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

Streaks Are Meaningful — Usually

TORONTO (Mar. 24) — By defeating the New Jersey Devils, 4–2, at Air Canada Centre last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs broadened a late–season surge to 7–1–1 in their past nine games. Though the potential for decline still lurks, this… Read More

The Shattenkirk Question

TORONTO (Feb. 2) — It happens every year around this time. An elite player, staring at unrestricted free agency, is on his way to the Toronto Maple Leafs. After all, who wouldn’t wish to ply his trade in the center… Read More

Still Turnbull’s Mark 40 Years Later

TORONTO (Feb. 1) — On Nov. 11, 1981, just more than eight years after breaking into the National Hockey League, Ian Turnbull left Toronto in a trade with the reputation, among local media, of being irascible, sardonic and uncooperative. If… 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

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

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

Rogers Has The Final Say

TORONTO (Oct. 27) — Many in the local media have launched a preemptive strike against Rogers Communications in the event Alex Anthopoulos does not return as general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. This is understandable given the widespread popularity… Read More

Leafs Motor Along As Usual

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 24) — If you believe that success or failure begins at the top of any company or enterprise, the Toronto Maple Leafs will end the longest Stanley Cup drought at some point in the foreseeable… Read More

Will Maple Leafs Trend Ever Change?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 2) — It began, without warning, on a quiet Sunday in early–March 1968. Of course, there was little chance of any real–time alert back then, in the days long before the Internet and social media.… Read More

Babcock Needs a Trump Card

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 21) — It has been unmistakable during Mike Babcock’s 13–season career as a coach in the National Hockey League: You play the way he commands or you watch others play. This will not change in… Read More

You Think THIS Is Embarrassing?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Mar. 12) — Among the myriad issues debated throughout this frightful Toronto Maple Leafs season is ranking it amid the many–such disasters in team history. A subjective exercise, to be sure; much like rating the National… Read More

The Carlyle-Analytics Conundrum

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Aug. 25) – Were he to be perfectly honest, new Maple Leafs assistant GM Kyle Dubas would probably say that Randy Carlyle is among the last coaches he would employ in the National Hockey League. Perhaps… Read More

Leafs Hiring Spott On

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 14) – Here’s a prediction: Steve Spott will be the next head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Take it to the bank. Precisely when this will happen remains a mystery but I’m thinking two… Read More

Hockey Night In Canada Reflections

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 18) – Unlike others, I am not mourning the demise of Hockey Night In Canada as we’ve known it through the years. Change in life is inevitable and I suspect Rogers Communications will do a… Read More

Leafs Still Have No Clue Defensively

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Mar. 20) – Rocket science need not be applied to anything the Toronto Maple Leafs have achieved or squandered in recent weeks. As it has for the past thousand or so years, this is a club… Read More

Leafs on Near-Historic Run

“Neither am I overly concerned about the up-coming California trek against three of the NHL’s best clubs: Anaheim, San Jose and Los Angeles. Given that Leafs tend to play up or down to the level of opposition, the western-USA swing 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
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