Still The Most Compelling

TORONTO (May 27) — After 100 years in the National Hockey League, the Toronto Maple Leafs are affiliated with numerous dates on the Gregorian calendar. Among the 10 most significant: Feb. 14 — 1927 — Conn Smythe changes the… Read More

No Tears For The Ex–Leafs

TORONTO (May 25) — At some point late tonight, Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel will cross paths near center–ice at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. They will shake hands; likely embrace, and re–affirm their love for one another as friends… 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

Shanaplan Worked, But It’s Over

TORONTO (May 19) — I find it intriguing that the majority of Maple Leaf fans are so fervent about “trusting the process” — a virtual slogan as it pertains to the hockey club. The “process”, of course, is a synonym… Read More

A Humorous (Pathetic?) Stat

TORONTO (May 15) — Want to know how generally lousy it was for the Toronto Maple Leafs and their fans during the Harold Ballard administration in the 1970’s and 80’s? Normally, I would offer you a “let me count the… Read More

Ottawa vs. Nashville For Cup

TORONTO (May 12) — The headline to this blog should provide abounding impetus for readers to put money on a Pittsburgh–Anaheim clash in the 2017 Stanley Cup final. Not that my playoff picks have been a total embarrassment, mind you.… Read More

Leafs’ Old Nucleus Still Alive

“Randy Carlyle can coach; Dion Phaneuf can play effectively with lots of ice time and Phil Kessel can score with the best of them. Individually, they would be sound elements of any team in the NHL. As a tandem, and Read More

Leafs Are Next to 50

TORONTO (May 2) — It is far from the worst time since 1967 to remind fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs that their club, today, becomes the second to endure a calendar half–century without the Stanley Cup. Yes, it was… 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 Can Still Land a Gem

TORONTO (Apr. 26) — There will be no Draft Lottery suspense in Leafs Nation this year, after the club finished 14th in the overall NHL standings — up 16 notches from last season — and improved by 26 points. The… Read More

Does The Shanaplan Prevail?

TORONTO (Apr. 25) — Rapid achievement in professional sport can be intoxicating. And, hauntingly mercurial if not guided by a steady hand. With that in mind, we wonder how the Toronto Maple Leafs might proceed after graduating from the National… Read More

Tip Your Hat to the Caps

TORONTO (Apr. 24) — It was only six days ago that the lead sports columnist at the Washington Post referred to the city’s National Hockey League players as “choking dogs”. That would be Thomas Boswell, who wrote that the Capitals… 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

The “C”–Word is Dirty

TORONTO (Apr. 19) — No, I am not referring to that C–word. Head out of the gutter, men. Every bit as vulgar, however, in the context of professional sport is the term “choke” — which yours truly deployed in the… Read More

Where Are The Big Sticks?

TORONTO (Apr. 16) — As is common in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Maple Leafs–Washington series will likely be determined by goaltending. And, there is virtually nothing to choose from between Frederik Andersen and Braden Holtby after two games —… Read More

Leafs Win Was A Miracle

TORONTO (Apr. 16) — First, the not–so surprising: The Washington Capitals, after another season of 115–plus points in the vastly–competitive Metropolitan Division, are life–and–death to be tied, 1–1, with the wild–card Toronto Maple Leafs after two games of the opening… Read More

Leafs Facing Worst Ever (Sort Of)

TORONTO (Apr. 12) — After missing the playoffs in 10 of the past 11 years, the Maple Leafs return to the Stanley Cup hunt against the worst team in National Hockey League history. Yes, without a doubt, the Washington Capitals… Read More

Leafs Will Scare Capitals

TORONTO (Apr. 10) — No, the Washington Capitals will not lose to the Toronto Maple Leafs. After all, the Stanley Cup playoffs never begin with the second round. Beyond that, maybe… just maybe… this is the year that Ovie and… Read More
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