Kukla's Korner Hockey
An MRI on Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier has revealed an MCL strain and the goalie is expected to be out of action for three weeks.
Head coach Randy Carlyle delivered the news after practice on Friday.
Bernier was hurt during Toronto's 4-3 overtime victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night. He left the game midway through the third period after teammate Paul Ranger pushed Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron on top of him.
If you missed the play, you can watch it here...
from Jonas Siegel of TSN,
Bernier, who missed the aforementioned five games in March with a groin injury, put no weight on his left leg as he was helped off the ice in front of a stunned ACC crowd. Labeled a lower-body injury – Carlyle wouldn't say if it was a re-aggravation of the groin issue – he was due to go for an MRI as soon as possible.
more on the Leafs 4-3 OT win over Boston...
from the CP at The Hockey News,
"We like to know what spot we're in and what position we're in," Kadri said. "We understand where we're at and where we need to go, so tonight's an important building step in that direction, so we've got to make sure we come out ready to go."
Kadri reiterated what defenceman Jake Gardiner said Wednesday: that the Leafs feel they match up well against the Bruins. If nothing else, winger James van Riemsdyk knows Boston is a measuring stick.
"I don't know if I'd use that wording, but, yeah, I think whenever you play a team like them, they're a good team, you know you have to have your best game to give yourself a chance," van Riemsdyk said. "I think we rise to that challenge in that regard."
friom Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,
The question remains whether Bolland will be a Leaf past this season. He’s headed for unrestricted free agency this summer and there have been no contract talks between his agent, Anton Thun, and Leafs management, since early February.
“Nothing is happening right now,” Thun said. “We exchanged proposals prior to the Olympics and we were significantly apart.”
At that time, Bolland was recovering from a lacerated tendon in his ankle, but returned to the Toronto lineup on March 22 after missing 56 games. When negotiations broke off, Bolland reportedly was seeking upward of $40 million over seven or eight years.
While that kind of contract is unlikely to happen in Toronto, Bolland isn’t being unreasonable to seek a deal in the neighbourhood of what David Clarkson is getting from the Leafs. In fact, since Clarkson, who has zero Stanley Cup rings to Bolland’s two, is going to have a salary-cap hit of $5.25-million US for the next six seasons — a contract, that for one season at least, has haunted the Leafs — then certainly Bolland should expect as much, if not a shade more.
Injury trouble has shadowed Bolland, and his durability likely will continue to be challenged as the seasons pass by. But it’s his heart that makes it that way, as he never has had a problem putting his six-foot, 184-pound body into the fray. The guy’s a gamer and we figure he will be until he skates off an NHL rink for the final time.
Christine Simpson of Sportsnet talked with Brian Burke last night between periods of the Flames/Leafs game
from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,
If GM Dave Nonis decides to fire Carlyle (perhaps with a little pressure from Tim Leiweke), and he hasn’t played his fire-a-coach card yet, that might give James Reimer a second (third?) life as a Maple Leaf. A new coach coming in could wipe the slate clean. If Carlyle stays, well, then Reimer and his agent will no doubt be looking for a trade out of town.
The irony here is the same landing spot is a possible destination for either Carlyle or Reimer: The ‘Peg.
After a hot start, the Jets under interim coach Paul Maurice have cooled off faster than that one beer you put directly in the freezer. Maurice has won just three of his past 14 games, including Monday’s five-goal collapse in Anaheim. Ted Nolan is looking more and more like the the only guy who’ll get his NHL interim tag lifted this season. The Jets, 22nd in goals allowed, can’t be thrilled with Ondrej Pavelec (.901 save percentage).
more plus additional NHL topics...
"Our spirits are up, our morale is up. That's the way you have to conduct business."
-Dion Phaneuf, captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs, via a tweet from Chris Johnston.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
An entirely unscientific survey of several NHL pro scouts, who are paid to watch and dissect other teams, and general managers (who were promised anonymity for their frankness) produced no one who thought there should be major changes. But all think some change is necessary to fix the biggest problems on the team – a lack of leadership and hockey smarts among the players (hence their inability to carry out a game plan) and a defence corps that has too many offensive-minded players and not enough physical ones.
The most interesting idea came from a scout who said Dion Phaneuf doesn’t need to be traded (not that Nonis could move that huge contract anyway), but he might play better if the captain’s role was taken away from him. Everyone surveyed said Phaneuf’s hockey sense is not the greatest, that he makes too many mistakes for someone who has been in the NHL for 10 seasons.
The idea is that, without the added pressure of being the designated leader, maybe Phaneuf can get back to being the defenceman who can deliver the timely hit and provide some needed offence. “[Phaneuf] can be an effective player, but in taking away the C does he go back to being as effective as he can be?” one scout wondered....
Up front, there was general agreement the Leafs need a lot more support for the top line of centre Tyler Bozak and wingers Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk. However, a couple people would like to see a little more leadership and consistency from Kessel.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Well if there’s anyone in the world who knows what Randy Carlyle is going through right now in Toronto, it’s Ron Wilson.
Just two years ago in early March 2012, after a late-season skid that dropped Toronto out of a playoff spot, Wilson was fired as Maple Leafs coach and replaced by Carlyle.
So yeah, with the Leafs currently mired in an eight-game losing streak that has dropped them out of a playoff spot and completely freaked out the league’s biggest hockey market, Wilson knows what his replacement is living.
“In Toronto, everything is always out of perspective; they’re either winning games and they’re planning the parade route,” began Wilson on Monday from his home near Hilton Head, S.C., “or you lose a couple of games and everything gets over-exaggerated.”
What Carlyle is going through now, Wilson has felt it.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Everybody in this organization is in trouble. Nobody is safe, although GM Dave Nonis, signed to a new contract just last year, figures to be.
Team president Tim Leiweke, having seen positive change with Toronto FC and the Raptors in a short period of time, is unlikely to look at the smoking crater created by this eight-game Leaf collapse and suggest slow-and-steady is the correct approach.
That said, what other options does Leiweke actually have?
Really, the most radical course of action the Leafs could take now would be to decide their core — Dion Phaneuf, Phil Kessel, Joffrey Lupul, James van Riemsdyk, Jonathan Bernier — isn’t good enough and isn’t going to be, and strip this thing down to the wood.
Which would guarantee at least another five years of Oiler-like losing.
Hard to see anyone would advocate that.
The worst scenario would be for the Leafs to do what they almost always do — abandon young players not yet fully formed for short-term band-aid solutions they live to regret.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org