October 12 2014 02:42PM
The Leafs lost last night, bad. Jerseys were tossed in disgust. It was just ugly. I happened to be there last night, and the crowd was either completely dead or not even remotely pleased with what was happening on the ice. The Leafs were just completely out-classed by a much better Penguins team who ran roughshod over a Leafs system that looks exactly the same as it did last year. In short, the Leafs are just a mess right now, but I'm not sure why people are surprised. This is what the team looks like when you take out-of-this-world goaltending out of the equation. Placed side by side against a contender, it's clear that the Leafs just aren't good enough right now.
The good news is that today's a new day and a new game. The bad news is that it's against another good team playing in their home opener, the Rangers.
October 05 2014 10:32AM
If there's one thing Burke did right - and I mean really right - it was
stealing acquiring this fine young man from the Philadelphia Flyers in 2012 in exchange for defenseman Luke Schenn, Seriously, go hug a Flyers fan right now, they're probably very sad on the inside. In a league where elite talent is extremely hard to come by, you have to give Burke credit for getting two offensive dynamos (the other being the Phil) that now form one of the most potent scoring duos in the league. All that's left now is to fill the black hole in the middle.
September 19 2014 08:43AM
Since his arrival from Nashville in 2011, Cody Franson hasn't had a fair shake as a Leaf. The trade was a steal (thank you, Lebda), but the 6-foot-5 defender hasn't been utilized to his full potential. The penchant for Franson to make 'the big mistake' has put him in the coach's doghouse on numerous occasions and given Leafs management some commitment issues. After signing yet another one-year deal, Franson becomes a UFA after this season. With a glut of defensemen on the roster, his days as a Leaf are probably numbered.
September 14 2014 09:30AM
You've been introduced to the young guns, now it's time for the big boys. Everyday, from now until the season opener, you'll get to know your favourite Leafs just a little bit better thanks to the beautiful people at TLN.
The first Leaf on the docket is arguably the most important Leaf: goaltender Jonathan Bernier.
That's funny to say in hindsight, because a large section of Leafs fans were adamant the Leafs didn't need him, period. The Leafs already had a great young goalie; one that took them to the playoffs for the first time in nine years. Considering James Reimer's play during the lockout-shortened season, acquiring Bernier seemed unnecessary compared to other (still) pressing needs.
But the Leafs defensive ineptitude quickly proved that in order to even get a sniff of the playoffs, they would need Bernier and every single ounce of elite goaltending they could get out of him. And even that wasn't enough for a historically deficient team.
September 03 2014 08:30AM
Greg McKegg's path to the NHL has been a bit up and down to say the least.
That bumpy road has made it difficult to peg where his potential lies and how soon he can reach it (if that). The voting by the Leafs Nation staff made that pretty clear. Three of the nine writers put him firmly inside the top 10, two right at 10, while four had him outside. He may have improved one spot from his pre-season ranking last year, but dropped one from the mid-season ranking.
McKegg's journey begins with the 2007-2008 OHL Priority Selection where the Erie Otters chose him second overall. The following year he made his rookie debut with a modest 18 points. In his draft year he made a gigantic leap scoring 85 points in 67 games, but still, some scouts questioned whether his point totals were McKegg's own ability or a product of who he was playing with (which is funny in hindsight considering where Zach Torquato and Mike Cazzola are playing now). McKegg slipped to the third round where the Leafs gladly scooped him up at 62nd overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
When he was drafted, I'll admit, I had no idea who he was because I'd never seen him play. But I saw he had lots of points and an awesome name. To me that was enough convincing. I thought there was no way he wouldn't be an NHLer someday based on those factors alone.