April 06 2016 07:46PM
There was a lot on the line in Toronto tonight, with the Leafs playing their last home game of the season against Columbus. A win would create more drama for Toronto's draft lottery hopes, but a loss would guarantee that they could finish the season no higher than 29th.
And boy, did they make sure they finish no higher than 29th.
April 04 2016 08:44PM
Four games left. On Monday night, that's all that stood between the Leafs and the inevitable loss to the Oilers in the draft lottery. The Panthers were in town - Jagr, Barkov, Ekblad, the whole gang - in a quest to set a franchise record in points. Which is slightly more impressive than waiting for your balls to drop in the right order. (editor's note: phrasing)
Spoiler alert: the Panthers achieved that feat in a game that contained the most painfully long third period of all time. I'm only being a little bit hyperbolic.
April 02 2016 07:50PM
It's that time of year when the Leafs have nothing to lose, and all the teams they are playing have everything to lose. It couldn't have been truer Saturday, as Detroit's playoff hopes are entirely in their own hands for the rest of the season.
March 19 2016 08:04PM
Another game, another debut. Tonight saw Frederik Gauthier slot in as the third-line centre, which is - in a way - Babcock throwing him to the wolves. "Hey this is what we envision you as in the future, get used to it." But because Gauthier is big and good at faceoffs, his debut naturally led to a better result than Connor Brown's.
March 09 2016 09:59AM
The last week or so has been the funnest to be a Leafs fan in a really long time. As expected, Lou and co. sent out a bunch of vets at the trade deadline, and promptly filled the lineup with the future - young kids who will be fixtures on this team for a long time.
Nikita Soshnikov and Zach Hyman have made the biggest impressions - they're good skaters, hard on the puck, and have skill too. The energy they bring - especially Soshnikov - is infectious, and it has been noticeable among the entire team. Connor Carrick, the young d-man the Leafs stole in the Brooks Laich salary dump trade, has also been impressive. While slightly undersized, he is tenacious, smart with the puck, and is rarely caught out of position. And despite being one of the first sent down, Kasperi Kapanen made a strong case to be on the team next year with his blazing speed, relentless puck pursuit, and skill.
Then, there's William Nylander, the "crown jewel" of the Leafs's prospect pool. He has been by far the biggest bust out of all the kids. What's worse is that he had the most amount of hype. He's supposed to be skilled, creative, and intelligent. None of this has been on display. Sure, he scored a solid goal against Ottawa, but I'm pretty sure I could score on Andrew Hammond if I was given that much time and space.