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@ninepaces @Mattmark If he's not pulling those strings, what's he being paid for?

9 hours, 6 minutes ago on GDT: Game #10, Toronto Maple Leafs at Columbus Blue Jackets (7 p.m., SNO)

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@Mind Bomb @Mattmark @Potcy I think that was the second of their four consecutive Cup-winning years in the 70s.  I just picked the year at random, because when you mention two-way centres I think of guys like Lemaire, Keon and Pulford.

9 hours, 8 minutes ago on GDT: Game #10, Toronto Maple Leafs at Columbus Blue Jackets (7 p.m., SNO)

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@Mind Bomb @Mattmark @Potcy P.S. Leafs' big line from the same year:

Sittler 45-72-117

McDonald 47-40-87

Thompson 17-22-39 (only played 59 games)

9 hours, 10 minutes ago on GDT: Game #10, Toronto Maple Leafs at Columbus Blue Jackets (7 p.m., SNO)

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@Mind Bomb @Mattmark @Potcy One of the best two-way centres ever was Jacques Lemaire.  When he skated between Lafleur and Shutt in 77-78, the scoring went as follows:

Lafleur 60-72-132

Lemaire 36-61-97

Shutt 49-37-86

That's the balance you usually expect in your top line: the wingers shoot the goals and the centre piles up the assists.  Bozak has improved every year, but when it comes to scoring he's still the big line's doughnut hole.

9 hours, 16 minutes ago on GDT: Game #10, Toronto Maple Leafs at Columbus Blue Jackets (7 p.m., SNO)

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@vinoa @Mattmark @Dogger Granted.  But usually centres playing between high scoring wingers can't avoid racking up great points totals.  Hasn't ever worked out that way for Bozak, he's always the lowest scoring forward on the line.

9 hours, 31 minutes ago on GDT: Game #10, Toronto Maple Leafs at Columbus Blue Jackets (7 p.m., SNO)

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@Dogger 2013-2014:

Kessel 37-43-80

JVR 30-31-61

Bozak 19-30-49

9 hours, 34 minutes ago on GDT: Game #10, Toronto Maple Leafs at Columbus Blue Jackets (7 p.m., SNO)

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@Potcy @Mattmark Hasn't worked out that way for Bozak.  Hard to figure how any centre playing between two high-scoring wingers like Kessel and JVR can still manage to end up with such relatively low point totals.

9 hours, 38 minutes ago on GDT: Game #10, Toronto Maple Leafs at Columbus Blue Jackets (7 p.m., SNO)

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@Potcy It was a nice lead-up to the pass by Kessel, but Kadri deserves some credit for arriving at the right place at the right time and expertly converting the pass into a goal.

9 hours, 42 minutes ago on GDT: Game #10, Toronto Maple Leafs at Columbus Blue Jackets (7 p.m., SNO)

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Starting to really like Santorelli and Winnik... and, of course, we knew what we were getting in Komarov.  Possibly, Nonis knew what he was doing this past summer after all.

Still can't believe Phaneuf's decline since about mid-season last year.  He seems almost helpless now, unable to retrieve pucks unless they come right to him, and unable to do anything with them unless there's a five-foot space cushion around him.  Sad.  (One too many bone-crushing hits?)
 

9 hours, 49 minutes ago on GDT: Game #10, Toronto Maple Leafs at Columbus Blue Jackets (7 p.m., SNO)

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@Dogger No need to say everything twice.

15 hours, 20 minutes ago on Friday Mashup: Percy recalled, Game Day in Columbus

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@Xxxxxnew That's good... you would have been a victim of what's known as 'false memory syndrome.'

15 hours, 22 minutes ago on Friday Mashup: Percy recalled, Game Day in Columbus

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@ingy56 @dlb Mad Ah!  Riva Ridge was the other half of the entry.  Looks like I was wrong, there were four foolhardy challengers essentially vying for third place:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qC5Ma3NteKE


1 day, 18 hours ago on Thursday Mashup: Leafs face banged-up Blue Jackets tomorrow

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@ingy56 @Mattmark @dlb Mad Yes, I think you may be right.  You may remember this better than me, but he also ran a race as part of an entry (if either horse finishes first, you win) with his stablemate (whose name I've now forgotten), who was also a great horse.  There were only three other horses in the field that day and they had no chance against either of the entry partners, so you can imagine the odds.  You could only win back $2.10 for your $2 bet, the minimum demanded by law.  I couldn't understand the massive betting that took place and somebody told me it was mob money.  You lay out several million dollars for a sure return of five percent in two minutes.

1 day, 19 hours ago on Thursday Mashup: Leafs face banged-up Blue Jackets tomorrow

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@ingy56 @Mattmark @dlb Mad I remember that Sunday afternoon and yelling to my father, who was in the kitchen, 'You've got to come and see this!'  It was like watching a ghost horse drop in from another planet.  Secretariat was the first Triple Crown winner in a quarter century (several horses, including Northern Dancer, had won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness but failed in the longer Belmont), and although four decades have now elapsed the record Secretariat set that day has never been broken.

1 day, 19 hours ago on Thursday Mashup: Leafs face banged-up Blue Jackets tomorrow

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@ingy56 @dlb Mad Actually, the greatest athletic performance I ever saw in my life was this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V18ui3Rtjz4


1 day, 19 hours ago on Thursday Mashup: Leafs face banged-up Blue Jackets tomorrow

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@Darkside Beleafer @dlb Mad The irony is that if you were assembling a team of all-time best international forwards, many icons of hockey history like Howe, Hull, Beliveau and Maurice Richard probably couldn't crack the lineup.  Who would you drop from this group to make room for them?

Gretzky, Lemieux, Crosby, Toews, Malkin, Sakic, Messier, Bossy, Jagr, Selanne, Iginla, Ovetchkin, Shanahan, Middleton, Forsberg, Perreault, etc.

Most of these guys could skate rings around Howe.

1 day, 19 hours ago on Thursday Mashup: Leafs face banged-up Blue Jackets tomorrow

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@dlb Mad @Mattmark If everyone is bound by their immediate experience, the concept of 'greatest athlete of all time' becomes vacuous.

1 day, 19 hours ago on Thursday Mashup: Leafs face banged-up Blue Jackets tomorrow

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@T K O @docmma @dlb Mad The issue, for me, is that if you expect young players to develop you have to play them.  If you aren't planning to give them that opportunity on the big club, do it with the farm team.

1 day, 19 hours ago on Thursday Mashup: Leafs face banged-up Blue Jackets tomorrow

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@MaxwellHowe @Mcost61 That's because the nucleus came into the league together when the Oilers joined the NHL.  These days that talent would be distributed far and wide, through the draft.

1 day, 20 hours ago on Thursday Mashup: Leafs face banged-up Blue Jackets tomorrow

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@Mcost61 @MaxwellHowe Sad but true.  There's something to be said for parity... but it's also fun when the circus comes to town.

Now we only get to see how hockey can be played every four years, when the Olympic teams are assembled.

1 day, 20 hours ago on Thursday Mashup: Leafs face banged-up Blue Jackets tomorrow

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@Bruffins @Mattmark The 4th line hasn't been given much of a chance to shine.  Carlyle (as usual) seems to have hitched his wagon to veterans.  There's little evidence he's patient with younger players' learning mistakes.

1 day, 20 hours ago on Thursday Mashup: Leafs face banged-up Blue Jackets tomorrow

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@dlb Mad @Mattmark Too good to be sent down, not good enough to impress Carlyle? 

1 day, 20 hours ago on Thursday Mashup: Leafs face banged-up Blue Jackets tomorrow

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@dlb Mad Jim Thorpe was the greatest athlete of all time.  Lionel Conacher was the best Canadian.

1 day, 20 hours ago on Thursday Mashup: Leafs face banged-up Blue Jackets tomorrow

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Holland isn't playing enough to further his development, and Kozun and Ashton seem to have vanished from the scene altogether.  Neither is helping either the Leafs or the Marlies at this point.

Ashton's status remains the most perplexing, but it's possible management has inside info we don't.  They may know for certain he wouldn't clear waivers.

1 day, 20 hours ago on Thursday Mashup: Leafs face banged-up Blue Jackets tomorrow

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@MaxwellHowe @Mattmark I remember part-way through one of those seasons management tore up his contract, realizing it was embarrassingly unfair, and offered him a much more lucrative one.  Can't remember another instance of management doing that.

1 day, 20 hours ago on Thursday Mashup: Leafs face banged-up Blue Jackets tomorrow

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@wendelsfist Look on the bright side.  If there's no winner there's no loser.

1 day, 20 hours ago on Thursday Mashup: Leafs face banged-up Blue Jackets tomorrow

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@MaxwellHowe Gretzky, Messier, Anderson, Coffey, Fuhr... that's twenty percent of the era's Team Canada right there.  Throw in Kurri and Tikkanen.  Other teams knew what was coming when they played these guys but couldn't stop them.

1 day, 20 hours ago on Thursday Mashup: Leafs face banged-up Blue Jackets tomorrow

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@Marlies Man @Mattmark They don't figure to be a one-man team, and certainly not a one-man defense.  Mind you, their goal-tending may not be as sensational this year.
 

2 days, 14 hours ago on Game Review: Game #9, Toronto Maple Leafs 4 vs. Buffalo Sabres 0

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@Scotty_8 I was waiting for no whistle.  "Sorry guys... I didn't see anything."

2 days, 14 hours ago on Game Review: Game #9, Toronto Maple Leafs 4 vs. Buffalo Sabres 0

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Anyone have a theory as to why what we all presumed would be a pretty stacked Marlies squad this year is off to a sub-500. start?  They've benefited from excellent coaching the last couple of years... is the current coaching group as good?

2 days, 14 hours ago on Game Review: Game #9, Toronto Maple Leafs 4 vs. Buffalo Sabres 0

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@Hmmm Conspiracy theorist!

3 days, 9 hours ago on GDT: Game #9, Buffalo Sabres at Toronto Maple Leafs (7:30 p.m., TSN 4)

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@GreekGod @Mattmark One game against the team everyone calls to win the East shouldn't induce gloom and panic either.

3 days, 9 hours ago on GDT: Game #9, Buffalo Sabres at Toronto Maple Leafs (7:30 p.m., TSN 4)

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Guess we're Exhibit A of the gulf between the Bruins and Sabres.

3 days, 9 hours ago on GDT: Game #9, Buffalo Sabres at Toronto Maple Leafs (7:30 p.m., TSN 4)

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Bozak, Kessel, JVR and Gardiner.  Yep!  Trade the core!

3 days, 10 hours ago on GDT: Game #9, Buffalo Sabres at Toronto Maple Leafs (7:30 p.m., TSN 4)

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@Yaknowwhat Got to admit it's highly effective!

3 days, 16 hours ago on Tuesday Mashup: Randy is sneaky

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@Anthony Petrielli @Great Dane @peterbleafs @Pent_House It's a painful process but you have to proceed step-by-step.  Hey, we lost 4-1, not 14-1, to a team that everyone picked to win the East, so I'm not entirely sure why all the gloom.  Aren't we where we figured to be, integrating half a dozen new faces into the lineup?

3 days, 16 hours ago on Tuesday Mashup: Randy is sneaky

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@peterbleafs @Mattmark @dlb Mad @Anthony Petrielli You'd sacrifice your children...

3 days, 16 hours ago on Tuesday Mashup: Randy is sneaky

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@dlb Mad @Mattmark That was my version of laughter, lunkhead.  ;-)

3 days, 16 hours ago on Tuesday Mashup: Randy is sneaky

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@dlb Mad @Anthony Petrielli Right.  Why not ruin Bibeau too?

3 days, 16 hours ago on Tuesday Mashup: Randy is sneaky

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@Anthony Petrielli @Pent_House No matter how bad things look, they can always be made worse by injudicious trading.  Good way to screw up not only today but tomorrow as well.

3 days, 16 hours ago on Tuesday Mashup: Randy is sneaky

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@deedrag I can sum up the chances of your fond wishes coming to pass in three words, two words or one word: not a hope, no hope, and hopeless.

3 days, 16 hours ago on Tuesday Mashup: Randy is sneaky

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@ingy56 @docmma @Mcost61 @DeclanK Are you trying to suggest MLSE are slow learners?  Present your evidence, please!  (Cue scene of posties in Miracle On 34th Street, burying judge behind ten tons of documentation.)

3 days, 17 hours ago on Tuesday Mashup: Randy is sneaky

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@Cameron19 @Mattmark So when commentators universally ranked Bruins (and most of he rest of the league) ahead of us in their prognostications, this was a laziness ranking?  They were forecasting which teams would try the hardest?  That belief would be just as logical.

5 days, 21 hours ago on Game Review: Game #8, Boston Bruins 4 vs. Maple Leafs 1

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@Cameron19 @Mattmark You can swat away at the puck with all the effort at your command, but it's still not going to compensate for your inability to direct it with finesse.  I'm quite sure at the end of the evening our guys were just as sweaty as the Bruins, but they got pretty much the results from their efforts that their skill level permitted.

5 days, 22 hours ago on Game Review: Game #8, Boston Bruins 4 vs. Maple Leafs 1

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@Cameron19 @Mattmark Making the puck behave for you is what hockey skill is all about, and you can hardly blame someone for over-emphasizing our deficiencies at the trick in the face of your persistent denials.  I'm truly mystified as to what you can be focusing on when you watch games.  Last night we were out-skilled by a team that easily fended off our offensive thrusts, set up for clear chances in our end as calmly and deliberately as if it were a practice, and won every period.  We weren't able to do anything to stop them... and the notion that we wouldn't choose to do so if we actually had the capacity is nonsensical.

5 days, 23 hours ago on Game Review: Game #8, Boston Bruins 4 vs. Maple Leafs 1

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