Nothing Odd About Leafs/Bruins

TORONTO (Apr. 20) — As a sign of hope for the Toronto Maple Leafs, it would be nice to suggest there’s an oddity in their opening playoff round against Boston. But, it simply isn’t true. The 3–1 Bruins’ lead after… Read More

Leafs Need To Rinse and Repeat

TORONTO (Apr. 17) — The consensus around town is that the “real” Maple Leafs showed up for Monday night’s third game of the playoffs against Boston. We shall see. Game 4 will provide a clearer indication. What I saw at… Read More

It’s Babcock Time

TORONTO (Apr. 15) — So, this is what you get for 50 million dollars? Okay, I’m being a trifle facetious… but c’mon. The Maple Leafs did not lure Mike Babcock from Detroit with the National Hockey League’s most–lucrative coaching pact… Read More

Leafs–Bruins on Razor’s Edge

TORONTO (Apr. 11) — When you think about it, there is no particular reason for the Boston Bruins or Toronto Maple Leafs to lose four times in a seven–game segment. Yet, one of the teams will do just that in… Read More

That Brush-Cut Kid Is 70

TORONTO (Mar. 20) — During his brilliant career, spent primarily as captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Darryl Sittler encountered many of the preeminent players in the second half–century of the National Hockey League. Among them: Gordie Howe, Jean Beliveau,… Read More

Freddy Needs Rest, Not Rhythm

TORONTO (Mar. 4) — There is no attempt here to jump on a bandwagon with the Maple Leafs in their first minor funk since mid–January (0–2–1 on a four–game road trip that concludes Monday night in Buffalo). This is still… Read More

Maybe Leafs Are Good Enough

TORONTO (Feb. 27) — Let me begin today by stressing that the trade deadline machinations on Monday only invigorated my pre–season pick of Tampa Bay defeating Nashville for the 2018 Stanley Cup (as per this blog: http://bit.ly/2xdXAqQ). With Victor Hedman,… Read More

Babcock’s Honeymoon Has Ended

TORONTO (Jan. 20) — For more than 2½ years, in what is often described as the National Hockey League’s toughest media market, it’s been “hands off the head coach”. That privilege, it seemed, arrived in our town with the largest… Read More

Leafs Need to Pick it Up

TORONTO (Jan. 2) — As we enter the year 2018, the Maple Leafs are somewhat betwixt and between. Toronto reaches the halfway mark of its schedule tonight against Tampa Bay at the Air Canada Centre a very–respectable ninth overall in… Read More

Are Leafs Better Than Last Year?

TORONTO (Dec. 23) — The Maple Leafs play their final game before the National Hockey League’s Christmas break tonight at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers (7 p.m. Eastern, CBC). Expectation prior to the current season was far… Read More

Will Freddy Fade?

LOS ANGELES (Dec. 8) — The Toronto Maple Leafs, today, are perched sixth overall in the National Hockey League standings for a very good reason: Frederik Andersen has been their best player. When a goalie is the top performer on… Read More

For Babcock, It’s Pure Hatred

TORONTO (Oct. 28) — During my years (1994–2011) covering the Toronto Maple Leafs as a reporter for The FAN–590, I dealt with seven head coaches: Pat Burns, Nick Beverley, Mike Murphy, Pat Quinn, Paul Maurice, Ron Wilson and Randy Carlyle.… Read More

Opportunity in Arizona?

TORONTO (Oct. 26) — The worst team in the National Hockey League to begin the 2017–18 season has some colossal number–crunching on the horizon. And you have to think that a rival general manager — at some point — will… Read More

Zaitsev Bears Watching

TORONTO (Oct. 11) — There are beggars on street corners all over North America that could become independently wealthy with one dollar for every time, in this space, I have written the Toronto Maple Leafs will not win the Stanley… Read More

Go Ahead And “Expect”

TORONTO (Oct. 9) — It’s the oldest ploy in the management arsenal of professional sport: Use the media to temper expectation before the season. If things go sideways, you can therefore remind everyone “hey, we told you so”. To varying… Read More

Is It Truly So Difficult?

TORONTO (Aug. 26) — We may — and I stress, may — discover once again this season just how apparently difficult it is to win the Stanley Cup. Toronto Maple Leafs–“difficult” includes not even appearing in the championship round of… Read More

Leafs Don’t Have To Change

TORONTO (Aug. 4) — Let’s assume, for a moment, the Maple Leafs brought Patrick Marleau aboard with his imprudent contract in order to contend for the Stanley Cup beginning next season. Such would appear as the unspoken plan, knowing how… Read More

A Question Ignored

TORONTO (July 31) — With Leafs Nation ominously assuring itself that all draft components will remain in place beyond 2019, and media wondering if the addition of Patrick Marleau indicates the club is “going for it” now, here’s a question… Read More
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