January 27 2014 11:05AM
Not a whole lot to get to today. I'm skeptical that the Maple Leafs have truly improved lately, even after getting points in seven of the last eight games. They're still a floundering team, possession-wise, and I think the difference in results between now and every game since November is related to shooting or save percentages. They've had their share of good games (Colorado and Winnipeg are good examples) but still have trouble winning games unless their goaltender is on fire.
I wanted to get to Nazem Kadri, who is currently on pace for a 50-point campaign over a team 82-game season. This would be a career-high, obviously, since this is his first full season in the NHL. I think there was some general disappointment that Kadri "failed" in his miniature tryout on the first line while Tyler Bozak was injured, especially since Bozak got hot as soon as he drew back into the lineup.
January 26 2014 05:51PM
On this episode, Steve and Adam discuss outdoor games, why Toronto's weird, and a Habs coaching change.
January 26 2014 01:31PM
Hey - I'll take the half-win!
January 25 2014 08:26PM
I didn't get a great look at this hockey game, juggling cooking dinner during play (quesadillas!) with running errands during intermissions, so I can't really go too in depth tonight other than what my eyes (somewhat) told me and also what the statistics say.
Basically, the CBC has led me to believe that the Winnipeg Jets are hotter than a quesadilla loaded with Sriracha sauce ever since firing Claude Noel and putting former Toronto bench boss Paul Maurice behind the bench. Maurice has the Jets playing better hockey, if better hockey means "riding your hot goalie".
The Jets got out to a 4-1 lead over Toronto, but the Leafs fought back with two goals by the end of the second period and a late tying (read: clutch [!!]) goal by Phil Kessel to tie the score and send it to overtime. Dustin Byfuglien, however, ended the game with a hard wrist shot from just inside the blue line moments after Evander Kane hit the crossbar. There was a lot going on and, to step back from it, it was pretty entertaining, all in all.
January 25 2014 01:27PM
Back at it tonight, this time in Winnipeg, as the hot-cold pack road trip comes to an end with a game in a city where the temperature is too bloody cold and the wind is blowing too bloody hard. I think we can agree that no matter what happens tonight, the Leafs road trip would have to be considered a success given they've guaranteed themselves at least a split with wins against Colorado and Phoenix.
The Jets have had a decent record since firing Claude Noel, but as Tyler points out at Sportsnet, that's just noise and regressive corrections falsely attributed to something else. Teams go on streaks and slumps all the time, and sometimes they mirror with a coach getting fired or a player returning from injury, but not always.
Winnipeg, for my money, are still a lousy team, but in the NHL, that's no guarantee of a victory. Stats/lineups below: