October 05 2013 08:47PM
Back on March 24 2009, Curtis Joseph came in to the game with 57 seconds at the end of regulation after starter Martin Gerber got tossed. Joseph, then in a 2-2 game, made 9 saves, most of the highlight-reel variety, and Toronto would wind up winning in a shootout 3-2. Joseph was named the first star.
Jonathan Bernier may have replicated that one on Saturday night. After James Reimer uncharacteristically got pulled (in 38 starts last season, he was pulled just three times, including the game he was taken out for injury) after allowing four goals and two in quick succession, Bernier came in, stopping 15 pucks, plus two more in the shootout, and ultimately leading the Leafs to a 5-4 comeback win against the Ottawa Senators in the first Battle of Ontario game of the season.
October 05 2013 01:42PM
There are no shortage of storylines for tonight's first Battle of Ontario game of the season, but the chief of which is Clarke MacArthur's return to Toronto. MacArthur played three seasons with the Maple Leafs and was one of the team's better players during that time. He was taken off the team's second line during Randy Carlyle's pseudo-successful 2013 season, and like Mikhail Grabovski, had some strong words for the way Carlyle handled him.
I didn’t have a relationship (with him) and not many guys do,” MacArthur told sportsnet.ca and two Ottawa-based reporters. “It’s one of those things where he runs the show there and everyone knows that and that’s the way it is.
“It’s worked for him in the past, he’s got a (Stanley) Cup from that, but at the same time there’s other ways to do things, too.”
October 04 2013 09:31AM
Not at all surprising, Mark Fraser was placed on long-term injured reserve Friday morning, allowing Toronto a little bit of salary cap breathing room (it's sort of disgusting that it's gotten to the point where player injuries can become advantageous). Rather than call up a defenceman to replace Fraser and keep a seven-man unit going, the Maple Leafs instead decided to call up Jamie Devane.
There was a move that had to be made, and neither was ideal, but the Leafs chose to go with 13 forwards rather than 7 defenceman, at least for the time being, which is a ticking time bomb if somebody gets hurt in warmups. It's easier to go without a 12th forward than without a 6th defenceman for a full game whether you're at home or on the road, especially in Randy Carlyle's system where he tends to pay no attention to his fourth line wingers during the later stages of a game.
October 03 2013 03:15PM
Over the last few days, we've taken a brief look at the teams in Toronto's newest division. The division is called the "Atlantic" but only three of the teams in the division are even close to the Atlantic Ocean. Given there are six teams in the Northeast and two in the state of Florida, the hockey community as a whole has decided to rebrand this division "The Flortheast". Thanks to all the bloggers that participated in this.
Our last preview comes from Tom Servo over at Stanley Cup of Chowder. Guess which playoff comeback he talks about to start his intro?
October 02 2013 03:14PM
Let's move on from the fighting debate. Seems to be all anybody can talk about today and was the unfortunate focus of many game recaps.
So now the Leafs move on from Montreal and a team that dressed two enforcers in their lineup to Philadelphia, a team that doesn—oh…
Easy to focus on hockey after last night through. Toronto looked pretty good when the score was even, giving way on the shot clock mostly when they took a 4-2 lead in the third period. Their special teams were right friggin' dominant and it's even hard for a math nerd like me to suggest the team was unlucky in winning their opening night contest. They were the better team, full-stop, and the fact that James Reimer had a much better night than Carey Price wasn't the difference.