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Wayne Gryde
Wayne Gryde
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Leafs Fan
Leafs Fan
2 posts

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Leafs Fan

Maple Leafs fans charged with public mischief for jersey tossing protests posted by Leafs Fan

Have you ever seen a beer thrown on the ice during an NHL game?

It’s tragic, really, considering the price-per-ounce of arena suds. But it’s also something usually done in protest of an injustice against the home team, such as a bad call or a heinous act by the visiting team.

Does it lead to an ejection of that fan from the arena? Sometimes. Does it lead to an arrest? Well, no, because that’s draconian and stupid. 

On Monday night, during the Toronto Maple Leafs’ latest “can it get ANY worse?” low-point of their season, fans threw a few items at the ice: Their Leafs jerseys, four of them, during different parts of the game.

The difference between those beers and those jerseys, outside of taste: The latter were tossed to express frustration over the home team’s performance, to embarrass management and send a message to the players.

One more difference: Two of the fans who tossed jerseys were charged with a crime,

This police action was telegraphed by MLSE earlier this season, when other Leafs fans were throwing their jerseys on the ice as the team let the Randy Carlyle fungus grow in their garden.

True to their word, the police apparently decided to drop the hammer on protesting fans.

As we’ve said before, throwing a jersey on the ice is the ultimate form of protest, and especially in a Canadian city where the whole “just stop going to the games!” revolution is about as likely as telling a Catholic to stay home from Christmas mass.

Is removing a fan from the ACC for throwing a jersey on the ice justified? Sure. You obviously don’t want to create an environment where fans feel like they can throw anything over the glass to delay the game, unless it’s a hat or a waffle or something that criticizes the opponent rather than the home team.

Continue reading "Maple Leafs fans charged with public ..."

Ducks Fan

Ducks make it easy for Bryzgalov in 5-1 win posted by Ducks Fan

Anaheim Ducks goalie Ilya Bryzgalov got his first win with the team and his teammates couldn’t have made it any easier.

The Ducks needed only 14 saves from Bryzgalov as they throttled the New Jersey Devils Friday night in an easy 5-1 victory at Honda Center.

“They played tremendous,” Bryzgalov said. “They play really hard for me to get that win. Pretty much they give them nothing and score five goals. What else can you ask from the team?”

The Ducks held New Jersey to one shot in the second period, tying a team mark last set in October against Dallas. The Devils had just six shots in the first 40 minutes.

It was another dominating effort after a 4-0 dismantling of Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday, leading the Ducks to think they’re on to something better after living on the edge most of the season.

Beleskey, who was scratched Wednesday, dropped a soft pass for a trailing Lindholm on a rush up ice and he snapped a shot past Kinkaid on the stick side for a 2-1 lead.

Just 1:52 later, Silfverberg got his first goal and point since Dec. 13 by tapping in Andrew Cogliano’s centering pass to snap a 12-game slump. Patrick Maroon also ended a goal-scoring drought dating to Dec. 3 when he beat Kinkaid after getting a pass from Ryan Getzlaf.

“It’s been a long time,” Silfverberg said. “It felt good to get a couple tonight. Hopefully I can build off this and keep scoring more goals frequently.”

Lindholm would set up Silfverberg’s power-play goal late in the third to finish the rout. Bryzgalov finally had to do his heavy lifting in the third, starting it by making back-to-back saves on Michael Ryder and Mike Cammalleri to keep the two-goal edge intact.

Continue reading "Ducks make it easy for Bryzgalov in 5-1 win"

Leafs Fan

Toronto Maple Leafs: Strength and Weaknesses and Chances of Winning the Stanley Cup posted by Leafs Fan

The Toronto Maple Leafs did not manage to get to the playoffs through the Atlantic conference. The team finished 23rd overall in the league with 84 points. The last fourteen games were the worst for the team. They lost 12 of them and this meant something had to be done.

Young Assistant Manager

The team’s General Manager Dave Nonis, made a number of dramatic changes to the team. One of them was making 28 year old Kyle Dubas the new assistant General Manager. Questions were raised about bringing in a 28 year old to be an Assistant Manager.

The General Manager expressed confidence in Kyle “…Age was never a factor.. it was clear to us quickly that he’s going to be good at it”, He said. Kyle Dubas played and worked for a Hockey team that was once owned by his grandfather. He brings to the team analytics and data.

Some of the top teams like the Kings and the Blackhawks have relied on these analytics in the recent past. The Maple Leafs hopes to leverage on more emphasis on data to produce better results in the coming seasons.

Goaltending and Defence

The Leafs have two of the best goaltenders in the league; that is James Reimer and Jonathan Bernier. Reimer suffered some injury early in the season opener, but recovered quickly and got back in the game. The defense is also another problem that the team is hoping to solve this season. In the previous season leafs gave up 35.9 shots per game, worse than any other team in the NHL.


There are major changes that have been made to the team. We are yet to see what an emphasis in analytics will do for the team. They will do better, but chances are they will struggle to get to the first round of the playoffs.

Continue reading "Toronto Maple Leafs: Strength and ..."

Brad VanFossan

Golden Effort Falls Just Short posted by Brad VanFossan

A Golden Effort Falls Just Short By Brad VanFossan I know it’s more than just a hockey game when my 63 year old father is looking forward to watching, and has been watching most of the hockey games during this Olympics. I know it’s more than just a game when patrons at bars ask to turn the hockey game on, both the men’s and women’s games, as I have seen happen over the last couple weeks. This is about reliving nostalgia for those who were around for the 1980 Gold Medal team‘s “Miracle“ run. And it’s about wanting to experience that same feeling for those of us who were too young or weren’t around then. This is the kind of thing the brings generations of sons and fathers together creating memories that become part of family lore. More importantly, this is a message to the world that hockey isn’t a secondary sport in the United States anymore, but one we can excel at, and even be the best.  It’s almost time for the opening face off, winning twice on enemy territory won’t be easy, but I think if anyone can, it’s this group of relentless young men. No matter what the outcome, they will put forth an effort to be proud of.My in game thoughts from the penalty box: -In the first U.S./Canada match up the U.S. was able to score first, taking the crowd out of things for a bit, today Canada scored first, it’s the first time the U.S. has trailed all Olympics. -Jonathan Toews goal was off of a rebound, not too much cause for concern yet. The U.S. is still playing pretty well, theyContinue reading "Golden Effort Falls Just Short"

Andy Charles

Leafs busy as deadline looms posted by Andy Charles

As the trade deadline approaches it was the Toronto Maple Leafs who made the first big moves to start the rebuilding of their franchise with the addition of hulking defenseman Dion Phaneuf and veteran goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

The Leafs appear unlikely to challenge for the Eastern Conference playoff places this season, sitting bottom after a 5-3 defeat by Vancouver on Saturday that saw them take a 3-0 lead and fall to an embarrassing defeat with some poor play on the blueline.

Toronto have let in more goals than any other team in the NHL this season and needed a real shutdown defender who also provides some offense – there are few better at both, according to NHL Picks, than Phaneuf.

GM Brian Burke appears to have started work early and, other than center Matt Stajan, doesn’t seem to have given up much in the way of talent to add two players who could be a real improvement on their current staff.

Phaneuf, at 6ft 6ins, will give a deal more stability than Ian White on the first defensive pairing and when Mike Komisarek returns to his best after shoulder trouble they have a couple of veterans to look after promising youngsters Luke Schenn and Carl Gunnarsson.

The Leafs also received veteran winger Fredrik Sjostrom and prospect Keith Aulie in the Phaneuf deal, giving up Stajan, White, Niklas Hagman and Jamal Mayers.

Aulie could be a very interesting add to the Toronto farm as well, since he played very well for Canada in the World Junior Championship, and his size will also be something for the Leafs to make use of when he is ready to graduate from the American Hockey League.

Continue reading "Leafs busy as deadline looms"

Jeff Ponder

Maple Leafs Make Some Big Moves posted by Jeff Ponder

It seems that Leafs' GM Brian Burke has not needed sleep this weekend.

Burke announced on Sunday morning that the team had made two blockbuster moves that will see all-star defenseman Dion Phaneuf and all-star goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere in Maple Leaf jerseys.  Burke shipped forwards Jamal Mayers, Matt Stajan, and Nick Hagman with defenseman Ian White to the Flames for Phaneuf, forward Fredrik Sjostrom and prospect Keith Aulie.  The second trade involved Giguere heading to Toronto from Anaheim for forward Jason Blake and goaltender Vesa Toskala.

The trade comes the morning after a loss to Vancouver on Saturday, sending the Leafs on a six-game winless skid.  But Burke denies that the trades have anything to do with the losses.  He says that “these pieces were in place prior to yesterday.”

"We've got to create tension where there's enough talent on the roster and a high enough battle level that the coach has decisions to make," Burke said. "Right now he doesn't have decisions to make. It's these guys who got to go on the ice. We're trying to change that. Today is an important part of changing that."

Its no surprise that the team is having a shake-up; some people in Toronto are pointing fingers at head coach Ron Wilson for the team's atrocious 17-28-11 record, which ties them for last in the Eastern Conference.  But Wilson has proven time and again that he has regular-season success.  His 569-489-101-70 all-time record (with the Mighty Ducks, Capitals, Sharks and Maple Leafs), proves that he knows how to be an elite coach in the game. 
Continue reading "Maple Leafs Make Some Big Moves"

Goon Squad

USA! USA! USA! posted by Goon Squad

Has it been 30 years now since the US beat the Soviet Union at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid?(It seems like only yesterday...)

The Americans went on to win the gold medal in hockey that year - something that hasn't happened since, but don't expect any miracles next month at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. No, the United States still isn't favored to win a gold medal in hockey. In that respect the Americans remain underdogs. But with a roster stacked with young talent, they certainly are a medal candidate - one that the powerhouses from Canada, Russia and Sweden can't afford to overlook. "A little bit different situation [than 1980] in my opinion," said United States team captain Jamie Langenbrunner, a forward with the NHL's New Jersey Devils. "As much as Canada deserves all the credit that they're getting for the players they have, the 23 players named to the [United States] team play in the same league as those guys and we feel quite comfortable playing against them on a nightly basis. We feel we belong on the same ice."

That's a far cry from goalie Jim Craig and the 1980 team! US coach Herb Brooks had to convince that group of college All-Stars that it could compete with the grown men the Soviet Union sent over. But since 1998 the NHL has allowed its professional players to compete at the Winter Olympics. So this group of Americans is baffled by the notion that they would be intimidated by any of the major hockey powers.

Told of stories in the Canadian press that listed him as the only American capable of making the loaded Team Canada roster, forward Zach Parise chuckled. "I think that's kind of a bold statement," said Parise, also a New Jersey Devils forward. "I don't think there's going to be too many people that would agree with that."

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Jeff Ponder

Maple Leafs Sign Mike Komisarek to 5-Year, $22.5 Million Contract posted by Jeff Ponder

Leafs GM Brian Burke was not done adding some grit to his lineup after signing New York's Colton Orr to a 4-year, $4 million contract.  He continued on a few hours later, picking defenseman Mike Komisarek up from free-agency.

The former Montreal Canadien is not known for his offensive ability, but rather his toughness and defensive abilities.  Komisarek, an All-Star in 2009, paved the way for the Montreal defense to start the 2008-09 campaign.  He was known league-wide as a feisty defenseman who will not back down from any challenge.  Komisarek finished last season with 121 penalty minutes, which led the Canadiens roster.

With an average of $4.5 million a year, Komisarek is expected to be a leader in the Leafs' lineup.  Signing a player of Mike's caliber to this kind of contract is frowned upon by many NHL general managers nowadays, (notably Red Wings GM Ken Holland, who says that defensive defensemen should not make more than $3 million a season), but this could be a smart signing for Burke.  Komisarek could help further the progress of young Luke Schenn, which could potentially benefit the team for years to come.Continue reading "Maple Leafs Sign Mike Komisarek to ..."

Julia Borgini

The Canadiens Move Up to Seventh in the Playoff Race posted by Julia Borgini

Saturday night's 6-2 convincing win over the Toronto Maple Leafs provided the Canadiens with a little breathing room in the race for the playoffs. They moved up to seventh in the Easter Conference standings, with 4 games to play.

THE GOOD: Montreal wins 6-2 against Toronto. Three goals scored on the power play. Balanced scoring as Kovalev, Latendresse, Tanguay, Higgins, Gorges, and Lapierre all score. Halak solid in net for a flu-ridden Price, who's also playing well of late.

THE BAD: Tanguay coughing up the puck to Toronto's Boyd Devereaux, who scored a short-handed goal in the third period.

THE UGLY: The blue line took a serious hit when both Schneider AND Markov left the game with 'upper-body injuries'.

THE RESULT: Montreal is in seventh, 3 points ahead of the eighth place Rangers and Panthers (who are now tied.) They still have one game in hand against both of those teams, and sit only 1 point behind the sixth place Penguins. The Canadiens finish off the season with 4 games in 6 nights, with two of those games against the Rangers and the Penguins.

Hold on to your hats everyone, it's going to be a wild finish.

Continue reading "The Canadiens Move Up to Seventh ..."


Back from the WBC; first thoughts posted by David

After spending a week and a half with Team Italy, I am home again and am beginning to collect my thoughts on the World Baseball Classic. Highlights from my trip include meeting Curtis Granderson (one of my favorite players), watching Italy beat Canada in Toronto, and being in the press box to hear Peter Gammons leave a voicemail for Scott Boras.

Other baseball people I met include Mike Piazza, Mike Hargrove, Tom Trebelhorn, Jeff Conine, Omar Minaya, and Jeremy Guthrie. I rode an elevator at the Rogers Centre with Larry Walker and Justin Morneau, who were heading to a Toronto Maple Leafs game after Team Canada’s loss to the United States in the opening game. At various points I found myself just a few feet away from Derek Jeter, Dustin Pedroia, Chipper Jones, and Andres Galarraga.

As a fan, there are a number of things I think need to be changed about the WBC.

First of all, a team should have to beat two of the other teams in its first bracket to advance. Venezuela should not have moved on to Round 2 simply by beating the same team twice, especially a team like Italy that has so many fewer major leaguers. That they beat the U.S. in their second try doesn’t count for much because there was little pressure to win, as the only thing on the line was seeding in Miami.

Secondly, all participating countries need to have their best players participate to make the WBC what it should be. Team Canada was sorely lacking in the pitching department, as Rich Harden, Erik Bedard, and Jeff Francis are all recovering from injuries (Francis just had surgery and is expected to miss all of 2009) and Ryan Dempster reportedly declined an invitation to play for the Canadians. Team Canada’s best pitcher – Scott Richmond – didn’t throw a single pitch in the Classic because he was being saved for a game that his team didn’t even get to play.
Continue reading "Back from the WBC; first thoughts"

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