April 08 2013 04:18AM
A few thoughts to begin the week... TV rights, Jake Gardiner, effort, and more...
No. 1 - Leafs back in the win column… if you got to see it
As soon as CBC announced that Montreal and Boston was going to be the national game for this last week, I immediately looked for somebody to handle the game recap, and made my own plans for Saturday night. I live out in BC, so I wouldn't be able to get the game on TV with the benefit of a PVR system allowing me to rewind plays and double-check observations or whatever it is I do.
April 07 2013 01:03PM
The National Hockey League announced Sunday morning that the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings will play January 1, 2014 in the Big House at the University of Michigan in the NHL's annual* Winter Classic event.
*non-lockout year only
The centerpiece of the Festival will be an outdoor rink placed on the infield of the ballpark that will feature games between teams representing every level of hockey and opportunities for open skating for the public. The showcase events at the Festival promise to be the two games featuring notable alumni of the Red Wings and Maple Leafs – the 2014 Red Wings vs. Maple Leafs Alumni Showdown™ – on New Year’s Eve, Tuesday, Dec. 31. In total, the SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival™ is expected to feature youth games, high school hockey games, sled hockey games, AHL games, OHL games, the Great Lakes Invitational and more.
April 06 2013 01:35PM
Until yesterday, we could say that whether Randy Carlyle's decisions to play with three lines, sit one of his best defencemen and favour size over speed in the lineup were good or bad, at least they weren't affecting the safety of his skill players.
That's not the case anymore. With no effective league-mandate on handling concussions handled by independent specialists, we know how the Joffrey Lupul saga ends. Lupul, after taking a shot to the head last game and leaving the game after initially missing the bench by three whole feet, will probably come back to the lineup too early and put himself at further risk.
I don't claim to be a concussion expert, but the only concussion expert who seems to think that there are different levels of concussions is Randy "I Have a Theory About Concussions" Carlyle who has come up with an absurd explanation for why he has yet to call Lupul's injury what it is: a concussion.
April 05 2013 12:03PM
Before Jake Gardiner had concussion-like symptoms, Toronto Marlies head coach Dallas Eakins defiantly said that Gardiner "wasn't in a concussion state" after sustaining a hit against the Rochester Americans.
James Reimer's agent last season tweeted out that Reimer was "symptom-free since April". It was disclosed that Reimer did, in fact, miss 18 games with a concussion last season, and six at the end of the season with a more mild "upper body injury" which was apparently not related to his previous concussions.
So forgive me if I'm wary about Joffrey Lupul's injury status after Lupul took a hit to the head and got up wobbly last night against the Philadelphia Flyers.
April 04 2013 08:56PM
Photo via Abelimages and NHLInteractive
The officiating was bad in Thursday's loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. The Leafs were cost at least three powerplays in that game. Jay McClement was taken down midway through the second period at the top of the circle after a turnover. Nazem Kadri was tripped up on a zone entry late in the third. The winning goal was clear goaltender interference on the part of Adam Hall. Joffrey Lupul was also hit in the head and left the game.
BUT! One thing I want to stress, one thing that I'm quite sure none of the afternoon radio shows will discuss, was a coaching decision by Randy Carlyle late in the third period. Down 4 to 3 with 4:45 to go, the Flyers sent out their fourth line of Sean Couturier, Adam Hall and Jay Rosehill for a defensive zone draw. Carlyle pondered the matchup. After a TV timeout, he had a fairly rested lineup. The players he throws over the boards?
Jay McClement, Colton Orr, Mikhail Grabovski, John-Michael Liles and Mike Kostka.
The Maple Leafs lost 5-3.