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Category: Toronto-Maple-Leafs

Mike Babcock Pushing His Team To Be Better

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

“We’re through two-thirds of the season and we’re in a good spot right now, but the league gets better and better,” said Babcock. “So if we want to continue to be in a good spot we have to get better.

“We haven’t been as good night in, night out as we’re capable of being so let’s find a way to get a little better.”

The NHL’s highest-paid coach remains, above all, a student.

He is constantly reading up on leadership and successful figures in sports – looking to glean inspiration from wherever he can find it. The 53-year-old takes pleasure in the daily grind of trying to get better and makes no secret of the fact that the biggest goal laying in front of his young team is finding its way into the playoffs this spring.

“April 12 is when the real season starts and you want to have an opportunity to be in that,” said Babcock.

more

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

Morning Line- Damien Cox On The Toronto Maple Leafs

Iginla and Doan, or another veteran forward with lots of experience and a reputation for leadership, might, however, be something the Leafs front office could consider. That type of forward could help steady a Leafs team that gets jittery every time it builds a two-goal lead, and would come at a fraction of the price it would cost to bring in a significant defenceman.

-Damien Cox of Sportsnet where you can read more on this topic.

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

Video- Adam McQuaid vs. Matt Martin In A Good Old Fashion Fight

A good bout and it is not often you see Matt Martin on the losing end.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: adam+mcquaid, matt+martin

The Slumping Toronto Maple Leafs

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

Given the excessive volume that always accompanies the Toronto Maple Leafs, their first serious skid of the season is setting off the usual panic in the Leafs Nation hen house.

Even though the problems need immediate attention if the Leafs are to continue their surprising run toward the NHL playoffs, a consideration of all the factors involved does not reveal any serious flaws in the organization’s grand plan. The team’s reaction to a stretch of adversity – a 2-3-1 record in the six games they were without their best defenceman, Morgan Rielly, and their current three-game losing streak – should not be taken as the Leafs hitting a wall but as a team showing its true status.

The Leafs are a young, developing team and reacted to their recent troubles as such a team usually does; given the number of problems that came along almost at once, it is no surprise they overwhelmed the team.

These problems need to be dealt with quickly or the Leafs will see the one advantage they have with the schedule melt away. 

continued

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

The Toronto Maple Leafs Not Quite Ready To Trade For Big-Time Dman

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

So even if the Leafs win Wednesday in Detroit against the Red Wings and beat the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday to keep the heady feelings going into the all-star break, there is little chance general manager Lou Lamoriello is going to dive into the trade market before the Feb. 28 deadline – despite all the talk about St. Louis Blues defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk.

The leg injury to Morgan Rielly, who missed his third game on Monday and is not expected to play until after the break, made it clear the Leafs are not ready to make the jump their fans would love to see.

Yes, they are 11 points ahead of last season at this point and on pace to make the playoffs. But no one should lose sight of the fact this is still early in the team’s rebuilding plan (they were 30th in the standings last season).

Jumping into the trade or free-agent market would be foolish. NHL general managers like to say there are two occasions when teams overpay for players: at the trade deadline and on free-agent day. That’s why only teams that are one or two players away from making serious noise in the playoffs should participate in those markets.

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A Confidence Building Win For Henrik Lundqvist

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

On any other night in any other year, this one would have been routine for the Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist.

But considering the Bizarro World in which the franchise goaltender and has lived over the past days, if not weeks, Thursday’s 5-2 victory over the Maple Leafs, in which Lundqvist played a significant role, was anything but usual.

“I think this was a big game for me,” Lundqvist said in a king-sized understatement. “Sometimes a win means a little bit more and you enjoy it a little bit extra.”

The Rangers buckled down fundamentally all over the ice, but most especially in the area in front of the net they had begun to vacate as a matter of routine while losing three straight in regulation and six of their previous 11 (5-6), since Dec. 20.

continued

Game highlights are below...

Continue Reading »

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

Comparing The Toronto Maple Leafs And Buffalo Sabres

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

The Leafs are already in a playoff spot -- and with so many games in hand they're likely the second-best team in the Atlantic Division. The Sabres hit town off a solid win over Dallas but still last in the division.

Asking Babcock how surprised he was to have accelerated past the Sabres made him recoil after the morning skate.

"I never said that, you just said that right?" Babcock said. "Sometimes when you ask those questions then the next thing that comes out in the media is like I said that. Just so we know, I did not say that."

The room broke up because Babcock made sure to emphasize each of the last four words. He then proceeded to explain himself further.

"To tell you the truth, I don't spend a whole lot of time concerning myself on the other teams. We're building our own product here. We have a lot of work to do. I tried to say that yesterday. I told our players the same thing. We're 41 games in. Let's just try to get better every day. We do that, we have a chance to be a good team moving ahead. That's what we're trying to do."

Now obviously, the biggest thing in the Leafs favor is they tanked for half a season (Garrett Sparks in goal, anyone?) and were lucky enough to win the draft lottery to take Auston Matthews. The Sabres put together two of the worst seasons back-to-back in recent NHL history and didn't get the little ping pong ball bounce either time.

Jack Eichel is a terrific young player. But he's no Matthews. No shame in that. But it's the reality.

more

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

Videos- What Goal Impressed You More? James van Riemsdyk Or Jared Spurgeon

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: james+van+riemsdyk, jared+spurgeon

Video- Morgan Rielly Leg Injury

Rielly went to the room, came back to give it a go but his leg did not respond well.  Back to the dressing room.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: morgan+rielly

Video- Bad Goal Of The Night Candidate, Frederik Andersen

The Leafs actually chllenged the goal for interference, no dice.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: frederik+andersen

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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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