Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Toronto Sun,
While dropping a couple of expletives yesterday to describe the club’s wasteful efforts of late, Sundin reaffirmed his desire to see his one-year contract through as a Leaf and play beyond April 5.
“I have not talked to my agent (J.P. Barry) about anything,” Sundin said of waiving his no-trade clause. “We’re not going to give up when our conference is so close. When we play our style of game, when everyone works together, we’re a good team, as good as a lot of teams that are ahead of us.
“We have to learn to close out games, but we’re shooting ourselves in the foot.”
added 7:32am, from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
But it is way too early for this topic to dominate all discussions about the team. It is at least a month away for several reasons.
First is that Sundin gets traded only if the Leafs are out of playoff contention. Strange as it sounds, this is not a sure bet, given the collective mediocrity in the NHL’s Eastern Conference.
However, the other problem is that it is clearly not in Ferguson’s personal interest to trade Sundin. The trade is the equivalent of a white flag in the playoff fight and it’s been made clear many times by Peddie and other MLSE poobahs that missing the playoffs for an unprecedented third consecutive year would mean dismissal.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
According to one Eastern Conference general manager, there will be a huge seller’s market as the trade deadline approaches because “so many teams feel they have a legitimate shot to win it all. There should be far more buyers than sellers.”
Imagine, in such an environment, how much the Leafs could land for Sundin, a guy who is the all-time leading scorer for his team and who, at 36, has reached 20 goals for the 17th consecutive season.
more on why the Leafs should move Sundin.
from the Toronto Sun,
“It’s more than just the power plays (not producing),” said Sundin, after the Leafs scored on one of six.
“It’s a fine line in this league between winning and losing and we’re consistently shooting ourselves in the foot. The good hockey teams in this league aren’t that much better than us. The difference is that we have to be smarter.”...
“Tonight?” Sundin said. “It has been a bad theme we keep repeating. We played a good game. We put ourselves in a position to win and looking back there are 10, 15 games where we’ve played well ... or come back ... but in the end we don’t know how to win.”
more on Sundin and the Leafs…
Steve Downie with a cheapshot on Jason Blake.
Make sure to watch the complete video, comments from Don Cherry and Paul Maurice at the end.
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
“Mats has set every record for us and I think he has been a wonderful captain,” Peddie said yesterday. “If (Ferguson) was contemplating such a move, then out of respect to Mats, I think he would have to bring it to the board of directors.”
Any Sundin deal must be handled delicately. For one, the franchise scoring leader has repeatedly expressed a desire to stay and has a no-trade clause in his $5.5-million US deal this year.
And, if Sundin has a change of heart if the Leafs fade further toward the Feb. 26 trade deadline, should Ferguson and his staff be making such a big decision when they likely wouldn’t be around next year to deal with the ramifications?
Jarkko Ruutu and Darcy Tucker had a great middleweight fight last night that seemed to send a wake-up call to the Pens.
Empty Netters has a breakdown of the game if interested.
from Rosie Dimanno of the Toronto Star,
Wellwood, along with other younger Leafs – except none are very green and scrubeenie anymore – have been treated with excessive gentleness in their prolonged adjustment to the NHL. It’s as if they were dainty creatures – the Stajans and the Steens – overly praised on the nights they acquit themselves decently and usually protected from reproach on the more frequent nights when they don’t.
It’s as if an entitlement has settled upon the more youthful members of this club, itself an extension of franchise arrogance, where one win a fortnight is sufficient to quell anxiety and as you were, boys. This is evidenced in the dressing room, as well, where young pros without the chops to support such haughtiness can be witheringly snide and condescending to reporters. Where they learn such attitudes is a mystery because they certainly aren’t emulating the class of a Mats Sundin or Tomas Kaberle.
Paul Maurice when asked what he said to the team after the Leafs 6-1 loss to the Rangers last night, via the Toronto Sun,
“Some things you should keep to yourself,” Maurice said. “That’s a tough game to sit through when you are beaten that bad that early. Our penalty killers were dragging their butts (because they were on the ice so often). It doesn’t matter (about the skewed number of minor penalties). We’re not blaming anybody else for this.”
more on the game and the Leafs…
from the Toronto Star,
The NHL will not break policy and place referees on the ice for the pre-game warmup leading into tonight’s game between the Maple Leafs and Rangers.
But the league will be watching in case there is a repeat of a potentially ugly incident that occurred the last time New York came to town. Before that game, Rangers super-pest Sean Avery almost came to blows with Toronto’s Darcy Tucker as the two exchanged insults at the centre line.
A referee, however, will be standing in one of the corridors watching the warmups and the league has asked TV crews to film the skate, a practice that has become common across the league since early in the season.
from the Globe and Mail,
KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN—Pity poor Major Eric Cottenoir of the Vandoos.
A brand new hockey sweater arrived in the mail for him yesterday. But when he put it on at the hockey rink, all his friends laughed at him.
Instead of sending him the red, white and blue of the Montreal Canadiens, a big Canadian clothing chain had instead mailed the blue and white sweater of the hated Toronto Maple Leafs.
All the other players favoured les Canadiens. Nobody wanted to wear the Toronto sweater. Major Cottenoir was booed by his fellow hockey players the moment he put it on.
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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