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 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

Lamoriello Will Be “Cautious”

TORONTO (Feb. 16) — A Western Conference executive in the National Hockey League told me today that he doesn’t expect the Toronto Maple Leafs to be particularly active before the Mar. 1 trade deadline. “I’m fairly certain that Lou [Lamoriello]… 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

No Escaping The Sh– House

TORONTO (Dec. 17) — Though Mike Babcock is decorated, highly–regarded (by most) and compensated more lavishly than any coach in National Hockey League history, his sh– house has no back door. Once inside, you’re liable to decompose with the contents.… Read More

Return of the Roman Empire

[Lou] Lamoriello will surely add a defenceman at some point — [Mike] Babcock would be a candidate for a nervous breakdown with a top four of Morgan Rielly, Jake Gardiner, Matt Hunwick and Martin Marincin. — From my Saturday Read More

Leafs Could Be Wasting Millions

TORONTO (May 2) — Shocking, wasn’t it, that Brendan Shanahan refused to reveal the Maple Leafs’ plan after winning the draft lottery on Saturday? The same Shanahan who hired a general manager that wouldn’t confirm the chill of an arctic… Read More

Leafs Nearly Torched Themselves

TORONTO (May 1) — Remember all those exciting moments in mid–March, Leaf fans? How your team — boosted by the call–ups of William Nylander, Nikita Soshnikov, Zach Hyman and others — embarked on a no–pressure, 6–2–1 streak over nine games?… Read More

Babcock Keeping It Real

TORONTO (Mar. 21) — The coach knows best. In a city that gets carried away with the slightest hint of prosperity from the Toronto Maple Leafs — often irrespective of circumstance — Mike Babcock is a grounding agent. A modest,… Read More

Let The Sleeping Dog Lie

TORONTO (Mar. 1) — Let me begin today by emphasizing that I trust Brendan Shanahan, Lou Lamoriello and the Toronto Maple Leafs hierarchy. It consummated a plan last summer; effectively sold it to the Board of Maple Leaf Sports and Read More

Worst Leafs Team: 1982 or Today?

TORONTO (Feb. 27) — Lou Lamoriello has two days to answer, unequivocally, the question posed here; to further deplete what could be the most impotent club in the 99–year history of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Honestly? I like his chances.… Read More

Might Lou Go Bigger At The Deadline?

TORONTO (Feb. 8) — Corralling a company secret from Lou Lamoriello is the rough equivalent of a dentist trying to pull a tooth from a live shark. It may not be as hazardous, but you’ll achieve the same result. Back… 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

Forget McDavid, Leafs Nation

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 25) — It may be prudent for Brendan Shanahan to try and detonate the Maple Leafs, but not for the reason most contend. The prevailing sentiment among hockey followers in this city — with the… Read More

Month From Hell For the Leafs

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 18) — Yes, it’s true: A goalie in the American Hockey League has been more prolific over the past nine days than all forwards combined on the Toronto Maple Leafs. You read that correctly. Reto… Read More

Um, We’ve Seen This Before

By HOWARD BERGER BUFFALO (Nov. 16) — The organist at First Niagara Center pounds out the beat to “Let’s Go Buffalo!” before virtually every face-off. Perhaps he might play Deja Vu — the old song by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Read More

Babcock to Leafs? Why?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Oct. 20) — Amid the Week 2 hysteria in Leaf Land, I have a prediction: Mike Babcock will stay right where he is and re-sign with Detroit Red Wings. That won’t go over well here in Read More

The Orr-Gretzky Debate

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Oct. 14) — For the past 30 years, veteran hockey people have delightfully quibbled over choosing between Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzky as the greatest all-time player. I say delightfully because any person, such as myself, Read More
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