Archive for the ‘Teams’ Category

Patience, Development, Key For Toronto Maple Leafs

January 14th, 2011 No Comments

Heading into last night’s tilt with the Phoenix Coyotes, the Toronto Maple Leafs were riding a four-game win streak, something that has been about as prominent as Oprah Winfrey saying no to seconds at the buffet! The Leafs’ second unit of Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolai Kulemin and Clarke MacArthur is a key contributor to the Leafs’ recent success, as is rookie goaltender James Reimer, who had been playing for the Maple Leafs’ AHL affiliate Toronto Marlies until his recent callup. After a quick start to the season in which the Maple Leafs won their first four games, the Leafs fell off the rails, losing 11 out of their next 12 games before finally beating the Nashville Predators on November 16. It was the first win in a month for the Leafs, a freefall that killed any chance of the Maple Leafs

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Ron Wilson Wins 600th Game As An NHL Coach

January 12th, 2011 No Comments

Heading into Tuesday nights tilt between the Toronto Maple Leafs and San Jose Sharks Ron Wilson had the opportunity to do what only six other NHL coaches had done before him, win his 600th game as an NHL coach. The irony of having a shot to win number 600 in front of the fans (and many of his ex-players) that witnessed 206 of Wilson’s wins was well documented, surely number 600 would be sweet, winning it in San Jose (the city and team that dismissed Wilson) would be the icing on the cake. Through two periods the Maple Leafs had been shut down. Trailing 1-0, Phil Kessel (who was named to the all-star team yesterday) notched his 19th of the season, tying the game at ones. Calrke MacArthur scored on the power play, giving the Maple Leafs a 2-1 before

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Is The Mikhail Grabovski Line The Best 2nd Unit in The NHL?

January 8th, 2011 1 Comment

Prior to the Toronto Maple Leafs tilt against the Atlanta Thrashers Friday night I was a guest of Louis Pisano on “Get The Puck Out” which airs on MorencySports.com, where, amongst other things, Lou and I debated the validity of Toronto’s second line of Mikhail Grabovski, Clarke MacArthur and Nikolai Kulemin being the NHL’s best second unit. Low and behold, Grabovski, Kulemin and MacArthur went out and scored a combined six goals and ten points against the Thrashers, helping the Maple Leafs pound a very good Atlanta squad by a final score of 9-3. MacArthur and Grabovski are first and second in scoring for the Maple Leafs this season, with 33 and 32 points, respectively. Kulemin is close behind with 29 points, which gives the Maple Leafs second unit a combined 94 points on the season. There may very well

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Brayden Schenn’s Dominance AT WJHC Should End All Trade Rumors

January 6th, 2011 No Comments

With the World Junior Hockey Championships officially in the books, the focus once again turns to the NHL where more than a few teams could use a facelift. One of the teams that has consistently been in the trade rumors this season has been the Los Angeles Kings, and more times than not, Brayden Schenn’s name seems to come up amongst the players going the other way. Schenn has had a busy season, spending time with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League, Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, eight games with the Kings and of course his time with Team Canada at the WJHC. Schenn has struggled at the pro level, scoring three goals and seven points with the Monarchs, while posting just two assists in eight games with the Kings. That said, with all the

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Don’t Look Now, Carey Price Is Struggling

December 31st, 2010 No Comments

Heading into the 2010-11 season many NHL pundits had Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price listed as a question mark. A poor 2009-10 regular season in which Price lost his starting job to Jaroslav Halak, posting a 13-20-5 record along the way, followed by a horrific playoff which saw Price post a 0-1 record to go along with a .890 save percentage and bloated 3.56 goals against average, served as plenty of ammunition as to why Price may struggle this season. To the amazement of many (myself included), Price started the season strong, elevating his game to a new level, earning player of the week honors and, in many people’s minds, solidifying himself as the Canadiens number one goaltender. Price earned respect from the Montreal Canadiens’ fans and NHL fans alike for his efforts, garnering plenty of all-star support, which led

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Nazem Kadri Sent Down To AHL

December 29th, 2010 No Comments

In a move that can hardly be called unexpected, the Toronto Maple Leafs have chosen to send Rookie forward Nazem Kadri down to the American Hockey League where he is expected to continue to develop his game with the Toronto Marlies. Through 17 games Kadri registered six assists, but he struggled to grasp the defensive side of the game, something that keeps many young forwards out of the NHL. Originally selected seventh overall by the Maple Leafs in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Kadri (who struggled at the rookie tournament) made a strong case to make the big club in training camp (especially in the later games), only to find himself sent to the AHL for seasoning. The lingering issue was Kadri’s lack of defensive play and his penchant for turning over the puck in the neutral zone—ok, maybe in

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