Kukla's Korner Hockey
"He's gotten better and more consistent, but if he's truly going to be a top guy and he wants to fall into that high-end category, those players don't go for swings where they are not competing, preparing and being prepared."
-Dave Nonis, GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nazem Kadri. More on Kadri from Dan Rosen of NHL.com.
via Daid Alter tweets,
Clarkson has a fractured orbital bone...doesn't require surgery. Expected back Friday.
David Booth out 4 weeks plus with a fractured foot
01:55 MTL Jarred Tinordi served by Jiri Sekac Elbowing (maj) - 5 min against Nate Schmidt
01:55 MTL Jarred Tinordi Fighting (maj) - 5 min against Chris Brown
01:55 WSH Chris Brown served by Nathan Walker Instigator - 2 min against Jarred Tinordi
01:55 WSH Chris Brown Fighting (maj) - 5 min against Jarred Tinordi
01:55 MTL Jarred Tinordi Game misconduct - 10 min
01:55 WSH Chris Brown Misconduct (10 min) - 10 min
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
David Clarkson, whose eye and possibly his cheek were damaged in a fight with Cody McCormick, will be checked Monday after swelling made it impossible to determine the extent of his facial injuries.
“He’s to see an ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist,” coach Randy Carlyle said Sunday morning. “That’s where we’re at. We’re all concerned. It’ll be one thing (a possible long-term injury) or another. The issue was that yesterday, the swelling was still up there and they can do a better assessment with the picture.”
Given that Clarkson has twice put himself into the middle of costly pre-season incidents (a 10-game suspension resulted from a brawl with the Sabres last September), Carlyle was asked about the veteran winger keeping emotions in check.
“There would be certain times where you’re best suited to turn the other cheek, depending on the opponent,” Carlyle said. “But it’s something that has been done and now we have to deal with it.”
read on for more on the Leafs and watch the fight below...
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
... Nylander is all about hope. For the better part of 20 years, maybe more, the Leafs have used or wasted their first-round picks. They haven’t found scoring stars in the first round since Wendel Clark and Vinny Damphousse were kids.
And here is this 18-year-old all full of flash and dash, a will of the wisp kind of player, with a clear knack for knowing where the puck is and where it’s going. The best players can’t always explain why. But the puck follows them and they follow the puck. The relationship is somewhat symbiotic.
Instincts can’t be purchased. You either have them or you don’t. You either have the right kind of burst or you don’t. You either have hands or you don’t. Watching Nylander try to play with Phil Kessel was like watching two dance partners just a step out of sync Tuesday night. They were trying to read each other and not necessarily clicking. But you could see there was an understanding of sorts — a veteran-to-kid kind of respect. Kessel is the kind of teammate who can look down on a linemate who can’t play at his intellectual level. Nylander and Kessel tried to make nice and occasionally they did, but it’s clear there may be a spot one day on left wing with Kessel and somebody playing centre.
That’s the future. Whether it’s the present will be a matter of much discussion over the final weeks of the pre-season. Nylander happens to play the position the Leafs are strongest at. They have wingers like Kessel, van Riemdyk, Lupul — a trio almost assured of producing 90 goals this season -— a rare luxury for a team just about everybody is already writing off.
from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,
In the days after Steve Spott landed a job as a rookie assistant coach for the Toronto Maple Leafs in July, he was tasked with a bevy of responsibilities by head coach Randy Carlyle.
Among them, Spott was charged with devising a new breakout play for a team that has long struggled to get the puck out of its own end. Spott thought he’d hit on an effective strategy — until, that is, he shared the plan with Leafs leading scorer Phil Kessel. When Kessel voiced displeasure, Spott discovered a harsh reality of life in the NHL. In some corners of the league, and apparently in Leafland, a coach’s learning curve involves bending to the desires of star players.
At least, such was the gist of an anecdote Spott shared at a coaches’ clinic at which he was a guest speaker last month, this according to interviews with three minor-hockey coaches who were in attendance.
“Spotter said that when he went to Phil (with the breakout play), Phil said, I’m not doing it,” said one of the attendees, a former professional player.
“This season is not about me, not at all. It’s about the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’ll never be about me. I’m a sidebar. I’m the tsetse fly on the wall. This season is about the Maple Leafs. It’s about our team. It’s about our players. It’s about our organization.
“The reality is, we have to win more games. Simple as that. Winning cures pretty much everything.
“Losing is hard. This is why we’re bald and we’re grey and you ask yourself, ‘Why do I do this for a living?’ You carry the losses with you. And in this market, you carry it a little big longer and a lot louder.
“You have to have short-term memory. You have to be able to move on to the next practice, the next game, turn the page and keep your emotions so you make the decisions that are best for your group.”
-Randy Carlyle, head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. More from Carlyle by Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun.
from Kevin McGran of the Breakaway Blog at the Toronto Star,
... But all of the storylines connect at Carlyle.
He wasn't fired at season's end when the team collapsed.
Some believe it was the way they played -- with fire most of the time -- that cost them a playoff spot. Continually outshot. Continually out-possessed, in the new parlance of analytics. Carlyle's teams -- even in Anaheim are horrible at possession games.
Some believe it was simply a matter of goaltending, that if Jonathan Bernier didn't get hurt against the Los Angeles Kings, the Leafs would have sailed into the playoffs, and nobody would have lost their jobs.
Now is Carlyle's chance to prove himself, and do so under less than ideal conditions.
For one thing, it seems evident there'll be more -- oh, what's the word? advice? instruction? meddling? -- from above.
The front office looks like it's going to active, with assistant GM Kyle Dubas communicating the ideas from the team's analytics department. That means Carlyle is going to hear from Dubas about line changes, line combinations and who'd play best with Phil Kessel.
"We're comfortable with the character of the group -with the group coming back and the players that we added. If we had questions about their character they would've been gone in the summer."
-Dave Nonis, GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs. More on the Leafs from TSN.
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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