Nothing Odd About Leafs/Bruins

TORONTO (Apr. 20) — As a sign of hope for the Toronto Maple Leafs, it would be nice to suggest there’s an oddity in their opening playoff round against Boston. But, it simply isn’t true. The 3–1 Bruins’ lead after… Read More

Leafs–Bruins on Razor’s Edge

TORONTO (Apr. 11) — When you think about it, there is no particular reason for the Boston Bruins or Toronto Maple Leafs to lose four times in a seven–game segment. Yet, one of the teams will do just that in… Read More

Blue Liner(s) On The Way?

TORONTO (Feb. 21) — According to a long–time Western Conference scout with whom I check every year at this juncture, the Toronto Maple Leafs will bolster their blue line before Monday’s National Hockey League trade deadline. “Based on the rumblings… Read More

Leafs Should Go For The Jugular

TORONTO (Feb. 17) — As the Toronto Maple Leafs soar through the most stellar and meaningful hockey at this juncture of a season in 25 years, there remains the urge from within to allay expectation. To fundamentally minimize a remarkable,… Read More

We’ve Seen It All Before (sigh)

TORONTO (Jan. 24) — The Maple Leafs play the Blackhawks tonight in Chicago, which may not be a good thing. The last Toronto victory at the United Center was so long ago, I covered it for The FAN–590. That would… Read More

Babcock’s Honeymoon Has Ended

TORONTO (Jan. 20) — For more than 2½ years, in what is often described as the National Hockey League’s toughest media market, it’s been “hands off the head coach”. That privilege, it seemed, arrived in our town with the largest… Read More

Leafs Need to Pick it Up

TORONTO (Jan. 2) — As we enter the year 2018, the Maple Leafs are somewhat betwixt and between. Toronto reaches the halfway mark of its schedule tonight against Tampa Bay at the Air Canada Centre a very–respectable ninth overall in… Read More

Are Leafs Better Than Last Year?

TORONTO (Dec. 23) — The Maple Leafs play their final game before the National Hockey League’s Christmas break tonight at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers (7 p.m. Eastern, CBC). Expectation prior to the current season was far… Read More

Are Leafs Using Smoke and Mirrors?

TORONTO (Nov. 30) — So, if we were warned — two months ago today — that William Nylander and Mitch Marner would succumb to the usual sophomore difficulty (a combined six goals in 26 games); that Auston Matthews would miss… Read More

Leafs Will Make The Final Four

TORONTO (Sep. 28) — So, I’ve been thinking the past few days… are the Maple Leafs for real? Can they build on their colossal improvement from a year ago? Every hockey fiber in my body says yes. And… yes. The… Read More

Is It Truly So Difficult?

TORONTO (Aug. 26) — We may — and I stress, may — discover once again this season just how apparently difficult it is to win the Stanley Cup. Toronto Maple Leafs–“difficult” includes not even appearing in the championship round of… Read More

A Question Ignored

TORONTO (July 31) — With Leafs Nation ominously assuring itself that all draft components will remain in place beyond 2019, and media wondering if the addition of Patrick Marleau indicates the club is “going for it” now, here’s a question… Read More

Leafs Bring Aboard Good People

TORONTO (July 14) — We can debate endlessly whether character is a component of winning in the National Hockey League. Now and then, you’ll read that so–and–so is “good in the [dressing] room.” Which often indicates he’s not–so hot… Read More

Leafs Refused To Get Silly

TORONTO (June 24) — Obviously, I cannot say for certain. Neither can most others, as Lou Lamoriello never divulges company secrets. But, I would be shocked beyond measure if the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs even considered trading… Read More

Still The Most Compelling

TORONTO (May 27) — After 100 years in the National Hockey League, the Toronto Maple Leafs are affiliated with numerous dates on the Gregorian calendar. Among the 10 most significant: Feb. 14 — 1927 — Conn Smythe changes the… Read More

Should Matthews Sprout Wings?

TORONTO (May 22) — As part of his popular, weekend–notes column on Sunday, Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun posed an interesting question: “In watching [William] Nylander playing alongside Nicklas Backstrom [with Sweden at the World Hockey Championships], I couldn’t… Read More

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 Are The Better Team

TORONTO (Apr. 18) — To borrow a legendary phrase from my ol’ pal, Dave (Tiger) Williams, the Washington Capitals are “done like dinner”. Kaput in every way except officially. And, that will soon follow. Give the youthful Toronto Maple Leafs… Read More
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