Leafs Postgame: Bernier Shuts the Door in Shootout Win

Blake Murphy
September 28 2014 08:06PM

It's been a week of preseason now, and we've confirmed that Phil Kessel is the best. Has been for a minute, will continue to be. It was just another meeting with the Buffalo Sabres, this time at home, but Kessel and last year's top line quickly rediscovered their flow and once again carried the team on offense.

This one had some ups and downs, though. Killer offensive line of the future? Disappointing night from some players competing for roster spots? A potential injury to a key player? All that and more, baby, as the Leafs beat the Sabres 3-2 in a shootout.

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This is Beyond Explanation (And Poor Phil Kessel)

Blake Murphy
May 09 2014 12:29PM

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In the 24 hours or so that have passed since news broke that the Leafs were not only retaining Randy Carlyle, but also giving him a two-year extension, there’s been a great deal of high-quality snark produced. A quick review:

And of course, there’s all that sweet, sweet Twitter snark.

What I’m yet to see, however, is a reasonable explanation for why we’re even having to go through this. I’ve racked my brain, not to try and defend the decision to keep Carlyle around but to at least understand the thought process behind it, and I’m stumped.

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How and Why A Fan Runs On the Ice

Blake Murphy
March 31 2014 01:19PM

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We’re sure you didn’t miss it, but a fan managed to hop onto the ice at the Leafs home game against Tampa Bay on March 19. It was silly, kind of funny, and far more unique to hockey than it is to baseball.

It also raises some questions, like why someone would risk punishment to do this, how they managed to climb the glass before security could step in, and how much alcohol was involved?

Well, we managed to track down the man who ran on the ice and became pseudo-famous for a few minutes. We’ve left his name and any identifying details out, but below you’ll find the key parts of a 20-minute interview conducted last week.

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Murphy: Where are the critics of the critics of the critics of Dave Nonis now?

Blake Murphy
January 21 2014 10:18AM


In this post: A hot sports taco.

For all their talk of sample size, it was the Corsi Mob who lacked the patience to see this thing through.

Against all doubt and snark to the contrary, the Toronto Maple Leafs have now won five straight games for the first time in seven years and look every bit the team they were in October, when they set the league ablaze. Low and behold, the Leafs are now firmly back in a playoff spot, where anyone watching the games knew they’d end up. 

It turns out that a slump can be just that, and a few unlucky bounces aren’t indicative of a team tuning the coach out. Everything’s just fine, even if Fenwick says otherwise.

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In Reality, Phil Kessel Is The Chauffeur

Blake Murphy
January 15 2014 09:26AM

 

Phil Kessel is an incredible offensive talent.

Now that I’ve blown your mind with that hyper-obvious statement, we can continue.

Kessel is great. He’s tallied 45 points in 48 games (though he is just coming off a nine-point, 15-game stretch) and since he joined the Leafs in 2009, only 19 players have more points and only four have more goals. And he’s done that largely without the benefit of what people would agree is a first line center, playing 2,770 of his 4,265 even strength minutes with Tyler Bozak (and less than 415 minutes with any other pivot).

When Bozak was extended this offseason, the crux of the argument against him was that playing with Kessel inflated his numbers, which is undeniable (current piping-hot-streak notwtihstanding, I guess). But I’ve become curious of late just how important Kessel is in bringing up the play of his teammates.

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