December 30 2013 04:36PM
I'm working on something a little more in depth breaking down some of the more important Maple Leafs storylines at the halfway mark, but this keeps popping up in my timeline:
Or something to that effect. Normally I ignore trade rumours, but these are the Toronto Maple Leafs, and to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the stat sheet is restricted to "goals, assists, points, +/- and minutes played" and nobody stops to think whether they have anything figured out. As a result, you wind up with players like Mikhail Grabovski and Clarke MacArthur "breaking out" with new teams after "down seasons" in Toronto.
Nazem Kadri hasn't really struggled this season.
December 30 2013 01:29PM
Tyler Bozak had a hell of a game as the Leafs win in regulation.
December 30 2013 07:36AM
Aftershow for the Leafs-Wings 24/7 - Episode 3!
Talking about Nazem Kadri's brain, Santa's relationship with Daniel Alfredsson, and David Clarkson's water bottle.
December 29 2013 09:34PM
Forget Bieber. Check out the dude in the brown sweater. "Well hello there."
Alright. There's plenty to complain about. The Leafs allowed 43 shots from the Carolina Hurricanes. The 'Canes are 13th in the east and 25th in the league. Offensively? They're worse! Third-last (aka 28th). They can't score on a barn door this season and they still fired the kitchen sink at Toronto IN Toronto.
But scew it! The Leafs finally get a regulation win. Let's enjoy it.
December 29 2013 11:50AM
When Tyler Bozak got hurt and Nazem Kadri got suspended, the Maple Leafs signed Jerred Smithson to replace him, but demoted Trevor Smith before Smithson played his first game. Toronto wasn't attempting to add a centreman as insurance, they were looking at add an aspect of Bozak's game that they thought they would miss.
The maddening thing is how players get shuffled around the depth chart without any sense of regularity. Peter Holland played on the second line a game ago, and will be pushed down the depth chart onto the fourth line. Trevor Smith has been the second line centre for the Maple Leafs on multiple occasions this year, but he also would never get a minute of Jay McClement's minutes. McClement is just locked into that checking line centre role regardless of his performance, or the production of consistently better players in the lineup like Smith and Holland.
It's anti-meritocratic, and against every virtue that Carlyle attempts to espouse. Smith's hurt now, but while a return for Bozak means a necessary shake in the lineup, the Leafs best points-per-60 player this season and one of the prime offensive catalysts over the last month will go all the way to the fourth line. No matter what he does, Carlyle will find minutes for Bozak and McClement, no matter how poor the results are.