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Does Cody Franson Have a Future With The Toronto Maple Leafs?

March 14th, 2014 2 Comments

At 6’5” and 213 pounds, Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson ( who may never grow a playoff beard )has the size to be an intimidating NHL defenseman. Blessed with a heavy shot, Franson has the ability to run the power play and has reasonable puck moving skills. With Franson bringing size, puck moving skills and a heavy shot, there would seem to be room for him on the Maple Leafs’ blueline. That said, Franson’s sluggish skating, inconsistent defensive coverage and penchant for not using his size to his full advantage, may be enough for the Maple Leafs to overlook the pending RFA this summer. Through 65 games with the Maple Leafs, Franson has accumulated a total of four goals (one power play marker) and 28 points. Offensively, Franson is better than the average NHL defenseman, but hardly a game

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NHL Trade Deadline: Toronto Maple Leafs Should Be Sellers

March 2nd, 2014 No Comments

Just a few days away from the NHL Trade Deadline, it is painfully obvious that Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis has some tough decisions to make. While Nonis’ team looks to be on-pace to make the playoffs, the Maple Leafs have a ton of question marks heading into the big dance. The Maple Leafs biggest concern continues to be their inadequate defense which continually gives up far too many shots, rarely exhibits good on-ice decisions and fails to clear the net play after play. To put it mildly, the Maple Leafs defense resembles a brick of Swiss Cheese on more nights than not, culminating in a league-worst 36.1 shots against per game, the 26th ranked goals against per game (3.01) and the 28th ranked penalty kill (77.5 percent success rate). While the defensemen should not be shackled with

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Toronto Maple Leafs: Will They Be Active At The Trade Deadline?

February 25th, 2014 1 Comment

After an incredible victory by Team Canada over Sweden at the Olympics, the NHL regular season is just a few hours away from commencing when the Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes drop the puck Tuesday evening. While every hockey fan enjoyed the Olympics, NHL fans from coast-to-coast are chomping at the bit to get back to their favorite teams. A quick look at the NHL standings reveals some excellent playoff races. A total of three points separates the eighth place Detroit Red Wings and the 13th placed New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference, while a measly four points separates the eighth place Dallas Stars from the 12th placed Nashville Predators in the Western Conference. To say the playoff race is tight would be an understatement. Historically, when the playoff races are this tight many NHL teams hold off on

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Toronto Maple Leafs: Tough Decisions Looming For GM Dave Nonis

January 21st, 2014 1 Comment

With his club currently enjoying it’s first five-game winning streak in seven years, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis can be forgiven if he has a smile on his face. Toronto’s recent good fortunes catapulted the Maple Leafs into sixth place in the Eastern Conference Standings, albeit under the cloud of playing 51 games, while most of the East sits at 49 games played. With the New York Rangers (7-2-1 in their past ten games), Columbus Blue Jackets (7-3-0 in their past ten games) and the Ottawa Senators (6-2-2 in their past ten games) all surging, Toronto must maintain their current pace or better, which saw them go 6-4-0 in their past ten games. The Detroit Red Wings (4-5-1) and Washington Capitals (2-5-3) are running cold of late. Both teams sit five points behind the Maple Leafs, both teams

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Toronto Maple Leafs: What Is Going On In Toronto?

January 10th, 2014 No Comments

After making the playoffs for the first time in what felt like a decade last season, the expectations for the Toronto Maple Leafs heading in to the 2013-14 season were high. Sure, the Maple Leafs fell to the Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs last year, but they competed well with the eventual Eastern Conference representative in the Stanley Cup Finals, albeit losing in brutal fashion in game seven. Fast forward to 45 game mark of the 2013-14 season and, for the first time this season,  the Maple Leafs find themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to a playoff spot, sitting tenth in the Eastern Conference standings. After a great 6-1 start to the season, the Maple Leafs have been sliding in the standings for months. Injuries, suspensions and poor play by all parties

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World Junior Championships: What Went Wrong For Canada?

January 5th, 2014 No Comments

If you are a fan of hockey on any level, by now you have heard about Canada’s fourth place finish at the 2013-14 World Junior Championships. Canada’s 2-1 loss to Russia, bounced Canada from earning a medal for the second straight year, which has many Canadians second guessing everything from the players that were selected, to the way Team Canada plays on the ice. To be fair, with Finland defeating Sweden in the Gold Medal Game, that marks the fifth different Gold Medal winner in six years, which speaks to the increase in popularity, diversity and love of the game of hockey on a global level. It also speaks to the level of preparedness other Nations are bringing to the table, and the excellent level of training and coaching they are offering their young players. Heading into the WJC, Canada

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