Archive for the ‘Teams’ Category

Brian Burke Needs A Power Forward

December 3rd, 2011 8 Comments

When Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke joined the organization he promised to put together a tough, rugged team that would compete in the trenches. Thus far, Burke has delivered in the win column, but his team hardly resembles a team that brings pugnacity, truculence and testosterone on a daily basis. Prior to the start of the 2011-12 season we discussed the Maple Leafs shortcomings. What emerged was a resounding call for more rugged players—especially those that could own the front of the net and control the boards. Now, players like that are tough to come by. Look around at the NHL rosters and you’ll find physical players are at a premium, especially those that can light the lamp. A quick look at the Blue and White’s roster reveals that Colby Armstrong and Mike Brown are probably the Maple

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James Reimer To Start Against Boston Bruins

December 3rd, 2011 No Comments

The Toronto Maple Leafs have announced that James Reimer will start between the pipes tonight when the Leafs meet the Boston Bruins in the second part of back-to-back contests. Reimer, 23,  has been out of the Maple Leafs lineup with concussion-like symptoms since October 22nd, missing a total of 18 games. While the Maple Leafs have missed Reimer, they registered a reasonable 9-8-1 record in Reimer’s absence. Combined with Reimer’s 4-0-1 record, the Maple Leafs currently own a 14-9-2 record, good enough for sixth overall in the Eastern Conference and second in the Northeast Division—just one point behind the Bruins, who have two games in hand on the Blue and White. Boston has dominated the Maple Leafs in all three meetings thus far, embarrassing the Buds by a combined score of 19-5. The Bruins have owned the Leafs in the

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What’s Happened To Nikolai Kulemin?

December 2nd, 2011 1 Comment

Originally drafted in the second round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft (44th overall), Nikolai Kulemin came to the Maple Leafs with decent credentials. At 6’1” and just over 200 pounds at the time he was drafted, Kulemin had the size to be an effective power forward, but would struggle to learn a more North American friendly style of play which involved playing a 200-foot game instead of just being a goal scorer. Like many Russian prospects before him, Kulemin struggled in his first season with the Maple Leafs, notching 15 goals, 16 assists for a total of 31 points in 78 games, while posting a minus-8 rating. Last season Kulemin came into camp in phenomenal shape, bringing his weight up to 220 pounds and, according to many in the locker room, looking like a beast. Kulemin’s hard work off

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Nazem Kadri Named AHL Player Of The Month

December 1st, 2011 2 Comments

Just when you thought Nazem Kadri was all but forgotten in Toronto the London, Ontario native put together an excellent November with the Maple Leafs AHL affiliate Toronto Marlies, culminating in player of the month honors. A former first round draft pick (seventh overall 2009 NHL Entry Draft), Kadri has struggled to make the big club. Management has always maintained they believe in Kadri, but have also made it very clear that until Kadri embraces the idea of playing a 200 foot game, he will remain in the minors. Kadri scored six goals and 11 assists in November for a total of 17 points in 12 games. Kadri’s inspired play has the Marlies in first place in the North Division, which is a testament to his embracing a two-way game. Centre Joe Colborne (currently playing with the Maple Leafs) received

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Is Bobby Ryan On The Block?

November 29th, 2011 4 Comments

Rumors are swirling that Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray is looking to make changes in Anaheim. Marred in a seven game losing streak, the Ducks are in grave danger of missing the playoffs, which, for a team that according to Capgeek.com carries a $60,681,263 payroll and has attendance issues, is simply out of the question. Veteran forward Teemu Selanne leads the Ducks in scoring this season with eight goals and 14 assists. Teammates Corey Perry (ten goals, eight assists), Ryan Getzlaf (four goals, 12 assists), Cam Fowler (two goals, ten assists), Saku Koivu (four goals, seven assists) and Bobby Ryan (seven goals, four assists) round out the Ducks’ top-six scorers. Combined, Selanne, Perry, Getzlaf, Fowler, Koivu and Ryan own a plus/minus rating of minus-42, with Getzlaf and Perry leading the way at minus-13 each. While the questionable goaltending of

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December Will Decide Season For Toronto Maple Leafs

November 29th, 2011 1 Comment

With a 14-8-2 record to start the season the Toronto Maple Leafs have surprised many. Front and centre has been Phil Kessel, who leads the NHL in goals (16) and points (31), while rounding out what many perceived to be a one-trick style of game. Also in the mix as Toronto’s MVP has been Joffrey Lupul. He too has been lights out on more nights than not, registering 11 goals and 18 assists through 24 games played, good enough for 29 points, which gives Lupul a share of second overall in the scoring race. On defense, Dion Phaneuf has looked like a player worthy of an all-star conversation, while veteran John-Michael Liles has brought an element of leadership and offensive flare to a lineup that was in desperate need of some depth. Despite plenty of criticism for his horrible defensive

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