Author Archive

What’s Happened To Nikolai Kulemin?

December 2nd, 2011 1 Comment

Originally drafted in the second round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft (44th overall), Nikolai Kulemin came to the Maple Leafs with decent credentials. At 6’1” and just over 200 pounds at the time he was drafted, Kulemin had the size to be an effective power forward, but would struggle to learn a more North American friendly style of play which involved playing a 200-foot game instead of just being a goal scorer. Like many Russian prospects before him, Kulemin struggled in his first season with the Maple Leafs, notching 15 goals, 16 assists for a total of 31 points in 78 games, while posting a minus-8 rating. Last season Kulemin came into camp in phenomenal shape, bringing his weight up to 220 pounds and, according to many in the locker room, looking like a beast. Kulemin’s hard work off


Nazem Kadri Named AHL Player Of The Month

December 1st, 2011 2 Comments

Just when you thought Nazem Kadri was all but forgotten in Toronto the London, Ontario native put together an excellent November with the Maple Leafs AHL affiliate Toronto Marlies, culminating in player of the month honors. A former first round draft pick (seventh overall 2009 NHL Entry Draft), Kadri has struggled to make the big club. Management has always maintained they believe in Kadri, but have also made it very clear that until Kadri embraces the idea of playing a 200 foot game, he will remain in the minors. Kadri scored six goals and 11 assists in November for a total of 17 points in 12 games. Kadri’s inspired play has the Marlies in first place in the North Division, which is a testament to his embracing a two-way game. Centre Joe Colborne (currently playing with the Maple Leafs) received


How Good Are The Maple Leafs?

December 1st, 2011 1 Comment

The Toronto Maple Leafs ended the month of November on a sour note, losing a hard fought battle against the Boston Bruins by a final score of 6-3. Wednesday night’s tilt against the reigning Stanley Cup Champions had it’s fair share of high and low points, but overall it was the best effort the Maple Leafs have made against the Bruins this season—a team that has won three games against the Blue and White by a combined score of 19-5. For all the shortcomings that come with losing three games against the Bruins this season, the Buds have had plenty to be proud of this season, including their 14-9-2 record through 25 games, which has them sitting in fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Much of the Maple Leafs success can be attributed to the tremendous offensive performances of


Is Bobby Ryan On The Block?

November 29th, 2011 4 Comments

Rumors are swirling that Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray is looking to make changes in Anaheim. Marred in a seven game losing streak, the Ducks are in grave danger of missing the playoffs, which, for a team that according to carries a $60,681,263 payroll and has attendance issues, is simply out of the question. Veteran forward Teemu Selanne leads the Ducks in scoring this season with eight goals and 14 assists. Teammates Corey Perry (ten goals, eight assists), Ryan Getzlaf (four goals, 12 assists), Cam Fowler (two goals, ten assists), Saku Koivu (four goals, seven assists) and Bobby Ryan (seven goals, four assists) round out the Ducks’ top-six scorers. Combined, Selanne, Perry, Getzlaf, Fowler, Koivu and Ryan own a plus/minus rating of minus-42, with Getzlaf and Perry leading the way at minus-13 each. While the questionable goaltending of


December Will Decide Season For Toronto Maple Leafs

November 29th, 2011 1 Comment

With a 14-8-2 record to start the season the Toronto Maple Leafs have surprised many. Front and centre has been Phil Kessel, who leads the NHL in goals (16) and points (31), while rounding out what many perceived to be a one-trick style of game. Also in the mix as Toronto’s MVP has been Joffrey Lupul. He too has been lights out on more nights than not, registering 11 goals and 18 assists through 24 games played, good enough for 29 points, which gives Lupul a share of second overall in the scoring race. On defense, Dion Phaneuf has looked like a player worthy of an all-star conversation, while veteran John-Michael Liles has brought an element of leadership and offensive flare to a lineup that was in desperate need of some depth. Despite plenty of criticism for his horrible defensive


Toronto Maple Leafs Defeat Lame Ducks

November 28th, 2011 4 Comments

Heading into Sunday nights tilt against the Anaheim Ducks there was a lot of talk about the return of Joffrey Lupul and Jake Gardiner, the two players Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke received from the Ducks in the Francois Beauchemin deal. While Gardiner never really got a taste with the Ducks organization, Lupul watched as numerous players moved up the Ducks depth chart while injuries and a lack of belief in the former Anaheim first round (seventh overall) pick conspired to put Lupul on the back burner in Anaheim. As the saying goes, “one mans garbage is another mans treasure” and Lupul and Gardiner have been just that for the Maple Leafs, treasure. Heading into Sunday nights action Lupul had 11 goals and 27 points through 23 games, while Gardiner has slowly established himself as a legitimate top-four