February 13 2015 05:35PM
It's been a really, really interesting few days in Leafs Nation. First, we found out that Brendan Shanahan has the blessing of the MLSE Board to strip this team down to the wood and build it up all over again. Then we had the Leafs' best player, Phil Kessel, tell reporters that he loves Toronto, but "if it's not here, it's not here".
It's going down, guys. It's the beginning of the end for this team.
There are, of course, some perceived untouchables. Pretty much everyone agrees that players like Morgan Rielly, William Nylander, and any future draft picks shouldn't be moved for any reason, while others include Kessel in that group.
We asked the TLN staff to share their opinion on the idea of trading Kessel - here's what we got...
February 12 2015 12:03PM
While the rebuild is most certainly on, today's iteration of the Toronto Maple Leafs still has to, perhaps unfortunately, play hockey games. They'll do that tonight when the Leafs travel to Long Island to take on John Tavares and the shockingly fantastic New York Islanders.
New York carries a 35-18-1 record and 71 points into tonight's match up, tying them with the Detroit Red Wings for 6th in the league standings. The score a ton of goals (fourth most in the league), and have a deep forward group that, even without Kyle Okposo, is hard to shut down.
That being said, the Islanders aren't without flaws. They allow the second fewest shots against per game in the NHL, but their 2.78 goals against per game still ranks 23rd. Their penalty kill is also horrifying, but for both teams - their 72.5% penalty kill percentage is worst in the league, while their eight shorthanded goals is best.
February 11 2015 04:15PM
David Clarkson has been a healthy scratch for two games in a row. Phil Kessel just had one of the worst games of his Toronto Maple Leafs career. Pretty much the entire roster is useless right now, save Morgan Rielly, who is talented and wonderful and will lead us to the promised land. Something must be done. Someone must pay. Someone must... sit in the press box.
February 10 2015 05:00PM
In case you missed it, Toronto Maple Leafs interim head coach Peter Horachek and winger David Clarkson had a heated discussion during practice this morning after Clarkson was told he'd be a healthy scratch for the second straight game.
As no one from TLN was within earshot of this "animated" exchange (we don't watch the games, let alone the practices), all we can really do is speculate as to what was discussed. Here's our best, most educated guesses:
February 10 2015 11:03AM
Yesterday afternoon, Sportsnet's Damien Cox posted a Weekend Takeaways article online that suggested the Toronto Maple Leafs should consider retaining current General Manager Dave Nonis, despite many believing that he's as good as gone come the offseason.
While some want to sum up the entire Nonis era with the two words “David Clarkson,” a more thoughtful analysis of what he inherited from Brian Burke, what he’s done with it and overall patience with which the team has proceeded in all areas under his watch suggests Shanahan would do well to seriously consider retaining his services beyond this season.