Should Matthews Sprout Wings?

TORONTO (May 22) — As part of his popular, weekend–notes column on Sunday, Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun posed an interesting question: “In watching [William] Nylander playing alongside Nicklas Backstrom [with Sweden at the World Hockey Championships], I couldn’t… Read More

It’s Babcock Time

TORONTO (Apr. 23) — Everywhere you turn in this city, hockey fans are sure the Maple Leafs have a profusion of confidence heading into Game 6 tonight against the Washington Capitals. And, why not? The buoyant underdog has stayed with… 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

What’s A Back–Up Goalie?

TORONTO (Dec. 6) — By waiving Jhonas Enroth on Monday afternoon, Lou Lamoriello acknowledged his first mistake as general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. But, he came by the blunder honestly. You may recall that Lou built and GM’d… 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

Sticking With Rangers/Ducks Final

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 14) — Call me stubborn, if you wish, but the teams I chose to play for the Stanley Cup this spring are still alive halfway through the playoff tournament. And though somewhat tempted to shift… Read More

Rangers/Ducks Will Play For Stanley Cup

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 14) — Start spreadin’ the news. For the second consecutive spring, the New York Rangers will encounter a team from southern–California in their quest to win the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1994… Read More

Will Leafs Match Dubious History?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Mar. 16) — It has been quite awhile since the Maple Leafs endured a clean sweep on a three–game journey to Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton — which will be the club’s fate tonight should it lose… Read More

Leafs Streak Will Finally End

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Feb. 6) — Hate to say it, Leaf fans, but your team will actually win a hockey game tonight. That’s “win” — W-I-N — defined by Dictionary.com as: “to finish first in a race, contest, or … Read More

The Orr-Gretzky Debate

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Oct. 14) — For the past 30 years, veteran hockey people have delightfully quibbled over choosing between Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzky as the greatest all-time player. I say delightfully because any person, such as myself, Read More

L.A. Kings One Step From a Dynasty

THE RIVALRY CONTINUES MAPLE LEAFS vs. CANADIENS, 7:00, AIR CANADA CENTRE – SPORTSNET By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Oct. 8) — It wasn’t supposed to be this way. A hard salary cap in the National Hockey League, most believed, would make Read More

Price Injury is Hockey’s Loss

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 19) – The 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs took a major hit today when it became known that Montreal goalie Carey Price is sidelined for the remainder of the Eastern Conference final against New York Rangers.… Read More

It’s Habs’ Year, Leafs Nation

(BUT, NOT TODAY) By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 17) – The 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs haven’t gone over particularly well here in the Big Smoke; not nearly as well, for example, as the Calder Cup tournament, where Toronto Marlies are… Read More

Shanahan Tour Deepens Mystery

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 16) – If Brendan Shanahan wanted to clarify his position on the Maple Leafs during a tour of city newspaper offices Wednesday, he failed rather miserably. Chances are it was more a political excursion than… Read More

Price + Lundqvist = Classic

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 15) – It’s an easy equation. The two best goalies on the planet clashing for a berth in the Stanley Cup final. Carey Price and Henrik Lundqvist for all the Eastern marbles. A re-match of… Read More

How to Stomach NHL Lockout

By HOWARD BERGER NEW YORK (Sep. 13) – In a city renowned for star appeal, the National Hockey League trotted out its biggest names on Thursday afternoon – players and owners separated by a mere three blocks and two high-rise Read More
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