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Category: Toronto-Maple-Leafs

Evening Line- Larry Tanenbaum

“I’ve been at this 21 years. As I’ve told you before, I’ve been on the other side of the ledger for a long time. And this is a lot of fun, being where we are now. Management, coaches, the kids, like I said, they are delivering what we want Toronto Maple Leafs hockey to be.

“We all know what the goal is — a Stanley Cup. And soon. Could you imagine?”

-Larry Tanenbaum, chairman of MLSE.  Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun has much more from Tanenbaum on the Leafs.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: larry+tanenbaum

The Leafs Museum

from Curtis Rush of the New York Times,

It is a dark and rainy night when about a dozen members of the Conacher family descend the steps into Mike Wilson’s basement.

The Conachers are a legendary name in Canadian hockey, with bloodlines from the Hall of Fame to the modern N.H.L. But Wilson has his own piece of hockey fame: His 1,000-square-foot basement, in a stately three-story home in the Forest Hill neighborhood, houses what is believed to be the world’s largest collection of Toronto Maple Leafs artifacts.

Wilson, 62, could be considered hockey’s version of Barry Halper, who at one time had assembled the most acclaimed private collection of baseball memorabilia in the United States. In Wilson’s basement, one will find more than 2,000 pieces, including game-worn sweaters from as far back as the 1930s, but also photographs, pucks, sticks, contracts, documents and the original door to the dressing room at the old Maple Leaf Gardens, signed in blue ink by about 60 former Leafs.

continued with numerous pictures...

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Here Are The Florida Panthers

from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,

Analyze this.

How does a team that racked up a best-ever 103-point season and the Atlantic Division title a year ago turn itself into a hot mess of a franchise verging on the bizarre and the bozo?

Eyes right: To owner Vincent Viola, the West Point graduate and 101st Airborne vet who shook the bejeezus out of the Panthers’ front office over the summer in what most observers view as a fatal enthrallment with advanced analytics, embraced by an upper management cadre of aye-aye-sir army-exes in possession of scant hockey smarts.

Viola, by the way, was recently selected by U.S. president-elect Donald Trump to serve as his Secretary of the Army. Which is either a mark of distinction or a further imputation.

In essence, these Panthers are the antithesis, the reverse-double-with-a-twist opposite of the Maple Leafs — no plan, no ballast, no clue, with a couple of glitterati players whose stars must surely start to dim soon, no disrespect intended to Jaromir Jagr and Roberto Luongo.

Just the sort of sad-sack opponent to widen Leaf eyes in anticipation of filling their bellies, first game after Xmas, caring nothing for the turmoil which has beset Florida.

Ha. Ha. Ha. Post ho-ho-ho.

continue for more on the Leafs 3-2 shootout win over the Panthers...

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Auston Matthews Plays A Home Game Tonight

from Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports,

Born in northern California, Matthews moved to the Valley as an infant and took in his first Coyotes game when he was 3 years old. He started playing two years later, dressing for the Jr. Coyotes and Bobcats before graduating to the U.S. National Team Development Program in Michigan and a professional league in Switzerland.

But Matthews will forever be linked to Arizona, a connection he’s eager to emphasize.

“That’s where I grew up playing hockey my whole life,” he said. “It’s where I live. It’s my home. So you always have a sense of pride.”

He started to generate buzz when he joined USA Hockey about three years ago, eventually being tabbed as the consensus 2016 top pick. Coyotes captain Shane Doan heard the chatter and invited Matthews to skate in the summer with NHLers at the Ice Den in Scottsdale.

The two have stayed in touch, making last week’s game against the Coyotes even more special for Matthews. And Doan, who has for decades been the most prominent face of hockey in the desert, has been impressed with the newest poster boy.

“It gives us credibility throughout the country,” Doan said. “The way he has handled it has probably been the most remarkable. It’s fun to see and exciting to see what he’s going to do. He’s just getting started.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: auston+matthews

More Losing Than Winning With The Young Leafs

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

When it comes to their development, the Toronto Maple Leafs bring to mind a favourite old line around the NHL – they’re playing good enough to lose.

In other words, the youthful Leafs are not losing in bunches like last season’s dispirited group. They attack every game with enthusiasm and offensive skills that can be dazzling at times, but there are still enough holes in their game that the Leafs are still finding ways to turn what should be wins into losses.

So far this month, the Leafs have just two wins in eight games, with their habit of sagging in the third period proving costly. Their biggest problem areas are a lack of discipline and corresponding dip in their penalty killing, faceoffs (exacerbated by injuries to two centres) and consistency on defence.

continued

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Coming Up On NBC, Two Outdoor NHL Classic Games

STAMFORD, Conn. – Dec. 21, 2016 – NBC Sports rings in the new year with a pair of outdoor NHL Classics, highlighted by NBC’s annual presentation of the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, when Alex Pietrangelo and the St. Louis Blues host Patrick Kane and the rival Chicago Blackhawks at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on Monday, January 2, at 3 p.m. ET.

In addition to the NHL Winter Classic, NBC presents a clash of young American NHL stars on New Year’s Day at 3 p.m. ET in the NHL Centennial Classic, when rookie sensation Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs host Dylan Larkin and the Detroit Red Wings at BMO Field in Toronto. The NHL Centennial Classic represents the start of the league’s year-long Centennial celebration.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, Toronto Maple Leafs, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nbc

Mike Babcock And The Youngsters

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

No. 1 overall pick Auston Matthews was not chastised, at least publicly, during his 13-game goal-less streak and has been trying to work on defence while keeping pace to tie for the team lead of 12 goals with veteran James van Riemsdyk.

On Sunday, Babcock thought it was time to give right winger Mitch Marner a wakeup call. Although he’s been part of this year’s exciting offensive push and made the off-season commitment that Babcock demanded so as not to be buried in a big man’s NHL, something was amiss the past few games in the latter’s opinion.

That’s why Marner found himself playing the early part of the game against Colorado on the fourth line, with Matt Martin and Ben Smith. Marner came into Sunday with no points in his previous five games and perhaps a little less impact than on his regular high-profile line with van Riemsdyk and centre Bozak.

“I’ve just been watching the games,” Babcock deadpanned when asked about his Marner move. “I think there has been a message (from the coaching staff) going on for a bit.

“That’s just the process of growing up in the National Hockey League. It doesn’t go your way all the time, in practice, in games. You have to work hard every single day. I don’t know if I saw a response (in his 16:32 of ice time Sunday), I just thought it was the right thing to do.”

more

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Auston Matthews Or Patrik Laine?

from Gary Lawless of TSN,

So what does Matthews have over Laine? Is he a better skater? On the whole, yes. Matthews is also more physically mature and closer to his athletic peak. 

Laine’s upper body features pipe cleaners rather than pipes. His frame is unfinished. He’s skinny. His upside in terms of speed and power are difficult to ascertain, but he will improve and close the gap with Matthews.

Matthews has loads of game. He’s going to be a star. Laine, however, has more wattage despite playing in a small market in comparison to Toronto.

In the end, this will be about the highest of ranges. They’re two great players trying to climb into the rarest of air.

Matthews was No. 1 in the draft, but Laine will prove to be No. 1 in rarity.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: auston+matthews, patrik+laine

The Leafs Have Their Goaltender

from Damein Cox of the Toronto Star,

Perhaps somewhere along the way somebody should have sent a scout to Denmark.

Maybe that would have shortened the process of looking for a replacement for Ed Belfour in the net of your Toronto Maple Leafs.

As it was, it’s taken 11 seasons (!!!), five general managers, six coaches and 17 goaltending candidates to find someone capable of doing something approximating the job Belfour did for three seasons in the waning years of his stellar career.

But, it appears, the Leafs finally have located such a netminder.

Frederik Andersen has managed to erase those ugly first impressions he made in October, ones that made many wonder if he was just a rerun of Vesa Toskala or Jonathan Bernier, and in so doing likely set himself up for a lengthy run in the Toronto net as the club’s No. 1 goalie.

continued

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

Leaf Fans Can’t Get Their Customized Centennial Sweaters Delivered To Canada

from Peter Goffin of the Toronto Star,

Leaf fans threw the NHL in the penalty box after learning the league’s online store couldn’t ship custom Centennial Classic jerseys to Canada.

Leafs fan Chris Gumbert said he tried to order himself a Mitch Marner Centennial sweater from a page on shop.nhl.com billed as the Toronto team’s “official shop.”

After entering his Hamilton, Ont., mailing address, Gumbert was confronted with an error message telling him his order “contains manufacturer direct items that cannot be shipped to addresses outside of the continental United States.”

NHL customer service representatives confirmed to the Star that the jersey, which will be worn by the Leafs when they take on the Detroit Red Wings in a Jan. 1 outdoor game at BMO Field, could not be mailed to Canada.

continued

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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