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

Comparing Auston and Wendel

TORONTO (Mar. 30) — So, which accomplishment is more impressive: Wendel Clark’s 34 goals in 1985–86 that stood, for more than three decades, as the rookie–season record for the Toronto Maple Leafs? Or, the 35 goals (and counting) by Auston… Read More

Streaks Are Meaningful — Usually

TORONTO (Mar. 24) — By defeating the New Jersey Devils, 4–2, at Air Canada Centre last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs broadened a late–season surge to 7–1–1 in their past nine games. Though the potential for decline still lurks, this… Read More

Two Years or Two Decades?

TORONTO (Jan. 7) — Yes, it was only two years ago today that the Maple Leafs had fired Randy Carlyle and were about to lapse into one of the worst tailspins in franchise history. Seems a bit longer, doesn’t it?… Read More

When is Joe Bowen’s Turn?

TORONTO (Nov. 14) — There is no arguing the merit of the two gentlemen inducted this year into the media wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Bob Verdi is the dean of sports columnists in Chicago and has covered… 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

The Gardens War of ’76

TORONTO (Apr. 17) — My Lord, was it a sweat–box in Maple Leaf Gardens. Forty years ago this week, yet burned into memory. Stanley Cup playoff games lasting more than 3½ hours. The scuffling, underdog Maple Leafs against the brawling… Read More

Leafs Go Big Time For Sittler

TORONTO (Feb. 5) — Befitting one of the greatest players in franchise history, the Toronto Maple Leafs went the extra mile on Thursday night to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Darryl Sittler’s 10–point game against Boston. Sittler erupted for six… Read More

Being Jewish on April 7, 1977

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 7) — You don’t have to be Jewish to remember the first–ever Toronto Blue Jays game. But, it doesn’t hurt. It’s amazing how many friends of mine recall feeling so desperately cold and hungry 38… Read More

Nonis Should Be Careful

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Mar. 2) — There is nothing that resembles full disclosure when the general manager of a bad team meets with reporters after the annual National Hockey League trade deadline. As such, whatever David Nonis provided late… 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

More NHLers Should Emulate Kessel

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 18) – Yes, Phil Kessel is a streaky, prolific scorer. No, he will never win the Frank J. Selke Memorial Trophy. And, maybe, he is worthy of his $8 million-a-season price tag with the Toronto… Read More

Leafs Looking For a “Big Body”

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 13) – If you frequent this corner, or even visit occasionally, you will know that I hardly ever devote a blog to trade rumors. While covering the Toronto Maple Leafs for much of the past… Read More

Pre-Expansion Battle Looming

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 9) – Cue the history books. With nine games left in the regular season, it appears rather likely that Toronto Maple Leafs will hook up with either Boston or Montreal in the opening round of Read More

Leafs Must Capitalize at Home

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Feb. 10) – There is no bigger compliment I can offer the Maple Leafs than to say the club reminded me of the Pat Quinn era during its perfect road trip this week. For those who Read More

Leafs of 1977-78 – Part 3 [Playoffs]

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Sep. 9) – During the 1970s, Maple Leafs qualified for the Stanley Cup tournament in all but two seasons (1969-70 and 1972-73). Leafs competed in 60 playoff games and were absolutely slaughtered in overtime. On four Read More
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