Archive for December, 2010

Ron Wilson: To Fire Or Not To Fire?

December 22nd, 2010 1 Comment

Throughout most of the 2010-11 season Toronto Maple Leafs fans have been calling for Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson to be fired. Wilson joined the Maple Leafs after spending five seasons with the San Jose Sharks, a tenure that, while extremely successful during the regular season, were often blemished by numerous early playoff exits, which many felt led to Wilson’s dismissal. Since his arrival in 2008-09, Wilson has led the Maple Leafs to a combined record of 76-90-31 with the team finishing in 24th overall (2008-09), 29th overall (2009-10) and currently sitting 28th overall through 33 games in 2010-11. Clearly, the Maple Leafs horrific record speaks volumes— the question is, how much of the blame should be shouldered by Ron Wilson? When Wilson took over the Maple Leafs in 2008-09 he took over a team that was going nowhere

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Alex Ovechkin: How Far Has His Star Fallen?

December 20th, 2010 1 Comment

The moment he hit the ice for the first time, there was no denying that Alex Ovechkin was a star. Few players make their way to the NHL to emerge as an instant all-star— something Ovechkin did as a rookie in 2005-06 when he scored 52 goals and netted 106 points. Since his rookie season Ovechkin has continually posted all-star-calibre numbers, accumulating point totals of 92 (2006-07), 112 (2007-08), 110 (2008-09) and 109 (2009-10). Over that time span Ovechkin registered goal totals of 46 (2006-07), 65 (2007-08), 56 (2008-09), 50 (2010-11). While Ovechkin’s career totals are impressive, many NHL pundits have been debating whether or not Ovechkin has been evolving as a player—a debate that took off last season as a result of Sidney Crosby’s strong play in 2009-10. Try as he might to avoid such comparisons, Ovechkin has long

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Toronto Maple Leafs Fans Growing Impatient

December 19th, 2010 No Comments

Being a Toronto Maple Leaf fan is a little like picking a scab—you know you shouldn’t do it, but you do it anyways, regardless of the pain. Most Leaf fans having been picking at their scab for a few decades now, never satisfying that itch, never giving their open wound time to heal. When General Manager Brian Burke came to the Maple Leafs two years ago it was widely believed that, for the first time in many years, the right man was finally in place to make the Maple Leafs successful before long. In an effort to make the Maple Leafs a better team Burke has made a number of key acquisitions including trading for Phil Kessel, Dion Phaneuf and J.S. Giguere, signing Colby Armstrong, Kris Versteeg, Mike Komisarek and others, with various degrees of success. Unfortunately, try as Burke

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Free NHL Picks

December 18th, 2010 No Comments

Free NHL Picks For Dec. 18th The Slap Shot is kicking off a new segment in which Mark and The Puck Monster along with a few other random pickers will square off in a Hockey Night In Canada Pick’em Pool. We encourage you to play along by leaving your picks in the comment section. If your picks are good enough, you will be invited to be a part of our pick’em team…that is until you start to suck! While Mark will openly admit he isn’t an expert with picking games, we’re sure he is better than most. Although, who needs an expert with Proline Hockey Picks. Their betting software has a very impressive accuracy percentage. Each week we will give out a sample of their software. Proline Hockey Picks Free Pick:  Take Tampa [table id=4 /] PROLINE HOCKEY PICKS proudly

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The John Mitchell Experiment: Time To Blow It Up!

December 17th, 2010 No Comments

Originally drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the fifth round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, John Mitchell came to the Leafs with what many thought was tremendous offensive upside. Mitchell, who stands 6’1 and weighs in at 204 pounds, played his junior hockey with the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL, scored 53 goals and 104 assists in his final two seasons as a junior—not the kind of stats that would blow anyone away, but certainly good enough to have teams believe he could emerge as a legitimate top six NHL forward. After his time in the OHL, Mitchell found himself with the St. John’s Maple Leafs and Toronto Marlies for parts of four seasons. Mitchell struggled offensively, scoring a total of 41 goals and 63 assists over what really amounts to three seasons (he played only two games

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Dion Phaneuf Returns To Calgary Tonight

December 16th, 2010 No Comments

When Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke and Calgary Flames GM Darryl Sutter consummated their seven-player deal last January many felt the Toronto Maple Leafs won the trade hands-down. Fast forward ten months later and, while many Calgary fans long to believe they have won the trade, it appears as if Toronto will emerge with the better deal. It has been said many times that the team that emerges with the best player wins a trade. While one can argue that Phaneuf is not worth the $7 million salary he carries, the accumulative play of former Flames Phaneuf, Keith Aulie and Fredrik Sjostrom has been far and away better than that of Nik Hagman, Matt Stajan and the departed Jamal Mayers and Ian White. At the time of the trade rumors were running rampant that Phaneuf was a negative influence

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