Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Thanks to The Gap, life is better these days for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
No, they have not landed new wardrobes thanks to a sponsorship deal with the clothing retailer, but they have, as Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Ken Hitchcock pointed out about the Leafs last week, “found the right balance between offence and defence.” To mix coaching and transit metaphors, that is known as minding the gap.
Hockey coaches love to go on about the gap – the distance between the forwards and the defencemen. Keep the gap at the right distance at both ends of the ice, coaches say, and keep the distance constant as you move up and down the ice, and success will follow.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Good thing for Phil Kessel that Boston sports fans don’t hold a grudge. Just ask Bill Buckner. Or Roger Clemens. Or Johnny Damon.
That Kessel will be booed Saturday night when the Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Bruins is a fait accompli. The question is, how many years will fans view him as Public Enemy No. 1.
His exit from Boston was a fascinating one, to be sure.
There have been different tales spun from different camps. No matter whom you believe, it’s hard to know for sure exactly what happened.
For example, one side will insist Kessel essentially asked for a trade during the summer, something the kid himself denied upon his arrival in Toronto. His agent, Wade Arnott of Newport Sports, also said a trade was never demanded.
via the Twitter of Bob McKenzie,
Toronto trades Jiri Tlusty to Carolina. Details to follow.
update 3:31pm, Bob has updated his Twitter,
Tlusty to Carolina.- 2009 first rounder Philippe Paradis to Toronto.
added 3:45pm, via TSN,
The Toronto Maple Leafs have shipped forward Jiri Tlusty to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for forward Philippe Paradis.
A former first round pick (13th overall) of the Maple Leafs, Tlusty has eight goals and seven assists in 19 games with the AHL Marlies. He skated in two games with the Maple Leafs in late October, recording zero points and a minus- 2 rating.
Paradis, 18, was the Hurricanes’ first round draft pick (27th overall) in 2009.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Jonas Gustavsson will be lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs for at least a week because he requires a second surgical procedure in an attempt to fix a heart problem.
The rookie goaltender will undergo the procedure on Friday after experiencing a second episode of an elevated heart rate while playing hockey. Gustavsson, 25, had to leave Tuesday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens after the first period when his heart started racing.
from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,
The team, retooled by Burke over the summer, had won only six of its first 25 games before facing Montreal.
“I’m a great fan like all of our other millions of fans are and we want to see a winning team but we also have patience,” said Tanenbaum, adding that he is “110 per cent” behind Burke’s rebuilding efforts.
“I’m patient but anxiously awaiting a Stanley Cup here one day.”
Richard Peddie, president and CEO of MLSE, said Burke and his front office team would have as much time as needed to get the team back on track. Burke has been on the job for just over a year.
“I have complete faith in Brian and (assistant) David Nonis and (coach) Ron Wilson that they’re going to turn this around. We’re all disappointed in where we’re at today. But we knew the fixing job was not an easy one,” said Peddie.
“He’s the last general manager I’m hiring. He’s safe in my tenure that’s for sure.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
For the second time in less than three months, Jonas Gustavsson has been forced to seek emergency medical attention for his heart.
Anyway you cut it, that’s scary stuff, a situation that no pro sports team dares trifle with.
So as soon as Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson heard that the prize rookie goaltender’s heart was racing after playing an outstanding first period Tuesday night against the Montreal Canadiens, he didn’t wait to find out if Gustavsson could continue.
“I’m not going to be responsible for someone keeling over during a game,” said Wilson after the Leafs’ hard-earned 3-0 triumph. “The game’s not that important.”
Jonas Gustavsson started for the Leafs tonight in their game in Montreal, but when the 2nd period started, he was replaced byJoey MacDonald.
Report is Gustavsson has been taken to the hospital for observation.
added 9:14pm, TSN reports he had an elevated heart rate and with his history the best course of action was to be taken to the hospital for observation.
update 11:20pm, According to Jonas Siegel of AM640 in Toronto, it appears Gustavsson will be ok.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
The New York Jets coach returns to the city where he grew up, played hockey, cut classes ... and cheered for the Leafs.
Rex Ryan is practically mapping out the parade route.
The one down Bay St., not Broadway.
The emotional coach of the New York Jets is discussing how much a championship would mean to a certain title-starved city. He’s not talking about the Jets, the Big Apple and the NFL, either.
“Can you imagine how crazy Toronto would go if the Maple Leafs were to ever win a Stanley Cup?” the bubbly Ryan says with excitement. “Man, people would go nuts!
“It might be the biggest celebration in the history of sports.”
from the Toronto Star,
Toronto Star photographer Steve Russell is used to shooting the story, not being shot at.
Midway through the third period of Monday night’s Leaf game, Russell took a shot off his right cheekbone from Sabres goalie Ryan Miller.
Miller, clearing the puck, shot toward the glass. In a kind of million-to-one shot, the puck somehow went through a little cutout area in the glass where photographers aim their cameras.
“He wasn’t shooting it hard, he was just throwing it into the corner,” said Russell, whose camera was slightly lowered at the time while he followed the play. “If it was a hard shot, I would have got a lot more messed up. It went right straight through the hole and hit me square in the cheekbone.”
from Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,
Hockey players don’t often experience the luxury of getting a do-over in the midst of a rigorous season.
But Maple Leafs defenceman Mike Komisarek will, and he has no plans to waste the opportunity.
The Leafs’ big catch on the free-agent market last summer after he was lured from the arch-rival Montreal Canadiens with a five-year, $22.5-million US contract, Komisarek wants to erase from his memory his first 16 games in a Leafs uniform. His next Toronto chapter will begin tonight, when he is slated to return to the lineup against the Buffalo Sabres after a small quadriceps tear kept him out nearly three weeks.
“It was good to take a step back and re-evaluate,” Komisarek said. “You can’t change what has happened. It’s a fresh start, a clean sheet, and forget about what has happened.
“It doesn’t matter what it was. I don’t know—trying to make an impact, trying to make your presence felt, trying to do too much. I would not say it was one exact thing. I have to simplify my game and, most importantly, try to have some fun.”
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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