Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Burke knows what it’s like to have the wrong goalie. He lived too long with Dan Cloutier in Vancouver to know better, and enjoyed the fruits of Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s labour while in Anaheim. One goalie was at his best when it mattered most. The other was just another guy.
What Burke needs to determine sometime between now and the end of the season is: Can Toskala be a starting goaltender on a winning team in Toronto, or will he have to look elsewhere for the next Leafs goalie?
This is the end for Curtis Joseph and with Pogge there is no certainty, no indication yet if there will be a beginning. Pogge isn’t, in anyone’s opinion, lighting it up in the American Hockey League. He is in the middle of the pack among AHL goalies. That is no ringing endorsement on his future. But were Toskala in the middle of the pack, which he is not right now, the Leafs concern in net would not be so substantive.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
The 24-year-old Belarus-raised native of Potsdam, East Germany, was suspended an automatic three games yesterday by the NHL for abuse of an official. Grabovski tussled with linesman Scott Cherrey in his overzealous effort to get at Canadiens’ Sergei Kostitsyn.
The players never managed to dance, despite their best efforts, and both were handed misconducts for their vigorous efforts. Grabovski was given a game misconduct as a bonus.
There is bad blood between these two, litres of it. Apparently it has to do with Kostitsyn’s distaste for things Grabovski is alleged to have said about himself and his brother, Andrei, to Russia’s sensation-seeking sports media.
(Ask Alex Kovalev about that.) But a feud needn’t be based on anything, of course, and it seems that before theirs is done, these two are bound to change their names to Hatfield and McCoy.
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski has been suspended for three games after shoving an offical Thursday night. Sources tell Hockeycentral the Leafs are contemplating appealing the league decision.
Grabovski received a game misconduct for shoving a linesman late in the third period of Thursday’s 6-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre.
added 11:15am, via TSN,
The three game suspension for abuse of official is automatic, and the Maple Leafs have chosen not to appeal the ban.
Mikhail Grabovski of the Leafs trys to get at Sergei Kostitsyn of the Canadiens. The video tells the rest of the story…
Here is the game recap from the CP via TSN.
from Mike Ulmer at TorontoMapleLeafs.com,
For an idea just what Burke is facing, let’s take a look at the grid for opening night, 2011-2012, two and a half seasons from now.
The Leafs desperately need to get younger. To that end, I have limited the top two lines and top two defensive pairings to players 25 years or younger on opening night. Keep in mind, there will always be room for productive older players. Nik Hagman will be nearly 32, but it’s hard to think his game would not be welcome somewhere on the roster.
On defence: Luke Schenn. He’s a sure bet. A little below Schenn, put Jeff Finger in the depth chart. Anton Stralman has the talent to be a top four defenceman but it’s impossible to accurately predict whether he will make the jump. I like Jonas Frogren’s mean for the third pairing and based on his ever improving play, Ian White might be considered in the mix.
But for top four, we have one guy, Schenn.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
When Paul Holmgren took over the down and out Philadelphia Flyers at least he had Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne to build around.
When George McPhee began the process of starting over with the Washington Capitals, he could point to the drafting of Alexander Ovechkin as the starting point toward success.
When the Pittsburgh Penguins began to blossom, the future came primarily from the selections of Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby in the drafts of 2004 and 2005.
This is Brian Burke’s problem. There are no Ryan Getzlafs and Corey Perrys awaiting him as there were in Anaheim. There are no Carters, Richards, Malkins or Crosbys on the way.
Fan590 reporting Brad May will be a Leaf. Toronto giving up a conditional pick.
added 12:36pm, Confirmed by TSN.
via Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,
Could some members of the Maple Leafs be fitted for a new jacket of the blue variety?
The Columbus Blue Jackets have had scouts shadowing several teams lately, and had two at the game Thursday night at the Air Canada Centre between the Leafs and Buffalo Sabres.
Nik Antropov and defenceman Pavel Kubina are said to interest Jackets general manager Scott Howson. And you have to figure Leafs GM Brian Burke, now just over a month on the job, is dying to make a deal. Burke apparently has told the Jackets that he gladly will move players with contracts to get draft picks in return.
Columbus also has a big interest in New York Islanders centre Doug Weight, who said last week he does not want to be a rental again.
from Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star,
In any case, it was a little bit of retro Leafs feeling in the building, with 19,000 fans chanting “Cu-Jo, Cu-Jo” in the second period as he withstood a barrage of Thrasher shots on back-to-back power plays, preserving a 2-2 tie. He was named the game’s first star and when he skated on to the ice, the love-in started up again.
“You block out the negative stuff, but you hear the good stuff,” Joseph said. “It’s a great feeling. They want you to do well for sure. This is my dream job and sometimes you don’t realize it till you’re gone.”
It’s funny he should say that. Was last night the beginning of an unofficial and brief farewell tour – without the parting gifts – for the popular 41-year-old?
Think about the unusual Leafs decision to start Joseph at all in the midst of a three-game losing skid and then announce in advance that he would also start versus the Sabres. It was a head-scratcher for many.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Matt Stajan spent Sunday in a hospital with an eye injury and he will be lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs for at least a week as the result of a rowdy soccer game.
Stajan, the Leafs’ No. 1 centre, was hit on the eye with a soccer ball before the Leafs’ practice on Saturday during a warmup exercise common to NHL teams. Players gather in a circle and try to keep the ball in the air as long as possible by kicking or heading it. If a player allows the ball to hit the floor he is out of the game and the game ends when no players are left.
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.
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