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@wiski wow. Check out Corporal eats his feelings on the right there. Thought there was all kinds of mandatory physical training in the armed forces?


Also, I can't believe this isn't photoshopped. Melnyk looks so goddamn squirelly in that pic. 

1 week, 3 days ago on Game Review: Game #44, Anaheim Ducks 4 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs 0

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@Mcost61 Sadly, you could convince me this was from a high school girls tourney. :(

1 week, 5 days ago on Game Review: Game #43, Los Angeles Kings 2 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs 0

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@Sexyhairyman wow. pure gold. can't believe he wasn't flat on his back.

1 week, 5 days ago on Game Review: Game #43, Los Angeles Kings 2 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs 0

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@Radar O'Rielly He's since retracted this piece as the official he was criticizing explained that "he thought he saw Gretzky in the crowd for a second."

1 week, 5 days ago on Game Review: Game #43, Los Angeles Kings 2 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs 0

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Alfredsson eh? I'm out. 

1 week, 6 days ago on William Nylander is coming to Toronto

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@Xxxxxnew I certainly remember looking at Nugent-Hopkins in his rookie year training camp and thinking "this kid is going to get hurt really bad at least once this year no matter what." Nylander gave me the same vibe. You could have sheltered him more on the wing than RNH was at C, but you just have to figure that sooner or later his frame will be put to a stress it can't handle. I think a half season of AHL after some SEL and WJHC as a warmup will be a great opportunity for him to get his feet wet in the best circumstances possible. 


Either way, it certainly doesn't look like he's -missing out on (or) gaining- a playoff opportunity because it looks like that's a wash in either scenario.  

1 week, 6 days ago on William Nylander is coming to Toronto

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Gut reaction is I like this move. I don't think he'll play in the NHL unless they're a lock or out of it and it's game 82 of the season.


He got a little more time to mature physically and grow his game a little more in Sweden and showed well. He hasn't played a ton of games this year even with the WJHC so the back half of an AHL season will be a likely eye-opener as a transition in styles, he'll at least be physically capable of the rigours of the AHL travel and schedule (which I really think that the Leaf mgmt. doubted he could do for a full year just yet).


So he plays in the AHL when it matters (stretch drive), meanwhile, also at a time when there'll be next to no attention on him in Toronto itself really (cause of all the hubbub with the Leafs). Bonus of getting acclimated before the spotlight of next summer's training camp. 


I figure better now too with the other three young Swedes all playing their first year together (two of the three also having their first NA pro experience). Good bonding for future teammates and immediate support network (think he played with Loov as well back in Swe.). Plus, he might as well get used to it as he may just be starting there next year as well. 

1 week, 6 days ago on William Nylander is coming to Toronto

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@Cameron19 @leafmealone @Mitch92 To be fair, the when and how of Phaneuf's taking on the C are not at all similar conditions to the here and now. I wonder if he would be picked if they all started a blind vote? I like Phaneuf as a major voice on the team because he's going to be one no matter what (his personality), so you might as well harness that to the team's message and get the best out of it. But I see him ideally as a No. 2 to a more traditional leadership figure, than as being "the main guy" on his own.

2 weeks, 1 day ago on Game Review: Game #43, Toronto Maple Leafs 5 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets 2

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@Cameron19 @leafmealone @Mitch92 I don't see him do it after losses. I see him with the backhanded compliment style "even though we won, I have to be be better out there....".  Maybe it's just me.

2 weeks, 1 day ago on Game Review: Game #43, Toronto Maple Leafs 5 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets 2

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@Cameron19 Maybe we just need Colin, ooops, sorry Gregory Campbell on the team?

2 weeks, 1 day ago on Game Review: Game #43, Toronto Maple Leafs 5 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets 2

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@Mitch92 I'll admit that after game interviews with Dion which occur following particularly horrible games or at the tail end of a poor stretch of play and he's more insistent and dogged than ever with the adages (ie. we're not getting the bounces, the other team was playing really well tonight, the effort was there but...., etc.). When every other player is stepping up and owning their bad play or the the team's in general, the Captain just hides behind a bunch of BS. Accountability starts at the top, be doesn't have to throw any one else under the bus, but when he's involved with the bad play directly then he could at least step up and own it from his own end of things.


It's times like this that I think leaders become such by stepping up and taking ownership. I keep wanting to see that "last step" with Dion ever becoming a leader but I just never do when it most crucial for him to do it. However, who knows what goes on behind closed doors?

2 weeks, 1 day ago on Game Review: Game #43, Toronto Maple Leafs 5 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets 2

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@rustynail @leafmealone @Hammertownleaffan aren't they Mountain Dew colours? They look pretty "extreme" to me, so.....

2 weeks, 1 day ago on Game Review: Game #43, Toronto Maple Leafs 5 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets 2

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@rustynail @leafmealone @Hammertownleaffan it would be better if it was outdoors cause

every snowbank within like 2 miles of the stadium would have green snowbanks lol.

2 weeks, 1 day ago on Game Review: Game #43, Toronto Maple Leafs 5 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets 2

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@Hammertownleaffan I don't see the Mountain Dew logo? That's a lot of money to shell out without anything to show for it. Must be on the back.

2 weeks, 1 day ago on Game Review: Game #43, Toronto Maple Leafs 5 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets 2

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Gotta go. Enjoy the afternoon all. 

1 month, 1 week ago on Thursday Mashup: Polak returning, Shooting for Seven

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@Radar O'Rielly @wendelsfist Nice, one earbud for the in-studio stuff, and another bluetooth one connected to Nonis.


Now there's a christmas gift, a little ventriloguist's dummy of Nonis, with it's hand up the ass of a little ventriloquist's dummy of his own that looks like Dreger. Priceless. 

1 month, 1 week ago on Thursday Mashup: Polak returning, Shooting for Seven

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@Forever17 @leafmealone @Radar O'Rielly Why punish yourself. I know I can't bring myself to watch Scrivens suffer there.

1 month, 1 week ago on Thursday Mashup: Polak returning, Shooting for Seven

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@Knights2Leafs @leafmealone @wendelsfist What each side knows has no relevance to the game they are playing out in the media. It's the same thing defence lawyers are always doing. It's just part of the game. My point was that no matter how much Dreger waves his yap about the Leafs intending to trade Kadri, I see it as all smoke and no fire.

1 month, 1 week ago on Thursday Mashup: Polak returning, Shooting for Seven

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@Radar O'Rielly @leafmealone  Fraser just blew the whistle on you, 5 minute major for abuse of the Greztky. 

1 month, 1 week ago on Thursday Mashup: Polak returning, Shooting for Seven

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@Forever17 @leafmealone @Radar O'Rielly Oh, sorry, not suggesting the Leafs pick him up. Simply that I wonder how he'd look somewhere else. As in, is he actually so good that he can still show well with such terrible partners on a terrible team? Or does he just show well based on everyone else on that blueline as a comparison?

1 month, 1 week ago on Thursday Mashup: Polak returning, Shooting for Seven

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@Radar O'Rielly @leafmealone You mean Kerry should turn around and take it up the hoop?

1 month, 1 week ago on Thursday Mashup: Polak returning, Shooting for Seven

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@BringBackYushki I like the comparison to big mountain skiing. It's a huge rush and provides a ton on adrenaline, but you know that sooner or later there's going to be an avalanche that takes everything down with it.

1 month, 1 week ago on Thursday Mashup: Polak returning, Shooting for Seven

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@Dangle_My_Berries I second that emotion Smokey Robinson. 

1 month, 1 week ago on Thursday Mashup: Polak returning, Shooting for Seven

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@BringBackYushki @leafmealone @Yaknowwhat Steckel? Might not have made it clear but I was suggesting a TWO WAY player, not a one way player (one way in the wrong direction that is).

1 month, 1 week ago on Thursday Mashup: Polak returning, Shooting for Seven

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@Radar O'Rielly I'd like Gretzky's statue outside the ACC. Then I'd add another statue to it. One of Kerry Fraser on his knees sucking the great one off.

1 month, 1 week ago on Thursday Mashup: Polak returning, Shooting for Seven

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@Radar O'Rielly Be interested to see what he could do outside of Edmonton. It does say something that he has a good reputation as a defender after spending his playing time on the worst blueline in the NHL. 

1 month, 1 week ago on Thursday Mashup: Polak returning, Shooting for Seven

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@wendelsfist Beginning to think that he's being used by Nonis to drop Kadri's asking price on his next contract. They know that Kadri is a bit of a diva after all.


"Hey, you like the attention and glamour of playing in TO? Well, if you want to play for us, you'd better be willing to take a little haircut on AAV."


Simple as that. Cause as it stands right now, they have no leverage in those talks. As weak as they are down the middle, there's no trade they could make that would be of any benefit if they moved him. Sideways options at best. And likely options that either cost more, or are older.

1 month, 1 week ago on Thursday Mashup: Polak returning, Shooting for Seven

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@Yaknowwhat It's funny, the talk for the last few years has been all about who we couldn't send because they were in the NHL. However, every year I watch the tournament and the glaring weakness Canada has shown is in net, not in our forwards or our D. It's like any short tournament, a hot goalie can be kryptonite for the opposition. We need someone back there to just make one or two more stops.  

1 month, 1 week ago on Thursday Mashup: Polak returning, Shooting for Seven

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@Dangle_My_Berries @leafmealone @mcloki Fair enough, still head and shoulders better than anyone on HC at noon.

1 month, 1 week ago on Thursday Mashup: Polak returning, Shooting for Seven

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@Yaknowwhat We have incredible winger depth in our bottom 6, but a glaring need for a 4C who can win faceoffs and play some D. I like Trevor Smith, but he's no more suited to that role than Peter Holland was. He's a scorer, not a two way guy. Leafs would be crazy smart to see if they could find someone on an expiring contract (one likely not able to be resigned by his current team-making it a win/win for both sides) who would be a better fit there. In return they ship back a solid winger (and maybe something else as a sweetener depending on the return).

1 month, 1 week ago on Thursday Mashup: Polak returning, Shooting for Seven

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@mcloki Sorry, I'd watch Leafs Lunch any day over HC at noon. I'd rather jam an ice pick in my ear than listen to Millard. He's always super smug about any Leaf struggles he can talk about, while feigning surprise and wonderment at any of their successes. Huge douchebag.

Not to mention Kypreos and his "in my day...." crap. And no question the worst of all is Maclean who hasn't had an intelligent thought since BEFORE he was GM of the Blue Jackets.

It's completely embarrassing that the network that won the bid for the NHL's rights has the worst on-air talent for their daily hockey show. How Maclean still has a job is beyond me. I can only assume that his stupidity appeals to the dumbest, and often loudest, hockey fans in Canada. 

1 month, 1 week ago on Thursday Mashup: Polak returning, Shooting for Seven

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@wendelsfist @leafmealone Two years where we are already tight up against, have young soon to be UFA's to resign, and the Canadian dollar signals a limited amount of cap increase year-to-year, if any at all. Horrible timing. Only thing worse would be to wait two years until he's really sliding into uselessness and overpay him on July 1st. Pass.

1 month, 1 week ago on Thursday Mashup: Polak returning, Shooting for Seven

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@wendelsfist Staal has a huge cap hit and term remaining for a guy whose numbers show him on a precipitous decline. Also would worry that the injuries he's piled up over the years are starting to take effect as well. I'm picturing a Lupul-esque scenario where he can take over a game every once in a while, but he's only playing in half to two-thirds of the games anyway. And when he' isn't stepping it up a notch he's either invisible or worse, a total liability. I fear this move would be a repeat of all the trades the Leafs made in the 90's/early 2000's to bring in overpaid aging stars on the decline at the cost of youth, draft picks, and flexibility to spend.

1 month, 1 week ago on Thursday Mashup: Polak returning, Shooting for Seven

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@Mcost61 Ashton is coming off his suspension on the 20th as well.

1 month, 1 week ago on Game Review: Game #31, Maple Leafs 6 vs. Anaheim Ducks 2

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@Anthony Petrielli @leafmealone Totally agree. Just wonder that taking a player who seems to have given up on playing D (JVR) off that line and replacing them with someone who will would be just as effective in improving possession for whatever line he's on. You can't have both wingers cheating for offense and looping around their own zone looking to break out. We saw the results of that back when Lupul played on his other wing two seasons ago.


I would much prefer that scenario than breaking up an incredibly valuable unit that Kadri is centring. Every team in the NHL would love to have (some do) a line that can be used against the other teams' top lines to shut them down while still scoring. The Leafs haven't had it in forever. I just don't understand the rush to break it up.

1 month, 1 week ago on Leafs Notebook – December 15th

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@Anthony Petrielli @leafmealone I understand what you're saying. However, with Kadri's line right now, the Leafs finally have found some combination which can play against other teams' top lines and still carry possession. I just don't see any way that it continues with Kessel added to the mix. And it's obvious that Bozak is not capable in doing this. So all you're really doing is breaking up the best asset the team has right now. Why? To try and get more from Kessel? From Kadri? Kadri is right now giving the team something more important than just point production-and he's still doing that as well. And I just don't see how Kadri is going to get that much more out of Kessel to outweigh the negatives.


At some point you just have to accept what you have with Phil. He's never going to play a style of game that allows his line to be a dominant possession group. But he's still been in the top 10 in league scoring the last three years (the only NHL'er who can say this) so if it ain't broke why fix it? If you want to affect some positive change get JVR off that line and put on a player with an actual defensive conscience who will aggressively forecheck (Winnik, Komarov, Booth) to offset their issues.

1 month, 1 week ago on Leafs Notebook – December 15th

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Great job as usual Anthony. I'm curious though, you always seem to want to move Kadri up with Kessel when discussing breaking up the top line. I'm not sure that is the most effective option though. Bozak has never done well away from Kessel, so you're immediately losing any effectiveness you've ever gotten from him. And the two do have great on-ice chemistry having played so long together. Not to mention that Kessel has shown he has the ability to improve the level of whomever he plays with-something you're not trying to do with Kadri atm.


On the other hand, JVR seems to be altogether losing the defensive acumen that he displayed last year (when being used more on the PK-perhaps a factor?), doing a lot of looping turns and lazy pursuit against the cycle. I'm not sure if this is Kessel rubbing off on him, complacency of his lines ability to score so not feeling compelled to work that hard, or just a "monkey see monkey do" type deal where he's enjoying too much the separate standard his line is being held to as it regards putting in the work in their own end.


I think it would be best to move him down with Kadri-Santorelli as his size would be a solid complement to the other two players' increasing skill playing the cycle. And hopefully their work ethic would help get him to re-engage at both ends of the rink.


Meanwhile, you have a previously proven stud to add onto Bozak and Kessel with Lupul, who himself has vastly increased his interest in playing in all three zones since his previous stint with Bert and Ernie.


Thoughts?

1 month, 1 week ago on Leafs Notebook – December 15th

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Late all. Have a good one. And thank God that Nick Ritchie isn't playing for the Ducks this year or the MSM coverage of tomorrow's game would make me sick. Grapes, I still like ya, but put a sock in it re: Ontario kids are better than anyone else and that you can't win with Euro's. Chicago needed Hossa. The Kings needed Gaborik and Kopitar.

1 month, 1 week ago on Monday Mashup: We’re Streaking

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@Armchair GM @Burtonboy um, it's more broke than Detroit at this point. Leave together on the PP, separate them otherwise.

1 month, 1 week ago on Monday Mashup: We’re Streaking

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@Armchair GM Were those people wearing tinfoil hats? Not to mention that Burke already had future hall-of-famer Luke Schenn on his backend ( insert sad trombone noise).

1 month, 1 week ago on Monday Mashup: We’re Streaking

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@dlb, just dlb @leafmealone True, drafting for need is frowned upon. But I'm not sure how often a team is that weak in prospects in all areas BUT ONE both in and outside the NHL level. 

1 month, 1 week ago on Monday Mashup: We’re Streaking

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@Edward_Flannery @leafmealone Meh, my biggest complaint would be the double standard applied to the various teams. Some teams get away with murder re: interference/hooking while other get it called on them unmercifully. 

1 month, 1 week ago on Monday Mashup: We’re Streaking

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@dlb, just dlb on the PP. Only on the PP. 5v5 their possession is under 40% every game. And when you consider that it's Kadri or Holland's lines that are taking the assignment of playing against the other team's top lines, it means that JVR-Bozak-Kessel are being hugely outpossessed by the other team's bottom 6. That is not acceptable.

1 month, 1 week ago on Monday Mashup: We’re Streaking

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@Edward_Flannery @leafmealone Watch him when the other team cycles, or when his own D dump it to an open area for their forwards to recover. He's barely moving his feet to either hinder the other teams players or get to loose pucks (especially the loose puck issue). Honestly, it would be embarrassing for a beer league player. I just don't get it.


I mean, you see what him playing aggressively can do when he forces a turnover in the neutral zone and then skates up ice and snaps one home. It's like he's totally forgotten how much offense he creates for himself with his defensive effort. I'm hoping it's an injury we're unaware of or something. He was too successful doing it previously to have just abandoned it entirely.

1 month, 1 week ago on Monday Mashup: We’re Streaking

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@Edward_Flannery @leafmealone Contact alone does not merit a call. It's where and when and how. At least the league seems to have come to an understanding that the goal can be waived off without necessitating a interference penalty. That's at least a step in the right direction.

1 month, 1 week ago on Monday Mashup: We’re Streaking

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@king leary Galchenyuk wrecked his knee or he was almost guaranteed to be ranked higher than Yak. Watch a ton of OHL games and did so that season. That was my assessment by far pre-injury.

1 month, 1 week ago on Monday Mashup: We’re Streaking

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@dlb, just dlb

dlb, just dlb. Not bagging on Yak or saying he's done. Just that drafting him added to the ONLY area of strength that the team had. They desperately needed help elsewhere and could have traded down to get some other assets while still addressing their area of greatest need.


So, sure, whoever picked him at #1 would have been justified in doing so, but the Oilers shouldn't have been that team. Especially as he was never viewed as a "generational talent" a la Connor McDavid that a team just couldn't have taken a pass on. He was just the best talent in that draft (which was seen as rather weak by the scouts).


And I'm sure that Yak hasn't ever really had the chance to shine on that team the way it's constructed. Get him a decent C on a team that isn't constantly chasing the puck and playing from behind and he'd surely have shown lots more by now.

1 month, 1 week ago on Monday Mashup: We’re Streaking

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@Edward_Flannery @leafmealone Goalie interference gets called fairly regularly. And fairly consistently as it was brought up in previous years at the GM meetings a few times and became a point of focus. The offside issue is a current hot button. And the coaches challenge-from what I heard from the Dreger/Mackenzie crew earlier in the year-is likely coming before too long.

1 month, 1 week ago on Monday Mashup: We’re Streaking

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