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Category: Toronto-Maple-Leafs

Evening Line- Roman Polak

“The young guys, they have so much speed and skill. I have to say, it looks good . . . It’s all about the fans. If the fans want to bring the old stuff back, if they want more fighting and big guys, it’s going to come back. But now, the fans want the speed hockey, the skill hockey. And who blames them? It looks good.”

-Roman Polak of the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star has more on a feature about toughness in the game.

I don't agree with Polak at all, fighting is going away year by year.

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

No Goal Call Goes Against Toronto

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

The determinations have gotten more confusing. What’s obvious to one person doesn’t seem to be obvious to another. What’s supposed to be objective has turned out to be subjective. And this was never the intention of replay at any time, in any game.

The illogic of the coach’s challenge happened again on Monday night at the Air Canada Centre. Second period. Zach Hyman makes a terrific play for the Maple Leafs, beating Colorado defenceman Patrik Nemeth to a loose puck behind the Avalanche net. The puck then went from Hyman to William Nylander, who made a fine pass to Auston Matthews for the score.

This is the kind of goal hockey should be applauding. A tough play on a loose puck. Mike Babcock getting what he needs from Hyman. Nylander doing what he’s supposed to do — making a quick, perfect pass. Matthews finishing the way few others can.

Except, no goal.

It was deemed to be goaltender interference on the history major, Jonathan Bernier. You know it was contentious for the NHL officials to make a determination because they took an inordinate amount of time before making the wrong decision. The fans, already sensing something was wrong, began booing before there was a reason to boo.


Watch the no goal below...

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

Mike Babcock Says Leafs Should Have Won The Game, Instead It Is 10 In A Row For The Avs

from Kristen Shilton of TSN,

It’s been too much of a problematic pattern for the Toronto Maple Leafs lately – they can’t hold on to a lead and they can’t bury enough of their chances.

Toronto rallied from a first-period deficit – they are 2-12-0 when trailing after one period – to take a 2-1 lead in the second period, a lead that lasted all of 94 seconds, and when they needed a strong final frame it ended up being their weakest of the night.

“That just can’t happen down the stretch,” surmised Jake Gardiner of giving away another lead after the Maple Leafs’ 4-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Monday. “We have to start closing out games.”

Head coach Mike Babcock needed all of six words to sum up the previous three hours at the Air Canada Centre:

“We should have won the game.”

It was a sentiment his players shared from a sombre dressing room where they grappled with yet another blown lead and another disappointing end on a night that they felt like they were the better team.

Up until Gabriel Landeskog iced Colorado’s 10th straight victory with an empty-net goal in the final minute, the Leafs (26-18-5) were battling through yet another one-goal affair.


Game highlights are below...

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

Video- No Goal Auston Matthws

The Situation Room reversed the call.

Matthews did come back and score on his next shift.



added 8:51pm, Matthews reacts to his good goal, watch below...

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

Video- Morgan Rielly Injured In Loss To The Flyers

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

Morgan Rielly suffered an undisclosed injury during Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers and the team was awaiting word on the severity after travelling to Ottawa following the game.

Rielly saw an imaging technician at Wells Fargo Center following the 3-2 overtime loss to the Flyers. He looked to be in discomfort while walking to the bus.

The Leafs’ top defenceman was injured late in the second period after getting tangled up with Jake Voracek and falling awkwardly to the ice. His right arm appeared to take the brunt of the impact.

Rielly hunched over while gliding back to the bench and headed straight to the dressing room. Even though he returned for the third period, the Leafs limited his playing time...

read on

Watch the injury below...

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

Video- Frederik Andersen Not Happy After Loss To The Philadelphia Flyers

from Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,

An angry but matter-of-fact Andersen came out verbally swinging after the Leafs lost by a goal for the fourth consecutive game, falling 3-2 in overtime to the Philadelphia Flyers.

The loss at Wells Fargo Center came after the Leafs built a 2-0 lead in the second period, only to fritter it away in the third.

“We have to figure out who wants to commit to playing for the team,” Andersen said. “We’ve got to look at the attitude. We played well enough for two periods, but we’ve got to find a way to keep the foot on the gas the whole game. We can’t be satisfied with two periods.”

read on

Below, watch Andersen post-game...

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

Not Yet Complete In Toronto

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

They are close. They have the coach. They have the centre in Auston Matthews. They have the goaltender in Frederik Andersen. They even have a defence, without a definitive No. 1, comparable to the Pittsburgh defence of a year ago that was good enough for the Penguins.

What they don’t know right now: Who is their No. 2 forward?

And are the players they believed were on their way to stardom — Mitch Marner and William Nylander — really heading in that direction?

That has to be of great concern to Maple Leafs management. So much of the building of this hockey club was based on three young stars growing together, the way Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, as two young stars, grew together in Pittsburgh. The way Datsyuk and Zetterberg grew together in Detroit. The way Kane and Toews grew together in Chicago.

The Leafs have one definitive star in Matthews up front. The question now: Do they have another one?


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

No Cup For You Toronto

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

The Maple Leafs, as currently constituted, aren’t going to win the Stanley Cup this season. Sorry to be the one to break it to you.

The intriguing question is whether that should be the objective.

It is eventually, of course. But a team that started last season with subterranean expectations has evolved into a squad that has, after an exciting 6-1 start, settled into the middle of the pack in the NHL and created a new debate about the pace of the team’s improvement....

It’s about evolution, right? You build a team of young players and then stand back as they are coached to be better at their jobs and work at their profession until they’re better.

read on

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

Questioning Mike Babcock

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

Auston Matthews played his 117th game Wednesday night, and during his season and a half in the National Hockey League no one has scored more than him at even strength....

Maybe even more incredible than all of this: In the time in which Matthews has led the NHL in 5-on-5 scoring, 56 different players, all of whom rank behind him in scoring when it’s most difficult to score, have scored more power-play goals than Matthews.

That’s not on the young player. That’s on Mike Babcock, the usually sensible, pragmatic, and sometimes stubborn coach of the Maple Leafs. He decides how to employ his talent. A lot of what he does makes sense. He’s a great coach. But some of what he does — like his regular usage of Roman Polak — is easy to question....

The amount of time Babcock assigns Matthews with the man advantage ranks him a ridiculous 201st in the NHL in power play ice time. He’s right there along with non-comparables such as J.T. Miller and Danton Heinen and Joshua Ho-Sang. Playing half the power-play time of the majority of NHL stars.


By the way, Toronto lost 4-3 to Ottawa last night, game highlights are below...

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

A Break From Babock

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

There is no control freak like the head coach of any major sports team, "amateur" or professional.

That is why there is always great hilarity when the first statement from any U.S. college coach whose program is caught in any nefarious undertaking, such as slipping cash to officially unpaid athletes, is: "I had no idea anything untoward was happening."

At least Mike Babcock admits he suffers from the affliction. Control, that is. Slipping the players wads of cash – perfectly legal and absolutely required in the NHL's case – is the job of general manager Lou Lamoriello. The Toronto Maple Leafs head coach volunteered the information after Tuesday's practice when the subject of the team's five-day break came up.

Thanks to the NHL Players' Association, which landed the perk in the bargaining for the current collective agreement, every NHL team gets a five-day break during the 82-game season, separate from the all-star break.


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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