October 04 2015 10:11AM
The Toronto Maple Leafs are a team that, in theory, loves to complain about their goaltending controversies.
Last season, Chris Gibson and Antoine Bibeau ousted former top-ranked prospect Garret Sparks from his role with the AHL's Toronto Marlies, and that created a minor league controversy (oh my gawdddd, is Sparks no longer a prospect we should care about? Who gets the NHL next year, Gibson or Bibeau? WHAT HAPPENS NOW THAT SPARKS LOOKS GREAT AGAIN?!?)
Then, there's *literally* always controversy between the team's actual NHL depth. I chalk it up to distrust for any player that Dave Nonis has ever kept on a roster, since all of the management that's come before him did weird stuff and he did weirder stuff and once the team traded Tuukka Rask for Andrew Raycroft.
This year, though, the depth is pretty straight-forward and set. It's a rebuild year, but goaltending isn't a race; so what you see is what you should learn to love (and learn how to identify)
I've broken down two guys from each of the team's three systems; the NHL, the AHL, and the ECHL. I've given upside, what to expect, and a bit of a technical breakdown - read it, learn it, and embrace your goalies!
October 04 2015 08:06AM
Morgan Rielly is our second-last installation in the Player Profile series. That's exciting news, because that means the start of the regular season is right around the corner. And it sure seems that few players on the Leafs will play a more important role for the team this season than Rielly, who after a couple of seasons of getting his feet wet in the NHL, seems poised to break out and establish himself as a legitimate top-four defenseman, or perhaps something even greater, in the NHL this year.
October 03 2015 11:08PM
Though we won't likely hear of any official roster cuts until Sunday or Monday, Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock's Saturday night postgame scrum with reports might have given us some insight into the opening night roster.
October 03 2015 08:00PM
It may have been against a very young and inexperienced Detroit Red Wings group, but credit where credit is due - this may have been one of the Toronto Maple Leafs' best showings this preseason, specifically on the defensive side of the puck. Still, there's a lot to learn (and just as many cuts to come) before Wednesday's season opener.
October 03 2015 01:56PM
I took some heat in my last LGD for saying I was excited for the preseason to end, but this time I feel like I can say that again without much argument. It's been a lengthy and certainly at times interesting preseason, but the Leafs have hit an exhibition skid, most of the jobs seem to be earned, and it's just time to get onto some meaningful hockey. So let's all celebrate what this pre-game represents: the end of the preseason, and the start of an 82-game rollercoaster.