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Category: Toronto-Maple-Leafs

You Won’t Often See This

Alex Kovalev and Francois Beauchemin dropped the gloves tonight.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+kovalev, francois+beauchemin

The Leafs #1 Line

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

Are Kris Versteeg, Tyler Bozak and Phil Kessel a legitimate top line that other teams will fear? Will Tomas Kaberle and Mike Komisarek complement each other? Do Mike Brown, Christian Hanson and Colton Orr provide anything other than fighting majors?

We will soon find out. Until then, here is a look at the forward lines and defence pairings:

KRIS VERSTEEG, TYLER BOZAK, PHIL KESSEL

Why it works? Combining Toronto’s most talented forwards is a no-brainer. The trio possesses tons of speed, skill and scoring ability. Already they have combined for five goals and 11 points in four pre-season games.

Why it might not? Putting all your best players on one line could be trouble if they get shut down. Also, as head coach Ron Wilson indicated, Kessel and Bozak are sometimes just as dangerous in their own end as they are in the offensive zone.

more on the Leafs…

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

Can The Leafs Play Wilson’s Way?

from Damien Cox of The Spin,

Right now, the Leafs are scouring the league for a centre, knowing that nobody has to be under the salary cap until opening night so bargains may not become available until the middle of next week.

But given what the Leafs have, it’s not at all clear that this team has the capability to play the way Wilson wants them to, as laudable as that approach may be.

They put a lineup out against Buffalo on Monday night that looked very close to the group likely to open the regular season, and the result was another spotty effort, albeit a winning one. You can’t draw conclusions from exhibition games, but at the same time, while it was crowd-pleasing to see Phil Kessel and Nik Kulemin show some flash and dash, this still looks like a team that’s going to have a hard time keeping the puck out of its net.

Burke has loaded up with veteran D-men, and maybe they’ll tighten up starting next week. But the group of Dion Phaneuf, Francois Beauchemin, Mike Komisarek and Tomas Kaberle is anything but formidable when it comes to defending and loses a startling number of one-on-one confrontations, while the Leaf crease remains an area that enemy forwards don’t mind visiting.

more

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

Evening Line

“This business is all about parades and jewelry.  If you get those things, you don’t have to explain one thing.”

-Brian Burke, GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs.  More from Burke and the Leafs by Damien Cox of the Toronto Star.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke

Leafs Need Help At Center

from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,

With both Nazem Kadri and John Mitchell struggling at camp and veteran Wayne Primeau unable to prove he still belongs, the Maple Leafs have a yawning need for help at centre.

So much so that Toronto’s scouts are analyzing the waiver wires and watching other camps in the hope a useful addition might present itself.

“No one has ever said we’re going with this group,” general manager Brian Burke said when asked about his centres during a media conference call Sunday.

“We’re still in a great position for waiver claims. We still have our scouts out scouring. We haven’t ruled out doing something. . . . We may need to go out and grab a centre.”

continued

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

Late Saturday Night Hockey Notes

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

• Ron Wilson has every reason to hate the schedule that Brian Burke and ownership have saddled him with in training camp. Wilson’s backside is on the line as this season begins and the Leafs have played five pre-season games in the past five days. That’s five days where he can’t practise with his full roster, work on what needs to be worked on: It’s wasted time for a coach with the clock ticking.

• The New York Rangers missed an opportunity Saturday. They placed defenceman Wade Redden on waivers. They should have done the same for the retired but still working general manager, Glen Sather.

a few more hockey notes…

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

Kadri Struggling

from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,

In less than a week, Nazem Kadri has gone from the hot story of Maple Leafs training camp to its most burning question.

Even with coach Ron Wilson openly calling him out again on Thursday, Kadri failed to make a mark, this time at his hometown rink, the John Labatt Centre, where he was a star with the London Knights the past two seasons.

The result of the continued flat play was a third-period demotion off the line he has skated with all camp thus far—prized off-season acquisitions Colby Armstrong and Kris Versteeg—to what looked like an all-Marlies unit between wingers Marcel Mueller and Darryl Boyce.

With Tyler Bozak, Mikhail Grabovski, Christian Hanson and John Mitchell all in the fight for centre spots, Kadri has been less effective than all of hem.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nazem+kadri

Want To Watch Some Hockey Tonight?

We have Philadelpia taking on Toronto right now on NHL Network-US from London, Ontario and then the Kings face the Coyotes at 10:00pm ET via streaming which is embedded below.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Why Not Play The Trap Brian Burke?

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

“It’s not entertaining,” harumphed Burke, a trap hater.

“You can dumb this game down and make it successful. We could have five guys stand in front of our net. But we’re in the entertainment business. I believe that our goals against can come down with improved goaltending and better defensive play.

“And yes, I care deeply about our (Leafs) history. But those two, Burns and Neilson, were defensive-oriented coaches. Both of those guys, I admire. Both guys I have or have had good relationships with. It’s just not my cup of tea (trapping).

“First and foremost, I’m in the entertainment business. I make no bones about that.

“We do not trap. We hit in all three zones. We trade chances. We fight. I like the style Ron plays.

“I need people to feel that the team is a good investment on nights we win and on nights we don’t.”

more

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Give The Leafs Some Time

from Howard Berger of Fan590,

Though the Maple Leafs left an ugly first impression on Tuesday at the Air Canada Centre, I might give it until after tonight’s second exhibition tilt — or maybe even Thursday’s match-up with Philadelphia in London — before writing off the entire season. An e-mail arrived late last night from a distraught Leaf zealot wondering how much time Ron Wilson has to “turn this thing around.” Another message bemoaned a “typical Kaberle effort… how [Brian] Burke saw fit to keep this guy is beyond me.”

Such knee-jerk reactions, of course, are commonplace in this apprehensive hockey market, and the Nervous Nellies had plenty of ammunition after the 5-0 stinker against Ottawa.

continued

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

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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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