What The Doctor Ordered

TORONTO (Jan. 8) — Though it ended with a stinker on Monday night at Scotiabank Arena, the Maple Leafs undoubtedly saved their season with the 15–4–1 eruption (Nov. 23–Jan. 4) under new coach Sheldon Keefe. It ranked among the best… Read More

Keefe Is A Remarkable Story

TORONTO (Jan. 3) — Yup, I was wrong. I doubt that I’ll completely reverse my opinion of mid–term coaching changes, but the Toronto Maple Leafs pulled off a dandy maneuver on Nov. 20 when Sheldon Keefe replaced Mike Babcock. It’s… Read More

Guess What? Freddy’s Already Tired

TORONTO (Dec. 23) — Rejoice, if you wish, in another sloppy win, as the Maple Leafs need every point available. But, ignore, at your peril, the tell–tale sign between the pipes, where Frederik Andersen is already beginning to wear down.… Read More

What Took So Long?

TORONTO (Dec. 21) — Frankly, I’m surprised no one has posed the following questions: With the Maple Leafs an impressive 9–4–0 in 13 games under Sheldon Keefe, why did Brendan Shanahan wait until Nov. 20 to authorize the dismissal of… Read More

Burnout Is The Only Option

TORONTO (Dec. 13) — Compatible with his good nature, Sheldon Keefe is trying to make nice. After 10 games as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, he continues to acknowledge that his No. 1 goalie, Frederik Andersen, will require intermittent… Read More

What An Absurd Correlation

TORONTO (Nov. 27) — Maybe I’m missing something here. But, I doubt it. On one side, we have a former Maple Leafs coach executing a callous mind game, after which penance was offered and accepted. On the other, we have… Read More

The Leafs Are Absolute Darlings

TORONTO (Nov. 26) — As a heterosexual male, I had never felt the urge to kiss another man. Until yesterday, when I read the impassioned offer of remorse from Maple Leafs forward Alex Kerfoot in the wake of his two–game… Read More

First Intermission Will Need Spice

TORONTO (Nov. 24) — A viewer to Hockey Night In Canada would need to be in his (or her) early–40’s to remember blandness in the first intermission. There was an explosion of color, literally and figuratively, during Don Cherry’s unequaled… Read More

The Easy Way… The Only Way

TORONTO (Nov. 21) — Predictably, the text arrived within minutes. “I was off by three games. Sue me.” Oh, how I wish I could introduce to you the National Hockey League employee that told me, Aug. 11 (blog here — … Read More

Don’t Look Beyond The Players

TORONTO (Nov. 17) — It remains the most parochial, knee–jerk reaction in sport: “Fire the coach!” And, the parochial/knee–jerk among fans and media that follow the Toronto Maple Leafs are out in full force. Want to craft a newspaper column… Read More

It’s All Very Confusing

TORONTO (Nov. 9) — The Maple Leafs play their 18th game of the season tonight and no one is entirely sure what to make of the hockey team. Some, such as Damien Cox — writing, today, in the Toronto StarRead More

The Leafs After One Month

TORONTO (Nov. 2) — It began, rather predictably, one month ago tonight: a 5–3 conquest of the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Arena. The big gun, Auston Matthews, scoring twice; the big acquisition, Tyson Barrie, assisting twice. Frederik Andersen recording the… Read More

Seven Games To Go?

“He’s got 20 games,” said a well–known figure in the National Hockey League. “If the Leafs aren’t playing up to par by mid–November, Babcock’s gone. Count on it. There is lots of appetite for change in Toronto.” — BETWEEN THE… Read More

Lazy Leafs Are Fooling No One

TORONTO (Oct. 23) — For the increasing multitudes convinced that a change of coach will jump–start the apathetic Toronto Maple Leafs, allow me to present the following names, chronologically: Punch Imlach… John McLellan… Red Kelly… Roger Neilson… Floyd Smith… Joe… Read More

Mike Rips Mike… Again

TORONTO (Oct. 22) — “Hate” is a very strong word; one that people use rather flippantly when describing an aversion, no matter how innocuous. It is, in fact, less banal than practically any term in the English language, reserved for… Read More

Serenity Has Enveloped Leafs Land

TORONTO (Oct. 17) — It’s refreshing to observe how Leafs Nation is so–coolly reacting to an unremarkable 4–3–1 record after eight games of the National Hockey League season. No premature indications of panic or anxiety. Rather, a coherent, logical assessment… Read More

Way Too Early… Except For One

TORONTO (Oct. 12) — It has been a difficult second week of the National Hockey League season in the land of the blue Maple Leaf, inciting many  — predictably — to draw conclusions. There is the small matter of 77… Read More

Battle Lines Drawn Early

TORONTO (Oct. 2) — In case you are wondering whether Mike Babcock and Kyle Dubas became warm and fuzzy during the off–season, consider the message sent by the long–time, grizzled coach to his still–newbie general manager prior to the regular–season… Read More
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