The Leafs Will Be Fine

TORONTO (Nov. 8) — After last season and throughout the summer, I wrote in this space that Year 2 would likely be more of a challenge for the young, fast and gifted Maple Leafs. For no other reason than it… Read More

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

Would Leafs Pursue a Blockbuster?

TORONTO (May 6) — If I were Lou Lamoriello, GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, my thought–process during the summer would be two–fold: a) hoping that the elite youngsters on the hockey club can follow up their rookie efforts in… 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

Leafs May Need a Schwab

TORONTO (Mar. 26) — Depending on the severity of the “upper–body” injury (either shoulder or concussion) sustained by Frederik Andersen on Saturday night in Buffalo, the Leafs may be looking at a reprisal of the 2001–02 season. Quite a bit… 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

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

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

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

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

Shedding Gorillas

TORONTO (Apr. 27) — It was “get even” time in the Stanley Cup playoffs this week. The San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues disposed of their prime nemeses — throwing wide open the quest for the 2016 National Hockey… 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

Lamoriello Will Not “Mentor” Anyone

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 23) — Put your hands up, all of you that anticipated Lou Lamoriello would be named “new” general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs (stunned expressions; arms at side). I thought so. Count me vehemently… Read More

Leafs Go One Better Than Blues

New boss; same as the old boss. — From Won’t Get Fooled Again — The Who By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 27) — After a full and exact month of searching, the St. Louis Blues found their coach on Tuesday.… Read More

Why Blame the NHL?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 13) — I knew Steve Montador. And I liked Steve Montador. It was impossible not to. You simply had to meet the guy. I was accorded that opportunity in San Jose, Calif. on May 9,… Read More

Leafs Lacking “Hockey I.Q.”

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Feb. 4) — Though demeaning and likely counterproductive, perhaps Randy Carlyle was onto something when he called his Maple Leaf players “brain dead” last season. In earlier years, when Carlyle played defense here in Toronto, he… Read More

Cows, Sharks and Charles Dickens

By HOWARD BERGER SAN JOSE (Dec. 21) — ‘Tis the season to be confused. Don’t feel badly if you haven’t a clue about the headline to this blog. Saturday here in the San Francisco Bay Area was quite the mixed… Read More
This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.