When Might the Trilogy End?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 11) – In his popular weekend notes column, my friend Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun wrote, “Randy Carlyle can’t coach anymore – or so many of his critics contend.” I have no idea whether… Read More

Love Your Mother… While You Can

I WROTE THIS BLOG SIX YEARS AGO ABOUT LOSING MY MOM TO CANCER IN LATE–1995. I HAVE POSTED IT EVERY MOTHER’S DAY SINCE, AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO. PLEASE LOOK IT OVER AND EMBRACE THE MESSAGE WITH ALL YOUR Read More

Culture Change Starts Where?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 9) – To me, there can be only one explanation. It was a fluke. A convergence of powerless ineptitude that snowballed out of control. A plunge thoroughly atypical of an otherwise resolute cadre of professional… Read More

Carlyle Gets Two-Year Extension

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 8) – It appears, at the moment, the Maple Leafs hired Brendan Shanahan so he could help convince general manager David Nonis to fire Randy Carlyle’s assistant coaches. If so, mission accomplished. In what has… Read More

Leafs Will Be the Same With Carlyle

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 5) – Methinks the Toronto Raptors stole some hearts the past couple of weeks – and not by accident. For a brief time, this was an all-basketball city. With the Maple Leafs golfing (as usual);… Read More

Deja Vu in Beantown

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 3) – One year minus ten days and a hockey game at TD Garden had an awfully familiar look to it. Ever since the Maple Leafs gut-twisting loss to the Bruins in Game 7 last… Read More

Welcome to No. 47, Leafs Nation

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 2) – And so it continues… month after month; decade after decade; perhaps unavoidably reaching and surpassing half-a-century. In these parts, it is simply known as “the drought” – the longest current Stanley Cup famine.… Read More

Infamy in San Jose

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 1) – It happened three times in the first 93 years of the National Hockey League. It has now happened twice in less than four years – a club falling behind 3-0 in a best-of-seven… Read More

It’s a Best-of-1 Out West

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 29) – Los Angeles Kings are poised to become only the fourth National Hockey League team to rebound from a 3-0 deficit in games and win a best-of-seven playoff series. A controversial 4-1 victory by… Read More

One Year Later, It’s the Raptors

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 28) – One thing we can say about teams that call Air Canada Centre home: When they make the playoffs, they tend to overachieve. Of course, it is all relative. Neither the Maple Leafs last… Read More

MacLean Rebuke Crosses the Line

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 26) – Let me emphasize that I have nothing against French-Canadian people any more than African-Americans, Asians or another ethnicity. They – and we – are human beings and so long as we are peaceful… Read More

Leafs Nation Too Bitter

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 24) – Yes, Leaf fan, I get it. You’d rather have hemorrhoids than watch the Montreal Canadiens knife through the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Especially when “Stanley Cup playoffs” is such a… Read More

For Howard Starkman

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 22) – We share a given name and we shared (more than 20 years ago) – he as the Blue Jays media relations director; me as a reporter for The FAN-590 – several of the … Read More

Leafs Fans Watching REAL Hockey

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 20) – If you aren’t altogether sure of the immense gulf that exists between the Maple Leafs and any of the Stanley Cup contenders, watch Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues. After two minutes, you’ll… Read More

Comparing Notes With David Shoalts

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 16) – The first time I met David Shoalts, he looked at me disdainfully and said I was too big for my britches. That was more than three decades ago (in February 1982) when we… Read More

Carlyle Deserves Respectful Departure

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 16) – I am of two minds when it comes to the Maple Leafs muddled coaching situation. On one hand, I think Brendan Shanahan has already made his first mistake as president of the club… Read More

Shanahan: Good First Impression

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 14) – It required roughly 15 seconds to gauge the difference between presidential introductions – from Brian Burke’s inauguration with the Maple Leafs on Nov. 29, 2008 to Brendan Shanahan’s official crowning earlier today. It… Read More

An Audience With Ron and Don

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 13) – Several hours before the Maple Leafs said goodbye for the season, my children – Shane and Lauren – had the privilege of saying hello to Ron MacLean and Don Cherry. Lauren had been… Read More
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