October 29 2013 10:45PM
Come on, Phil. Act like you've been there before.
Phil Kessel really is too good.
The glaring hole in his game is on defence. He has trouble recovering the puck, but once he gets it, he's unstoppable at this point. Kessel is a step faster than anybody else on the ice. Kessel has a little more awareness than anybody else on the ice. He thinks a little quicker. He is known for his goal-scoring, but he's almost as every bit a playmaker. He can shoot from any angle, from any speed.
The Edmonton Oilers traded away Ryan Smyth at the 2007 trading deadline, in the hopes of finding the next superstar. One played at Rexall Place on Tuesday night in Edmonton, but he wasn't Edmonton's. Kessel scored twice and had two helpers in a 4-0 win by the Leafs over the Oilers.
October 29 2013 12:14PM
What are the big stories leading into the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers game? Both teams have lost some key players to injury in the early going, but the Leafs have managed to persevere and have one of the best records in the NHL. The Oilers stumbled out of the gate, were a respectable 2-3-1 on a tough six-game Eastern road trip and have generally bounced along so far, defying the positive expectations set for the team.
Tell you the truth, this year was the first in recent years that I'd bought into the Oilers preseason hype, and while I'm sure they're a better team than the record indicates, they're already pretty far back of a playoff spot, and nothing about their numbers suggest that they're due for the quick and fast turnaround they need to inch closer to the Western Conference playoff race. The Pacific Division is an absolute nightmare. Five teams from the Pacific are Top 10 puck-possession clubs in the early going, with just Edmonton and provincial rival Calgary lagging behind.
October 28 2013 03:09PM
Matt Finn - D - Guelph Storm (OHL)
This is a real statement year for Matt Finn, the Leafs’ second round pick in 2012. While 11 goals and 31 points in 41 games last season is nothing to shake a stick at, Finn will look to stay healthy and take a step forward in what should be his last year in Junior.
Early on, it looks like he’s well on his way. Finn scored a goal and an assist in Sunday’ 7-4 Guelph victory over London, and is currently working a nine game point streak that includes three goals and seven helpers. With 14 points in 13 games so far this season, Finn ranks fourth in OHL scoring amongst defencemen.
We named Finn our 5th best Leafs prospect back in September, and with Colborne now wearing a Flames jersey, he now ranks a spot higher. At 6’1, 204lb, Finn has good size to go along with a strong two-way game and hard shot. He’s right up there with Stuart Percy as the Leafs’ best defensive prospect outside of Morgan Rielly.
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
October 28 2013 10:08AM
If the Toronto Maple Leafs really were rewarding players based on performance, it seemed like just a matter of time before John-Michael Liles clawed his way back in to the NHL, even if for a brief stay. Now, twenty nine days after clearing waivers and being assigned to the Toronto Marlies, he's back with the big club.
"I think we have quite a few really good defencemen in this organization and its never a bad thing to have. It just makes for a couple of odd guys out every now and again." said Liles when originally sent down, and so far, he appears to be right. While forwards have made their way up and down over the past few weeks, it's been hard for any defencemen to make a leap in any part of the organization.
October 27 2013 04:56PM
Cody Franson Vancouver Giants bobblehead!!! You jeally?
On this episode, the guys talk about what to do with James Reimer, why everyone hates Toronto, and exchange awesome gifts!