Heading into the 2013-14 season, one of the more interesting debates for the Toronto Maple Leafs management team and fans was which netminder (James Reimer or Jonathan Bernier) would emerge as the number one starter for the Blue and White. Despite posting a 19-8-5 record, a respectable 2.46 goals against average and an impressive 0.924 save percentage during the shortened 2012-13 NHL season, there were still doubts whether or not Reimer could get the job done in the playoffs. Reimer followed up his decent regular season work with an up and down playoff series against the Boston Bruins, emerging with a 3-4 record, 0.923 save percentage and a 2.88 goals against average. With many questioning Reimer’s ability to handle the puck, control rebounds and his penchant for giving up bad goals aimed at a perceived weak glove hand, Toronto Maple
According to sources, the Philadelphia Flyers have quietly informed NHL teams that, in the right deal, Brayden Schenn would be available. The obvious question for fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs is— would a move for Schenn makes sense for the Maple Leafs and general manager Dave Nonis? Originally drafted in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings, Schenn established himself as a dominate player in the Western Hockey League and on the International Hockey scene. Schenn had a cup of coffee with the Kings before being traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in a deal which saw the Kings’ trade defenseman Jack Johnson and forwards Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn and a 1st round draft pick to the Flyers for forwards Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. Richards and Carter ended up being
The Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders will face-off at the Air Canada Center where, through 20 games, Toronto has registered a 7-2-0 Home record. Heading into tonight’s tilt, both teams have their fair share of injuries to deal with. For the Islanders, they will be without the services of Thomas Vanek (upper body), Evgeni Nabokov (groin), Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion) and Brian Strait (upper body). Comparatively, the Maple Leafs will be without the services of Tyler Bozak (lower body), Dave Bolland (ankle) and Mark Fraser (lower body). Maple Leafs’ sniper Phil Kessel has the flu. Kessel will dress for tonight’s game, but he will not be at 100 percent. The Leafs will also be without Nazem Kadri, who will be serving the third game of his three game suspension. In order to off-set their shortcomings down the middle, Toronto
The Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres will play game one of back-to-back games Friday night. Toronto will enter the game with their top three centres out of the lineup thanks to injuries to David Bolland (ankle) and Tyler Bozak (lower body) and a questionable hit on Minnesota Wild netminder Niklas Backstrom, which resulted in the suspension of Nazem Kadri for three games. As a result of Toronto’s slim pickings down the middle, Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle will have to be creative. James Van Riemsdyk looks to be Carlyle’s first line centre, with Jay McClement jumping up to second line duty from the fourth line and recent call-up Jerred Smithson assuming third line duty. Friday night’s game will mark the return of interim Head Coach Ted Nolan to the Sabres. Nolan, who posted a 73-72-19 record with Buffalo
Don’t look now, for the first time in more than a decade, the Toronto Maple Leafs appear to have their goaltending woes solved. Not since Eddie Belfour and, before him, Curtis Joseph, roamed the crease, have the Maple Leafs enjoyed the type of goaltending they have received from the likes of Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer this season. Heading into Toronto’s tilt against the Vancouver Canucks this Saturday night, Reimer owns an unblemished 4-0-0 record (1.99 goals against average, 0.949 save percentage), while Bernier owns an equally impressive 6-4-0 record (2.31 GAA, 0.933 SV%). Through ten games played, Bernier owns the seventh best save percentage, 13th best goals against average and ranks fifth overall with 305 saves. Meanwhile, in a more limited role, Reimer owns the second best save percentage and the seventh best goals against average. Given Toronto’s penchant
Fresh off an impressive 4-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers, the Toronto Maple Leafs get set to faceoff against a surprising Calgary Flames team, which, despite many experts picking them to finish at the bottom of the NHL standings this season, has earned a respectable 5-4-2 record through 11 games. Maple Leafs sniper Phil Kessel continues to be red hot (7 goals, three assists in his past ten games), earning second star status from the NHL last week and scoring another two goals (one of which was highlight reel worthy) Tuesday night against the Oilers. Kessel’s pair of goals brought his season total to nine— good enough to put Kessel third overall in goals scored and second overall in the NHL scoring race with 18 points, just behind Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby, who has 20 points on the season.