The Orr-Gretzky Debate

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Oct. 14) — For the past 30 years, veteran hockey people have delightfully quibbled over choosing between Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzky as the greatest all-time player. I say delightfully because any person, such as myself, Read More

Paralysis By Analysis

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Oct. 10) — Let’s see now… what have we learned about the Toronto Maple Leafs after one whole game of the 2014-15 season? Well… ? The top line of Tyler Bozak, Phil Kessel and James van Read More

No Enforcer For Maple Leafs?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Sep. 22) – A fan of the Maple Leafs will notice quite a change in the hockey club this season if the 23-man roster evolves as projected. For the first time in 40 years, the team… Read More

Leafs Nail It With Legends Row

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Sep. 7) – Of all the storied names in Toronto Maple Leafs history, an argument can be made that the two living players most beloved by fans of all ages were honored outside the Air Canada… Read More

Blue Jays Fail to Capitalize

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Aug. 3) – The baseball pundits were unanimous in their appraisal of the Blue Jays coming out of the All-Star break. Seventeen games against American League also-ran teams from July 18 to Aug. 3 would determine,… Read More

“By the Time We Got to Woodstock…”

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 16) – Jesus, I’m old. How many reading this remember where they were at 9:32 a.m. EDT 45 years ago today? If they were around 45 years ago today? I didn’t think so. At the… Read More

Carter Said a Mouthful

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 15) – It required 82 regular season and 26 playoff games – 8½ months of grueling hockey – for Jeff Carter to deliver a message to which the Toronto Maple Leafs and their gaggle of… 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

Sports Worm Here Could Easily Turn

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 8th) – There is no better time than the 37th anniversary (yesterday) of the first Blue Jays game to remember that Toronto hasn’t always been a hockey-first city. Anyone attuned to sports in this region… Read More

45 Years Since Pat Quinn/Bobby Orr

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 2) – Now that Maple Leafs have actually won a game, you’ll excuse me for recalling an occasion when they lost, 10-0. In the playoffs, no less. Against Bobby Orr and the Big, Bad Bruins,… Read More

Leafs Desperately Need First Wild-Card

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Mar. 22) – Welcome to spring, when the leaves bloom and the Leafs often wither. Three weeks remain in the 2013-14 National Hockey League schedule and only one team has clinched a spot in the Stanley… Read More

2014 Stanley Cup: St. Louis Blues

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Feb. 5) – Call me crazy, if you wish (it will hardly be the first time), but, I’m damned serious when I contend the St. Louis Blues will finally win their first Stanley Cup this spring.… Read More

Early Yuletide For Leafs Fans

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Dec. 15) – I remember the game as if it were yesterday, but I still had to look up the date (I’m only so much a hockey savant). Though merely 15 years old, I somehow felt… Read More

Leafs Missing Only “Stage” Wins

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Nov. 21) – Including injuries, the Toronto Maple Leafs have overcome every obstacle in their path during the first quarter of the National Hockey League season. Except for one. Though points earned in the standings may… Read More

No Mercy – Ever – For Dion Phaneuf

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 10) – Any comparison to the greatest player in the history of the National Hockey League rings with absurdity. So, please understand I am not making that comparison here. Today’s date, however, has conspired to Read More

Kadri Not Surprising Me

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Mar. 22) – No, I neither predicted nor believed that Nazem Kadri would be among the top ten scorers in the National Hockey League at any point this season, let alone the two-thirds mark. I also Read More

Leafs vs. Bruins: Two Solitudes

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Feb. 2) – For a dedicated Leaf fan, tonight’s visit to Air Canada Centre by the Boston Bruins should perhaps include one of those TV warnings: “The following program may contain images that are disturbing to Read More

The First Expansion Cup

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 2) – If you are interested, and choose to look, you will find historic meaning to just about every final series in Stanley Cup history. Be it a one-off championship [Carolina 2006; Anaheim 2007] or Read More
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