Leafs Look Bewildered

TORONTO (Oct. 31) — While watching the Maple Leafs get stunningly out–played by the San Jose Sharks in northern–California Monday night (the 3–2 final score did not reflect the lop–sided essence of the match), it occurred to me that 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

The Bozak–JVR Enigma

TORONTO (July 18) — It is rather puzzling that people who observe the Leafs for a living, and those that root for the club with their entire soul, have lost appreciation for veterans Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk. Particularly… 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

No Tears For The Ex–Leafs

TORONTO (May 25) — At some point late tonight, Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel will cross paths near center–ice at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. They will shake hands; likely embrace, and re–affirm their love for one another as friends… Read More

Guess What? Cujo is 50

TORONTO (Apr. 29) — Happy milestone birthday to the best Leafs goalie of the post–1967 era. Curtis Joseph turns 50 today. He was born in Keswick, Ont. (70 miles north of Toronto) the same day the Leafs and Canadiens were… Read More

Does The Shanaplan Prevail?

TORONTO (Apr. 25) — Rapid achievement in professional sport can be intoxicating. And, hauntingly mercurial if not guided by a steady hand. With that in mind, we wonder how the Toronto Maple Leafs might proceed after graduating from the National… 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

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
This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.