Is The Montreal Media Out Of Line?

December 22nd, 2011 5 Comments

The recent firing of Jacques Martin and subsequent hiring of Montreal Canadiens head coach Randy Cunneyworth has sparked a huge controversy in Montreal over the fact that Cunneyworth does not speak French. Former Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau was one of the first to add fuel to the fire when he recently said that “there’s no doubt in my mind that the coach of the Montreal Canadiens has to speak both languages, at least to some extent”. Carbonneau’s comments were reinforced by Team owner Geoff Molson who was quick to point out to the Montreal fans that Cunnyworth’s position with the team was on an interim basis and that a French speaking coach would be hired next season. When you consider the comments of Carbonneau and Molson, Cunnyworth must feel like he is on a very short leash. Talk about

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Kadri’s Time To Shine Is Now

December 21st, 2011 No Comments

November’s AHL player of the month and former first round draft choice of the Toronto Maple Leafs (seventh overall) Nazem Kadri has been called up by the big club and is expected to be in the lineup when the Maple Leafs play host to the Buffalo Sabres Thursday night. Kadri, who has been called up by the Maple Leafs numerous times amongst great hype in the past only to quickly fizzle out, has been given yet another opportunity to shine. With Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul supplying most of the Maple Leafs offense this season, there is plenty of room for a player of Kadri’s considerable offensive talent—the question is, will Kadri showcase his talents this time around or simply fall short of expectations for the umpteenth time? The road to the NHL has not been easy for Kadri. Injuries,

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Little To Cheer About In December For Maple Leafs

December 17th, 2011 5 Comments

Heading into December we predicted that the Toronto Maple Leafs were entering a make or break month where their playoff aspirations were concerned. Case and point— 11 of the Maple Leafs 13 games in December were to be against Eastern Conference foes, thus there was little room for error for the Buds. Six games into the December schedule and the sad reality is the Maple leafs have not been good enough, posting just two wins in their past six, including loses to the Boston Bruins, New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres. The Maple Leafs recent lackadaisical play has seen the Blue and White fall dangerously close to being out of as playoff spot for the first time this season. In today’s parity filled NHL, any extended losing streak will cost you a playoff spot—a point not likely lost

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Maple Leafs Need To Get Serious About Their Penalty Kill

December 11th, 2011 1 Comment

Over the past three seasons, the Toronto Maple Leafs have emerged with the 29th, 30th and 30th ranked penalty kills, respectively. The 2011-12 season has brought the same poor results for the Maple Leafs as, through 29 games the Blue and White own the 29th ranked penalty kill. The Maple Leafs penalty kill hit an all-time low when they gave up four power play goals to the Washington Capitals on Friday night. The Leafs would lose the game by a final tally of 4-2 and a little more confidence along the way. An early season injury to the defensive minded Colby Armstrong and number one goaltender James Reimer for over a month hampered the Maple Leafs’ penalty kill early on in the season. That said, plenty of blame for the Maple Leafs abysmal PK has to go to the current

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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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