It’s Babcock Time

TORONTO (Apr. 23) — Everywhere you turn in this city, hockey fans are sure the Maple Leafs have a profusion of confidence heading into Game 6 tonight against the Washington Capitals. And, why not? The buoyant underdog has stayed with… Read More

Where Are The Big Sticks?

TORONTO (Apr. 16) — As is common in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Maple Leafs–Washington series will likely be determined by goaltending. And, there is virtually nothing to choose from between Frederik Andersen and Braden Holtby after two games —… 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

Do The Leafs Have A “Limit”?

TORONTO (Nov. 29) — In a year when the Chicago Cubs win a baseball title; a 15–1 team loses the Super Bowl; a 73–9 basketball team blows a 3–1 Finals lead and is defeated at home in Game 7 and… Read More

Bob Cole: “Let’s Do It”

TORONTO (Sep. 28) — The date of this blog is coincidental, yet rather poignant. Forty–four years ago today — in Moscow — Paul Henderson scored the most famous goal in Canadian hockey history. Foster Hewitt and Brian Conacher immortalized the… Read More

“Shanaplan” Changes With Stamkos

TORONTO (June 27) — Through decades of failure, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been brilliant at selling Kool Aid to their followers. Year after year, gallons of the sugary liquid are consumed by the National Hockey League’s most dehydrated market.… Read More

Kessel Was Full Value, But…

TORONTO (June 14) — Fans of the Maple Leafs should not begrudge Phil Kessel for raising the Stanley Cup. Kessel was hardly a passenger in the 2016 playoffs, leading Pittsburgh in scoring with 10 goals and 22 points. It proved… Read More

Closed Circuit Memories

TORONTO (June 4) — Twice in my life, I saw Muhammad Ali live. The first was on Apr. 26, 1975 during an otherwise–forgetful event in which former heavyweight champion George Foreman devoured five stiffs at Maple Leaf Gardens. Appropriately, it… Read More

Who Says The Leafs Aren’t Playing?

TORONTO (May 28) — Only one of our winter–sport teams has ever played in the month of June. That would be the 2012 Toronto Marlies, which lost to Norfolk in the Calder Cup final. The Leafs came closest in 1999,… Read More

Bob Cole — 47 Years Later

TORONTO (May 25) — One of my early hockey memories on TV was the night of Apr. 24, 1969. I was ten years old and I still recall watching Game 6 of the Stanley Cup semifinals at the Boston Garden… Read More

Shedding Gorillas

TORONTO (Apr. 27) — It was “get even” time in the Stanley Cup playoffs this week. The San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues disposed of their prime nemeses — throwing wide open the quest for the 2016 National Hockey… 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

Meltdown Against Beantown

TORONTO (Apr. 9) — Where have we seen this before… a Toronto professional sports team coughing up apparent–to–certain victory against a rival from Boston? Okay, the stakes weren’t nearly as high on Friday night as during the Causeway St. Calamity… Read More

The Corp Was Snoozing

TORONTO (Feb. 7) — Over the span of four decades, Darryl Sittler has been celebrated and cursed by nostalgic followers of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Celebrated for his 10–point eruption against Boston at Maple Leaf Gardens on this date 40… Read More

Leafs/Fans Remain Under Kessel’s Spell

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Mar. 9) — It’s rather incredible what the “best player” on a popular team can get away with. Particularly, if he’s wearing a Maple Leafs jersey the past five months. Two coaches — one fired; the… Read More

Vulgar Tweet Should Provide Lesson

By HOWARD BERGER UPDATE —  TSN, on Wednesday, delivered a smart and quick response to the issue of live public reaction during its signature events: TORONTO — TSN says it will no longer air public tweets during live coverage after… Read More

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
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