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Category: Toronto-Maple-Leafs

The Lundqvist Plan Is Not Working

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

The theory in radically reducing Henrik Lundqvist’s workload so the Rangers’ franchise goaltender would be fresher for the long haul of a deep playoff run is certainly sound.

But in practice, it is not working.

Because there was yet another goal (or two) the goaltender would have wanted back in Friday’s dispiriting 4-2 defeat to the Maple Leafs at the Garden that followed a simple, yet stirring tribute to the late NYPD Det. Steven McDonald that featured a ceremonial puck drop from his wife, Patti Ann, and son, Conor.

Because it was yet another game in which Lundqvist, who seemed off-balance throughout, had trouble with his reads. Another game in which a funny one went in reasonably early to put the Rangers in a hole.

continued

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  Tags: henrik+lundqvist

Morning Line- Mike Babcock

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  Tags: mike+babcock

The Playoffs Are Now In The Conversation For The Toronto Maple Leafs

from Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,

Hands up if you figured the Maple Leafs would be in a playoff spot in the first week of January.

OK, put them down. We know you’re not telling the truth.

Yet that’s where the Leafs, 30th-place finishers last season, find themselves following a 4-2 victory against the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

The win at the Prudential Center improved the Leafs’ record to 18-12-8, and their 44 points is tied with the Boston Bruins in the Atlantic Division. Because the Leafs have played three fewer games than the Bruins, they bump the Bruins and take over third place in the Atlantic.

“As a group we know what we are capable of and that has been the goal since the start of the year, to be in that mix, in that race for a playoff spot, and I think we have the talent to do so,” star rookie Auston Matthews said.

“We’re a fast, skilled, talented young group and we continue to get better.”

continued

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

Video- Auston Matthews Can Pass Too

Nice, teams better not leave him alone behind the net.

 

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  Tags: auston+matthews

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...

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

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.

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

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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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