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Category: Toronto-Maple-Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs Trading Kasperi Kapanen To The Pittsburgh Penguins

added 12:01pm,

 

added 12:12pm, Pittsburgh release is below.

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Can The Leafs Be Fixed?

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

They remain the team that doesn’t make sense, roster-wise, financially, economically and heading to a cash crunch with an unmoving salary cap.

They can’t play defence, the story goes, but had a decent defensive series against Columbus. They have the highest-paid forwards in the NHL and, after Sheldon Keefe took over as coach, led the league in goal-scoring. Against Columbus, they scored just three even-strength goals in five games.

Dubas insists he believes in the core of this team. But how does he make the team better without moving someone of significance?

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Evening Line- Brendan Shanahan

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Done Again

from Cathal Kelly of the Globe and Mail,

In Sunday’s deciding Game 5, the Leafs decided to live or die by their Big Three. A super-friends lineup of Auston Matthews, John Tavares and Mitch Marner provided many opportunities – a few of which you could have scored on – and not one was taken. Everyone else in blue stood around and watched them work.

Toronto lost the game 3-0 and the series 3-2.

On the one hand, this past week was exciting. On the other hand, the NHL doesn’t give out ribbons for exciting. This season is as much a failure as the last one, and the one before that, and the one before that. Except that each time you fail this way it gets a little worse.

Popular opinion of the Leafs will now split into two camps.

The first and loudest will maintain that the Leafs are the team we saw at the end of the comeback win. That it’s just a matter of harnessing that will to power on a regular basis.

That view will be pushed out hard by management because it’s the easiest one to handle. Believing it is just a matter of time is beneficial for the continued job prospects of all involved.

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from Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star,

So another year’s gone. The salary cap never stops, but you don’t have to break up this core, as tempting as some of it is. There is growth here. A full year under Keefe will help. This Cup chase isn’t over, not by a long shot. Dubas and Keefe have a lot of runway left. Next year is another chance.

But now the Leafs have a 12.5 per cent chance at another No. 1 pick, and Alexis Lafrenière, on Monday night. This series was the cumulation of everything that came before it, of a season wasted, and so the end wasn’t really a surprise, was it? Maybe it should have been, but it wasn’t. They didn’t get better enough, and that’s probably the toughest part of all.

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Video- Mitch Marner And Auston Matthews After Being Eliminated From The Playoffs

2 1/2 minutes to watch.

 

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Win Or Go Home

from Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star,

Sunday night the Leafs and Blue Jackets will play Game 5, and at the end of it one of them will be done. And after a season in which Toronto’s talent wasn’t enough to avoid having to play this game, in which they made the same mistakes over and over again, and in which they saved themselves, what do the Toronto Maple Leafs deserve?

It’s hard to say, really. All you can say is they’re going to get it, either way.

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Video- If You Were Watching The Toronto/Columbus Game

And said game over with Columbus up 3-0 with 4 minutes left in the 3rd.

The Leafs just won in OT to force a game 5 but not before scoring 3 goals in just over 3 1/2 minutes, all with their goie pulled.

 

 

OT goal is below.

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Leafs, Oilers And Penguins Are Three Of The Six Teams Facing Elimination Today

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

One Maple Leaf forewarned that the Blue Jackets “will keep comin’ at you, no matter the score”.

In other words, a three-goal deficit with Toronto on cruise control just isn’t enough to discourage a team that thrives on boring substance over style. But a blown three-goal lead in Thursday’s 4-3 overtime loss might have seen the whole series go up in smoke for the Leafs.

Coach Sheldon Keefe can’t squeeze out the defensive effort John Tortorella gets from his Jackets, never mind when Toronto’s minus Jake Muzzin, but did use some of Torts’ succinct postgame podium punches.

“We got what we deserved,” Keefe said more than once. “I feel like the game got away from us in the first period. I didn’t like it at 1-0, 2-0, 3-0. There was no real purpose or plan to our game, just making it up as we go along. We were back to a lot of really bad habits.”

After Friday it might be back home for summer and fall.

continued

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

So, as hockey people like to say, it is time for the Oilers to “suck it up.” They’ll have all summer to feel sorry for themselves if they can’t put together a win on Friday, and then pull off Game 5 on Saturday.

“If we start worrying about the (fifth) game, back to back or whatever, it’s not going to happen,” said defenceman Oscar Klefbom. He’s right: They can not win two games on Friday.

“We can all sit here and say, they had a few lucky bounces,” added Chiasson. “But our game wasn’t as good as it needed to be. We need to address that.

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from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburg Post-Gazette,

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Video- Jake Muzzin Taken Off The Ice On A Stretcher

Muzzin spent several minutes on the ice as the doctors prepared hin to be taken off on the stretcher.

 

 

 

added 7:31pm, update on Muzzin below...

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No Offense For The Toronto Maple Leafs

from Kristen Shilton of TSN,

Despite the Leafs having weeks to get ready for the suffocating forecheck and physical play that Columbus brings, when it came down to it, Toronto just couldn’t find its way. There were some stretches of sustained pressure in the offensive end, but the Blue Jackets did well keeping the Leafs off-kilter in the neutral zone and forcing them into turnovers.

“[The Blue Jackets] did what they do best and what we were prepared for,” said head coach Sheldon Keefe. “We knew it was going to be difficult. Now we're out on the ice and you feel it. We didn't get one to fall for us here today. I thought we did have some chances to get more than what we got on the scoreboard but it didn't fall in for us, it fell in for them and that's the difference.”

Keefe gave his top forwards every opportunity to break through, playing Auston Matthews a team-high 24:38. On a line with William Nylander and Zach Hyman, Matthews had many of the Leafs’ best chances, including one off the crossbar behind Korpisalo, but the Blue Jackets’ Seth Jones and Zach Werenski stymied Matthews with their patented tight-checking defence.

“I don't think they did anything to surprise us,” Matthews said. “I think they really play a pretty straightforward game and you know what you can expect every night. They're going to compete, they're going to play physical. I thought we did some good things, and there's some things we can clean up. But obviously we have to create some offence, get guys inside and capitalize on some opportunities.”

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Game highlights are below.

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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