September 22 2013 01:28AM
The Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres played to a 2-2 draw on Saturday night in exhibition action, with the tiebreaker settled by a shootout that made it to 15 rounds before Jay McClement scored the goal. Of course, all anybody wants to talk about is Paul Ranger's effort, shown above.
We've seen a lot of dazzling moves in the shootout before. It has been around for eight years now, after all, at all levels of the game. I've never seen the "kick-stick" move, nor any variant. The best part of this clip is that Ranger and Randy Carlyle are both seen smirking before the shot, apparently aware of what's going to happen. After 19 shots failed to go in, what could go wrong?
September 20 2013 11:17AM
Get Kessel the puck and you essentially have a friend for life. Bozak understands this better than most and that is why their relationship works. He knows his limitations. He is not Joe Thornton or Jason Spezza. Instead, the no-frills puck distributor models his game after Boston’s Patrice Bergeron, a player who might not finish in the top 30 in scoring but who does so many other things — winning faceoffs, killing penalties, being strong defensively — that ultimately help his team win games.
Here we go again...
September 20 2013 09:38AM
The big news from last night's preseason contest is that Jonathan Bernier and Nazem Kadri both left to injury. I'm not going to worry too much about either, and neither should you. Whatever was ailing Bernier sounds like it just got a little tender during the game and he pulled himself out for precautionary reasons. In a regular season game, he probably stays in.
Kadri left to a bruised hand after blocking a shot. X-rays were negative, more good news, which means that Kadri will be out for as long as his lower hand is too swollen to grip his stick. Gotta keep those nifty mittens fresh for the opener!
Also, apparently the Leafs are looking into trading Joe Colborne. Wut?
September 19 2013 08:26PM
I'm never quite sure how to write about preseason contests. I feel like the majority of the hockey world is looking for something different than I am. I don't attempt to look for the matchups and possession battles that I would in a regular season contest and dissect how players did relative to others in the league.
When I was a kid, I'd known preseason contests as "exhibition" games, marked with a '†' symbol on those little pocket schedules you could grab at a grocery store. I would have been about four or five years old, but the term 'exhibition game' stuck with me. It wasn't until a couple of years ago that these became available for public consumption, but tonight's Maple Leafs and Senators contest was broadcast nationwide on the largest sports cable channel in Canada.
Toronto won 3-2.
September 19 2013 01:44PM
Hey, look at that! The Toronto Maple Leafs are going to be playing on national television tonight, against the Geographically Ambiguous Ottawa/Kanata Senators. It's the Battle of Ontario, except unlike last year, Senators will have some of their best players not out to devastating injury.
The Leafs are… 1-0-1 in the preseason? Sounds about right. With Phil Kessel out of the lineup tonight, the Leafs turn their focus to the third line, where Mason Raymond gets a chance with David Bolland and Nikolai Kulemin, to prove his worth on a checking line.