Phaneuf Absence Good Test For Leafs

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 26) — To illustrate how goofy it has once again become with hockey in this town, the news of Dion Phaneuf’s “upper–body” injury (or fractured hand) brought to mind that scene late in the Wizard Read More

Leafs Fan Snub Entirely Typical

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Nov. 21) — That the Maple Leafs petulantly slithered off the ice Thursday night at Air Canada Centre without the common stick–raising salute to their fans was typical of a team entirely devoid of character. In Read More

Grief Has No Boundary

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Oct. 23) — I had a revealing conversation with my son late Wednesday afternoon. Shane called from the University of Guelph. We talked about the tragic events of the day in Ottawa and the Maple Leafs/Senators Read More

The “Forgotten” Leafs Angle

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Oct. 1) – If one were to rank media/fan chatter about the Maple Leafs during training camp and exhibition games, it would likely evolve something like this: 1) Factoring injury, how the revamped third and fourth-line… Read More

An Audience With Ron and Don

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 13) – Several hours before the Maple Leafs said goodbye for the season, my children – Shane and Lauren – had the privilege of saying hello to Ron MacLean and Don Cherry. Lauren had been… Read More

2014 Stanley Cup: St. Louis Blues

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Feb. 5) – Call me crazy, if you wish (it will hardly be the first time), but, I’m damned serious when I contend the St. Louis Blues will finally win their first Stanley Cup this spring.… Read More

Shhhhh… It’s Deathly Quiet

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Feb. 4) – So this is what winning feels like. And sounds like. It is so quiet in Leaf Land right now, you can almost hear Harold Ballard rolling in his grave. Not that the old… Read More

Eakins in Vancouver Mix

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 24) – Dallas Eakins summarized, respectfully yet unmistakably, his feeling about returning for another year as coach of the American Hockey League Toronto Marlies. “I’ve got contract time left here,” he intoned with the enthusiasm Read More

Leaf Fans Losing the Love

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 20) – Somethin’ is changin’ in Leafs Nation. After years – even decades – of falling and remaining unconditionally in love with players wearing the blue and white, the ground is finally beginning to shift. Read More

In Case You Forgot (or Never Knew)

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 21) – No, the Maple Leafs didn’t make the playoffs for the first time on Saturday night. It just seems that way. Perhaps you weren’t alive the last time it happened. If you are less Read More

Playoff Standing Important to Leafs

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Mar. 30) – I think it should be obvious now that Maple Leafs are worthy of qualifying for the Stanley Cup tournament in the Eastern Conference. There is virtually no let-up in this team and it Read More

Can Leafs Avoid a Bad Streak?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Mar. 10) – It has been a mighty long time since the Maple Leafs have gone this deep into the schedule without losing more than two consecutive games. Such is the improvement  under Randy Carlyle in Read More

Leafs Real Test is Thursday

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Mar. 6) – Tonight marks another installment of the Battle of Ontario, as Ottawa Senators invade Air Canada Centre for the second time this season. Ben Scrivens blanked the injury riddled Sens, 3-0, on Feb. 16 Read More

Leafs Argument / Memorabilia

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Feb. 25) – I had a Twitter debate with fans of the Maple Leafs after Saturday night’s game in Ottawa, including several who were able to plunder tickets and invade Scotiabank Place. We argued over which Read More

Leafs Vulnerable at Home on Saturdays

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Feb. 15) – There is little question the Maple Leafs have improved under Randy Carlyle to this point of the lockout-shortened season, energized by a cadre of young players getting their first stab at regular deployment Read More

Hating Night In Canada

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Feb. 5) – As I watched the Maple Leafs-Bruins game Saturday night on CBC, I began to imagine the smoldering rage. Predictably, the visitors were dominating every inch of ice at the Air Canada Centre and Read More

Best/Worst NHL Uniforms of All Time

RE-POST FROM JANUARY 2012 By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 17) – Frequent visitors to this corner – and, perhaps, infrequent ones – are likely aware of my rather substantial collection of vintage NHL jerseys. Interest in these items has Read More

Leaf Fans Don’t Know Pressure

By HOWARD BERGER LOS ANGELES (Apr. 20) – There is absolutely no intrigue or unpredictability in the Toronto hockey market anymore. It has been so long since the Maple Leafs qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs that perspective has been Read More
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