The “C”–Word is Dirty

TORONTO (Apr. 19) — No, I am not referring to that C–word. Head out of the gutter, men. Every bit as vulgar, however, in the context of professional sport is the term “choke” — which yours truly deployed in the… Read More

Leafs Win Was A Miracle

TORONTO (Apr. 16) — First, the not–so surprising: The Washington Capitals, after another season of 115–plus points in the vastly–competitive Metropolitan Division, are life–and–death to be tied, 1–1, with the wild–card Toronto Maple Leafs after two games of the opening… Read More

Leafs-Capitals Still A Puzzle

TORONTO (Apr. 14) — Well, yes, David hung in with Goliath on Thursday night. In fact, the Toronto Maple Leafs nearly toppled the behemoth of the National Hockey League in their playoff opener. For the first time in exactly 16… Read More

Ron Wilson’s Loud Voice

TORONTO (Mar. 27) — In the early 1970’s, while in junior–high school, I would play around with the radio dial at night to determine which hockey games I could hear. After 8 o’clock, AM radio stations in the United States… Read More

Who Else Joins Legends Row?

***UPDATE: Congratulations to Charlie Conacher, Frank Mahovlich, Red Kelly and Wendel Clark for being inducted into the Maple Leafs Legends Row at Air Canada Centre. Turns out that four ex–players got the nod, rather than the three I suggested in… Read More

Andersen To Become No. 63

TORONTO (June 26) — On the night of Saturday, Oct. 14, 1967, when the Chicago Black Hawks visited Maple Leaf Gardens to begin the expansion era in the National Hockey League, Johnny Bower started in goal for the home team.… Read More

Centers of Attention

Busted flat in Baton Rouge; waiting for a train… And I’s feelin’ near as faded as my jeans. TORONTO (May 7) — I was cruising along a highway north of the city the other night when Janis Joplin’s 1971 anthem,… Read More

Should the Leafs “Wait” For Tavares

TORONTO (Apr. 25) — Yes, you’re probably chuckling at the headline to this blog. Truth be told, so am I. That said, however, weren’t we all chuckling two years ago at the notion of Steven Stamkos leaving the Tampa Bay… Read More

Leafs Are Still Two Bricks Shy

TORONTO (Apr. 11) — The question was raised to all parties involved with the Toronto Maple Leafs: “How much longer?” As in, “when can we expect the turn toward contention?” Quite a loaded inquiry, I submit, of the 30th–place club… Read More

Will Maple Leafs Trend Ever Change?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 2) — It began, without warning, on a quiet Sunday in early–March 1968. Of course, there was little chance of any real–time alert back then, in the days long before the Internet and social media.… Read More

Leafs Will Battle Only Themselves

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Feb. 25) — Truth be known, and despite popular opinion, our city has long provided the most amenable climate in which to build a contending team in the National Hockey League. It’s those entrusted the choreRead More

Burns’ Widow Has No Regret

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Nov. 15) — It was Hall of Fame Media Day on Friday afternoon and a couple of Pats were missing – both former coaches of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Hall of Fame chairman Pat Quinn was Read More

A Prayer For the Mayor

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Sep. 17) – Divine intervention for Rob Ford is still necessary, as it would be for any person diagnosed with cancer. But, perhaps not to the extent that was feared prior to Dr. Zane Cohen’s medical… Read More

The “Toronto Collapse” – Part 4

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Aug. 15) – If you live in this city and look up the word “collapse” in the dictionary, the subliminal mind imagines a blue-and-white Maple Leafs logo. The reason is simple: While other Toronto teams suffer… Read More

Was Sundin Trade Leafs Best Ever?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 25) – Saturday evening, when the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia is being cleaned up from two days of National Hockey League drafting, will mark one of the more significant anniversaries in Toronto Maple Leafs… 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

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
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