October 15 2013 08:14PM
The Toronto Maple Leafs won another one Tuesday night, 4-1 over the Minnesota Wild. Hard to know where to start with this one, but good for Mason Raymond and Phil Kessel. Towards the end of the game, with the Minnesota net empty and the Leafs up by 3-1, Raymond gained the zone and chipped a puck towards the net. Kessel, who gets criticized time and time again in Toronto for not being a good teammate and for scoring too many goals in October, let the puck go in without touching it.
Good for Raymond, who was ostracized in Vancouver and chased out of town for not scoring enough. He had just 35 goals over parts of the last three seasons after scoring 25 in 2009-2010, and already has his fourth on the year with that empty net goal. I don't know if an empty net goal is going to do anything for Raymond's confidence, but if that goal is the difference between 14 and 15 on the year or 19 and 20, that could mean an extra hundred thousand dollars for Raymond in negotiating his next deal. He took a chance on the Maple Leafs more than the Maple Leafs took a chance on him and so far, he's arguably been the team's best player.
Oh yeah. The Leafs got out-shot 38-14 and won. They've been known to do that lately.
October 15 2013 12:59PM
It's amazing what we forget sometimes.
I wrote a Leafs news and notes post yesterday, recapping a few little Leafs tidbits. Nothing too important, really. I mentioned that Frazer McLaren is not eligible to return to the lineup until the Leafs' 11th game of the season against Columbus. Shortly after I published the post, I received this tweet.
@Steve_Dangle Beaut, and wow, game 11 will be nuts. McLaren and Clarkson will really jostle the lineup. Koolaid should be close then too.— KD Spread (@Capital_Blues) October 14, 2013
Holy crap - I forgot about David Clarkson.
October 15 2013 11:28AM
via @mnwild, the best white sweaters in the NHL
The Minnesota Wild are an interesting team to follow (I say this about most teams in the NHL, but trust me. It is SUPER true about the Minnesota Wild). Two years after the then-Biggest Debate Ever About The Validity Of Shot Metrics created a giant rift between online folk and Wild fans, Wild management have stressed a puck-possession philosophy, and the early returns are quite good.
It's not good for the Wild in that they've become an unstoppable juggernaut like San Jose or Colorado (note--??) but only the Sharks thus far have taken a higher percentage of shots than Minnesota. It's still remarkably early to judge, but if a team is taking close to 60% of the overall shots after 6 games, you can say with reasonably high confidence that they'll be a plus-possession team for the remainder of the season. At 3-1-2, their record isn't going to turn very many heads, but they're right there among the top teams in the league in the early going.
The "3" in the Wild 3-1-2 record have all come in a row, including a surprisingly close 2-1 win over Buffalo yesterday.
October 14 2013 05:50PM
Last week, Steve Dangle got really sad and pouty over the Leafs' lost to the visiting Colorado Avalanche - Toronto's only loss of the season so far.
Instead of being a good friend, and offering any form on consolation, I superimposed Steve's sad and pouty face on other photographs, hoping to embarass and demean him. You know, for fun.
Now, I'm offering all TLN readers the opportunity to do the same. Use the below image of #SadDangle to create your own hilarious photographs, and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to also post them to Twitter, and use the hashtag #SadDangle so we can find you.
October 14 2013 12:00PM
See that? Optimus Reim communicating with Megajon. This is big for peace talks between the Auto-buds and Decepti-Conn(Smythe)s...I tried.
The Leafs were on the ice on Monday as they prepare for their tilt with the Minnesota Wild tomorrow. Here's what was noteworthy.