My Hockey Tales (Reader Discretion Advised)

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Feb. 24) — Yes, I do receive emails — and not infrequently — from people who recall my storytelling days on radio. I offer them a vow, roughly once per year, to re–post this initial blog… Read More

Leafs to Come Full Circle in Raleigh

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Feb. 20) — The elation of Leafs Nation ended just more than two months ago. Right where the club resides at this very moment. Nobody knew it at the time but Raleigh, North Carolina would become… Read More

To Be Phil Kessel

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Feb. 12) — If you’re certain that 10 million dollars can buy happiness, it may be wise to check with Phil Kessel. While generations of future Kessels will never be found on a street corner —… Read More

Are Predators Chasing Fast Phil?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Feb. 11) — Requesting tolerance from a fan of the Maple Leafs is like asking the Pope for a Communion wafer. Only the sages can tell us which custom is older. That said, it may be… Read More

Clarkson a Convenient Scapegoat

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Feb. 10) — After “guiding” the Maple Leafs to 11 consecutive losses, interim coach Peter Horachek figured it was time to get tough. He removed $4.75–million of payroll and $5.25–million of salary cap from his degenerate… Read More

Leafs Need Coaching Change — Again

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Feb. 7) — I can understand why the headline to this blog may seem like a cruel joke to fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs. There is, however, a difference between playing out the string in… Read More

Leafs Streak Will Finally End

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Feb. 6) — Hate to say it, Leaf fans, but your team will actually win a hockey game tonight. That’s “win” — W-I-N — defined by Dictionary.com as: “to finish first in a race, contest, or … Read More

Leafs Lacking “Hockey I.Q.”

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Feb. 4) — Though demeaning and likely counterproductive, perhaps Randy Carlyle was onto something when he called his Maple Leaf players “brain dead” last season. In earlier years, when Carlyle played defense here in Toronto, he… Read More

The Scourge of Indifference

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Feb. 2) — Emotion is the life–blood of professional sport. In Seattle today, football fans are undergoing inter–cranial therapy. The demonstrative impact of their team handing the Super Bowl to New England Sunday night is likely… Read More

Is Leafs Hierarchy Set in Stone?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 31) — Beneath the grim acknowledgement that another hockey season has withered away was a seminal column this week authored by prolific TSN storyteller Rick Westhead, outlining that Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment has chosen… Read More

The Angle Tank Is Empty

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 30) — Please do not consider this a swipe at the Toronto Star or hockey columnist (and my friend) Dave Feschuk. It is neither. But, clearly, the headline above Dave’s front–page composition in the Sports… Read More

Phaneuf Absence Good Test For Leafs

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 26) — To illustrate how goofy it has once again become with hockey in this town, the news of Dion Phaneuf’s “upper–body” injury (or fractured hand) brought to mind that scene late in the Wizard Read More

Forget McDavid, Leafs Nation

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 25) — It may be prudent for Brendan Shanahan to try and detonate the Maple Leafs, but not for the reason most contend. The prevailing sentiment among hockey followers in this city — with the… Read More

“It was 20 Years Ago Today…”

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 20) — Actually, and I beg pardon of The Beatles, it was 20 years ago tonight. Late tonight Eastern Standard Time. Professionally, it became a milestone — my first game covering the Toronto Maple Leafs… Read More

Month From Hell For the Leafs

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 18) — Yes, it’s true: A goalie in the American Hockey League has been more prolific over the past nine days than all forwards combined on the Toronto Maple Leafs. You read that correctly. Reto… Read More

Shanahan’s Missed Opportunity?

In my view, a perfect candidate [to replace Randy Carlyle] came available today. If there’s a coach in the NHL that has gotten more out of less for the past 15 years than Barry Trotz, I’m not aware of him. Read More

Maple Leafs Carousel Continues

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 6) — If at first you don’t succeed, try 19 more times. That may not sound particularly functional but how often, in nearly half–a–century, has such a term been applied to the Toronto Maple Leafs?… Read More

Leafs Give Their Fans No Chance

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 5) — I often point out, in this tiny corner, the singular lack of middle ground among fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs. As if the poor buggers have an option. With half of the… Read More
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