World Junior Championships: What Went Wrong For Canada?

January 5th, 2014 No Comments

If you are a fan of hockey on any level, by now you have heard about Canada’s fourth place finish at the 2013-14 World Junior Championships. Canada’s 2-1 loss to Russia, bounced Canada from earning a medal for the second straight year, which has many Canadians second guessing everything from the players that were selected, to the way Team Canada plays on the ice. To be fair, with Finland defeating Sweden in the Gold Medal Game, that marks the fifth different Gold Medal winner in six years, which speaks to the increase in popularity, diversity and love of the game of hockey on a global level. It also speaks to the level of preparedness other Nations are bringing to the table, and the excellent level of training and coaching they are offering their young players. Heading into the WJC, Canada

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At The Half Way Point: Are The Toronto Maple Leafs Playoff Bound?

January 3rd, 2014 No Comments

Like many NHL teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs have had to endure a number of injuries to key players (Tyler Bozak, Joffrey Lupul and Dave Bolland), player suspensions (Nazem Kadri and David Clarkson) and a few bad calls during the first half of the 2013-14 NHL regular season schedule. Even with Toronto’s bad fortunes, the Blue and White have earned a decent 21-16-5 record, placing them Fifth overall in the Eastern Conference standings, three points up on the eighth place Philadelphia Flyers and nine points back of the Boston Bruins, who lead the Atlantic Division. With many Ontario-born NHL players bringing their “A” game to the Air Canada Centre, wins at Home have always been tough to come by for the Maple Leafs. Thus far, Toronto has put together a 14-8-1 record at Home, which dwarfs their paltry 7-8-4 Road

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Should The Maple Leafs Go After Dustin Byfuglien?

December 1st, 2013 No Comments

With his team falling in the Eastern Conference standings and nothing in the form of relief seemingly available from the Toronto Marlies, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis has a dilemma on his hands— stand pat and watch his team go down in flames, or make a significant move that improves your team immediately. In the past, simply adding a player of substance to the Maple Leafs’ lineup would have appeased the Blue and White’s fan base. At this point, with little in the way of leadership, physical play or ownership of poor play, the Maple Leafs not only need to improve their roster, they will need to address their sub-par culture. In order to do this, the Maple Leafs will be in search of not only a talented player, but a big personality, someone who makes a difference

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Do The Maple Leafs have Enough To Offer Pittsburgh For Evgeni Malkin?

November 27th, 2013 No Comments

With the Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins falling in the standings, both teams look to be in need of a shakeup. In the case of the Maple Leafs, injuries to David Bolland, Tyler Bozak and now Joffrey Lupul have combined to derail them from early season success. A three game suspension handed out to Nazem Kadri didn’t help matters, nor does the fact that the Maple Leafs are giving up an average of 35.6 shots per game, ranking them 28th overall. Injuries, the Kadri suspension, the high shots against per game total and a recent reduction in offense (Leafs have scored just 18 goals in their past ten games), have the Buds on track to be out of the playoff picture before long. Despite employing Tyler Bozak, Nazem Kadri and the addition of Bolland to the lineup, the Maple

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Is It Time For The Maple Leafs To Give Up On Joffrey Lupul?

November 27th, 2013 3 Comments

With news hitting the airways that Toronto Maple Leafs’ forward Joffrey Lupul will be out of the lineup with a grade two groin strain, it appears as if, once again, the Maple Leafs will be without one of their best forwards for an undetermined amount of time (probably 3-10 days). When Lupul is in the lineup he is one of Toronto’s most productive players, registering 118 points in 132 games played with the Maple Leafs, or just under a point per game. As great as those numbers are, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis has a tough decision to make— does he continue to run with Lupul despite his penchant (or bad luck) for getting injured, or does he finally pull the plug on what has become a very unreliable player. When Lupul is on his game he is

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What’s Wrong With The Toronto Maple Leafs?

November 26th, 2013 No Comments

Fresh off of an embarrassing 6-0 loss to a Columbus Blue Jacket lineup that was without the services of defenseman James Wisniewski and forwards Nathan Horton, Marian Gaborik and Brandon Dubinsky, Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle has to be concerned with his teams lack of effort and the overall inconsistency with which the Blue and White seem to be approaching opponents. While Toronto still sits fourth overall in the Eastern Conference standings, they have amassed a paltry 4-5-1 record in their past ten games, scoring a pathetic 18 goals over that span, nine of which came in games against the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders in which the Leafs scored a total of four and five goals, respectively. To say the Maple Leafs are struggling offensively would be an understatement. Sure, the Maple Leafs were without the

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