Will It Ever Be The Leafs’ Year?

TORONTO (Jan. 14) — For a brief moment last Wednesday, and despite all of the challenges encountered so far this season, I felt that maybe karma was on the side of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Trailing the Winnipeg Jets, 3–2,… Read More

All He Does Is Score, But…

TORONTO (Jan. 11) — Should he remain injury–free throughout the National Hockey League schedule, Auston Matthews is a good bet to establish a Toronto Maple Leafs record for most goals in one season. Rick Vaive has held the mark —… Read More

What The Doctor Ordered

TORONTO (Jan. 8) — Though it ended with a stinker on Monday night at Scotiabank Arena, the Maple Leafs undoubtedly saved their season with the 15–4–1 eruption (Nov. 23–Jan. 4) under new coach Sheldon Keefe. It ranked among the best… Read More

Keefe Is A Remarkable Story

TORONTO (Jan. 3) — Yup, I was wrong. I doubt that I’ll completely reverse my opinion of mid–term coaching changes, but the Toronto Maple Leafs pulled off a dandy maneuver on Nov. 20 when Sheldon Keefe replaced Mike Babcock. It’s… Read More

2020 Cannot Be Worse

TORONTO (Jan. 1) — It is impossible to imagine the new year being as thoroughly dreadful as 2019 in the hockey media universe. Thanks almost solely to Rogers Communications — where employees are nothing but a designated number — the… Read More

A Week Like None Other

TORONTO (Dec. 26) — Though it seems like only yesterday, it was 40 years ago this week that Punch Imlach destroyed the Toronto Maple Leafs for more than a decade. Beginning somewhat innocuously on Christmas Eve 1979, it ended, five… Read More

Guess What? Freddy’s Already Tired

TORONTO (Dec. 23) — Rejoice, if you wish, in another sloppy win, as the Maple Leafs need every point available. But, ignore, at your peril, the tell–tale sign between the pipes, where Frederik Andersen is already beginning to wear down.… Read More

What Took So Long?

TORONTO (Dec. 21) — Frankly, I’m surprised no one has posed the following questions: With the Maple Leafs an impressive 9–4–0 in 13 games under Sheldon Keefe, why did Brendan Shanahan wait until Nov. 20 to authorize the dismissal of… Read More

Burnout Is The Only Option

TORONTO (Dec. 13) — Compatible with his good nature, Sheldon Keefe is trying to make nice. After 10 games as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, he continues to acknowledge that his No. 1 goalie, Frederik Andersen, will require intermittent… Read More

Right Now, The Leafs Are Doomed

TORONTO (Dec. 6) — You can debate any aspect of the Toronto Maple Leafs you wish, but all except one are immaterial. And, it’s the deficit I keep referring to in this corner: back–up goaltending. The numbers are simple, straightforward… Read More

Dubas Needs To Unload Salary

TORONTO (Nov. 30) — There is only one contingency for the Maple Leafs in their back–up goaltending conundrum… and it comes with no guarantee: general manager Kyle Dubas has to unload a contract. Maybe not a William Nylander contract, but… Read More

What An Absurd Correlation

TORONTO (Nov. 27) — Maybe I’m missing something here. But, I doubt it. On one side, we have a former Maple Leafs coach executing a callous mind game, after which penance was offered and accepted. On the other, we have… Read More

The Leafs Are Absolute Darlings

TORONTO (Nov. 26) — As a heterosexual male, I had never felt the urge to kiss another man. Until yesterday, when I read the impassioned offer of remorse from Maple Leafs forward Alex Kerfoot in the wake of his two–game… Read More

First Intermission Will Need Spice

TORONTO (Nov. 24) — A viewer to Hockey Night In Canada would need to be in his (or her) early–40’s to remember blandness in the first intermission. There was an explosion of color, literally and figuratively, during Don Cherry’s unequaled… Read More

The Easy Way… The Only Way

TORONTO (Nov. 21) — Predictably, the text arrived within minutes. “I was off by three games. Sue me.” Oh, how I wish I could introduce to you the National Hockey League employee that told me, Aug. 11 (blog here — … Read More

“I’m Sad” Says Don Cherry

TORONTO (Nov. 18) — It wasn’t often, in his public life, that Don Cherry had to summon enthusiasm. Whatever you felt about the icon that commanded nationwide attention for 38 years on Hockey Night In Canada, he had gusto streaming… Read More

Don’t Look Beyond The Players

TORONTO (Nov. 17) — It remains the most parochial, knee–jerk reaction in sport: “Fire the coach!” And, the parochial/knee–jerk among fans and media that follow the Toronto Maple Leafs are out in full force. Want to craft a newspaper column… Read More

Going Behind The Scenes at Rogers

TORONTO (Nov. 16) — If you’re an observer of media here in Canada, I ask this question, sincerely and unequivocally: Had someone told you on June 13 of this year — the night the Raptors won the National Basketball Association… Read More
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