April 30 2013 10:00AM
James Reimer is indubitably the key to victory. Photo via CP
For a while towards the end of the season, the fates were leading the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs on a collision course that would have surely torn apart the fabric of our nation, and ended up with Québec drifting out into the sea. But after an unlikely chain of events on Saturday—the Boston Bruins blowing a two-goal lead against the Washington Capitals and the capitulation of the Toronto Maple Leafs against the Montreal Canadiens—the stage was set Sunday for the Senators and Bruins to determine the Leafs' fate.
So, so much has gone right for the Maple Leafs this season, and sparing the clichés about the Buds being ready to play against any opponent in the first round… it's clear that the final game of the season between Ottawa and Boston didn't break the way they were hoping. Instead of a dream matchup against the Canadiens—both a ratings bonanza and a team whose weaknesses play into the Leafs' strengths—Toronto ended up drawing Boston.
We know the Bruins recent record against the Leafs, but what we don't know is how the Leafs can beat the Bruins over a seven-game series or how it will break down, line-by-line and matchup-by-matchup. Our detailed preview is below the jump…
April 30 2013 08:39AM
Let's face it folks, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment is built for the playoffs. By which, I mean the organization is a profit generating machine, at least on the hockey side.
The fact that over the term of the previous CBA the Leafs managed to generate more profits than pretty much the rest of the NHL combined WITHOUT ONCE MAKING THE POST-SEASON is not only insane, but a testament to the
insanity dedication of Toronto hockey fans.
So kudos to you, Toronto. Your perseverance has finally been rewarded and your beloved Buds (what the hell does that mean, anyway?) have finally made it back to the playoffs.
But it's been a long absence, and some things have changed. So as a public service, I've put together a Graphic Guide to the NHL Playoffs for you...
April 29 2013 05:21PM
Here's a creeping narrative surrounding our Bruins and Leafs series already. It has to do, of course, with Phil Kessel, who has historically struggled against the Boston Bruins and declined to talk to the media today after a gathering of press hounds were waiting 25 minutes for an appearance.
Kessel's statistics against the Bruins in his career are, well, unflattering to say the least. In 22 games against his former club, he's scored just three times and is a minus-22. I would not characterize this as a fault of Kessel being unable to step up to the big game, as it has been portrayed twice in various media outlets today.
April 29 2013 04:03PM
Have you received positive reviews at work lately? Perhaps a supervisor or boss commended you for "excellent use of time around the office" or a "focus on efficiency?" Well throw that attitude out the window friends. It's time to waste some time during the playoffs. Some serious time. I'm talkin' bout StreakCred - the Nation Network Playoff Game.
Curious? Of course you are. Who wants to climb the corporate ladder anyway? AMIRITE?*
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
April 29 2013 01:39PM
For the Toronto Marlies, last year's playoffs had a bit of a different atmosphere. With the Maple Leafs out of the playoffs, the team was heavily focused on by fans, media, and the parent club alike. Last year's team was filled with NHL talent; eight players (Matt Frattin, Jake Gardiner, Nazem Kadri, Joe Colborne, Ryan Hamilton, Mark Fraser, Colton Orr, and Ben Scrivens) are currently calling the Air Canada Centre their home. Ricoh Coliseum was full and loud, with fans looking for hockey to be excited about in the early spring months. Mainstream media that typically rolled their eyes at the AHL were around to see what was up. It was a unique situation, and an exciting one as the blue and white headed to the Calder Cup Finals before being swept by the Norfolk Admirals.