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@AAAAAAA7 @HeatherRickAkin  I sure hope you are right, because defencemen like Gardiner are rarer then hens teeth. Still,  it just seems to me that Jake is playsing a nervous game, and you can see it in his face. And when he goofs up and the puck ends up in our net , he has a little boy look. Maybe he is just going through some bad puck luck .  I know we all like Jake when  he does things no one else can do , so lets hope things improve for him .  Right now , there are some rough spots.

2 days, 8 hours ago on Leafs Notebook – December 15th

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@.Kong. @HeatherRickAkin  I think that may be risky, but I am not sure of the waiver rules when you do callups and then send them back down. I wouldn't want to lose Holzer on waivers , and I think someone would grab him if he were available on the waiver wire .

3 days, 2 hours ago on Leafs Notebook – December 15th

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As usual, praise for Anthony Petrielli  , who writes so well , and makes a ton of great observations  .  At times, what Anthony states indicates a solid understanding of the obvious , and that is no slight to Anthony . Rather it is  a hard backhand whack at Leaf management. What the eff do these guys talk about  when they have their multi staff, multi dollar assessment meetings. Cripe, I thought when someone like Dubas came on board , little realizations like  Bozie, Kessel and JVR couldn't  check their hats , might occur.  If Anthony , and most every Leaf fan sees that , aside from pretty , this line stinks , WTF is management smoking ?  Finally , I like everything AP says here, except that for me, Holzer has earned the right to play . I love Polak , and Holzer may be Polak-lite , and I think on a sometimes gritless team, you can use as much of that as you can find. We sure miss Leo and Polak in there, in spite if the streak . I am not loving Gardiner, and it just seems that when  Jake screws up , which he does too often ,  it ends up in our net . He may be a better player than he is showing , but he may have to go elsewhere to achieve the higher level . For me, with Percy showing some early genius , which I think is real ( I know he may be struggling at the moment) , I see Jake as our trade chip . He has upside, his contract is movable and would help the Leaf cap crunch , and combined with a roster player &/or prospect , you may be able to swing a reasonable trade.  Nah ....it's Dave Nonis .    

3 days, 3 hours ago on Leafs Notebook – December 15th

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Anthony pays attention, and translates that into well thought out observations , and as usual, a great read. I guess many of us have considered the same thing, and that is separating JVR and Kessel .  Both are elite players who at the same time, lack snarl in their game, particularly Phil .  And with Kessel at the moment something of a passenger , due to an injury of some sort, he needs somebody full of Komorov snot on the other wing . AP alluded to the Leafs lack of a true #1 centre, and that is correct, but with Holland becoming a player in spite of the organization, Kadri playing well in spite of doing so quietly, and Bozie going where no previous Bozie has gone, would it be fair to say we have three # 2 centres  ? If so, that isn't half bad. On AP's concern about how the cap problem is handled ...that is huge, and will really impact on this team going forward. I am afraid   we may be in a difficult enough place that we may lose Franson. And even though I would have paid to have the big lug shipped out of town a while back, I was dead wrong.  Franson may never win a Norris, but when he is on his game, he brings offence, and he is big enough to mug you, when in the mood. And, he sure looks like the salvation of Phaneuf's career . And at seven mill per,over thirty years, man, do we need that .    

1 week, 2 days ago on Leafs Notebook – December 8

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No need to be upset with last nights game. Its the Leafs seeking their water level  You could see it in the two previous games , both of which they won . Sloppy , lazy play creeping back in . Last night, a lousy Devils team just wanted it more. The Leafs collective compete level is an unfixable problem, unless you ship out some of the undercompeters .  Line One is the group who most often fit the bill . As much as we aim a gun at Carlyle, it has to fall on the players. They play a few great games, then they slack off . That's not coaching. That is simply the nature of the player  We have a ton of talent , but not near enough Santorelli or Komorov grit . There needs to be a better balance, and as I stated, it can only happen by changing the personnel on the ice Management has been far to patient waiting for these guys to discover that you only win in this league by playing all out balls against the wall . Gardner is in practice mode a lot.....for me, he would be the first to go, and he IS tradable There are others too, so maybe I should not have singled out Jake . Middle of the pack , #15 overall . That's what  we are .  No Connor, and maybe, no playoffs.  

1 week, 6 days ago on Game Review: Game #25, New Jersey Devils 5 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs 3

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Great write-up on a great  game . As a card carrying member of the "Go For Connor "  club , I just may have to eat some crow. When these guys put their noses to the grindstone , they can compete . Not everyone is going to be firing on all eight, every night , but his team has some skill , and when you bring in a guy like Holzer, and he fills pretty well , it is nice. I like Polak a lot , as he brings that gritty element the Leafs lack on defence , but when Carlyle said something to the extent that you cant expect Holzer to replace a guy like Polak....I think Randy is way off base. They are both pluggers...guys who have to go all out along the boards and in the corners . Polak may get the edge, but my hat is off to Holzer, who , really, has been written off by the team, and the fan base. Nice job, Korbinian ....keep it going .

3 weeks ago on Game Review: Game #22, Pittsburgh Penguins 4 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs 3 (OT)

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@djamon @HeatherRickAkin  dj , you have been paying attention .  But, I like Gunnar more ....now that he is in St. Loo

3 weeks, 2 days ago on Leafs Notebook – November 25

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@Ian from Etobicoke

n from Etobicoke @HeatherRickAkin  Ha , ha .....pretty funny.

3 weeks, 2 days ago on Leafs Notebook – November 25

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Always enjoy AP's  Notebooks , and often go back several times to reread, as there is so much content . I like our goaltending,  but I am a little reluctant to call it excellent . Reimer battles as well as any goalie in hockey , but some of his battles are with himself , notably with rebound control . Bernier is , on paper , a textbook stopper, but he has let in some (several) bothersome goals in his stint in Toronto . Mostly though, I am fine with our stoppers . Our forwards , like the ice cream at Dairy Queen , are soft ....but pretty good . Our defence ????  Not good. Phaneuf is another guy who seems to battle uncertainty , as do the cherubs, Reilly and Gardiner . Don't know if Jake's brain will ever grow into his head. Franson and Robidas both have warts, but they are ok . I love Polak, and love the trade . If Polak never skates another stride for the Leafs, they won that trade.  As Anthony says, given the night you see them play, this team looks like a top five east team ...or  like they are fishing for Connor McDavid . It is somewhere in between folks , and we very well could once again be drafting around #8 . Loved Anthonys comment about doing something more than just sitting on your hands and watching as decent UFAs walk for no return. Will the affable, yet sleepy Dave Nonis please take note. And Randy ....just totally ignore Holland .  Peter will be fine if you just let him play.

3 weeks, 2 days ago on Leafs Notebook – November 25

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Just looked at the overall standings , and at 20 games , the Leafs are basically at the quarter way mark of the season. Even though there are a lot of teams with fewer points , because of the Leafs penchant for periods of poor play , I really see only three or four teams who are disgustingly bad . That means that the group the Leafs mingle in ....call them the Division Mediocre , are not far removed from a very high draft pick in this coming very deep entry draft . Could the Leafs draft as high as 5th ?  You betcha . Will they ?  Not likely . UnLeaflike .  While it is fun to watch them play like they did vs TBay , this team really really need an influx of up and comers , and Nylander is a start.  By the time the Leaf GM  (whoever that may be) is not shackled with several bad cap contracts ,  guys like Nylander and a couple others will be able to step in and lead this team .  It would be nice if those guys with bad contracts were worth the money they are paid, but recent history suggests otherwise.  

3 weeks, 5 days ago on Game Review: Game #20, Maple Leafs 5 vs. Lightning 2

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Salutegate  .... ??  No biggie , but having taken their stance, the Leafs now also need to walk the walk and show that they can actually play respectable hockey every night . That does not mean winning most of their games ....they simply are not that good a team. What it does mean is playing hard enough that the Nashville debacle doesn't happen again for a long while . Losing with effort is fine , but you put on a show like that 9-2 thing, and guys, you better expect a few spitballs . 

3 weeks, 5 days ago on Game Review: Game #20, Maple Leafs 5 vs. Lightning 2

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@Burtonboy @HeatherRickAkin  no ...and somehow ,   lol doesn't come to mind these days .  Although, ya may as well laugh as throw the remote . Cant seem to see any light at the end of the tunnel ...

4 weeks, 1 day ago on Game Review: Game #19, Nashville Predators 9, Toronto Maple Leafs 2

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If you promoted every Marlie, and demoted every Leaf ........................................................could you still hear a tree fall in the forest ?

4 weeks, 1 day ago on Game Review: Game #19, Nashville Predators 9, Toronto Maple Leafs 2

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might be time to pull out all the stops and bring up Stuart Percy .

4 weeks, 1 day ago on Game Review: Game #19, Nashville Predators 9, Toronto Maple Leafs 2

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Hurry, Captain , distribute the lifejackets !!  Oh, wait, theres the captain , with the head stewardess, yonder, in the lifeboat . Captain , my captain .....sigh ...

4 weeks, 1 day ago on Game Review: Game #19, Nashville Predators 9, Toronto Maple Leafs 2

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@MaxwellHowe  either we have here a bit of sarcasm ..... , or The Optimist of The Year ....

4 weeks, 1 day ago on Game Review: Game #19, Nashville Predators 9, Toronto Maple Leafs 2

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I just looked at the overall standings, and we have 20 points. There are eleven teams with fewer than 20 pts. , but the good news is that of those eleven , only Buffalo and Edmonton are truly putrid . If we can just avoid going on those silly 6-1-1 runs where we actually appear to be a decent team , this group have the makings of a McDavid candidate . Or Eichel . Or , even young Strome in Erie looks like a centre with upside that no Leaf centre can come close to .  While our defence is nothing short of crappy , if you have a shot at a number one centre like any of the three kids I named, your rebuild can start there . With Bozie looking like a #3 centre, and Holland arguably outplaying the invisible Kadri , no wonder we cant drive possession . I said it at the beginning, then wondered if I was wrong when we went 6-1-1 , but after that 9-2 mugging , we need to get real . This is a streetcar going nowhere . Best to take the hit and bottom out . Getting rid of some of the overpaid crud would be a help too , but you need to have a GM who has some imagination, and a set of family jewels .

4 weeks, 1 day ago on Game Review: Game #19, Nashville Predators 9, Toronto Maple Leafs 2

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We are horrible.....just not horrible enough to finish bottom five , which is a shame . It would take Sam Pollack to get rid of the moronic contracts that Nonis has given Carlyle, Phaneuf, Clarkson , Bozak, and probably , Gardiner.  That is about 20 million a year for four players who collectively harm far for than they help . In any other team in the league, that kind of stupidity gets you canned. ANY OTHER TEAM !!!!!!!

4 weeks, 1 day ago on Game Review: Game #19, Nashville Predators 9, Toronto Maple Leafs 2

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@Great Dane  GD, I was trying last night to make a list of keepable Leafs, but didn't . Your list looks pretty good , and we can all juxtapose a couple guys and have different lists . But the message is clear ....there aren't many Leafs who you would want to keep around . For me, that list also extends to management , where Carlyle seems like a man past his expiry date, and Nonis , it is looking more and more like, never had a good before date. Nonis is the guy who gave Carlyle two more years , and he is the guy who is responsible for a whack of horrible player contracts that will cripple this team for MANY years ahead . Nonis seems unable to be a mover and shaker, onstead taking the safe road of tiny trades , and keeping guys too long and getting nothing when they walk. Carlyle and Nonis need to be on the same iceberg .  

4 weeks, 1 day ago on Game Review: Game #19, Nashville Predators 9, Toronto Maple Leafs 2

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AP , I enjoy your Notebooks every time . I have only read part of this one, and will go back and do a thorough read later today when I have time to really relax . For now , though, a quick comment on Dion . Not only does Dion seem to skate poorly , his thinking is just as slow. I think he has lost most of his confidence , and the impact player he was once (warts and all) , is now nothing but a shell, and a very expensive one at that . And folks, don't throw silly stats at me....I know what I see. With Dion, it is not that he is too old to skate or think, I  believe his game has left because he is unsure of himself anymore. His skating and thinking may be best described as haltingly . Can he ever resume the level he was at a few years back ?  I doubt it, but who knows . If I were Nonis (glad I am not) , and he could find a taker for that contract, ....as Burke would put it, Dion would be on a train out of town. 

1 month ago on Leafs Notebook – November 17

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It's not that we lose. It's not the we lose to Arizona . It's how we lose . Get outshot dramatically for long long periods of time. I have little use for Carlyle , but this team sucks . They simply are not good enough or determined enough to become a playoff team, but, they aren't bad enough or poor enough in goal to be a McDavid candidate.  Somehow, because it is a more plausible direction, the Leafs need to plummet in the standings . Upwards just isn't viable . Ok, they may beat an equally flaccid Colorado team, but that would , in the end, be counterproductive. There is still so much wrong here that McDavid or Eichel wouldn't correct it.....but that would be a start.   

1 month, 1 week ago on Game Review: Game #12, Arizona Coyotes 3 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs 2

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Firstly , I am a huge fan of Anthony's writing , but as I read his latest offering, I could dwell on one thing alone.....we need to go after McDavid , or Eichel (I guess). It definitely is NOT too early to call for the life rafts , and I say this because of the Ground Hog Day factor, running on several years now. We need to move some contracts, and all but Clarkson's are tradeable .  These guys are not bad players (Kessel, Bozak, Kadri, JvR, Phaneuf, Gardiner) , but it just isn't working, and I highly doubt that it will.  Now, you cant trade 'em all, but you need to make room for the Leivos, Percys, Hollands, Nylanders .  I am not sure where the purge needs to stop ....seems a slam dunk that Carlyle will be a casualty, and maybe Nonis, too. But for starters, lets move out some highly paid players, try and get back something , and play for a high draft pick. This looks to be a generational draft year , and hey, we are all used to the numbing pain of losing. What's another 75 games ? 

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Leafs Notebook – October 28

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If this team continues to reek , and there is no reason to believe otherwise, people think Carlyle will be toast. Fair enough . But , at what point will there be serious discussion on evaluating Dave Nonis  ? While Nonis may have made some good moves, he has likely made more bad moves ....by quite a lot . Not inconceivable that both dudes are gone by next summer . Will it help ? Who knows what can turn the fortunes of the " Chicago Cubs of Hockey "  around .  This just gets so tiring .  Anyway , I must be thinking like an Oiler or Saber fan . If one good thing happens this season, I want it to be that the Leafs draft McDavid or Eichel . That, for now, is our Stanley Cup .   

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Monday Mashup: Picking up where they left off

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Buffalo are a joke, unbelievably bad . They have one less win than the Leafs. Don't look now, folks, but ...we are officially in the Connor McDavid sweepstakes . That is a good thing, given the motley crew we call a hockey team.  Keep Randy and we have a genuine shot at Connor.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Game Day: Game #8, Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m., CBC)

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So much talk about how the off season additions would result in the Leafs actually having enough depth to form a fourth line who could play hockey, rather than just punch faces . Maybe we don't have the depth we thought we had. Or, maybe the fourth line just hasn't had enough games, and/or minutes to determine what we have. This is headed down a slippery slope, and I cringe to think that Carlyle will now have justification to recall  one, or both , of the face punchers . Other than seeing Orr and McLaren snowshoeing around out there, though, there are far too many similarities to last years non playoff team. Bozak is still the number one centre , and in any game the Leafs play, Bozie is way overmatched by the other teams number one centre . The defence ,  as a group, are still frantic too much of the time. To cut them some slack, though, Percy's presence helps a bit . Upfront ?  Collectively one of the softest groups in the league . I think Eric Staal would address some of the Leafs needs, but, at what price, and his cap hit is enormous . The Leafs simply are not a very good team, yet  the curse continues, because they are clearly not bad enough to get a shot at McDavid.   But, maybe if Randy doesn't get canned, we can work towards that . Randy is our only hope . Did I just write that ?

1 month, 4 weeks ago on Monday Mashup: Taking on the toughs

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My compliments on the game wrap , and I really enjoy the quickie player analysis . With the Leafs always right up against the salary cap, does anyone anywhere actually think there is a trade to be made for an eight million dollar centre ? Of course we continue to need a stronger centre presence , but it wont be Stall. He still has game but if Carolina want to move him , it wont be easy because of that salary, mostly.

2 months ago on Game Review: Game #4, Toronto Maple Leafs 3 vs. Colorado Avalanche 2 (OT)

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@sniperstar @HeatherRickAkin  At one point, I actually loved what Franson brought to the table ....he does have some talent , and he carries a tiny bit of true nasty, as he will give you the stick or hard push at times (he isn't built to bodycheck, per se) . But, crap , he made a couple of those floater OHL passes last night that must have made Carlyle go ....what the ....!!!!  . Yes, getting beaten in a foot race, Cody cant help . But those mental lapses ???  An old pal of mine said about that type of player, the coach ought to put one of those zapper cow prods on his neck, and hit the zap button every time he went into mental hibernation out there.

2 months ago on Game Review: Game #3, Maple Leafs 6 vs. Rangers 3

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@sniperstar @HeatherRickAkin  I'm in my 60's ....I don't go back that far.  Seriously, though, Phaneuf has done some great things offensively in his career, but of late, the guy looks like a deer in headlights. Maybe its the captaincy, maybe its the bright lights of The Big Smoke. I don't know . But he is struggling . And Franson  ???? Wow....someone should wake him so he could actually stare into those headlights.

2 months ago on Game Review: Game #3, Maple Leafs 6 vs. Rangers 3

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One game means little really, except it is better to win than to lose (there's a hall of fame statement) .  As a forward group, we are still notoriously soft , but at least our 4th line can skate and handle the puck a bit (albeit Carlyle had their asses glued to the bench for most of the game) . Like others, I am bot fussy having Phaneuf and Franson together , either on the PP, or otherwise. One way or the other, they will either Ph... up , or F... up . Both are just not quick enough to make the clean exit from the D zone , and as such, are vulnerable to the good forecheck . When you see a kid like Percy , who is not that fleet of foot, making the good first pass, or occasionally lugging the puck out , you can see the holes in Phaneuf and Fransons transition ability , by comparison .  Of course it is early , and saying that Percy will be a smart , top four guy , is premature , but he has lots of smarts , and you cant teach that.   

2 months ago on Game Review: Game #3, Maple Leafs 6 vs. Rangers 3

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The bad news is that, after two games, all is not lost. Bad because, if all were lost, we would have a genuine shot at McDavid or Eichel , and this team so badlly needs a true #1 Centre, it hurts. Kadri maxes out as a decent #2, but you just cannot trade for a #1 centre, unless it is for  Joe Thornton , who is way past his best before date. The best this Leaf group could do is to muddle themselves into about the 20th overall spot . I say play the kids, try to trade our pseudo stars , and hold on for a rough ride. It wont be pretty , but without the likes of a McDavid, we are likely going to continue our fine tradition of bottom feeding.

2 months, 1 week ago on Game Day: Game #3, Toronto Maple Leafs vs. New York Rangers (7 p.m., City TV)

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just read where Tiger Williams said the Leafs were wrong to cut Orr , because they need a guy like that. I didn't worship Williams , but aside from him being a pugilist, Williams had a modicum of ability to play at the NHL level. That is where he differs from guys like Orr and McLaren . Those two can punch face, but just cannot be betrusted with doing anything else....hence they have their asses glued to the bench for about 57 minutes a game. Williams, Probert....guys like that ...were decent players , totally aside from their hooligan side. 

2 months, 1 week ago on Maple Leafs cut Colton Orr, Fraser McLaren, William Nylander; Roster down to 23

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I see Ashton and Frattin on very thin ice , especially Ashton . He is a big guy who looks like he has some tools, but, damned, I have yet to see Ashton flash even momentary skill . He has scored at the AHL level , but other than getting involved in a couple of scraps as a Leaf (and getting beaten around),  Carter has done zip. The Leafs will do real well to recoup anything at all for him. He could get by waivers, but someone will likely take a flyer on him. Basically, likewise for Holzer .  McLaren and Orr wont get claimed . Percy ....what a pleasant surprise , and of he and Kozun, to me, Percy is the keeper . I know people will dump on me for this, but I see the Polak pickup as much ado about nothing. His big contribution is that he can be credited with Gunners train ticket outa town (way to go, Roman).  Don't expect much more.  Anyway, I think the Marlies will have a good team again, and there are actually a few prospects down on the farm. Tried to find stats on Gauthier in Rimouski, but database only showed last years . 

2 months, 1 week ago on Maple Leafs cut Colton Orr, Fraser McLaren, William Nylander; Roster down to 23

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This article is nothing short of depressing. I guess the writing is on the wall, when you read that Orr is having a good camp (based on what ? ?) , and yes, Ashton has been less than inspiring . Maybe Ashton goes quietly into that good night, and is never heard from again . But if the Leafs keep Goon #1 or Goon #2 , or , unthinkable, both , and Ashton goes on to have even a modicum of success in the NHL this year, then anyone wearing a suit and tie in the Leaf organization should be fired. If there is any up side to retaining either Orr (didn't really plan that) , &/or McLaren , it is that , yes, Randy is still running things , his team will suck , defence will be a joke, and we will get a shot at McDavid or Eichel . And Carlyle will be no more . Hmmmm.....I feel a bit better now. 

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Wednesday Mashup: Bye Bye Carter?

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@Anthony Petrielli  Anthony, it is pretty clear to me as to your feelings on our head coach. Sadly, most of us are in agreement with you .

2 months, 2 weeks ago on What to Expect: Stephane Robidas

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It is getting pretty close to the 11th hour for a few Leafs. Certainly Orr and McLaren are near the end of their tenure here, even if Carlyle keeps Colton around for a while . I doubt Bodie gets claimed, so Marlieville it is , but he is a kind of useful plumber, so he may be back. I fear that Brent Ashton is a goner, because he just has not stepped up to the plate, and if they try to send him down, unless he is waiver excempt (I don't think he is), someone will take a flyer on him. Frattin is another guy who hasn't shown enough, so I doubt he is a Leaf for long. Nonis brought him back , but it doesn't look like a smart move at the moment. I have always been a Frattin fan . While Holzer may make the team, I like Percy for the long run . Both Percy and Leivo look like they will be NHLers , and hopefully as Leafs. Kozun is getting great reviews in what looks like absolute larceny of a trade last year. Some good things happening, but the team must continue to evolve behind their own blueline , and it wont be easy .  If we flounder, it wont be due to lack of firepower, it will be due to lacklustre defence play. Same old same old ?  Maybe yes, maybe no.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Monday Mashup: Leafs Make Cuts, Booth Out 4 Weeks

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Franson has "Gunnar Syndrome" ....no confidence and handles the puck like it is a grenade .  Bye bye . I have always liked Frattin, but with Leivo looking like he is really wanting an NHL job, Matt may be Marlie bound . And how can you keep a kid like Percy in the AHL, when he makes so many tape to tape passes . Sure, he isn't very physical , but he is big enough, skates ok, and is headier than a ton of players . Somehow Nonis has to use some imagination , and package a few guys like Franson , and ...name three....for a high end whatever. I  think Nonis is really an overly cautious guy, as many GMs are , and he is not prone to swinging big deals that involve risk . Unlike his predecessor .

2 months, 3 weeks ago on GDT: Preseason Game #6, Buffalo Sabres at Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m., Sportsnet)

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Nice write up, Anthony. What stood out for me last night was Percy's ability to see a lot of ice , and then make the good pass (or shot) . AP alluded to that. And,  Leivo just looks like a guy who can play NHL style offence...something the Leafs do not have a lot of. He is not the fleetest guy out there, nor is he slow . He protects the disc well, seems to know where to be , and falls on his keester as well as anyone.  Seriously,  if he isn't ready for prime time, he is darned close. Without either Gardiner or Reilly in the lineup , Percy certainly looked uber smart with the puck compared to the rest of them . I kind of think he is a kid you could carry and ease into the lineup without hurting his development.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Game Review: Preseason Game #5, Maple Leafs 6 vs. Sabres 4

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To me, when you don't win, you contemplate change . So, the notion of breaking up that first line cant be too shocking. Lupul is a good player, but JVR is better (but the gap isn't wide when Lupes is healthy) . Kadri is a decent young player , but maybe he needs a guy like JVR , who is also young, but really seems to have taken a giant step forward .Somehow our top two lines need to find a way to score , AND be responsible defensively . This group of six love the rush ....up ice , that is . Not so excited about getting back (Clarkson would be the exception...if he ends up top six ....not a slam dunk) .  Game on !!

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Should Joffrey Lupul or James van Riemsdyk play on Phil Kessel’s line?

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If Polak can stay on his feet....we win the trade . Gunner was routinely getting muscled off the puck by the likes of Gionta . Someone also made the point that good defencemen like Beauchemin have come to Toronto, and floundered badly . Robidas could do likewise if this bunch don't suddenly discover that playing defence is part of the job, and it is done with a lot of grit . Our pretty team better decide that they need to get their noses dirty , on a nightly basis .

2 months, 4 weeks ago on Will Stephane Robidas and Roman Polak help reduce shots against?

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You have to think that guys like Holland , and maybe one or two of the veterans the Leafs signed on the cheap will create some offence , and thereby enhance the goals scored by lines three and four. Some of the troops used in the past couple of seasons couldn't shoot a hockey puck into the ocean. I cannot see any possibility that the Leafs third and fourth lines score less than their predecessors.  We haven't added any Phil Kessels, but how could you possibly miss proven four goal scorers like McClement, Kulie, Orr , Smithson, and the like.  

3 months, 3 weeks ago on How will Maple Leafs forward moves impact team shooting percentage?

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That's a very fine analysis .  I am glad, though, that Anthony did mention near the end of his writeup , that Leaf penalty killing has basically stunk for many years. What we saw in that 48 game season, was some sort of an anomaly as to how the Leafs usually do business on the PK. Too bad.  So, if with their new personnel, the Leafs become more proficient in the dot, and as a team,  display more composure when they are a man short, hopefully the results are a more efficient PK. Even going from 29th or 30th, to say, 18th or 20th, would be great . It would help shed some of our laughing stock image. Attaining that improvement, however, is no slam dunk, and we will need better penalty killers than we had last season . Not much mention of the Carlyle Factor (unless I missed it) .  I guess we need to give Randy a little slack, as he is the only coach in close to a decade who has got the Leafs into the playoffs. And last season ,  if  it wasn't for a surprisingly horrible  last 20 games, he would have had the team in the playoffs on back to back years.   Its August....hope springs eternal .  If not....there's always Connor .  

4 months, 1 week ago on What’s Ailing the Maple Leafs’ Penalty Kill – Part 1

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job well done, David.

4 months, 1 week ago on Updated WOWY analysis of Phil Kessel and Tyler Bozak

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@FRyan  do you mean Brian Boyle ?

5 months ago on The Cody Franson Arbitration: What is he Worth?

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great stuff , Elliot . I think I smell rubber burning, and I believe it is Dave Nonis and a couple of his posse reading this article, and saying, cripes, guys....look at all this great data . We should just photocopy the article and take it with us to the arbitration hearing. No way we could cover things this well on our own ! And for what it is worth, I agree that Franson, warts and all, will be a Leaf in September. You don't just walk away from tree tall defencemen who , at times, seem to possess some decent offensive upside. The fact that Cody has all those bodychecks to his credit over the years ??? I dunno, maybe he was just too damn slow to get out of the way of incoming forwards. Could be . I actually don't mind the big palooka, but don't put him on the PP late in the game, paired with old fleet foot Phaneuf.  Now theres a picture....the two of them snowshoeing back towards the Leaf zone, trying to catch ...well , anyone .  

5 months ago on The Cody Franson Arbitration: What is he Worth?

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the banter of a Franson for Kulikov swap ....is there anything to it, or wishful thinking ?  I would do it . Franson has some value on the PP , but cripes he doesn't move much better than those aforementioned bricks on ice. Kulikov has good wheels , at least in his feet.

5 months ago on Maple Leafs re-sign Peter Holland to 2-year, $1.55 million deal

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The glimpses that we saw last year of what this player can do suggests to me that he can be more than a third line centre. I don't believe that Anthony is pegging Holland as a #3C, but rather seeing the three hole as a starting point. Fair enough. I think the kid has flair , and can do some fancy stuff at high speed . We have seen Kadri do some things and say, that was elite. Holland may not be quite the cobra that Kadri is, but he is bigger , and pretty quick. I think the Leafs must be thinking that of these two , we should end up with at least one centre , and maybe two, who play in our top six. That may relegate Bozie to #2 or #3 eventually (and I like Bozie) . Further, of course, there is Nylander, who could be either a centre of LW, Gauthier who could be a factor , and even Verhaghe has decent upside . Right now there are other guys with more experience who can help at centre, but all of a sudden, there is hope down the middle . No Crosbys mind you, but teams , not individuals,  win championships .

5 months ago on Maple Leafs re-sign Peter Holland to 2-year, $1.55 million deal

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@dlb Mad  interesting comment. I recall thinking that when the Leafs made the deal to get this kid, if he lived up to his billing, the Leafs may have stolen one. But, right on ....no news, no mention , nadda , nadda , nadda .

5 months ago on 10 Midsummer Thoughts on the Maple Leafs

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