Division The Leafs Biggest Obstacle

TORONTO (Oct. 3) — In my last blog, I wrote that the Maple Leafs are “deep and talented enough” to play in the Stanley Cup semifinals next spring. What I didn’t write is that Round 2 could be their biggest… 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

Only Once — And Never Again

TORONTO (Mar. 15) — This website is blatantly hockey–centric, which belies the fervor with which I followed the National Football League during my teenage years in the 1970’s. What an era that was — with the Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers,… Read More

Oh Jeez, Boston Again

TORONTO (Sep. 30) — We will find out this weekend whether Boston is, once again, a place where a Toronto professional sports team comes to die. For the first time since the fateful, gut-churning night of May 13, 2013, one… Read More

Canada–USA Rivalry Dormant

TORONTO (Sep. 21) — For a time earlier in the millennium, it appeared as if Canada would have a hockey rival capable of usurping the Russians in parity and malice. The Salt Lake City (2002) and Vancouver (2010) Winter Olympics… Read More

Blue Jays Walking a Tightrope

TORONTO (Sep. 12) — As they careen through their most untimely slump in 29 years, the Toronto Blue Jays are saying all the right things and doing all the wrong things. Not since 1987 have the Blue Jays engendered such… Read More

Perky’s Yarns Are Overdue

TORONTO (Aug. 31) — I remember saying to myself: “Howard, just watch Dave Perkins. Observe the way he comports himself around athletes and you will learn immeasurably.” So, that’s what I did. It was Aug. 17, 1987. At Pearson International… Read More

Tank You, Lou

TORONTO (July 2) — As most anticipated, the Maple Leafs stepped back Friday and observed the insanity of the National Hockey League’s 2016 free agent frenzy. At least, the initial three hours or so. At which point Lou Lamoriello chose… Read More

More Sadness For Johnny Bower

TORONTO (June 10) — The news came after a morning visit to the doctor. Delivered by his grandson and name–sake. “I’d gotten a call from Sportsnet while Grandpa was out,” said Johnny Bower III, in town from his home in… Read More

Blue Jays Aren’t Remotely The Same

TORONTO (May 19) — Baseball fans, it isn’t “early” anymore. Roughly one–fourth of the Major League season is in the books and the biggest disappointment at the quarter–pole — given buildup and expectation — is again the Toronto Blue Jays.… Read More

Blue Jays Can’t Be Satisfied

TORONTO (Oct. 24) — Parting is such sweet sorrow, particularly if you’ve gone steady for three months — as have people in this city with the Toronto Blue Jays. In the blink of an eye, an every–day relationship ends, only… Read More

Jays Thinking Business Over Strategy

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 28) — In the end, there really was no choice. While ferrying the longest playoff drought (21 seasons) of any team in the four major North American sports — and with more than two months… Read More

The Longest Game

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Aug. 11) – Back in the day, Major League Baseball teams used to play actual doubleheaders – not the day/night cash-grabs we have now. A fan would get two games for the price of one ticket.… 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

Blue Jays Aren’t Good Enough

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Aug. 1) – Perhaps there’s a simple reason why the Toronto Blue Jays were inactive at the non-waiver trade deadline on Thursday. Maybe – just maybe – Alex Anthopoulos and his staff recognized the club wasn’t… Read More

Leafs Hiring Spott On

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 14) – Here’s a prediction: Steve Spott will be the next head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Take it to the bank. Precisely when this will happen remains a mystery but I’m thinking two… Read More

Pounding the Stastny Drum – Again

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 5) – Though a defensive malaise has been holding back the Maple Leafs for as long as anyone can remember, the club right now is either too small or not skilled enough at the key… Read More
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