Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
They could be without Booth, who departed in the third after skating into a stiff elbow from Sami Vatanen....
Horachek did say a Marlie call-up was likely with Booth possibly concussed.
more on the Leafs' 4-0 loss to the Ducks...
Here is the hit and no penalty on the play and the CP at TSN on the elbow
David Booth went to the Leafs' dressing room in the third period after checking Sami Vatanen and getting hit in the head by an inadvertent elbow.
“It does take a player who can deal with that kind of stuff. It’s difficult. I enjoyed it. I didn’t feel the pressure from the press all that much, but I was only there for a year-and-a-half. So I don’t know, after five years, if I would have felt different.
“I think if you can stay away from reading the papers, from being on Twitter and stuff like that — or watching the news — then it would be much easier, your stay in Toronto.
-former NHL goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere on playing in Toronto. More from Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post.
Follow Marian Gaborik on the play...
Read what Kerry Fraser of TSN thinks of the goal...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Monday was another loss, but you wonder if the Toronto Maple Leafs are beginning to show some change under interim head coach Peter Horachek. Remember, Horachek spent all those years as an assistant coach on the Nashville Predators' bench, so teaching defense comes naturally to him.
The question, of course, was whether anyone can find a receptive audience in that Toronto dressing room. So far he seems to have, although time will tell if the Maple Leafs revert back to their old ways.
The Leafs limited the Kings to just 20 shots and not many scoring chances in a 2-0 defeat on Monday night, including an empty-net goal. The Leafs got style points, if not any real points, in the standings. They remain three points out of a playoff spot behind the Boston Bruins.
continue for more topics from the ESPN hockey writers...
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Since the Bruins traded Kessel to Toronto for what became Tyler Seguin, Dougie Hamilton, and Jared Knight, only Alex Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos, and Corey Perry have scored more goals. Kessel is a game-changing talent, one who requires opposing coaches to alter their defensive formations to account for his presence. There is nobody in the league who skates with as much pace or snaps off a whippy wrister like Kessel.
The trouble with the Leafs is that the talent level plummets after Kessel. Tyler Bozak, his good friend and center, is a better fit as a second-line pivot. Only five defensemen in the NHL (P.K. Subban, Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Kris Letang, and Brian Campbell) have higher cap hits than Toronto’s Dion Phaneuf. But Phaneuf has too many blemishes in his game for a defenseman earning his dough, with questionable hockey sense being his biggest liability.
The Leafs have one star. Postseason regulars such as Los Angeles (Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Jonathan Quick), Chicago (Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith) and Pittsburgh (Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Letang) have three. The Leafs don’t have enough second-tier players to complement Kessel’s star power. It’s hard to win when most of the roster is either bottom-six or third-pair quality.
Jonathan Bernier is a good goalie. Nazem Kadri is developing into a clever, shifty, top-two center. In Toronto’s first game after Carlyle’s firing, interim coach Peter Horachek moved Kadri into Bozak’s spot as Kessel’s center. Morgan Rielly will be a dependable two-way defenseman.
more plus numerous other hockey topics...
And the player of the game is.interim head coach Peter Horachek.
Toronto Maple Leafs team president Brendan Shanahan gave a mid-season state of the union Friday and the message was clear that the team’s performance hasn’t been good enough this season.
"Our assessment is that it hasn't been good enough," Shanahan said, adding, "we're going to learn a lot about our core in the coming weeks."
On his team’s leadership, Shanahan said credit and blame is directly related to wins and losses, but did acknowledge "it hasn't been where it needs to be.”
Below, Sportsnet breaks down what Shanahan said...
added 1:32pm, added video of the Shanahan conference below...
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment's efforts to find a replacement for chief executive Tim Leiweke have stalled in recent weeks, with some board members musing that the company should try to convince Leiweke to stay on board.
The board has spent months interviewing possible replacements for Leiweke and has been collectively surprised that some qualified candidates haven't been interested in even interviewing for the job.
MLSE is jointly owned by Bell Media, TSN's parent company, and telecom rival Rogers Communications. The perception that those companies are often at odds has made some sports executives contacted by MLSE wary.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
On one side you have the guys who have been part of winning programs and understand the discipline and sacrifice needed to win on a consistent basis. On the other, with a few exceptions, there are the players who have been through so many ups and downs here that they’re bound to be suffering from blue and white vertigo.
Don’t believe me?
Take it from no-nonsense defenceman Roman Polak, who had spent his entire NHL career in St. Louis before a trade to Toronto last summer. He didn’t flinch when asked why the Leafs haven’t played with enough defensive structure.
“Because it’s hard work,” Polak said before Wednesday’s 6-2 loss to Washington. “It’s always tough to do something you know you don’t like to do. I think we have lots of guys that just want to play offence.”...
Cody Franson, a Leafs veteran with a newcomer’s sensibility, also pointed to some underlying issues when he said that the group has “to hold ourselves more accountable for what’s been going on.”
from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,
A public firing is always difficult to absorb. For 24 hours, on radio and TV and newspaper websites, on social media, Carlyle’s termination was the talk of the hockey world. He’s been there before. And it was always destined to end this way, whether on March 6, 2015, or five months from now or another year or two down the line. It’s the fate of all coaches in all sports. Few get to choose the time of their departure.
Carlyle is philosophical.
“I’m really at peace with it, to tell you the truth. I don’t think I left anything on the table or in the drawer.”
This city is a distinct challenge, as it will be for whoever succeeds Carlyle.
“The one thing about the job in Toronto — it will wear you down, it’ll grind you. I always tried to come out of that room and be as positive as I possibly could to the people that were on the exterior. Sure, there were things that happened inside the room that I think should stay inside the room.”
So don’t expect Carlyle get in his licks on his way out of town.
added 4:42pm, from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,
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.
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