Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Category: Toronto-Maple-Leafs

Is Auston Matthews The Next Face Of The NHL?

from Emily Kaplan of ESPN,

It's clear he's trying to exercise his voice in small increments. That's the tricky part about celebrity -- in order to develop a voice, you have to be expected to have one. You have to want it, as much as anything else. Matthews will be a star, but the question is whether he'll fit the NHL's mold or develop into something of his own making. He is 20, and it's a choice he himself has to make. As the scrum unfolds, Matthews is asked a question that will chase him through his career: How does he want to be a role model for Hispanic children?

Standing away from his teammates with his arms crossed, Matthews rocks his weight from his left leg to his right. "Oh yeah," he says, pausing a moment.

"I'd like to -- I think -- in the future be someone kids can look up to."

much more on Matthews...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: auston+matthews

Carey Price Not At His Best

from Mike Boone of Hockey Inside/Out,

Yes, there have been big saves and flashes of brilliance.

But the Canadiens, as currently constructed, need stellar play every night from the guy who eats up $10.5 million of their salary cap.

Simply put, through five games Carey Price has not been Carey Price.

And unless their heretofore All-World goaltender recaptures the form that justified that gargantuan contract, this team will miss the playoffs.

And deprive us of what might be a great Toronto-Montreal series.

more on the Habs 4-3 OT loss to the Leafs and at the Montreal Gazette too...

Extended game highlights are below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Dwindling Saturday Night Hockey Games In Toronto

from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,

This year the Leafs don’t play a single Saturday home game in the month of December. They’ll play just 11 all season, tied for the lowest number in franchise history in a schedule made up of at least 60 games, according to an analysis of historical schedule data by the Star’s Andrew Bailey. This is the first campaign in the Hockey Night in Canada era — which stretches back to 1952-53 — in which the Maple Leafs will play more Saturday nights on the road (12) than at home (11). They’ll play nearly as many home games on Monday and Wednesday, 10 apiece....

An NHL spokesperson, citing information provided by league scheduling guru Steve Hatze Petros, said in an email that the scarcity is a product of a few factors, including fewer than normal available Saturday home dates at the busy Air Canada Centre; more Saturday requests from other clubs; and an instance or two in which the Maple Leafs decided a Saturday home game coming off a road trip wouldn’t be in the team’s best competitive interest.

Still, an NHL source said the Leafs requested a lot more Saturday home games than they were given. And this year’s allotment appears to be a new normal in the centre of the hockey universe. A year ago, when the Leafs also played 11 Saturday home games, some chalked it up to an NHL schedule compressed by the World Cup of Hockey and newly introduced bye weeks, and to the presence in Toronto of the world junior championship, which gobbled up arena availability for two-plus weeks.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Sit Down With Ray Shero And Mike Babcock

from Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic,

On Wednesday morning, ahead of Shero’s Devils taking on Babcock’s Maple Leafs, the two caught up in the stands at the Air Canada Centre, and allowed me to hang out for it.

They began their conversation asking other about each other’s families before the conversation shifted to hockey, specifically what it’s like to break into the NHL as a rookie head coach when you’re not a former player:

SHERO: I talked to (Devils head coach) John Hynes about that. I said to him, you want to earn the veterans’ respect but you don’t want to overdo it. I had told him the story about Mike Babcock and his first year in Anaheim as a rookie coach in the NHL and how he handled some of the veterans.

BABCOCK (smiling): They were mad right away. But you know what, I say to coaches all the time, when you first arrive in the NHL, the No. 1 thing has to be confidence. When you walk in the room, they got to know. Now, if you’ve played in the NHL for 15 years, you’ve got a better resume than us guys. No matter how much winning, even if you’re a serial winner, you haven’t been in the league. They don’t care. If you didn’t play in the NHL, you didn’t play hockey.

SHERO: After we talked about Tony Granato that year, you also called me about John Hynes. I remember saying, ‘The guy in Wilkes-Barre?’ And you said, ‘Yeah.’ And I said, ‘How do you know him?’ And you said, ‘I don’t. But everyone I speak with tells me he’s a guy I should get to know.’ 

more (paid subscription)...

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+babcock, ray+shero

Mike Babcock Not Happy With Team Effort By The Leafs

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

Well, there goes the 82-0 season for the Maple Leafs — and with it just a little shine comes off this team of mammoth expectations.

It was one thing to lose to the New Jersey Devils, as the Leafs did Wednesday night. It was another thing, as coach Mike Babcock said, to cheat themselves on their way to their first kicking of this National Hockey League season.

“I don’t think we worked,” said Babcock, after the 6-3 loss to the shockingly speedy new Devils. “They skated us into the ground.

“I expected us to compete. That didn’t happen. When you cheat yourself, you look like that.

“I was disappointed. I can’t remember the last time we played with that kind of effort. We didn’t have any juice. We didn’t do our part.”


Game highlights are below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- A Big Win For The Toronto Maple Leafs

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

“I think the big players do things in big moments just because they do what they do,” Mike Babcock was saying Monday in the hours before his Toronto Maple Leafs hosted the Chicago Blackhawks. “They don’t deviate. They just believe they’re meant to be there and the more heat that’s on, the more they like it, the more they relish the opportunity.”

Never mind that Babcock was responding to a question about Jonathan Toews when he provided the answer. Held up to a different light – after the Leafs had recovered from a sluggish start and erased a late deficit and skated the Blackhawks into submission – it applied more aptly to his own star centre.

While this wasn’t anything close to a “big moment” for a Blackhawks roster gilded with gold medals and diamond-encrusted Cup rings, it meant something here in Toronto. This was a chance to measure progress while staring down your heroes.

“This was a big game for us as far as who we were up against,” Matthews said after freezing the clock at 3:43 of overtime.

read on

Game highlights are below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Auston Matthews With The Overtime Winner

Leafs were down 3-1, but Auston Matthews wins it in OT. Fun game to watch.



TSN version is below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: auston+matthews

Should Auston Matthews Be Obliged To Talk American Politics?

from Gare Joyce of Sportsnet,

A week or so ago at Leafs’ practice, as training camp dragged on, reporters asked Auston Matthews about the news of the day — tapping into a raw desperation for news of any sort beyond line combinations and the last player sent down. On this day, the news originated a long way from Toronto but spread far and wide: NFL players were following the lead of the currently unemployed Colin Kaepernick and kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner” to protest the institutional oppression of African-Americans. U.S. President Donald Trump had made the protests a distraction du jour at yet another one of his fawn-fests, calling for the firing of “the sons of bitches” who disrespected the flag — at least the way he was playing it — and encouraging fans to abandon the NFL for not thwarting the protests. Yeah, Trump as usual, looking to hook his supporters with a trip to the race-bait shop.

Matthews did not have a prepared response. “I don’t think I’d be one of the people who would take part in that,” he said of kneeling during the anthem. He noted that the protest might be seen as “a dishonour” to members of the military who “fight for the flag” and he pointed out that he has an uncle and other friends and family members who are or were in the service. He also noted that he isn’t a “big politics guy.”

On first pass, you might suppose that he had bought into the Trump line, maybe not the full Richie Incognito but still MAGA-ish. But then Matthews showed his position might be more nuanced. He said that he understands athletes using a platform to “send a message.” And then: “Isn’t that one of the Amendments? You have the right to say what you want.”...

A year from now I don’t imagine that we’ll be going to Auston Matthews for hot takes on the news of the day. But the actualization of the young phenom will grow to encompass more than the stuff on the ice. It has to. So far he has exercised a freedom not to speak. It’s a dubious freedom when so many are there waiting and listening.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: auston+matthews

VGK Trade Calvin Pickard To Toronto


Their next tweet says Pickard has been assigned to the Marlies.

If you missed it earlier, he cleared waivers this week too.

Vegas release is below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: calvin+pickard, vegas+golden+knights

Video- Your First Illegal Equipment Penalty Of The Year

Visor violation.



added 10/5/17 at 6:57am,

Elliotte Friedman explains the visor rule...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: leo+komarov

 1 2 3 >  Last ›      Next »

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


Recommended Sportsbook


Most Recent Blog Posts