Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.”
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
This space has fired more than a few well-deserved broadsides at Don Waddell in the past, so it’s only fair to give the Atlanta GM his due for making what’s shaping up as the most lopsided deal of the summer. It was Waddell, after all, who accommodated Brian Burke’s desire for a crankier blueline and some salary cap relief by sending original Thrasher Garnet Exelby and forward Colin Stuart to Toronto in exchange for Pavel Kubina and Tim Stapleton.
How’s it working out so far? The gritty, if sparsely-talented Exelby has played in just 12 of the Maple Leafs’ first 23 games, and with only one fight and a -6 rating to his credit, he’s likely to become a near permanent resident of the Foster Hewitt Gondola at the Air Canada Centre when Mike Komisarek returns to the lineup next week. Stuart, a spare part in the deal, was sent to the Flames without ever playing a game for the Buds.
And Kubina? The fleece is evident in the numbers. He’s eating up more than 22 minutes a night as part of Atlanta’s second pairing and playing a significant role on both special teams.
more plus other hockey topics…
from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,
Brian Burke knew the potential consequences when he shipped a generous bunch of draft picks to the Boston Bruins to get a bonafide sniper for his team.
But you can talk all you want about Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin—the consensus top two picks for next spring’s entry draft—Burke did as well before he pulled the trigger to land Phil Kessel.
“We discussed it internally,” Burke said yesterday. “We said: ‘what if the pick turns out to be Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin?’ and I was fine with that….
As for the current state of the trade market, Burke says his hands have been tied because of the salary cap. There has been some tire-kicking but little more.
“There’s no panic for a couple of reasons,” Burke said. “One, the team is working its ass off and two, with any luck at all, we could have six or seven more wins in the last 10 games.”
from Bill Lankhof of the Toronto Sun,
Wayne Primeau sat at his dressing room stall, beads of perspiration popping from his forehead and forming tiny rivers that ran down his cheeks, rivulets cascading like tiny rapids from his nose.
“I don’t think it’s from lack of effort. The work ethic is here. We just can’t afford to take off even one shift,” said Primeau, who acknowledged that four wins at the quarter pole in the NHL season isn’t what he thought he was signing up for when he joined the Maple Leafs in a trade last July. Actually, his brief fling as a Leaf hasn’t been what he expected either personally or collectively….
“Not playing a lot of minutes can get difficult but it is what it is. I expected to play a little more. It’s one of those things where some other guys were given an opportunity,” he said, picking his words carefully, “and maybe they were showing more early on.”
via the Twitter of Jonas Siegel,
John Mitchell out six weeks with a knee injury. Vesa Toskala will miss the upcoming trip with a groin injury.
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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