Archive for the ‘Teams’ Category

Toronto Maple Leafs Fans Growing Impatient

December 19th, 2010 No Comments

Being a Toronto Maple Leaf fan is a little like picking a scab—you know you shouldn’t do it, but you do it anyways, regardless of the pain. Most Leaf fans having been picking at their scab for a few decades now, never satisfying that itch, never giving their open wound time to heal. When General Manager Brian Burke came to the Maple Leafs two years ago it was widely believed that, for the first time in many years, the right man was finally in place to make the Maple Leafs successful before long. In an effort to make the Maple Leafs a better team Burke has made a number of key acquisitions including trading for Phil Kessel, Dion Phaneuf and J.S. Giguere, signing Colby Armstrong, Kris Versteeg, Mike Komisarek and others, with various degrees of success. Unfortunately, try as Burke

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The John Mitchell Experiment: Time To Blow It Up!

December 17th, 2010 No Comments

Originally drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the fifth round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, John Mitchell came to the Leafs with what many thought was tremendous offensive upside. Mitchell, who stands 6’1 and weighs in at 204 pounds, played his junior hockey with the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL, scored 53 goals and 104 assists in his final two seasons as a junior—not the kind of stats that would blow anyone away, but certainly good enough to have teams believe he could emerge as a legitimate top six NHL forward. After his time in the OHL, Mitchell found himself with the St. John’s Maple Leafs and Toronto Marlies for parts of four seasons. Mitchell struggled offensively, scoring a total of 41 goals and 63 assists over what really amounts to three seasons (he played only two games

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Dion Phaneuf Returns To Calgary Tonight

December 16th, 2010 No Comments

When Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke and Calgary Flames GM Darryl Sutter consummated their seven-player deal last January many felt the Toronto Maple Leafs won the trade hands-down. Fast forward ten months later and, while many Calgary fans long to believe they have won the trade, it appears as if Toronto will emerge with the better deal. It has been said many times that the team that emerges with the best player wins a trade. While one can argue that Phaneuf is not worth the $7 million salary he carries, the accumulative play of former Flames Phaneuf, Keith Aulie and Fredrik Sjostrom has been far and away better than that of Nik Hagman, Matt Stajan and the departed Jamal Mayers and Ian White. At the time of the trade rumors were running rampant that Phaneuf was a negative influence

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Ten Alternatives To The Shootout

December 15th, 2010 4 Comments

The NHL first adapted the shootout to settle regular season games for the 2005-06 season. At the time, many fans were complaining about the number of games that were ending in a tie and they wanted a winner. Since it’s inception there have been a total of 856 shootouts, which equates to approximately 13 percent of all games being decided by what is arguably a glorified skills competition. (all stats courtesy of NHLshootouts.com). For some NHL teams, the difference between making the playoffs and heading to the golf course early often hinges on their success in the shootout, which is a travesty. Traditional hockey fans roll their eyes at the thought that their team could miss the playoffs based on their success in the shootout. For them, a tie was just fine, an indication that both teams played their hearts

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Toronto Maple Leafs: Is The Glass Half Full Or Half Empty?

December 13th, 2010 No Comments

Over the past five games the Toronto Maple Leafs have earned a total of six points, beating the Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals and Montreal Canadiens, while dropping contests to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers. Winning three out of five games sounds great, but the reality is the Maple Leafs are still 4-5-1 in their past ten games and a paltry 11-14-4 on the season, which puts them in 28th place in a thirty team league. After a nice 4-0 start to the season the Maple Leafs struggled to find their consistency. The Leafs have been shut out a league leading five times, have struggled on defense, offense and, most recently, between the pipes and have heard the boo-birds on more than a few occasions. Waffles have been thrown out onto the ice, fans have called for head coach Ron

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Toronto Maple Leafs—Montreal Canadiens Preview

December 11th, 2010 No Comments

Even when the Toronto Maple Leafs were amongst the worst teams in the NHL for years at a time the tradition rivalry of the Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens has always been a passionate one. …..wait a minute, that would be the case now, wouldn’t it? I mean, the Leafs have been struggling to put up wins for the better part of a decade and this season has been no exception. Yes Leaf fans, the Blue and White have been a disgrace on more evenings than not this season, leading to just five wins in their past 20 games, causing many Maple Leaf fans to call for the heads of general manager Brian Burke, head coach Ron Wilson and a multitude of players which includes sniper Phil Kessel who has a paltry three goals over that same 20 game stretch.

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