16Apr
2014

Sponge

The NHL Playoffs are set to begin tonight and, once again, Leaf fans will be sitting on the sidelines watching other teams compete for the Stanley Cup. With the emphasis shifted from a march to the Cup to the upcoming draft, there was some reason for optimism in Leafland yesterday. The annual announcement of which players would take part in the consolation tournament known as the World Championships has begun: Morgan Rielly also representing Canada at the Worlds. — Darren […]

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15Apr
2014

Teach Me How To Corsi

Teach Me How To Corsi

The growing analytics movement is something that is slowly gaining more and more steam around the NHL. The fact that the Toronto Maple Leafs’ crash to earth was something that these analytics were repeatedly insisting would occur – as they were simultaneously being mocked by many factions of the media and Leaf fanbase – has brought many around to the idea that perhaps there is something here worth looking at. This isn’t an article about what form of identifying and […]

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April 13, 2014

Shanamagic

The Toronto Maple Leafs are set to unveil a shiny new toy to their fans on Monday morning. Sure they went 3-13-0 in their last 16 games of the season and dropped from 9th overall to 23rd overall in the NHL standings (an absolutely impressive feat), but here is a Hall of Fame player who won three Stanley Cups in his playing days. Forget about three straight horrific finishes in a row, or about the perilous cap situation the Leafs […]

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April 10, 2014

Balancing Act

The annual routine of attacking Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel has once again begun by both fans and media in the city of Toronto. With the Leafs set to miss the playoffs for the 8th time in 9 seasons the spotlight has been placed directly on the Leafs’ two main guys and their inability to right the ship. Both players made their debuts for the blue and white during the 2009-10 NHL season and have therefore been here for 5 […]

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April 9, 2014

Bad Pattern

Ray Ferraro’s daily TSN 1050 Radio segment from Monday afternoon has garnered a lot of attention since it occurred. Many took notice and have been discussing it due to the back and forth between Ferraro and TSN Leafs Lunch host Jeff O’Neill (more just a forth from Ray and a sulky silence from O’Neill). While that was an extremely interesting conversation to listen to, the most interesting tidbit I gathered from Ray’s segment was when he mentioned how the Toronto […]

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April 7, 2014

Refusal

Many people are hesitant to embrace change. To accept that something you have grown comfortable with is beginning to transform and evolve is a terrifying thought. One reaction to this situation would be to try and educate oneself as best as possible as to the direction things are heading in. When it comes to hockey, there is a wide divide occurring that many are refusing to admit the new (and it’s not even new, but that’s another article for another […]

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April 2, 2014

Celebration Time Is Nigh

I don’t really have the time for a long post today, but there is absolutely no way I cannot comment on the news that came out Tuesday night first via Darren Dreger on TSN Radio: Dreger on TSN Radio "sure, there are going to be changes this summer. Carlyle is likely to be fired" — Hope_Smoke (@Hope_Smoke) April 1, 2014 You can listen to Dreger’s segment from TSN Radio here (the Carlyle part is around the 1:50 mark). Confirmation of […]

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April 1, 2014

Humour

Being a lifelong fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs has made my sense of humour an odd animal. On a day when many are pulling off pranks or making jokes, here is something that is probably so funny that it will make you cry. The best part about it is that it’s true. Ready? Here it is: The Toronto Star Sports section pays Damien Cox, Dave Feschuk, Kevin McGran, Curtis G Rush and The Department of Hockey Analytics to break […]

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March 30, 2014

Heartless

A couple of constant themes that have circulated around the Toronto Maple Leafs this season are: heart and leadership. Specifically, a lack of when it comes the blue and white in 2013-14. Lately these themes have obviously become more prominent as the wheels have fallen off the Leafs’ train. With post-season elimination now only a formality, one must really ask why the Leafs have lacked such an identity and intensity on the ice this season? According to management the Leafs […]

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March 27, 2014

Sliver Of Hope

Sliver Of Hope

While the sky is definitely falling in Leafland, the defeated and depressed supporters of the blue and white can take some satisfaction in this clip: As bleak as things have become, the shining light is in both the play and potential of Jake Gardiner (23) and Morgan Rielly (20). Gardiner has 5 goals and 8 points in his last 10 games and ┬áleads the Leafs in even strength ice time per game (18:04). Rielly is having a quietly effective freshman […]

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