Archive for the ‘Pressing Debates’ Category

Toronto Maple Leafs Extend John-Michael Liles

January 25th, 2012 2 Comments

The Toronto Maple Leafs have announced that they have signed veteran defenseman John-Michael Liles to a four-year, $15.5 million contract. The contract averages out to $3.875 million per season, which is a pay cut from his current salary which pays him $4.2 million this season. At 31 years of age, Liles’ new contract looks to be on-point for his combination of veteran leadership and abilities. Through 34 games, Liles has four goals and 17 assists for a total of 21 points. Over 557 career NHL games, Liles has scored 72 goals (including 35 power play markers), adding 224 assists for a total of 296 points. Originally drafted in the fifth round (159th overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Liles was acquired via trade from the Colorado Avalanche over the summer for the nominal price of a second round draft


Maple Leafs Down Minnesota Wild, Play Montreal Saturday

January 20th, 2012 No Comments

With his team in a three game losing funk, Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson switched up his lines Thursday night in an effort to get his troops to play better defense and spread out his scoring. One of the riskier moves saw Wilson separate Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul—the NHL’s most potent duo this season. Lupul (who now leads Phil Kessel in team scoring with 51 points on the season to Kessel’s 50) had a three point night, while Kessel scored his 25th goal of the season, albeit on the power play with Lupul notching an assist on the goal. At the end of the day, Wilson’s changes helped catapult the Buds past the slumping Minnesota Wild (2-6-2 in their past ten games) to the tune of a 4-1 victory. Goaltender Jonas Gustavsson was near perfect on the


Jake Gardiner Assigned To AHL

January 15th, 2012 1 Comment

Having sat out four straight games, Toronto Maple Leafs rookie defenseman Jake Gardiner has officially been assigned to the Maple Leafs AHL affiliate Toronto Marlies Sunday afternoon. Gardiner shocked many when he made the big club straight out of training camp, followed by an impressive stretch of games which saw him register ten assists through 37 games this season, while posting a respectable minus-1 rating. Known as an offensive defenseman, Gardiner uses his skating and hockey sense to outwit opposing forwards, while also possessing the ability to make a quick first pass. Originally drafted in the first round (17th overall) by the Anaheim Ducks, Burke was able to bring Gardiner to Toronto late last season as part of the Francoise Beauchemin deal. Originally expected to make the team by the All-Star break, Gardiner’s solid play led to the big club


Lack Of Physical Play Continues To Haunt Maple Leafs

January 15th, 2012 No Comments

The New York Rangers put a beating on the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night, outhitting the Blue and White by a final tally of 48-39, shutting down the Maple Leafs first line of Phil Kessel, Joffrey Lupul and Tim Connolly, en route to a convincing 3-0 win over the Buds in Toronto. The Maple Leafs put together a lousy 20 shots against the Rangers. To say the Blue and White were not dialed-in on this night would be an understatement as the Rangers made the Maple Leafs look like a very average team—this on a night where the Rangers dressed backup goaltender Martin Biron between the pipes. While a better physical effort would not have guaranteed a win against the Rangers, there is every indication that until the Blue and White step up their game in the physical department that


Does Alexander Ovechkin Deserve To Be At The All-Star Game?

January 12th, 2012 2 Comments

The NHL announced the full list of players that have been picked to take part in the 2012 All-Star game. Fan voting and a penchant for trying to include at least one player from each team often leads to a few questionable players getting an invite—this year is no exception. The All-Star roster will include such stars as Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel, Vancouver Canucks forwards Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, Chicago Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews, Florida Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell, as well as a number of Ottawa Senators, many of whom had been voted in by the Ottawa fans. While there is no guarantee that every fan will be satisfied with all of the All-Star choices, the NHL does a good job of trying to accommodate at least one player from each NHL team,


Toronto Maple Leafs- At The Halfway Point

January 9th, 2012 2 Comments

With 41 games in the books for the 2011-12 season, the Toronto Maple Leafs have officially met the halfway point of the season. After a fast start, the Maple Leafs stumbled a bit in November before bottoming out with just four wins in December. Still, having earned 47 points in their first 41 games the Buds are on pace to earn 94 points on the season, which would put them nine points ahead of last years pace of 85 points and right on the cusp of a playoff spot. With the Buds still in a playoff position at the halfway point (seventh overall in the Eastern Conference) most Maple Leaf fans will take it, for better, or for worse. On special teams, the Maple Leafs made huge strides on the power play, going from 16th overall with a 16 percent

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