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Category: Toronto-Maple-Leafs

Leafs Still Without A Captain

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

Kaberle had modestly mentioned in the past his captaincy of the Czech national team and that he was one of Mats Sundin’s deputies for many years, but he won’t outright lobby for the job.

“I think a whole bunch of guys in here can step forward,” Kaberle said. “Whether you’re 19 or 35, you have something to say. When I feel I have to (be vocal) I am.”

Among the forwards it is slim pickings. Matt Stajan and Wilson aren’t seeing eye to eye, as the former’s demotion from the first line to the fourth will attest. John Mitchell only has one full year of NHL experience. Phil Kessel is a scorer, not a screamer. And the others either don’t have the ice time or off-ice presence.

“What good would it do,” asked one keen observer, “if a .146 hitter got up in the middle of a losing baseball team’s clubhouse and started making speeches?”

more

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

Give Kaberle Some Respect

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

There, among the top 10 point producers in the league, is Kaberle, who, as of yesterday, was tied for 10th with 20 points, best among NHL defencemen.

“It’s cool,” admitted the normally understated Kaberle about seeing his name among the Ovechkins and Thorntons.

“Cool” is a very applicable term when it comes to discussing Kaberle.

On one hand, it describes his demeanour on the ice, always seemingly calm in the heat of battle.

Unfortunately, “cool” also describes the reception he sometimes gets from the demanding members of Leafs Nation.

Maybe it’s because they don’t think he shoots enough. Or is tough enough. Or is good enough in his own end. All legitimate gripes.

read on

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

Blackhawks Get It

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

The Blackhawks are a Western Conference contender. The Leafs, after a blip of promise last weekend against Carolina and Detroit, descended once more into maddening mediocrity Tuesday in a loss to lowly Minnesota.

Whereas not so long ago Chicago could be mocked as a historic franchise that had lost its way, today it’s the Leafs that can only report excellence in the Forbes standings, not the NHL’s. The Windy City has already been lauded for hosting a superb Winter Classic, while Brian Burke’s promises of doing something similar at BMO Field – no Wrigley, to be sure – ring somewhat hollow.

Nobody would have thought five years ago the Leafs would be sucking the exhaust fumes of the Hawks, but that’s where we are.

One franchise stood still, the other caught the gusts of a new NHL.

more

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

Wilson Trying To Wake-Up Schenn

from Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail,

The first thing Ron Wilson wants to do Friday night at the United Center is “pull the plug on the organ,” then get rid of the national anthem singer. Failing that, Wilson would settle for having Luke Schenn plugged in.

Schenn was Wilson’s fair-haired boy last season. That’s not the case any more. In a published report Thursday, the Toronto Maple Leafs head coach was blunt about what awaits Schenn if he doesn’t truck out some truculence.

“Hopefully, it doesn’t come to him sitting out games to get a message across,” Wilson intoned.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: luke+schenn

Komisarek Out With Pulled Quad Muscle

via TSN,

Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Mike Komisarek will miss the next three weeks with a pulled quadricep muscle.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+komisarek

Not The Reputation The Leafs Want

from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,

Have the Leafs gone soft all of a sudden?

“Any time you make it hard for the other team and make them not want to play you and be apprehensive every time they go into the corner, that’s the mentality you want to have,” Leafs defenceman Garnet Exelby said yesterday. “You want to (have teams) come to Toronto and hate playing here.

“We want that reputation spreading around the league.”

If any future opponent takes a good look at the game tape from Tuesday night, that reputation will be somewhat less daunting.

The Leafs lost countless battles for the puck and were far from the physical team that was promised and had delivered in the first handful of games this season.

The lack of physicality helped create a dreadful atmosphere at the Air Canada Centre, where fans were lulled into a comatose state by the pacificist effort.

more

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Not The Place For A Winter Classic

from Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail,

I have no problem with the fact the Toronto Maple Leafs want to play host to the NHL All-Star Game, as much of a fraudulent cash grab disguised as an afternoon skate as it is anyhow. But, honestly: by what stretch does BMO Field deserve to be the site of the annual outdoor game, an event that has had a surprising shelf life and if nothing else seems to be about the only time during the year anybody in the U.S. watches the game? Putting the game in as non-descript a facility as BMO Field would cheapen the event – although I’m sure that’s the only way the word “cheap” would be associated with it, since the mind boggles at how much Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment will charge for the game.

read on

image

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

Would Burke Take A Huge Cap Hit For A Goalie?

from Randy Youngman of the OC Register,

Is Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere on his way out of town?

If so, all signs point toward Toronto.

The rumors that were rampant in the offseason and then dissipated in training camp have resumed in earnest….

Giguere (0-2, 3.65, .895) is winless in four games this season and currently is recovering from a strained groin muscle. Giguere, 32, makes $6 million this season and $7 million next season, so the Ducks obviously don’t want to pay that much to a backup.

Jiggy has a no-trade clause in his contract, but the word is that he would waive it to go to Toronto, where he would be reunited with General Manager Brian Burke and longtime goalie coach Francois Allaire. He also would have a chance to play more regularly.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jean-sebastien+giguere

Good Leafs Or Bad Wings?

from Damian Cox of the Toronto Star,

Was it the Maple Leafs, suddenly a very competent looking hockey club after two straight victories?

Or was it the Detroit Red Wings, or at least the current injury-riddled, talent-depleted version of the squad that went to the Stanley Cup final the past two springs but was steamrolled 5-1 by the Leafs last night?

Hard to say. But let’s start with this. When the Leafs were being trampled with Joey MacDonald in net and with Phil Kessel’s presence still a distant dream, it was suggested that it would be impossible to evaluate the Toronto team and individual players until top-flight goaltending was supplied by somebody, and that it was a little early to describe the Kessel-for-two-first-rounders deal as a disaster until he at least played a game.

Today, the Leafs, after beating awful Carolina and the Wings on back-to-back nights, look like a club that at least has a chance to vie for a playoff berth.

read on

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

A Skinny ‘Monster’

from Joe O’Conner of the National Post,

For about six years now, Jonas Gustavsson has been skinny. Not slender, just skinny. His legs are skinny. His waist and chest are skinny. And even his face is skinny. Dress him in a skinny black tie and a skinny black suit and Gustavsson would not look out of place in a jazz club full of New York hipsters, circa 1955.

“It doesn’t matter how much I eat or how much I practise—I get stronger, but I just can’t get any bigger,” says the Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender who begins each day with bacon and eggs, toast and an assortment of fruit, and ends it with a bedtime snack. “Everything I eat, I burn away. But I think this is the right way for me.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonas+gustavsson

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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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