Game 26 - Leafs Win! Leafs Win! 4-2

Steve says:
Sundin with a sweet backhander...how that went in, I'll never know...and Toskala playing a great game especially near the end with a HUGE blocker save!
On the 2nd goal by Notlanta (ha !), Enstrom just walks in from the right point while Stajan is caught watching the puck instead of taking his man out....I hope someone points this out to him because that is how we are letting in most of our goals. Our defensive mode is supposed to take out the man...but we often get caught watching the puck or following the man in to the corner...must be more careful to watch for open players.

It was a great game for the players last night...but there is a problem that the win creates....it allows the OTPP to stay the course just that much longer with JFJ....and if the Leafs manage a win on Saturday, then who knows how much longer JFJ can stretch that into him keeping his job.

I went and reviewed JFJ's actual record of trades etc. and it was pretty depressing. Most of the people we traded our future away for are no longer playing hockey and/or only played 15 or so games for us...woo hoo (/sarcasm) .

I hear reports out of Florida and McLean with regards to management changes...I wonder if that will turn into anything ...do we want it to?

ps. Ottawa lost it's 5th in a row.... :-)


as bad as it is...

Steve says:

As bad as it all is...if you look at the standings, you will see that if the Sens and Detroit lose 5 games at some point and the Leafs win 5 games, we would be right back near the top...
so a couple lucky bounces, a few strong defensive games, and all this mess could turn around quickly...


from Practise

Steve says:

Even though there is a shitstorm around them...the boys in blue and white still need to keep on keepin on...
so...here are some quick note from practise today...

- Tucker not at practise after taking a slapshot to the foot
- Tlusty / Blake / Wellwood practising on a line together

Game 25 - Habs win in s/o 4-3

Steve says:

Captain clutch gives the Leafs (and PM and JFJ) hope with 17 seconds left thanks to some real hard work by Jason Blake....but the PM fucks it all up by putting Tucker in the shootout!

I really feel bad for Jason Blake...the poor guy cant buy a goal....he is working so hard and in the last few games I have seen at least a dozen shots that would have gone in had Jason not been jinxed by some weird voodoo.

And as for Vesa toskala...poor guy again...our D just keeps leaving him out to dry. I wouldn't say even one of those goals was his fault. He didn't let in one bad goal with the possible exception being the only that got jammed under his pad..but can you say "goaltender interference"?

The Hab player was all over him and jabbing Toskala with his stick...at what point does it become interference/slashing/spearing ?

It will be interesting to see if the OTPP finally steps in and does something about this train wreck. Sundin and Toskala deserve better.

ps. I think the zamboni driver was drunk.


vs the Habs - a preview

Steve says:

- Price in nets for the Habs
- Lafleur called the whole team a bunch of 4th liners
- Toskala starting for us
- Poni may not play, and if that is the case there is a possibility that Mark Bell could go onto the 1st line

WTF?! Mark Bell on the 1st line...

What the hell is PM thinking....with his job essentially on the line tonight ..he is gonna try Mark Bell on line 1?

Taking a stand

Steve says:

That's It!
PM is a middle man
JFJ, middle man
even Peddie is a middle man...
time to cut the bull
who do we go after to instigate change with the Leafs?

This is from the OTPP website press release from Feb. 11th 2003

Robert Bertram, Executive Vice President, Investments with Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, said, “We believe in the solid future of MLSE and its passionate commitment to developing championship teams. Winning is good business.”TD Capital’s John MacIntyre, echoed these sentiments saying, “We are pleased to be part of a team committed to winning - on the ice, on the court and as a sports and entertainment business.”

These people need to be reminded of what we as fans expect!

click here to contact the OTPP and let them know how you feel!

Watch the game on Tuesday...take note of every advertiser on every commercial. Tell them that you will not buy there product any longer until change is made with the Leafs.

Write to the station you watch Leafs games on and tell them you will no longer watch the Leafs until change is made. ( http://www.cbc.ca/contact/ )

Cancel your Leafs TV and let them know that they can have your money again, when the Leafs make change.
(yes Chris I know ...I still have not got my sorry ass down to Toronto to pay up on our bet...I suck...)

and of course,Write a letter to the MLSE and the ACC to tell them that you will not be there to buy the watered down beer and overpriced hot dogs until the Leafs make change (http://www.theaircanadacentre.com/contact/)

I know people will still go to games and I know people will still but merch..I am talking about a real easy thing to do to apply even just a bit of pressure...to remind them all that "winning is good business"


Game 24- Holy frik another loss!

Steve says:

COME ON!!!! To the yotes!?! to the fuckin YOTES!!!!
who the hell decided to put Raycroft in nets????
Toskala is 6-2 vs. the yotes and you dumb shits decide Raycroft should start?!?!?

I must admit that I was watching the Sens game (hoping for the loss...yesss!) while listening to the Leafs game (stupid NHL and it's viewing zones) and one thing I will say that really pisses me off.
When Gerber got pulled by Ottawa, he was mad. He stayed in his net the whole time Emery was preparing...making a very uncomfortable scene on the ice. He just stayed there and Emery had to pretend like he was adjusting his gloves....for like 5 minutes, he would not move....and when he finally did give in, he slammed his stick on the bench...yelled "fuck fuck fuck" so loud that the people behind the bench looked shocked. Then he had a scowl on his face the rest of the game.
Now compare this to Raycrofts reaction. As soon as he got the signal, he power skated off the ice, was gloveless and wearing his little baseball cap before Toskala was even in the blue ice!
Raycroft stopped one short of leaning back and taking a nap for frik's sake!

Game 23 - Dallas wins

Steve says:

I am not even going to put up the core...it doesn't matter...a loss is a loss...although I will say that a loss to a team that I really thought we could beat stings a bit more. I'm not sure the boys should have been watching the NFL game before their game...maybe instead they could...oooh, I don't know...let me see....they could maybe



Steve says:

Well after the latest Leaf loss, it looks as though we are finally seeing some change towards making this club better...as reported by the Globe and Mail...

While the Toronto Maple Leafs coaching staff and players are excited about their trip to Dallas and Phoenix for the U.S. Thanksgiving Day weekend (they have a luxury box rented for the Dallas Cowboys-New York Jets game on Thursday), there wasn’t a holiday spirit around the executive offices at the Air Canada Centre on Monday afternoon.Word spread quickly around Leafland around 3:30 p.m. that long-time executive assistant Ann Clark was fired by her boss, general manager John Ferguson Jr. Most of us reporters know Ann because when she was brought into the fold a decade ago by Ken Dryden, it was her we had to call to set up interviews with Dryden, Mike Smith, Pat Quinn or Ferguson. She always exuded class, was pleasant to chat with, professional, courteous and incredibly competent.It’s never a good development to lose your job with Christmas just around the corner, and the news was like a George Foreman body blow, especially since the reason she was given for her dismissal was the old “we want to go in a different direction.”We can only hope that the next direction Ann takes will be a pleasant one.

That's the big move? Fire the secretary? What the hell is going on at the ACC offices? Did she not make the coffee strong enough? Did she forget to water the plants? Are her dictation skills slipping? (btw...if you Google in the images for "secretary", you get a lot of pictures of women doing very non-secretarial work...NSFW!)
Why the hell is the management focused on the performance of an assistant (who actually sounds like she knows what she is doing) rather than what the heck is going on at ice level???


Game 22 - Boston wins 4-2

Steve says:

Wow...I wish I was a tire salesman in Toronto with a dealership near the ACC. With the # of blown tires in the third period that the Leafs have had this year, I'd be rich by now...and there are stil 60 games to go!
I thought they were doing good until the mid 2nd period. Thats when things started to fall apart and we couldn't get back to the original Defensive game plan.

Tukka Rask really came back to bite us in the ass tonight. Nice trade Ferguson.


Game 21 - The Battle Of Ontario - Leafs win 3-0 !

Ottawa Senators @ Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto wins 3-0
POST # 100

Sundin?...where did it all go?

Steve says:
ooooooooooooSNAP! what a game! The forwards came back to help the D. The D was almost always in position...only 1 major breakdown (the 3-1) but Toskala...WOW TOSKALA...bailed us out.

And at the end of the game, as if the win wasn't sweet enough, Toskala stonewalls Alfie the Clown. Alfie looked like he might either cry or take a cheapshot at somebody.

And of course when the game was over the Sens, being the sore losers they are (emphasis on loser) take a cheap shot at Sundin and punch him in the back of the head knocking his helmet off...

But we showed great composure all through the game...great patience on the Tlusty goal (nice work for a wannabe porn star). Sundin with the Sonic Boom slapper through the 5-hole.

The win was sweet. Having my brother in law over for the game and throwing it in his Sens loving face was sweet. Walking down the halls of work today with everyone giving me dirty looks in my blue and white was sweet. The change room being quiet at my sons hockey practise the next day as we donned our Leaf practise jerseys was the sweetest of all.

Great job...now..can they do it again?


I was watching this game with about a half dozen Leafs fans (and a couple Sens lovers)

What I found really telling was that even when the Leafs were slowly starting to build their lead in the third and despite some really solid play at both ends of the ice, everyone in the room was waiting for the Leafs to tank.

"Oh they're up 3-nil, but the Sens'll come back soon and take it all away"

You'll never find a bunch of people rooting harder for the Leafs to win and more convinced that they won't.

What does that say about our team this year? What does that say about our chances?


Game 20

Boston Bruins @ Toronto Maple Leafs
Boston wins 5 - 2


"Gee Chris. Why aren't you writing about the recent loss of the Leafs?"

"Well, Phantom Reader" I'm not writing about the Leafs because I have absolutely nothing to say that I haven't already mentioned in the last 19 some odd posts."


"Allow me to break it down for you. Raycroft was in net (cue furious head nodding). The defence was at its best, which is to say it had more holes in it than a colander and frankly the whole team was skating around the ice like a bunch of multi-millionares who were just there to earn there paycheques. So good on you Toronto. You've managed to live up the expectations of all your fans. Which isn't saying much these days."


a little ditty

Steve says:

At least we get a tune out of it...

Fine for Fighting


Here's the fallout regarding the Tucker/Avery scrap.

Rangers: $25,000 fine
Avery: $2,500 fine

Leafs: $10,000 fine
Tucker: $1,000 fine

So both squads got dinged. But I think, by the size of the fines, you can see where the league has decided to lay the blame.

Steve says:

oh yeah....Tucker is Blake's hero huh...
check this out

Slow News Day

Here's what I'm gonna say about Jiri Tlusty. Allowing a bunch of "risque" pictures to make there way out into the real world is stupid NOT criminal.

Let's make sure we all keep this in perspective here. Hockey players, especially young ones, will always do stupid things. Ever played in a tournament a couple kilometres from home, hanging out with a bunch of bored buddies? I guarantee you'll get up to all sorts of stupid pranks.

This is pretty tame and the only person who's hurt by it is Tlusty and, by association only, the Leafs.

Let's be grateful that he's not doing some of the stuff some recent NHLers have done.
a) Tried to kill his agent.
b) Manslaughter on the ice
c) Betting on games.
d) Getting in drunken bar brawls
e) Messing around in his marriage.

Suddenly this looks like a simple case of boys will be boys. It must be a slow news days if legitimate organizations have to paste this all over their front page.

I'm looking at you Toronto Sun.

Steve says:
I dont see what the issue is here..so a kid took pics of his willy wonka and probably sent them to his then-gf...who cares...get over your fear of nudity North America...

The only thing sad about this is that the Toronto Sun said that Tlusty was the centre of the Hockey World's attention...IMO ..hardly...seems to me the whole Hockey Hall of Fame thing is a tad bit bigger news..
in a word...meh


Game 19

Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs
Montreal win 3-2 (OT)

Steve says:


We played so well last night. Really patient passing and play making. If it wasn't for Price being so damn good last night, that game would have been a blowout.

And then McCabe happened.

How does this guy look at himself in a Leaf jersey? Who does that? In pee wee hockey they are taught to never put the puck to the middle. He could have done any number of things...thrown it in the right corner...skate in and take a shot....pass into the left corner where Sundin was WIDE open...but McCabe chose to do the one play a defence man knows to NEVER do...throw it across the middle...

Maybe he just figured he could save us all some time and elected to jump right to the Shootout portion of the evening.

Next time, don't do us any favours McCabe....

As an aside, Blake looked great and was actually passing for a change...Raycroft was pretty solid..made some decent saves including a toe save that I, along with every other viewer, thought would go in.

That's 2 points for McCabe against us...and counting...
What can I say?
Steve has pretty much taken the words out of my mouth. Every bone headed play McCabe makes further reduces the likelihood that we'll ever be able to trade him for more than a package of airline peanuts and stale flop sweat. We're already bearing the weight of his over priced contract and I can't see that changing any time soon.
The only positive as of late is that we have played a lot better since the spanking we rec'd by Ottawa...so..maybe we just bench McCabe and get some wins for a change...you know, McCabe might be ok with playing in the minors...I'm sure he can't be enjoying being the scapegoat.


Trash Talk

Apparently the whole tete a tete between Avery and Tucker the other night was because Avery had some choice words about Blake's cancer.

Genuine class.

I can see this popping up again the next time these two clubs meet.

Tucker shows Avery what happens when you talk shit to Toronto!
Steve says:
I bet Avery and Tucker get verbal warnings and that's it. Avery's agent tried to cover it up by saying that Avery made remarks about Tucker and his game...but if you saw it happen, it's pretty obvious he was talking to Blake first, and Blake was standing up to him. When Avery puts his glove on Blake, that's when Tucker stepped in and it got messy...
I like what Tucker did. You don't touch another player during the warm up and if the allegations against Avery are true (which we all know they are..let's be real here) then Avery should get a lot more than a verbal warning...but Betteman is a wuss...and that's as far as this will go...


Kubina out

Steve says:

Will we ever have a full lineup?
Kubina has re-injured his MCL...he'll be out for weeks...argh...

Game 18

New York Rangers at Toronto Maple Leafs
Rangers win 3-2 (s.o.)

Steve says:

Leafs lost a close one...in a shootout...
I have never been a fan of the shootout...I know it adds tension and excitement, but the problem I have with it is that it takes away the "team" aspect of the sport.
All through minor hockey we preach "team team team" but then in the NHL, we say Team, until it comes to winning the game.
I dun..old fashioned? maybe...

Anyway, I am impressed that we came back from being down 2 @ home to tie it up...it showed good disciplined play on the part of the Leafs (except Tucker who fell for Avery's little game within the game).

Toskala played well..too bad about the loss...his record does not do his performance justice.


A mixed bag of tidings in this game. I'm loving that Toskala is the go-to guy in net now. He's far from perfect but he's got a quick little glove hand that's tough to beat.

More than once in this game Toskala kept the Leafs in it, especially in the third period and OT when the Leafs were taking penalties at extremely inoppurtune moments. Although a shout out is definetly in order for the PK unit. There were a couple of set up passes that skittered arcross the front of the crease, but overall they did a great job, challenging the puckhandler and willing to lay their bodies on the line to stop the shot.

Something that I'm noticing more and more about the Leaf's game is their stick work in the neutral zone. Top notch boys. They're making sharp, crisp passes in the neutral zone and really doing a fantastic job of carrying the puck up the ice. This is head and shoulders above last year's dump and chase mentality. Dump and chase can work, but to often you're just throwing the puck away.

A loss, but a loss with potential.


Game 17 vs Buffalo Leafs win 3-0

Toronto Maple Leafs at Buffalo Sabres
Toronto wins 3-0

Steve says:

Hey Buffalo...who's yer daddy?!!!
suh-weeeet game! I can't believe I am saying this but the Leafs played a near flawless defensive game!..and a lot of it had to do with McCabe...Holy frik! Even Raycroft played a great game. Nice save at very key times...something you cant usually say when describing Raycrofts play.
Maybe Tucker and McCabe saw something from up in the press box for the last little while and passed it on to the rest of the guys....oh wait ...I know what it is...
They probably said "Hey Leafs...play some frikking basic defense and we can win some games"

I loved how the 3rd checker on the forecheck stayed in the high slot all game long taking away the passing lanes, creating turnovers and...the thing I was most excited about...there were always... ALWAYS 2 defence back.

I dont care if the trap is boring hockey..
IMO, until we start piling up some wins...play that trap...
nice work...hope we can keep it up against the Rangers.

The art of the backhanded compliment

Steve says:

from mapleleafs.com

Although it may not help them become better defensively, the Leafs will be happy to get rugged forward Darcy Tucker and defenseman Bryan McCabe back on Friday.

I think it is sad that getting a veteran defence man back from injury isn't expected to help us defensively...!

someone should really proofread these things before they post them...


Wow, with a rousing endorsement like that, who WOULDN'T want to trade for McCabe.

Act now and you can get a goalie who doesn't actually stop goals (Raycroft) and a forward who hates to shoot the puck.

small revenge and full health...almost

Steve says:

Even though it doesn't help the Leaf cause any, it was nice to see the Sens get their asses handed to them by the last placed team in the North East Division, The Washington Capitals.
Ovechkin was just awesome and the Sens played like the lazy spoiled team that I like to believe they are. Finally a team was able to recognize the main Sens play of the trailing winger...someone finally caught on. I have been preaching defense against that play for a year now and finally some coach said to his wingers, "watch for that trailing winger on the Sens" and lo and behold it worked...

Tonight we have everyone back except Carlo...Paul Maurice seems to think that reuniting his PP (formerly listed in the top 5 last year before injuries) will help his team. What he doesn't seem to fully accept is that it is his defence that is letting him down...he says they are practising for full team defence...

hopefully we see that tonight...

Go Leafs!

Chris Neil is a goof..and Alfie is a clown


Game 16

Toronto Maple Leafs at Ottawa Senators
Ottawa wins 5 - 1

Steve says:
I arrived ridiculously early to the rink in an attempt to avoid rush hour traffic. I still cant figure out why the Sens rink is out in the middle of nowhere...but that's another issue..
I brought my lovely wife with me who is also a Leaf fan, although I noticed some signs of her cracking under all the Sens propaganda while we were there...we'll have to work on that...

I wanted to grab some dinner, but both of the restaurants in the building served everything with meat...and I do mean everything...even the salad has chicken!...whats a vegetarian to do?...

Then the Leaf fans started arriving in groups...so many in fact that I am pretty sure we outnumbered the Sens fans in the seats. The atmosphere was pretty exciting. They put on a big show about the "Battle" of Ontario and all that...Leaf fans were very vocal upon welcoming the team during the warmup.

Then the game started and I knew something was amiss on the first play in the Sens zone...WE WERE PINCHING OUR D!!!!
"Oh no" I thought. Don't leave Toskala out to dry...yet that is precisely what they did. The Sens recognized what we were doing and made us pay every time.

Bell's first shift was awesome...he was leaving his feet on every check...just pummeling the Sens...and he kept it up on the few shifts that he got...Wellwood had some nice hands, but didn't pass the puck very well...

I don't need to go into details about the game on the ice...I'm sure you will see many replays all over TV...but what was going on in the stands was great...even when down 3-0, Leafers were still every bit as vocal as before...The heckling, the chants...all so loud and really spirited...hell, even after the game there was a Leaf fan who had a poster of Alfreddson made up to look like a clown stood on top on the stairs at the exits and got a chant going...

All that energy even after an ass whooping reminded me why I love this team so much...we just keep beleafing that one day we will rise to glory, we will take down the giants of the game and stand victorious....and it will be sweet..

Go Leafs Go!

here are some pics.

On the way to the rink, a storm was brewing...

The Leafs were outskated at every turn (please note the trailing Sens winger at the bottom of the picture...!)

Sens fans chanted "RaaaayCroooft" when Toskala got pulled

At this point the game was tied...the opening faceoff!

They looked good at warmup...lol


Ouch. They make it really hard to be a fan some days don’t they.

The Leafs rode into Ottawa last night, up against the best team in hockey right now. And the end result was a shellacking that’s become more and more familiar over the past couple of years.

It used to be that we could count on the Sens inexperience and nerves to have them drop a game (or two) whenever they came to town. These days Ottawa reserves their choking for the playoffs.

So what killed us last night? Same old story, the odd man rush. After Toskala’s stellar performance in net a couple days ago I think all of Leaf Nation could see that we’d finally settled on a starting puckstopper. Unfortunately, Toskala may not want the job. I mean would YOU want to be the guy responsible for being the last line of defense after your shoddy D has once again dropped the ball. I sure as hell wouldn’t.

Where is the defense? What is being done? If the fans can see the problems with such crystal clarity why can’t the front office? You know, if I came into the office on a daily basis and regularly failed to perform the basic tenets of my job they’d sling my arse out onto the street and rightly so. I realize that professional sports is not a desk job, but the principles remain the same.

Last night marked the return of Kyle Wellwood as well as the first appearance from Mark Bell in a Leaf Jersey. Both got solid amounts of ice time and neither one made much of a impact on the game.

The single goal scored by the Leafs? A powerplay zinger by Antropov.


Game 15

Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens
Toronto wins 3-2

Steve says:

Way to go boys...win or lose, that was an exciting game to watch! But Wins are best...:-) Friggin Toskala stood on his head ! Of course that means our D wasn't doing it's job to it's fullest potential, but all's well that ends well (insert nervous laugh here).

Kilger gets a nicely timed goal which proves that putting the puck on net is NEVER a bad play...NEVER EVER.

Sundin has had a couple of goals recently that have proved that also...

I am only a few hours away from the Leafs/Sens game on Tuesday and I hope we can forecheck hard, and not get sucked into our corners because that leaves the high slot open which is where the Sens #1 line gets 90% of their goals. They do the same play over and over again, and the best way to defend against it is to take away the passing lane...and send a heavy in to check the Ottawa player in the corner...pressure.

We cant keep up with speed or skill, so we need to use muscle plays and force our way to the net..jam in some shots...no pretty passes because Phillips and Volchenkov are too good at reading plays and intercepting which often creat 2-1 or 3-2 which will be morder for us.

and of course, stay out of the box...

Go Leafs Go! bitch slap those Sens!

Game 14

Toronto Maple Leafs at New Jersey Devils
New Jersey wins 3 - 2

Steve says:

ok.. a little late so the sting of the loss has worn of (such is the life of a Leaf fan)...i do recall not being happy with the number of penalties we took...but still liking what I saw from Toskala...


great pic

Steve says:

i cant begin to describe how not happy I am with that game...so instead, here's a funny picture..