Pension Plan Puppets
January 10 2012 08:54AM
This week the NHL will announce the rest of the players that will be participating in the All-Star Game in Ottawa. They will be joining half of the Ottawa Senators and Dion Phaneuf. The team and its fanbase pulled out a Herculean effort to overcome the sheer overwhelming numbers of Leafs fans. Getting four of their players (of variety levels of deservedness) into the game has likely guaranteed that the game will be a sellout and a success. Who is to thank for this? Is it the team that did all that they could do to promote the vote? Was it the pom-pom waving media like Bruce Garrioch and Tim Baines? Or was it the radio station that figured out how to vote without having to provide an e-mail address?
Trick question: It was Project Mayhem.
January 09 2012 12:47PM
(Via Pawel Dwulit at the Canadian Press)
Toronto goaltending is a weird thing. It's pretty well been established that Toronto haven't had a reliable #1 starter since Ed Belfour and attempts to fix this via trades for Andrew Raycroft and Vesa Toskala horribly backfired.
This season, Toronto are the 22nd best team in the NHL in overall save percentage but are actually the 13th best team with even strength goaltending according to Behind The Net. Unfortunately, the team's overall goals against total (3.10) reflects more the overall team save percentage than that at even strength, due to a well-publicized brutal penalty kill.
January 09 2012 10:34AM
Nation Radio's first show of 2012 is top notch. We leave the WJHC behind and get back to the business of talking NHL players and prospects. We get some in-depth Leafs updates courtesy JP NIkota and James Mirtle as well as some Flames talk (eyeroll) with Kent Wilson.
Pension Plan Puppets
January 08 2012 12:12PM
The Toronto Maple Leafs have been one of the teams that has come to the forefront of embracing Twitter as a team. Along with a handful of players the team's coach and general manager have taken the leap. While Burke would never be able to match up to the original (a rare successful parody account) he has been pretty good. It was worth it just for him to smack down Steve Simmons.
For those that are not on Twitter, after the jump, Brian Burke answers some fans questions.
January 07 2012 10:17AM
It wasn't so long ago that I thought the NHL had seen the last of Jonas Gustavsson. That is, I figured the Leafs would hang on to him for the rest of the season, but I never forsaw a time when he would take games like last night's away from James Reimer. I even considered the possibility that Ben Scrivens might wind up making The Monster a third wheel, much like he was towards the end of last season.
I also don't mind saying that I disagreed with Ron Wilson's decision to start Gustavsson against The Winnipeg Jets, because, although Gus didn't play a poor game against Tampa Bay, in allowing three goals, he wasn't exactly spectacular, either. In my mind, winning once isn't enough to take my number one goaltender out for an important game against another team in the playoff hunt.
Of course, with his shutout against the Jets, The Monster is making me eat a few of my words (and I'm more than happy to do so if it means the Leafs are picking up points), but I'm still not convinced he's a long term solution as a backup goaltender. I mean, is he even really a short term solution?
Follow me over the jump for more.