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Category: Toronto-Maple-Leafs

Is Kaberle Playing His Last Home Game As A Leaf?

from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,

It is, Tomas Kaberle says, the last thing on his mind to say good-bye to Toronto on Tuesday night.

After all, he has faced the “this-could-be-my-last-game-here” scenario often enough to shrug it off.

And when you are around the Maple Leafs as long as the 32-year-old defenceman has been, you must get used to shrugging things off.

But what if the game against the Philadelphia Flyers is it for Kaberle, what if it is his last home game as a Leaf? How will he be remembered?

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+kaberle

College Boys Unite

from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,

It has the makings of a bad television sitcom.

Three university kids, each 24 and single, come to the big city to make it in Canada’s most fanatical hockey market. They become fast friends, share an apartment and, just to stretch credulity even further, end up playing together on a line with the Maple Leafs.

Imagine the hijinks? Kind of a new-age Slap Shot. Except with players who have mad skills, instead of anger management issues. There’d even be a Hanson in it.

Nah, who’d ever believe that?

continued

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

Leafs Must Work On Their Compete Level

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

In Viktor Stalberg, Christian Hanson and newly signed Brayden Irwin, the Leafs had some size in the lineup, but none of those players yet have a solid concept of how to use their bulk at the NHL level.

To some degree, that can be taught.

But all those players were U.S. college stars who found their way to the Leafs mostly by being talented offensive players in the NCAA, not by being nasty pieces of work.

It’s fine to be well over 6 feet tall and 200 pounds, but quite another to go into a corner with the likes of Chara, Denis Wideman or Johnny Boychuk and emerge unbruised and/or with the puck.

That’s why the coming summer is so important to the Leafs beyond what the unrestricted free-agent market may offer. Forwards like Bozak, Stalberg, Hanson, Irwin, Luca Caputi and Nazem Kadri will all need to apply themselves to become more thorough professionals and harder players to compete against.

more

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

Win One For Burke

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

It won’t change or decide anything. The Leafs will still be 29th out of 30 NHL teams when the match against the Boston Bruins ends Saturday night, and the Bruins will still be in the process of trying to secure a Stanley Cup playoff berth.

Yet there’s still meaning to this game, most of it surrounding the Phil Kessel trade from last fall.

More to the point, from the Toronto end of things, if the Maple Leafs were ever going to win a game for president/GM Brian Burke, maybe give the game puck to him if they could come up with a victory, this would be the one.

Burke’s reputation has taken a bit of a beating this season as the Leafs have settled into the bottom of the league, and certainly there are many who have resoundingly panned his decision to ship two first-round picks to the Bruins for Kessel.

He did it because he believed in the player and because he believed the trade was a way to jump-start the rebirth of his downtrodden team.

read on

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

The “Bear Hug” Proposal

from Darren Dreger of TSN,

Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke is convinced a good hug may go a long way to curbing a constant safety issue in the NHL - hitting from behind.

Burke is lobbying the league to allow what he calls a “bear hug,” where a player, usually a defenseman, is allowed to wrap his arms around the targeted player, for a fleeting moment, while he takes him into the boards.

Burke says this change would avoid the “billiard-ball” force hits that exist now where all of the force is transferred directly from the “hitter” to the “hittee.”

continued...

 

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

Phaneuf Overrated

from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,

Overrated? You want overrated, Dion Phaneuf will tell you about overrated.

Overrated is the emphasis onlookers put on goals – his goals; the ones that total zero since he arrived in Toronto 21 games ago – when the only thing that really matters to him is whether his Maple Leafs are improving and winning.

What also doesn’t matter to Phaneuf is a Sports Illustrated player poll that ranks him as the Most Overrated Player in the NHL. In its latest edition, the magazine asked 272 players in the league to name the player whose reputation exceeds their performance.

Phaneuf ran away with the title, capturing 21 per cent of the vote.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dion+phaneuf

Report- Tomas Kaberle Has Had Enough Of Ron Wilson

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

The quiet war between Tomas Kaberle and Ron Wilson marches towards a likely divorce with the coach firing what may have been the final shots at the longest-serving of all Maple Leaf players….

The historically quiet and almost non-combative defenceman has told old friends he “can’t stand playing for Wilson” and much as he has loved playing for the Leafs and living in Toronto throughout his National Hockey League career, even through five straight seasons out of the playoffs, he is prepared to move on because he is unhappy with the manner in which Wilson coaches the Leafs and the lack of respect he shows for the players.

“He’s had enough,” a good friend said. “He’s at his wit’s end with the guy.”

read on

note: this link may change over the next few hours, if so, please leave a comment and I will try to track it down…

added 8:27pm, As noted, the link went bad.  If I run into later tonight or tomorrow morning, I will update.

added 10:29pm, Found a new link, hopefully it now works.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+kaberle

Leafs Going In The Right Direction

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

With apologies to Buffalo Springfield, the last few weeks showed when it comes to the Toronto Maple Leafs there’s something happening here.

What it is may not be exactly clear, given the rebuilding touches that still need to be done and the youth of the team, but this is definitely a team that is starting to open some eyes around the NHL.

The young, speedy, hard-working Leafs (and when’s the last time you could use all that in an adjectival phrase about them) gave the defending Stanley Cup champions fits on Sunday before falling in a shootout. It broke a seven-game streak of overtime wins and afterward the Pittsburgh Penguins paid tribute to a team that should be in the playoffs next season.

continued

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

Is It OK To Use Playoffs & Leafs In The Same Sentence?

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

The mountain, it appears, just won’t be that high to climb.

The very manageable peak in question, at least from the point of view of the Maple Leafs, is that which needs to be scaled in order to get back to NHL post-season play.

To make the hike, Brian Burke and Ron Wilson apparently need not make their club very good, or even good.

Based on the quality of teams that will make the Stanley Cup playoffs out of the Eastern Conference, the Leafs will have only to improve from lousy to mediocre next season to find themselves in the thick of the hunt.

continued

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

Lundqvist Not Happy With A Goal He Gave Up Tonight

May be considered vulgar.

Continue Reading »

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

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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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