Go Ahead And “Expect”

TORONTO (Oct. 9) — It’s the oldest ploy in the management arsenal of professional sport: Use the media to temper expectation before the season. If things go sideways, you can therefore remind everyone “hey, we told you so”. To varying… 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

As It Should Be

TORONTO (Apr. 8) — It is officially and undeniably crunch time for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Not unexpectedly, the quest for a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference has come down to the final weekend of the regular season and… Read More

The Shattenkirk Question

TORONTO (Feb. 2) — It happens every year around this time. An elite player, staring at unrestricted free agency, is on his way to the Toronto Maple Leafs. After all, who wouldn’t wish to ply his trade in the center… Read More

It’s Babs vs. Torts at Halfway Mark

TORONTO (Jan. 15) — There remains solid evidence that the Jack Adams Award as National Hockey League coach–of–the–year is followed by impending doom. Indeed, seven of the past 11 winners have come to an ignominious end with their teams: Bob… Read More

Another Cautionary Tale

TORONTO (Dec. 23) — How unusual it was, still, to see the once–proud Colorado Avalanche looking so downtrodden and hopeless against the Maple Leafs on Thursday night. A 6–0 loss at the Pepsi Center flattered the home team while cementing… Read More

Kessel Fooled Leafs Nation

TORONTO (July 20) — When Phil Kessel told Sportsnet–590 on June 15 that he would likely bring the Stanley Cup to our city, many figured his incentive was to stick it up the old wahzoo of Leafs Nation. The multitudes… Read More

Leafs Could Be Halfway Home

TORONTO (June 2) — After winning the Stanley Cup in three of the past six years, the Chicago Blackhawks were bounced from the opening round of the playoffs this spring by St. Louis. It could easily be a temporary set–back,… Read More

Bob Cole — 47 Years Later

TORONTO (May 25) — One of my early hockey memories on TV was the night of Apr. 24, 1969. I was ten years old and I still recall watching Game 6 of the Stanley Cup semifinals at the Boston Garden… Read More

Leafs Are Still Two Bricks Shy

TORONTO (Apr. 11) — The question was raised to all parties involved with the Toronto Maple Leafs: “How much longer?” As in, “when can we expect the turn toward contention?” Quite a loaded inquiry, I submit, of the 30th–place club… Read More

Ron Willing to Battle

TORONTO (Mar. 29) — The plight of former National Hockey League referee Ron Wicks has engendered an outpouring of sympathy and prayer within and beyond the world of ice and pucks. Having become a dear friend over the past two… Read More

A Dying Man’s Acceptance

TORONTO (Mar. 27) — There is obviously no pleasure in speaking with a person whose life is coming to an end. But, the moment does incorporate honor and privilege. In 57–plus years, I’ve encountered the situation only twice: With my… 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

The Angle Tank Is Empty

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 30) — Please do not consider this a swipe at the Toronto Star or hockey columnist (and my friend) Dave Feschuk. It is neither. But, clearly, the headline above Dave’s front–page composition in the Sports… Read More

Internet Mania is Tragically an Epidemic

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 17) – Do I think the Leafs should trade Dion Phaneuf? At some point, absolutely. Not because the team’s most recent collapse was his fault alone but rather because the other two elements of a… Read More
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