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

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

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 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

Leafs–Marlies Bond A Throwback

TORONTO (May 16) — Back in time, it was major–junior hockey. Today, it is minor–professional. Only the name has been constant — the Toronto Marlies. Young fans near and far may not realize the American Hockey League’s best team this… Read More

Most Coaches Have Two Left Feet

TORONTO (May 10) — Among the hidden stories of Guy Boucher becoming head coach of the Ottawa Senators this week (replacing Dave Cameron) involved unspoken evidence that Boucher would have been hired by the Toronto Maple Leafs 12 months ago,… 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

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

Leafs Can Still Conquer the Nation

TORONTO (Mar. 23) — Eastern Canada is safe from the Toronto Maple Leafs but the prairies, foothills and coastal regions are deeply imperiled. The National Hockey League’s dandiest outfit north of the border could soon become third–best in the nation.… Read More

Absurd (But Fun) Comparisons

TORONTO (Mar. 4) — I begin today with an impassioned waiver: What you are about to read is neither an indictment of Dave Randorf, Leo Komarov nor the Toronto Maple Leafs. It is simply, and absurdly, a comparison of games… Read More

Do The Leafs Have Their Next Captain?

TORONTO (Mar. 3) — There may be an unspoken element among the players acquired by Lou Lamoriello in the days before the National Hockey League trade deadline. Given the Maple Leafs prevail in a vacuum of leadership, perhaps the long–time… Read More

Leafs Triumverate Dissolved — Finally

The Maple Leafs are pretty much the same and will stay that way until the failed nucleus (of Randy Carlyle, Dion Phaneuf, Phil Kessel) is addressed. — BERGER BYTES, July 10, 2014. TORONTO (Feb. 10, 2016) — And here we… Read More

Correlation Escapes Me

TORONTO (Jan. 25) — I have never played the game, so I will bow to my friend, Glenn Healy. As the Toronto Maple Leafs lollygagged about the ice at Air Canada Centre during the first period of Saturday’s encounter with… Read More

Debunking My Own Myth

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 26) — Perhaps I’ve been caught drinking the Kool Aid. Though it is mid–summer, and thirst can become pervasive, I’ve normally strayed from gulping blue–and–white beverage. But, maybe not this time. In my Friday blog,… Read More

Bernier’s Baby Has the Scoop

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 18) — Those newby children make for terrific pawns, don’t they? Can’t even say “da–da” yet and their fathers are heading elsewhere in the National Hockey League. What a wonderful world. For those unaware, Martine… Read More

Should NHL Teams “Filter” Fan-Wear?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 4) — The Tampa Bay Lightning — down 1–0 to Chicago in the Stanley Cup final — has been ridiculed in some circles for prohibiting rival–team apparel in the Club sections of Amalie Arena. This… Read More

Will Babcock Salvage Phaneuf?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 31) — Eleven days after the Maple Leafs collared the coach they had targeted for more than a year, fans of the hockey club await another detonation. At some point, more of the roster that… Read More

Of Course Leafs Are “Canada’s Team”

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 25) — That was no Freudian slip by Mike Babcock. When the new and incomparably moneyed coach–in–town called the Toronto Maple Leafs “Canada’s team” at his inaugural media gathering on Thursday, you could hear teeth… Read More
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