Toronto Maple Leafs: Tough Decisions Looming For GM Dave Nonis

January 21st, 2014 1 Comment

With his club currently enjoying it’s first five-game winning streak in seven years, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis can be forgiven if he has a smile on his face. Toronto’s recent good fortunes catapulted the Maple Leafs into sixth place in the Eastern Conference Standings, albeit under the cloud of playing 51 games, while most of the East sits at 49 games played. With the New York Rangers (7-2-1 in their past ten games), Columbus Blue Jackets (7-3-0 in their past ten games) and the Ottawa Senators (6-2-2 in their past ten games) all surging, Toronto must maintain their current pace or better, which saw them go 6-4-0 in their past ten games. The Detroit Red Wings (4-5-1) and Washington Capitals (2-5-3) are running cold of late. Both teams sit five points behind the Maple Leafs, both teams

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Toronto Maple Leafs: What Is Going On In Toronto?

January 10th, 2014 No Comments

After making the playoffs for the first time in what felt like a decade last season, the expectations for the Toronto Maple Leafs heading in to the 2013-14 season were high. Sure, the Maple Leafs fell to the Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs last year, but they competed well with the eventual Eastern Conference representative in the Stanley Cup Finals, albeit losing in brutal fashion in game seven. Fast forward to 45 game mark of the 2013-14 season and, for the first time this season,  the Maple Leafs find themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to a playoff spot, sitting tenth in the Eastern Conference standings. After a great 6-1 start to the season, the Maple Leafs have been sliding in the standings for months. Injuries, suspensions and poor play by all parties

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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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