Archive for the ‘Pressing Debates’ Category

Devils Down Maple Leafs: Is It Time To Hit The Panic Button?

February 22nd, 2012 10 Comments

There are times in an NHL season that your team really lets you down. The Toronto Maple Leafs continued their downward spiral on Tuesday night, losing a hard fought game to the New Jersey Devils by a final score of 4-3 in overtime. Maple Leafs sniper Phil Kessel tied the game with 44 seconds left in the third period, beating Devils’ goaltender Martin Brodeur with a slick wrist shot which eluded the future hall of fame netminder. Despite Kessel’s heroics,Torontowas unable to close the deal, as Devils’ defenseman Mark Fayne put a weak shot pastTorontogoaltender Jonas Gustavsson at the 01:18 mark of overtime. For Gustavsson, Fayne’s shot resulted in one of three questionable goals on the evening. Soft goals and poor positioning for their goaltenders and a lack of overall defense is killing the Maple Leafs chances of making the

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Is Ray Emery Brian Burke’s Answer Between The Pipes?

February 20th, 2012 15 Comments

There has been a lot of talk lately about the future of both of the Toronto Maple Leafs goaltenders. Jonas Gustavsson is an unrestricted free agent this summer which brings into question whether or not Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke will attempt to re-sign the Swedish goaltender, while James Reimer’s future with the Toronto Maple Leafs has been slightly compromised due to injuries and some sub-par numbers this season. Brought over from Sweden via free agency, Gustavsson has amassed a record of 38-40-12 through 97 career starts, including a 16-12-1 record this season. Gustavsson’s rookie season saw his post a 16-15-9 record, but he struggled in his second season, amassing a paltry 6-13-2 record. A heart ailment and the death of both of his parents were key factors in Gustavsson’s struggles. That and a change in goaltending style that

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Does Brian Burke Need To Rethink His Needs?

February 19th, 2012 15 Comments

With trade rumors swirling that Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke is looking to acquire forward Rick Nash from the Columbus Blue Jackets, Burke’s team was embarrassed by the Vancouver Canucks by a final score of 6-2 on Saturday night. You cannot judge the Maple Leafs netminding and defense based on one game, but when you consider the Blue and White currently sit 27th overall averaging 3.00 goals against per game there is plenty of evidence that this team needs to upgrade on the backend. A quick look at Toronto’s goaltenders reveals James Reimer is ranked 41st in goals against average (2.98) and 36th in save percentage (.903), while Jonas Gustavsson is ranked 37th in G.A.A. (2.85) and 34th in SV% (.906). Truth be told, neither one of these goaltenders has been all-world this season. That said, when you

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Rick Nash: Would An Offer From Toronto Measure Up?

February 18th, 2012 11 Comments

With the NHL trade deadline just nine days away Columbus Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash continues to be in high demand by many NHL teams. The Vancouver Canucks, New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and Toronto Maple Leafs are said to be in the running for Nash’s services, along with the Philadelphia Flyers and San Jose Sharks. The Sharks and Flyers seem to be getting the least amount of press in the Nash Rumors, while Vancouver, New York, Los Angeles and Toronto seem to be the most logical destinations—all things considered. When evaluating what the Blue Jackets could potentially net in trading Nash one must consider Nash’s hefty $7.8 million salary which could potentially play havoc with any team Nash joins. According to capgeek.com, the Vancouver Canucks will have $407,359 available at the deadline. The Los Angeles Kings will have

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Rick Nash Wants Out Of Columbus: Toronto Interested?

February 14th, 2012 81 Comments

TSN’s Bob McKenzie is reporting that at least two sources, (TSN’s French language sister station) reporter Renaud Lavoie and Columbus Dispatch reporter Aaron Portzline have reported that Columbus Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash is on the trade market. In order for any of these claims to be true, Nash, who owns a No Movement Clause, would have to give the Blue Jackets a list of teams he would like to join, which means, despite the trade rumors, Nash is very much in control of his future. Of course, just because Nash has presumably given the Blue Jackets permission to listen to trade offers, there is no guarantee that he gets moved. Clearly, a player with Nash’s impressive resume would command a large return, a return which few NHL teams are willing or able to offer the Blue Jackets. Let’s face

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Monster Decision Looming For Brian Burke

February 13th, 2012 No Comments

When Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke brought Swedish goaltending sensation Jonas Gustavsson to the Toronto Maple Leafs’ organization there was great hope from Burke that “the Monster”—as Gustavsson was so aptly nicknamed—would solidify the Blue and White’s goaltending for years to come. Fast forward three seasons later and the Maple Leafs goaltending situation is still a question mark in many ways. While both Gustavsson and on again/off again number one starter James Reimer have evolved into a decent duo, neither one has emerged as a dominant figure between the pipes, which has to concern Burke on some level. Quietly, and without much fanfare, Gustavsson has put together his best season as a Maple Leaf, posting a 16-11-1 record to go along with a 2.75 goals against average and a .909 save percentage and three shutouts—all career bests for Gus. Within the

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