February 08 2014 07:07PM
Shortly after Phil Kessel made the score 2-1 for Toronto, Craig Simpson (in his infinite wisdom) decided to call Kessel a "one shot scorer". I'm not sure about that description. Kessel came into the game third in the NHL in shots on goal. His shooting percentage of 11.2% is not an eyebrow-raising distance from the mean.
Kessel scores goals, lots of goals, because he takes a lot of shots, and because he has an excellent shot, and he uses it, game after game after game. He also belongs to the Toronto Maple Leafs for eight more years, and he helped the Leafs beat the Vancouver Canucks for the first time since before the first lockout. When the Leafs last beat the Canucks, Kessel was playing with the United States' national development program's U-17 squad. Yes, it's been a while. And the final was 3-1 for the Leafs.
February 08 2014 03:34AM
The number one movie the last time the Leafs defeated the Canucks. Seriously.
So the Maple Leafs hit Game 60, going into the Olympic break, comfortably in a playoff position and with a chance to really take a big lead against a struggling opponent that's just been devastated by injuries. Living out in Vancouver, you can't throw a stone without hitting somebody that's complaining in some respect about the Canucks (and believe me, I test this theory daily) and the theory out here is that the team is no longer a playoff team. It has some good fixtures on defence, but no game-breaking talents and too much cap space tied up to holdovers of the 2010-2011 team.
This represents the best chance for Toronto to beat Vancouver for the first time since November 24 2003, playing at home against a team at the bitter end of a losing road trip.
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
February 07 2014 07:52PM
The last time the Toronto Marlies took on the Grand Rapids Griffins, it was an away-and-away in two different cites. Both games were won by the Marlies, but the most memorable was the first game, an outdoor game in front of about 15,000 people at Detroit's Comerica Park, as part of the Winter Classic festivities. The weekend brought the Marlies to 3-0-0 against the Red Wings Affiliate, and tonight, they had an opportunity to call the season series a sweep. They did so, winning 4-1.
February 07 2014 07:22PM
We're going to Toys'R'Us!!!
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
February 06 2014 02:53PM
Buses full of groups organized by their respective leaders enter the scene. Together, they fill the stands. They're loud. They cheer their team when they're up, and they boo the opposition as if they killed their loved ones. Many have signs. Even as these pockets of fans don't know each other, they all come together in unison to sign relevant pop anthems during breaks in play. It's more than just a game to them, and the atmosphere leaving Exhibition Place that afternoon, with the sun very much awake, was electric.
Sounds like the Toronto FC rebuild got off on the right foot, right? The reality is a bit less glamourous. The scene was Ricoh Coliseum, not BMO Field. The supporters section leaders you imagined are actually teachers. Katy Perry had no relevance to the game, they crowd just like singing. It's more than just a game to the masses in the stands, because they're children and they didn't have to be in class. Yes, yesterday was a school day game. Which usually means a brawl, opposition 50 save shutout, or a blowout. For once, it was neither, and the Marlies won 5-4 in a shootout.