the start of all his troubles.

As far as staying healthy goes, Hockey is a rough and tumble sport it's not always possible keep from getting injured. Look at Antropov. I think last year was his first injury free season.

Now you can be like some people, suggesting that Colaiacovo and Antropov are made of glass, and you may very well be right. I think that it's more likely that when you go out there every other night and subject your body to that level of violence you're going to pay a heavy price for that commitment.