Kukla's Korner Hockey
I suggest you turn down the sound so you are not swayed by the description of the play.
from Christopher L. Gasper of the Boston Globe,
Phil Kessel is a man of few words and, when it comes to facing his former team, a man of even fewer goals.
Give Kessel credit. The former Bruin spoke postgame on a night when his silence on the ice spoke volumes about his reputation as a faux franchise forward. Turned into white noise on skates, Kessel could only watch as the Bruins roared to a 4-1 victory over his Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at TD Garden Wednesday night.
The Bruins don’t want to say it. They don’t have to. You can see it. They’re in Phil the Thrill’s head. It’s like when they sent him to Toronto in 2009 they put a hockey hex on him. He sees the Spoked-B sweaters and becomes an Empty Kessel.
from Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,
If you’re going to win in the playoffs, your best players have to be your best players.
It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
But none of Phil Kessel, Joffrey Lupul, Nazem Kadri, Dion Phaneuf nor James Reimer were good on Wednesday night in the Maple Leafs’ first Stanley Cup playoff game in nine years.
Like the majority of their teammates, they stunk....
The Leafs were an intimidated, nervous bunch.
They made too many mistakes.
They had little hope of scoring.
added 4:19pm, Watch below as Kadri talks abou the series with Boston.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
While the Leafs were stumbling a bit and making their fans nervous, the Bruins made theirs forget all about that 17-3-3 start that had the pundits looking for a great Eastern Conference playoff showdown with the Pittsburgh Penguins. In their last 10 games, the Bruins won just three times.
Even better for the Leafs, ace defenceman Zdeno Chara, who is personally responsible for Kessel’s futility, played more like Zeppo Marx in those final days.
But that’s where the hope ends. Man-for-man and unit-for-unit, the Leafs simply do not match up well against the Bruins.
The best is Reimer, whose 19-8-5 record, 2.46 goals-against average and .924 save percentage are almost as good as Rask’s numbers (19-10-5, 2.00, .932). Reimer has no NHL playoff experience and Rask’s last playoff appearance was in 2010, as Tim Thomas played every game in 2011, when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup.
Kessel’s 52 points as the Leafs’ leading offensive player looks a lot better than the 36 points Brad Marchand had to top the Bruins list. But the Bruins can score by committee, something the Leafs only do intermittently.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Phil Kessel has managed the impossible — he’s pulled a disappearing act before the playoff series begins against the Boston Bruins.
And in doing so, refusing to fulfil his contractual obligations and meet with the media, he wound up embarrassing team management in the process.
“That’s the first I’ve heard of it,” said general manager Dave Nonis, when apparently informed of Kessel’s unwillingness to play meet the press on Monday afternoon and doing his best to explain why. Nonis was clearly unimpressed with Kessel’s silence.
“We’ll deal with it internally,” said Nonis, who added. “Our players will be available on a going forward basis.”
from Matt Kieltyka of MetroNews,
The former Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs general manager’s lawyers have filed an action in B.C. Supreme Court Friday alleging defamation against several unidentified Internet commentators who “have spread lies about Brian over the internet, following Brian’s dismissal as GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs.”
Burke, through lawyer Peter Gall of Heenan Blaikie LLP, is suing for damages and an injunction preventing the defendants “John Does #1 to #18” (identified only by their blog and comment forum user names) from posting any more defamatory statements online.
The comments in question were posted on numerous blogs and hockey forums “explaining” why Burke was fired as Leafs GM in January 2013.
The notice of civil claim says the Internet commentators were spreading lies, alleging Burke had a sexual relationship with a female sports reporter, and may be the father of her child.
continued with the usernames of the commentators...
from Kevin Nielsen of Sportsnet,
Tim Leiweke has been appointed president and chief executive officer of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. He will officially take over the post on June 30.
Leiweke is leaving a similar posting with Anschutz Entertainment Group to take the role. AEG owns the Los Angeles Kings, and holds a stake in the Lakers.
“I’m honoured and excited to be chosen to lead MLSE, a world-class sports and entertainment organization with the major league teams, premier facilities and employee team that rank with the very best across North America and internationally,” Leiweke said in a press release. “MLSE is woven into the character of Toronto. The loyal and passionate fans of MLSE’s teams want sports championships for this great city. They want excitement on the ice, on the court, on the pitch and on the stage. And they want MLSE to be an active part of their community. I am committed to delivering for them when I begin my new role as CEO of MLSE.”
from Cathal Kelly of the Toronto Star,
What the Leafs are counting on at this point is the cultural gravity of hockey itself. While some Canadians may not care for the game, it would be taboo to write off the sport in company. Being Canadian means, at the least, accepting how much it matters to your countrymen.
It may be that a society-wide appreciation and civic loyalty may be enough to keep the generations coming back to a team they can no longer afford to watch in person.
It’s certainly working so far.
If they’re wrong, then the tickets will get cheap awful fast.
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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