March 12 2016 07:45PM
I'd love to sit here and tell you that tonight's game was fun to watch. The Battle of Ontario. Phaneuf, Michalek, and Greening playing their old teams. Something.
Nope, can't do it. Tonight's game was a snoozefest with little to no drama. The play was largely controlled, the Leafs never really asserted their will, and the Sens took the lead early in the game without ever looking back.
I guess that's what you get when you pit the 22nd best team in the league against the 30th best team in the league.
March 12 2016 12:47PM
And you thought the Maple Leafs had no more rookies to debut...
Not so. Defenceman Rinat Valiev, the Leafs' third-round pick in the 2014 Entry Draft, was called up by the big club yesterday and will make his NHL debut tonight against the Senators in Ottawa. Valiev, 20, has appeared in 54 games for the AHL Marlies this season, scoring three goals and 21 points. We at TLN ranked him the 15th best prospect in the Leafs system (and 4th amongst blueliners) just a couple months ago - that might not sound too good, but remember, this is a very deep and talented prospect pool. Valiev has NHL upside - maybe not as an impact guy or point producer, but it's there. As it has been with kids who came before him, it will be interesting to see how Valiev fairs in his first taste of the National Hockey League.
March 12 2016 11:08AM
The dream of the Toronto Marlies finishing the season with an 0.800 record is all but over. It was a great run while it lasted, but thanks to a three-game losing streak last weekend, the blue and white would have to win every game they play the rest of the season to accomplish the milestone. Having the bragging rights of being the best team to ever run through an AHL regular season would have been nice (and still not terribly unattainable) but at the same time, feeling a sense of mortality isn't a bad thing either.
March 11 2016 03:52PM
The Toronto Maple Leafs won't be making the playoffs this season. I mean, there may still be some small mathematical possibility that they could still sneak in, but I'm going to be super bold and call it right now - no playoffs.
That said, the new kids have looked pretty good. William Nylander, Nikita Soshnikov, Zach Hyman, Kasperi Kapanen... there are a bunch of talented youngsters on the way, and it's less a matter of is this group makes the playoffs, but when they will make the playoffs. Is that next year? The year after? Does this organization really require a five or six-year rebuild before the city of Toronto can pack the ACC and the surrounding streets again like they did in 2013 for some playoff action?
How far off are the Leafs now, really? Our roundtable discusses...
March 11 2016 09:48AM
Photo Credit: Christian Bonin/TSGPhoto.com
The Toronto Maple Leafs continue the merry-go-round of NHL looks today, this time calling up defenceman Rinat Valiev from the Toronto Marlies while sending TJ Brennan back down.