Thursday, December 23, 2010

Leafs update

The Leafs totally suck. There's your update.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

a letter to Brian Burke

I found this on a Leafs fan site and I think it summed up how I feel about the Leafs, generally. I could easily sign my name to this:

Dear Mr. Burke,

You have done a very interesting, yet quality job since joining the Toronto Maple Leafs' organization.

As a fan, on behalf of all Maple Leafs fans, I would like to thank you for your contributions.

However, there are still many things that we want to see. Most notably is a top line centre.

As you know, the Leafs have needed a top line centre since Mats Sundin left for Vancouver.

Even though Phil (Kessel) scored 30 goals in just 70 games last season, I think he can exceed those stats with a better playmaker by his side.

Speaking of a top line centre, how about trade bait.

Who would you use to help reel a team into giving us a performer who could play with Kessel?

How about Tomas Kaberle?

I know that you don't want to entertain that idea. But there is that window in which you can trade him during the draft. Would you consider taking advantage of that?

What about Luke Schenn?

I've heard about Schenn being on the trading block. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing him go.

After a strong rookie season, he seemed to struggle more than expected last year. It does, however, appear that you could still get very good value for the young defenseman.

As I am sure you know, having won a Stanley Cup, teams aren't just built around trades.

With that being said, how do you plan on tackling free agency this offseason?

There are many potential "Brian Burke type players" out there in free agency this summer.

One of those guys is David Clarkson.

Personally, I've wanted Clarkson on the team for a while now. So have many other die hard Leafs fans. Clarkson, a Toronto native, is a very hard worker. He'd fit in great with the Leafs organization.

As we all know, the Maple Leafs are the richest team in the league.

Unfortunately, that's mostly due to large companies buying tickets for company functions, as a way of impressing clients, etc. This drags down the amount of true fans at home games.

That must be one of the reasons why the Air Canada Centre never seems to be so loud, and definitely not as loud as the Bell Centre in Montreal.

If you watch a Montreal game, which I know you have watched many of, you should be able to see that more than 97 percent of the attendees are true, full-out Habs fans. They cheer loudly, they wave their towels, and they are into the game from start to finish.

Hopefully, Mr. Burke, you can bring the Maple Leafs back to their greatness of the mid 1900's.

I am really curious to see if Burke is able to get an offensive weapon to play with Kessel, even if that involves trading Kaberle (a player I've always loved). The Kabby rumours are swirling and I'll be keeping my ear to the ground and my eye on the interwebs...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mendes on lowering the bar OR why the Leafs of the early 1990s accomplished much!

Here is a good article from Sportsnet's Ian Mendes on the difficulty Canadian teams experience after they go deep in the playoffs, including the usual dropping off in the standings subsequently (Calgary '04, Edmonton '06, for example). He then goes on to (rightly) laud the Leafs squads of 1993 and 1994 for their deep back-to-back runs, which in hindsight is an impressive accomplishment indeed!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

the playoffs, Puck Daddy, and why Dennis Wideman needs double-runners

I have not had the time to post anything about this year's playoffs, though I've been following them more closely than I have in years, perhaps because of my (false) belief that the Canucks had built a team capable of going deep. It's been a fascinating post-season so far, from the magic of the Habs to all the complaints about the refereeing to the the disaster of the Vancouver Canucks (last night's 7-4 loss to Chicago was pathetic). Let's hope Canada's two remaining teams can keep fighting and move on into the conference semi-finals. At this point, Montreal is looking by far the more likely bet than the Canucks. They're playing disciplined, team-oriented hockey and getting outstanding goaltending from Jaroslav Halak. I think the Pens-Habs series has the potential to go the distance! If the Canucks can even push their series with the Hawks to six games I'd be shocked. We'll see what happens!

I've been loving reading Yahoo Sports' Puck Daddy blog, which my Kiwi friend Hamish started reading--he is learning to love our great game and he finds this blog a change from the 'here's who won and why' recap-based writing that fills the majority of the sports pages. Puck Daddy is funny and has a lot of hockey 'human interest' stories--I've been finding it a great read!

Also, I don't know how I missed this one the first time around, but Dennis Wideman's shootout attempt is one of the funniest hockey highlights I've ever watched. I've literally replayed the thing 50 times over the past few days and I've laughed my head off every time. I showed it to my wife and she laughed pretty hard as well! I love the way the announcer says "yahoo!" at the 9 second mark of the video--hysterical!

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Hart

I know that this is a Leafs blog, but since the Leafs are out on the golf course for the next few months, I will be posting on other hockey-related matters. And so, I must agree with Elliotte Friedman's assessment that Henrik Sedin should win the Hart trophy this year (along with the Art Ross!). As Friedman pointed out, Henrik helped carry the team when his brother was injured, the entire defensive core seemed to be injured, and when Luongo was being less-than-Luongo at various points during the season. Besides, I often root for the underdog and to me Sedin is definitely the underdog this year. I definitely do not want to see that showboating, 'me-first', baboon arse-faced yeti Ovechkin get it, not do I want Crosby to get it (as much as I like him) as they've shared it between them for the last three years.

Henrik raked in 112 points, including the most assists in the league, and broke Pavel Bure's team record of 110 points in a season. He quietly went about his business in hockey-mad Vancouver and did it with grace, class, and humility. If Henrik doesn't get it, I hope it goes to someone like Bryzgalov or Miller. That's my two cents...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

hasn't been enough time lately

I've been reasonably busy lately and there hasn't been either the time nor all that much to gripe about when it comes to the Leafs. They're winning a lot more games than they're losing and trying to play the spoiler since there's no way that they're going to make the playoffs--that's now a half-decade of ineptitude leading to no playoff hockey, for those of you keeping count. I bet the morons at MLSE are missing those gate receipts!

I think the only annoying thing about the Leafs winning ways (other than the fact that they're coming months too late!) is that they can't manage to get the job done in regulation time, so they're always handing the other team at least a point. Oh well, I can't expect too much...

Nik Antropov mathematically eliminated his old team from the playoffs with his winning goal for Atlanta the other night. Ah, the irony...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

the 2010 trade deadline: reaction

Well, the trade deadline came and went with all the regular accompanying hoopla and ridiculous quantities of media coverage. For the Leafs, it was pretty anticlimactic, all things considered. The biggest 'surprise' was the trade of Alexi Ponikarovsky to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Luca Caputi and Martin Skoula (who was immediately dealt to the Devils), though it wasn't actually a surprise. I think the deals for Lee Stempniak and Joey MacDonald were both solid as we picked up draft picks (later rounds, mind you) and a couple of defencemen in the deals. Obviously the Leafs got their far bigger deals done weeks earlier in the major trades with the Flames and the Ducks so the deadline felt like a bit of 'dusting and tidying up' compared to the 'spring clean' that happened with the acquisitions made through the Calgary and Anaheim trades on January 31.

My verdict: Good business done by Brian Burke before this year's trade deadline. We're now the youngest team in the NHL and that can really only be seen as a positive. The Blue & White had even won three games in a row until today's 4-1 loss to the Islanders in Long Island, which is unheard of for the 2009-2010 Maple Leafs!