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Hockey Notes With Your Coffee

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- ...The Leafs, not even halfway through the season, playing a limited schedule in a limited division, look like one of the best teams in the NHL. How that translates to playoffs and then crossover playoffs will be determined later. The chore for Shanahan and Dubas now is to take advantage of the greatest opportunity they’ve ever had in management. This is a shrunken season of possibilities. There may never be another like it.

- Connor McDavid had no points in three home games against Toronto. Does that impact his Hart Trophy candidacy in any way? … It’s early but the Hart conversation already includes McDavid, Auston Matthews, Patrick Kane, Victor Hedman, Mark Scheifele, Mark Stone and Andrei Vasilevskiy. Who it doesn’t include at this point: Nathan MacKinnon, Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin and Elias Pettersson.

- New nickname for Sabres GM Kevyn Adams. Wiarton Willie. He pops his head out once a year to inform us of how many bad weeks are left in the NHL season.

- When Mike Babcock was choosing between Buffalo and Toronto, he preferred the Sabres roster to that of the Leafs. His wife preferred living in Toronto. That, of course, was before Matthews was drafted. Some five years later, the Leafs are contending, Sabres have become an NHL embarrassment.

- The Maple Leafs are caught in a squeeze of sorts with their most dependable player. They can’t afford to sign the pending free agent Zach Hyman for what he would be worth in the open market — and they can’t afford to let him go.

Whatever Hyman was expected to be when then fill-in general manager Kyle Dubas made his first ever trade, acquiring Hyman’s rights from Florida, the fiery and dependable winger has exceeded any and all expectations....

more on the first and last topic plus additional hockey blurbs...

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


Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

So why didn’t Babs get the team to play this well?

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 03/07/21 at 11:07 AM ET


Babcock was clearly not the right coach for this core
- or for any NHL team it soon became clear.

This is also a deeper, more balanced mix of players at
both forward and D.

Mathews and Marner are both playing huge minutes for forwards too.
Babcock had Mathews down around 18 mins IIRC.

Posted by lefty.30 on 03/07/21 at 03:07 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

They are planning the parade. LOL

Posted by bigfrog on 03/07/21 at 10:56 PM ET

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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.

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