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Category: Toronto-Maple-Leafs

The Ottawa Senators Are In, The Toronto Maple Leafs Are Not There Yet

from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen,

Welcome back to the Stanley Cup playoffs, Ottawa Senators.

With injured captain Erik Karlsson at home, the Senators secured a playoff berth with a 2-1 shootout victory over the Boston Bruins Thursday.

After the victory, a loud, boisterous cheer from the Senators dressing room echoed into the hallway at TD Banknorth Garden.

“It’s just a great feeling,” defenceman Dion Phaneuf said. “You could see when we got the point and knew we were in. We knew we had pushed through a lot of ups and downs this year. We found a way to stick to it. (Thursday) was a game that was textbook the style we’ve played all year.”

Well, textbook minus the club’s best player, the best defenceman in the NHL. And by securing a playoff spot, the Senators will be able to rest Karlsson until the playoffs begin.


from Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,

Continue Reading »

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

The Toronto Maple Leafs March Into Buffalo

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

Now things get juicy good in Game 79. The Leafs are in town again Monday night. Second time in nine days.

And there's more: It appears Alex Nylander will make his Sabres debut. In the midst of a circus atmosphere. Against his older brother, William, just named NHL Rookie of the Month for March.

Sign us all up.

Toronto comes to town hip-deep in a wild playoff race as the season heads into the final week. The Sabres, of course, are not. Worse yet, while the Leafs are pushing to finish second in the Atlantic Division and are a full 15 points ahead of Buffalo, the Sabres are simply trying to stave off the Detroit Red Wings and stay out of the Atlantic cellar.

So sure, let's keep pushing the silly injury excuse -- the Sabres are a mediocre 25-25-7 WITH Jack Eichel -- or keep trying to to explain away how the Leafs have blown past Buffalo in Rebuild Square.

All that's left is to put a crimp in the Leafs' run and to silence their fans, who undoubtedly have gladly soaked up as many tickets as they can from the Sabres' rightly disgruntled season ticket base.


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

“Shifting Attitude” Towards Gambling

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

Komarov is the new global ambassador for NordicBet, a European-based betting website. His sponsorship deal is the first of its kind for an active NHL player and signals a shifting attitude within the sport about affiliations with gambling.

Todd Diamond of International Sports Advisors Co., the agency that represents Komarov, said the arrangement was cleared with the Leafs front office before it was finalized.

It didn’t raise any red flags for the NHL or NHL Players’ Association, either.

“It doesn’t violate our rules as long as he isn’t directly promoting sports wagering and as long as the advertising is limited to where NordicBet’s business is legal,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly told Sportsnet.

Komarov was actually approached by multiple betting companies, according to Diamond, and found NordicBet most appealing because it is a publicly traded company in Sweden.

“They are sensitive to the legalities and concerns of Leo,” said Diamond....

With the NHL expanding to Las Vegas starting next season, it’s reasonable to expect more of these deals to start emerging in the hockey world.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: leo+komarov

Video- When Is High Sticking Not High Sticking?

When the puck hits the guy in the head and not a stick from the opposition.

First a penalty, they huddled, still a penalty, they huddled again, no penalty.


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

Afternoon Line- Mike Babcock

“I don’t care when you peak or any of that stuff, I just want to get in the playoffs to give ourselves a chance.

“We’re playing better right now and finding a way to win games and that’s what we have to continue to do. Last year, I didn’t look at the standings one time (when the Leafs finished 30th overall in the National Hockey League) and now I look at it every single day. Obviously, there must be a reason to look at them.”

-Mike Babcock, head coach of the Toronton Maple Leafs.  Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun has more.

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

Toronto vs. Buffalo

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

On the warm Buffalo evening last summer that Auston Matthews was selected first overall by the Maple Leafs in a boo-filled KeyBank Center, a small pocket of Toronto fans sitting in the stands proudly showcased their T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Auston 20:16.”

“He’s going to be our saviour!” one of them yelled, trying to have his voice heard over the loud jeers of the locals who were anti-anything-Toronto-related.

Truth be told, the loyal sports-loving zealots of Buffalo have plenty of legitimate fodder to despise The Big Smoke when it comes to the world of fun and games....

One year later, the Sabres wined and dined free-agent coach Mike Babcock and were so encouraged at their chances to land the former Detroit Red Wings bench boss that preliminary plans were in place to introduce him to Buffalo media.

But a last-minute change of heart left the Sabres as the jilted bride waiting at the altar while Babcock, citing family reasons, opted for Toronto’s ground-breaking eight-year, $50-million offer, one believed to be similar to that tabled by Buffalo.

Then came the coup de grace in 2016, when Matthews was picked by the rival Leafs right on Buffalo soil. For Sabres supporters, this was the deepest cut of all.

read on

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

Video- Roman Polak Suspended Two Games

For boarding, here is the explanation from the NHL.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: roman+polak

The Playoff Battle In The Eastern Conference

from Rob Vollman at NHL.com,

There's a fierce battle for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. The Boston Bruins hold the second wild card with 82 points, followed by the New York Islanders, who have 80 points and a game in hand. Each team trails the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are third in the Atlantic Division with 83 points with 10 games remaining.

If the standings remain this way, Toronto will make the playoffs for the second time since 2003-04, Boston will end a two-season absence, and New York will miss the playoffs for the first time in three seasons.

The Bruins and Maple Leafs have an edge in the standings and in most statistical categories, but neither team is out of the woods yet. The Islanders have been one of the NHL's best offensive teams since Doug Weight replaced Jack Capuano as coach Jan. 17, and the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are five behind the Bruins with 77 points, are one of several teams within striking distance if some should fade down the stretch.

Let's break down the numbers behind each team's key advantage.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Roman Polak Will Have A Meeting With NHL Player Safety

Polak received 5 for boarding a game.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: roman+polak

What About Those Toronto Maple Leafs?

from ESPN,

What's the secret to the recent success of the Toronto Maple Leafs?

Craig Custance: Coach Mike Babcock and rookie scorer Auston Matthews definitely deserve a big dose of credit, but one thing I don't think the Toronto Maple Leafs get enough credit for is the quality veterans kept to surround the impressive rookie class. Nazem Kadri might be the best example of that. He scored his 30th goal of the season on Wednesday against the Blue Jackets, and his line was great. Suddenly the Maple Leafs have a pair of 30-goal centers. That's impressive. A layer of veterans in James van Riemsdyk, Kadri and Leo Komarov is often an overlooked part of a rebuild, and if we're looking for reasons beyond Babcock and Matthews, I'd start there.

Pierre LeBrun: After a 3-2 overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes almost two weeks ago, a game that wasn't very pretty to watch, Babcock called it a "thing of beauty" the next day. His message? His team had limited the Hurricanes to five scoring chances. That's what he cares about. Consider their last three daunting opponents: Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and Columbus Blue Jackets. The Leafs picked up five out of six points from that dance card. That's what real playoff teams do. But more telling is how they played defensively. They did a better job protecting the puck, not forcing plays, making safer decisions. You see, it just might be that Babcock, who should be a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year, has managed to finally teach his young offensive thoroughbreds that not every shift has to be about glory. The Leafs are 6-1-1 in their last eight and third in the Atlantic Division, and look very much like a club that's playoff-bound.

more views from the ESPN hockey crew...

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

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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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