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

Babcock Angle Overplayed

TORONTO (Apr. 2) — I begin this blog with somewhat of a contradiction: Though I believe Mike Babcock should be among the finalists for the Jack Adams Award as National Hockey League coach–of–the–year, I do not believe he is the… Read More

Bet’cha the Leafs Aren’t Done

TORONTO (Mar. 5) — With Detroit next up for the Maple Leafs, it’s an appropriate time to wonder if the last meeting between the pre–expansion rivals supplied the demarcation point in Toronto’s schedule. That would have been Jan. 25 at… Read More

Leafs Need To Extend Lamoriello

TORONTO (Mar. 2) — Exactly how the Maple Leafs will be generally managed beyond next season may or may not be a topic of internal debate at the Air Canada Centre. Lou Lamoriello, destined for the Builders’ wing in the… Read More

Leafs Have Skill… Right?

TORONTO (Feb. 24) — It is the great paradox of the youthful, energetic and revitalized Toronto Maple Leafs: Provide the slick shooters gobs of open ice or a clean break on the opposition goalie. And then, far–more often than not,… Read More

Leafs Planning For 2020

TORONTO (Jan. 12) — It is a wonderful and rather uncomplicated time to be a fan of the improving Toronto Maple Leafs, whose youngest and most–dynamic players are skating under entry–level salary restriction. None of Connor Brown, Zach Hyman, Nikita… 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

Lou is “Looking”

I hear the secrets that you keep… when you’re talking in your sleep. — The Romantics, 1983 TORONTO (Nov. 7) — Lou Lamoriello wearing flannels and a stocking–cap? Almost too funny. In what other circumstance, however, might a rival National… Read More

Goaltending Angst Intensifies

TORONTO (Oct. 25) — Yes, it’s true: There are fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs that have already written off Frederik Andersen as the solution to an interminable goaltending conundrum. After only four starts in the first two weeks of… Read More

Leafs Will Sizzle… Then Fizzle

TORONTO (Oct. 12) — Six months and three days after last watching the Toronto Maple Leafs in a game that counted, a new season begins with curiosity and bridled excitement. A 5–1 defeat at New Jersey on Apr. 9 enabled… Read More

Leafs Summer Eerily Quiet

TORONTO (Sep. 6) — News over the Labor Day weekend that goalie Frederik Anderson would miss roughly four weeks with an “upper–body” injury generated barely a ripple in this hockey–crazed market. Which thoroughly jibed with one of the quietest Maple… Read More

Andersen To Become No. 63

TORONTO (June 26) — On the night of Saturday, Oct. 14, 1967, when the Chicago Black Hawks visited Maple Leaf Gardens to begin the expansion era in the National Hockey League, Johnny Bower started in goal for the home team.… Read More

Leafs Concerned About Burke

TORONTO (Apr. 29) — The Calgary Flames have sent their Irish good–luck charm to our town in an arcane attempt to wrest the 2016 National Hockey League draft lottery from the “favored” Toronto Maple Leafs. His name? Brian Burke. And,… Read More

Leafs Still Need A Horse

TORONTO (Jan. 20) — As the Maple Leafs build toward what could be a promising future, they must garner two obvious needs: a reliable No. 1 goalie and a legitimate stud on the blue line. Neither commodity is apparent with… Read More

Is Reimer Truly a No. 1?

TORONTO (Nov. 14) — We can say this much for James Reimer: He is the only puck–stopper the Toronto Maple Leafs have deployed in the post–2005 lockout era to provide the team a stretch of dependable work. Literally, the lone… Read More

Bibeau Could Become No. 62

TORONTO (Nov. 8) — What better occasion to discuss goaltending than the 91st birthday of Johnny Bower — the most popular and beloved player in Toronto Maple Leafs history? Had there been a few more of his genre, it’s possible… Read More

Lost Decade For Maple Leafs

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 6) – I am certain the Chicago Blackhawks will tell you their Stanley Cup victory last spring was no less thrilling than in 2010. So, it may not be fair to point out the Toronto… Read More
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