December 22 2016 12:21PM
With plenty of trade talk swirling around James van Riemsdyk in the last week or so, of course there's going to be an emerging debate over whether it's the right thing to do, under the usual disclaimer that anyone is worth trading for the right return. But some of the speculation out there has caused its fair share of worry, with the Kessel trade being cited as a potential comparison, or even the Hall-for-Larsson deal most recently. I've also seen a potential JVR-for-Josh Manson swap floated out there plenty.
December 20 2016 01:02PM
There was a somewhat recent episode of the NBA podcast The Lowe Post with Zach Lowe that gave me a lot to think about with regards to NHL and its changes in era. The early portion of the episode centered around teams adapting to relatively new playing styles and systems, like that of the Golden State Warriors, among others, and how the league will respond (or is responding now) - sort of "correcting itself" in a sense.
December 17 2016 11:00AM
Even though the Leafs have had their struggles so far this year, what's been the most fun thing about them is it's tough to really count them out of any match-up. Andersen, now rounding into fantastic form, can keep nearly any game close, and with the skill level of the kids, it never feel like there's a date on the schedule that makes you groan in anticipation of a loss. Tonight's game might be the closest we'll get to that, as Toronto hosts the Penguins, the most dangerous team in the league.
December 16 2016 04:05PM
Frank Corrado has made some ears perk up over the last couple days with his outspokenness about his situation with the Leafs, and their apparent willingness to just flush seasons of his young career down the toilet while he sits doing nothing. No second half of back-to-backs, no AHL games, zip.
And that's stirred up the debate over Toronto's blue-line yet again. The infamous "Hunlak" pairing continues to see significant minutes, usually under barrage in their own zone, while Corrado can't get a sniff of icetime. Babcock has been asked about it on both fronts - Corrado's potential to crack the lineup, and his own insistence on Hunlak playing meaningful minutes on a team that supposedly isn't tanking - and you get the feeling things are going to come to a conclusion one way or another soon, like they did with the recently-shipped-out Peter Holland.
December 13 2016 11:17AM
The Leafs are coming off a tough loss that saw them control essentially the entire game against the Avalanche this past Sunday, only to be shut down by Varlamov. Now they'll continue this five-game homestand by welcoming some more visitors from the other end of the continent to the ACC. It's the Sharks in town tonight.