Leafs Postgame: Started From The Bottom (Now We There Again)

Jeff Veillette
January 26 2016 09:56PM

You knew it was coming. No matter how many pucks James Reimer stopped, no matter how much better Mike Babcock was at executing a system than his predecessors, and no matter how nifty Nazem Kadri's mittens were, the Leafs simply didn't have the talent to make a serious run.

Or half of a run. Or a spot away from the bottom of the division. Or a spot away from the bottom of the conference.

Or the bottom of the league. In front of the collective fatherhood of the roster, the Leafs suffered a blowout loss to the Florida Panthers, which, with the help of a few other games, moved the team into a tie for the bottom seed.

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Why the return of Dave Keon is a sign that the Leafs are headed in the right direction

Jeff Veillette
January 26 2016 08:47AM

Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports

Dave Keon stepped onto the ice of the Air Canada Centre with the daughters of Turk Broda and Tim Horton on Saturday night as part of the revealing of his Legends Row statue. It a rare appearance for him, and the first time that he's come out to accept an individual accolade from the club. The crowd gave him a heroes welcome. He played along. It was a great moment.

In fact, maybe it was more than a great moment. To me, it's a sign that, after decades of perceived (and often proven) ineptitude, the Toronto Maple Leafs, on a grand scale, have their heads in check.

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Mark Arcobello named AHL Player of the Week

Jeff Veillette
January 25 2016 02:36PM

Photo Credit: Christian Bonin/TSGPhoto.com

The Toronto Marlies continued their utter domination of the American Hockey League this week, winning three consecutive games against Syracuse and Utica to bolster their near-0.800 record. At this point, domination has evolved from a surprise to an expectation. It's always nice to see an individual have a stretch where they take over, though; much like Mark Arcobello had this week. His efforts were so above and beyond that they earned him player of the week honours from the league.

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Return of Connor Brown ignites blowout Marlies Victory

Jeff Veillette
January 24 2016 05:46PM

Photo Credit: Christian Bonin / TSGPhoto.com

Connor Brown was just trying to do what was best for his team when he stood in the path of Brian Lashoff's slapshot on October 30th. He wasn't wrong, in the sense that he very well could have prevented a goal, but it was a decision that circumstantially took him off the ice for several months with a fractured bone in his ankle. With a little less than three months of rehab behind him, however, he made his return to the lineup today, and in doing so, made an immediate impact.

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Leafs Postgame: Zut Eller

Jeff Veillette
January 23 2016 09:46PM

As far as tonight's game goes, there were a lot of outcomes that you could argue were most opportune. Somebody pro-tank would argue that a Leafs loss was best, as it would help the team stay near the bottom of the standings. Others wanted a win, hoping that it would ease Pittsburgh's takeover of Montreal in the standings to restore the draft pick from the Phil Kessel trade to a 2016 1st rounder. 

But an overtime loss? Nobody wanted that. Nobody expected that. A shootout provided that, throwing a wrench in a surprise Toronto comeback to give a 3-2 final score.

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