holy crap!


Steve says:

Sundin will be traded...the next few weeks will spew forth a bazillion different trade ideas...I started to write out some of my predicitions but realised it was a no-win battle...I could type for days with "what if's" but in the end only 1 thing is true...Sundin, our Captin will be wearing a different jersey within the 3-4 weeks.


But it will be a pivotal point for the Buds...we will get something (or someone) great in return...I have faith that Fletcher will make a fantastic deal for Sundin (and Antropov?..oops..they are I go...) and the Leafs will look a lot better this time next year...

On a side note, I am hoping to go the the game on Feb 9th against the Red Wings...if you have tickets that you want to donate...feel free to contact me



Welcome to the new boss, same as the old boss...

Chris says:

So Cliff Fletcher is riding shotgun at MLSE.

Try as you might it’s nearly impossible to resist the urge to run into the washroom and continually flush the toilet. For real life authenticity the crapper may even back up on you and spill its filth everywhere.

Welcome to the madhouse.

Make no mistake, Ferberger was not a winning variable for this club, inexperienced and hamstrung by his own bosses he was able to create a team that lived on the bubble of playoff heaven, but wasn’t able to accomplish much else. As much as people might want to lay the failure of this season at his feet it wouldn’t be entirely accurate. The problem is larger than just one man, it is systemic and festers daily in the highest ranks of this hockey mad town.

But if you think Fletcher is the man to turn this team around, I address you to the aforementioned toilet. Fletcher is, at best, another temporary band-aid in a long line quick fixes or, should things take a turn for the worst – and they will, a convenient fall guy to pin the blame on after his turnaround plan to fix the team does anything but.

No, despite all the fuss and hubbub not much has changed for Leaf fans today. We’ve traded one dysfunctional GM for another and though journalists will spend the next couple of days shoving microphones into the faces of anyone who cares all the over analysis in the world won’t do a damn thing, until someone with a little authority decides to focus on winning games and not how to jack up ticked prices.

Steve says:
I agree AND disagree.
While I don't think Fletch will bring us the cup, I do think that he is perfectly capable of making the big Sundin Trade. He was the one that got us our best player...he also got us Doug Gilmour for a bag of pucks essentially...
This guy knows how to trim fat (Woz Raycroft, and White...I'm looking at you) and make a big deal where big deals cant be seen.
I know there have been talks with Brian Burke about coming to Toronto, and that publicly he denies wanting to come here, many "sources" have said that his ego is almost demanding that he come to Toronto and take the basement team to the Big Show.
If Fletch could work a deal with the Ducks (who have Edmonton's 1st pick btw) and then we somehow snag Burke from the sunny west coast...it would be the steal of the decade!

I have a sense of hope again with Fletch making a few deals and being instrumental in choosing the new GM and President (great news...great news!). While I agree that he shouldn't remain at the helm, I do think that he can at least right the ship and get it into smoother waters for the next guy...


The guillotine---UPDATED


Steve says:

Leafs are on the ice...JFJ not going to the prospect game...Fletcher back from vacation...MLSE has board meeting yesterday to disucc the terms for getting Fletcher...Tannebaum apparently rallying not to get Fletcher on board (LT was the guy who fired Fletcher last time)...looks like PM is safe for now...One of the major sticking points of the Fletcher deal is that the Board would approve the budget for the fiscal year and then step back and let Fletcher do his thing...wonder if that will happen...

Will the guillotine fall on JFJ's job today?


a quick look

Steve says:

I haven't done this for a bit...but since we have won a couple, the parade is back on,

Here's what needs to happen to help us out tonight...

Jersey over Florida
Edmonton over Carolina
Atlanta over Buffalo
Tampa over Penguins

then we'll see what happens on Sat night...

will Fletcher be our new GM on Mon/Tuesday when he gets back fomr Mexico?
Why isn't Peddie speaking to media all of a sudden? Neither is JFJ either...
Will they fire JFJ if the Leafs win3 or 4 in a row?


A streak?

Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins
Toronto wins 3 - 2 (S.O.)

Chris says:

Toskala's first shootout win, and a great shootout victory for Steen. There was some sweet hockey being played in Beantown last night.

That sound you heard last night was the collective snapping of all the ankles in Toronto as people hurried to make space for themselves on the Leafs bandwagon.

If you listen real hard you might even the same sound from Ottawa as Steve processes the ramifications of a two game 'streak'.

Suddenly winning two games balances out that five game free fall and all is forgiven, if not forgotten.

But it's not that easy. The Leafs aren't a bad team, they just aren't good enough to crack the playoff threshold. That means that they're going to put together some winning streaks, just like any other team, but it also means that there losing streaks will be longer and more painful.

There are two trains of thought circulating about what the remainder of the Leafs season is going to shape up as.

1. Playoff bound. This season is far from over and given the right wins under the right circumstances we can back in the hunt for a playoff position before the end of next week. I'm going to file this under 'P' for Possible, but highly unlikely.

2. Then there are the people who think the Leafs should start tanking games, on purpose. (Instead of, y'know, losing them accidentally like they are right now) The logic being that the worse the Leafs do in the standing the better our draft pick. Here's my official response.

Do you really want to cheer and support a team that intentionally loses games? Is a solitary high level draft pick really worth the knowledge that your team went out there to screw the pooch? That kind of thinking smacks of everything that's wrong with professional sports these days. It says that players are only in the game for a paycheque and that pride, honour and competitiveness aren't a factor at all.

If the Leafs finish up in the bottom of the standings, let it be a testament to their (in)ability, not their willingness to take a dive.

Steve says:

Not that I want them to lose...but I am looking at a bigger picture here..even if we somehow manage to get into the playoffs, I just don't think this team has either the talent or mental ability to maintain a deep run or the Cup run. I would love to be proven wrong. And I will be cheering them on with every breath if they manage to sneak in there...
looking ahead to next year, it would be a lot sweeter if we could be picking first at the draft.
Not only that, but with Sundin as a rental player we could also have from Vancouver a package deal involving a top prospect (one of goalie Cory Schneider or defenseman Luc Bourdon), plus first- and second-round draft picks...and possibly even Ryan Kesler in a deal to sweeten the pot!
All of this is because Canuck center Brendan Morrison is out of action due to wrist surgery.

Can you imagine what next year would look like if we had the 1st pick at the draft, Luc Bourdon, Ryan Kesler, re-sign Sundin, plus Vancouvers and our own 2nd round picks!!!!

Holy crap we would be good!

Look...I think the Leafs are a team with huge heart, but with players like Wozniewski and White getting regular shift, Tucker falling off in both skills and health, Sundin with not a lot of help (love ya Blake, but dude ya gotta start putting them in the back of the net more!) I just think this franchise would benefit hugely from some good fortune in the not to distant future in lieu of another average season...just like we have seen since the 90's...

Go Leafs Go!


Front Office Follies...

Chris says:

Some thoughts on Cliff Fletcher.

If he wasn’t good enough to keep around the first time, he’s probably not the man for the job the second time around.

Damian Cox at the Star has a good take on that angle which I, mostly, agree with.

Personally, I’d like to see new solutions to this problem, not old band-aids who may have lost their effectiveness to staunch the blood loss.


Free Tickets

Carolina Hurricanes at Toronto Maple Leafs
Leafs win 5-4

Chris says:


At the absolute last minute S and I got tickets to the Leafs game last night, for the shiny price of cheap as free.

We were in the second row in the lower reds so the seats were absolutely phenomenal. If I can get away with it at work, I’ll upload a couple pictures from last night’s game.

Our seats allowed us access to the Air Canada executive lounge. (Think of it as the place where all the rich, old, fat, white men go to die.) It was pretty swank. But, on our way up to the lounge we had to pile into an elevator with David Suzuki. And by pile into an elevator I mean I was literally squished into David’s personal breathing room, which was just awkward for the both of us. Cool, but awkward.

Then in the exec lounge, I’m drinking one of my el cheapo eight dollar domestic beers when I look up to see Wendel Clark at the table next to me. S flatly refused to believe it was Clark until they flashed an older picture of him up on the overhead screen just before the game.

And FINALLY, as we’re sitting in our seats getting a little picture happy with the camera, (look I never thought I’d ever get an opp to be this close to the game – they really were great seats), Walter Gretzky came out and started posing for pictures with all the kids and their parents in the back of the section right in front of us. The man was literally five feet away. We snapped a couple pics but they honestly weren’t the greatest.

I honestly don’t go in for the fanboy routine, but there I was in free Leaf seats, in the lower bowl, with a beer in my hand and an opportunity to meet Walter Gretzky.

Chris = happy.

Oh, and the Leafs won too, which was pretty great.

Steve says:

You bastard! Sooo lucky!
David Suzuki! amazing!

That's really cool. I imagine that was a lot of fun.
I was only able to see highlights since I am stuck in Ottawa, and I cant even see the game on TV.
As for the game itself, I am actually surprised that they won. But they just held on against the late period surge. But everyone looked shaky to me. Even Toskala let out some HUGE rebounds...some great saves, but also some huge rebounds....which did cost him.
And Kubina decision to ice the puck with 8 seconds left in a 1 goal game was probably not the best choice to make.
The Ferguson interview was a refreshing change from the usual white-washed answers we get from Leafs people. He basically said that the team underachieved and that the buck stops with him. No running, no hiding or anything...just straight up answers...weird.
Also, I saw Blake on "The Hour" last night and it was pretty clear to me that he doesn't want to stay in Toronto. When asked about why he wasn't scoring goals like last year, he responded "sometimes change is good...and then , like this, sometimes change is bad".
When asked if he would finish the season here, he just sort of laughed and said "we'll see".
Never, at any point did he say that he wants to stay in Toronto and be a part of turning things around (like Sundin does at every chance).

that was a bit disheartening.

So I guess a win was good...but does it just prolong the pain of havig Peddie and JFJ running the ship...will JFJ be in charge of a Sundin trade?


mo winning = mo problems

Steve says:

I just watched the interviews with Sundin and PM on the Leafs TV online clips and I thought they they both were in really good spirits considering everything going on around them.

Sundin said that he wants to stay in Toronto, PM put Steve Simmons in his place about starting firing rumours (that was great cuz Simmons is a tool).

2 great interviews....


both guys state that winning makes the problems go away...and I don't agree...I think winning a few more games this season..even squeaking into the playoffs actually creates more problems than it fixes.

If they win, JFJ will get an extension.

If they win, JFJ will not trade away Tucker for someone who can still take a slapshot one timer and hit the net.

If they win, Woznewski and White will continue to police our blue line with as many wholes in their play as the Mexico/ US border.

I hope some big changes happen this week...
Ferguson is gone baby gone. At this stage in the game it doesn't matter how much they win. The fans don't believe he's got it, the board doesn't believe he's got it...right now, dumping him overboard would be akin to a mercy killing.
I will say this for him. I don't believe the man ever got a fair shake at doing his job, without unessecary interference.
I also think that it's really easy for us to sit back and armchair manage the whole team, but let's be reasonable, if all of Leaf Nation can spot the obvious it's pretty clear that JFJ can see it too. He's inexperienced, not a moron. The level of politcal intrigue that he has to deal with on a daily basis is probably more than any one of us will have to deal with in our entire lives.
Three years ago the Leafs brought in a rookie GM, someone so inexperienced that he wasn't able to dictate the terms of his own employment. An older, wiser, more experienced GM isn't even going to sign his name on a contract without EXPLICIT guarantees that this is his team to run as he wants.
So the board walked all over him, kept him dancing from one year to the next, and the result is the kind of team you see us icing now.
Change is in the air. But how significant the change is likely to be is anyone's guess. The Leaf's are great at cosmetic changes, but wholly crap at dealing with systemic failings.



Chris says:

If the question is how do the Leafs win more games, Pogge is not the answer.

It's indicative of the just how much the Leafs are panicing that they would even think of calling Pogge up to potentially have him start a game. From what I've heard he's at least another year away from being a legitimate goalie.

By even calling him up it says the Leafs are hoping that their number four guy on the depth chart has enough mad skills in his pocket to make up for his complete lack of experience in the NHL. I don't know, maybe he does. I keep hearing the guy being touted as the Leafs next big thing, but I haven't seen him in action so I can't seperate the hope from the hype.

Rather than being a wake up call it comes off as a desperation move. It shows that the Leafs have abandoned smart hockey in favour of throwing any and everything at the wall and praying that something sticks.

The only way having Pogge as a starter makes any sense is if you officially call the season and want to try and groom him for a starters position next year. Even then you've still got three other guys ahead of him.

With the kind of games Raycroft has been posting no other team is going to take him off our hands. No other squad is desperate enough, or foolish enough, to think that Raycroft will be their saviour on the ice. He's shaping up to be a backup goaltender, if that. What happened to this guy? Where did that rookie sensation vanish too?

Clemmensen isn't a starter. He's good enough to hold Brodeur's skates, but he's not the guy you give the nod to on a nightly basis.

Toskala. I like him where he is. I'm absolutely not against the idea of having Pogge be the backup man to Toskala right now. It'll blood him, give him experience and the Leafs aren't going to lose anything by trying because at this point the season has gone way beyond just 'circling the drain' anyway.

You can't even pin last night's loss on him. He was good enough to nail the door shut for over forty minutes of play, on a pretty splashy showing by the Sharks no less. But how the hell is he supposed to do his job when the Leafs are taking stupid penalities and leaving the team at a two man disadvantage? On a team icing Thornton, Marleau and Cheechoo that's just a recipe for disaster.

Last night's game in a nutshell? The Leafs played good solid hockey for a period and a half last night, then they got tired, and sloppy and let the Sharks waltz back and steal it all away. If we'd finished the game with the same intensity in which we'd started it, and still lost, I'd say 'game well played' and some times the other team is just the better team.

But we lost because we gave up. Looks like the fans aren't the only ones who can see the writing on the wall

Steve says:

Bringing Pogge up is not a desperation move. We're beyond desperation now. This season is in the crapper and everyone knows it now...
But bringing Pogge up is a slap in the face of Raycroft. It's PM's way of saying "you little bastard...how dare you play that way on my team. You will now sit and watch as this kid takes your job!"
When they showed us Raycroft sitting and watching the game, it looked as though he was half asleep...even when we had the lead! That pissed me off.

Even Sundin is showing his frustration. A nice shove of the official at the end of the game was like an exclamation mark about the way he is feeling these days. I wonder if he saw the Scotty Bowman interview on CBC where Scotty basically said that MLSE (or more specifically, Richard Peddie) turned him down at the beginning of the season.
How many cups has this guy won? and on how many different teams in how many different situations....and Peddie turns him down why? because we are only 3 weeks away from training camp?

Holy F**************************************************************************************************************************K!




You'd have to be pretty slow on the uptake these days not to see just what kind of trouble our boys in blue are in. Steve and I spent a lot of time talking over possible solutions, trades, signings, callups and identifying potential stumbling blocks to achieving post season success, Ontario Teachers Pension Plan.

But I think after some of the shellackings we've been taking in recent days a couple things have become obvious.

1. This season is all but unsalvageable. We can either blow up the team, which I'm against, or we can start having a serious discussion about how we can use this to our advantage and shuffle the player roster a bit to prepare for the future. It's time to move some of our higher paid dead wood and start accumulating draft picks.

2. There is a serious and systematic failure in the Leafs organization. I label it the Teachers Pension Plan. It taints all decisions, creates bureaucratic paralysis and trades short term profitability for long term sucess. This is not a combination that will ever get us into the playoffs and until it is addressed, expect more of the same.

3. Fan revolt. The team has lost its focus on winning. Let's face it, the stands at the ACC will always be full. The better seats will always be full of buisnessman, wearing suits, looking to impress a client and leaving after the second period. Even the cheap seats are anything but. The team's reponse to middle class fan is to give us the one fingered salute while jacking up ticket prices and moving a growing number of games onto Leafs TV. And they do all this while the team ISN'T WINNING.

And we're starting to notice. We're starting to notice and frankly, dedicated, long time fans are begininng to walk away from the organization because we've had enough. For too long the Leafs have ruled the roost. They've been able to get away with continually dissapointing us and gouging us because they've given us a team just good enough to keep us on the edge of our seats. Only now they've stopped even doing that. They've given up on the fans and now the fans are giving up on them.

Mark my words, change is in the air.


I offered!!!

Steve says:

So i was finally in Toronto again and Chris actually showed up this time instead of faking an injury...I offered him $ for the Leafs TV bet and he turned it down!
(I wasn't sure how much the actual total was, so I offered at least $60 to start, and we could figure it out later)
Maybe Chris isn't the Leaf fan he makes out to be....

only time will tell...

ps. Thanks for coming to the show buddy....video to be posted soon


Not only did I

a) Have to pay to see the show. (What, no guest list?)
b) Be put to work. (Taped the whole damn for him)
c) I still didn't get my money

Around these parts, we call that the "Steve".


Elisha Watch 2008: slap shot!

Steve Says:

Nice slap shot Elisha!

Looking ahead to Philly

Steve says:

Saturdays game against the Flyers is pretty crucial as is is really a 4 point game. If we win, we jump over a few teams into the 10th spot right on the heels of the Flyers and in a position to sneak into a playoff spot.
Looking even further ahead, we have a few tough games against the Duck and Sharks...We should be able to beat the Kings...

so another interconference game and then a chance to gain a few points from west coast teams...we need to leave the past in the past and look forward...

A few wins against the west coast teams would do a lot for both team morale and our positioning.

Games 37,38,39,40, and 41

Steve says:

Well...I went away for a while thanks to some holiday time...but now I am back.
What has happened to our beloved Leafs in my absence?

game 37 - We lost to the Islanders 4-3 in OT
game 38 - We lost to the Flyers 4-1
game 39 - We lost to the Rangers 6-1
game 40 - We actually won a game against the worst team in the league, the Lightning. We won 4-3 in a shootout!
game 41 - we returned to the losing ways by getting utterly blown out of the water 6-2 by the Penguins.

...And so now we are at the halfway mark of the season. We are 13th in the conference, 26th in the League. our Record is 16-17-8 and we have a grand total of 40 points.

Toskala has been injured for the past little while with a groin pull. He is expected to return by Saturday's game against the Flyers. Raycroft tried to fill in for him and proceeded to lose 3 games in a row (14 goals in 3 games...yikes!)
So then they brought in Clemmenson...our goalie who is helping us so much in the minors where the Marlies are doing a splendid job....he luckily made saves in a shootout to give us a win, but when faced with the offensive force that is Malkin, Crosby and the Penguins, our Defence left Clemmenson out to dry...

Blake however, as I predicted, starting to show his offensive abilities. He scored both Leaf goals last night and had a 3 point game in the win against the Lightning.

So it has been a very VERY painful first half of the season. We've had some ups and many downs. One way to keep the spirits up is to realise that as bad as we are doing, we are only 3 points out of a play-off spot. That's a win and OT Loss....so things can turn very quickly.
We are starting to run short on time however...and it would be nice if the boys could turn things around this half and give us fans more reasons to cheer.

Go Leafs Go !
(as in Go get a new GM)

Chris says:

With the the terrible downturns we've been suffering through this year I'm honestly surprised that we're doing as well as we are.

Well being a relative term.

Ok. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say I'm surprised we're keeping it as close as we are.

But here's the thing. This is as well as we're likely to do with these players. Offensively we're about average. Most nights we can manage to find the back of the net at least a couple times. Yah Blake hasn't been posting his usual numbers, but he gets a pass this year. (Actually, he gets a pass for as long as he has leukemia.) In goal, Toskala has proven himself to be a step up on Raycroft and his absense proves just how much we've come to rely on him.

Our problem continues to be on the defensive front. We've got good guys, guys who can kick the ever loving crap out of you and me. But essentially guys who aren't good enough to shut down the other side on any kind of consistent basis. That's not there fault. They look to be like they're playing to the best of their ability. It's just that there ability...isn't as strong as we'd like.

Will a new GM or a head coach help this team? Not this season and not with these players. Let Ferger-berger finish his walk of shame, hire a decent GM and then do the smart thing and BACK THE F#CK OFF.