January 05 2016 09:32AM
When the World Juniors started on Boxing Day, many Canadians were hoping they would have to fake an illness this afternoon to get home to watch Canada's attempt at winning a second straight gold medal. We all know how the tournament went for the Canadian team but that doesn't mean the gold medal game this afternoon will be any less intriguing. The two most exciting teams in the tournament will meet in the finals and if they can beat Russia, Finland will become the second straight team to win the tournament on home ice.
January 04 2016 03:44PM
New year, new Leafs! Actually, I'm pretty sure Mike Babcock and Co. would be okay with sticking iwth the present Leafs; outside of the first month of the season, the team is on a 103 point pace. The fact that they're still near the bottom of the standings shows you the danger of digging an early hole, but there's no doubt in my mind that they're okay with the play of the present.
While we wait to see if that continues, though, let's tackle some of your hot-topic questions from the past few days.
January 04 2016 02:00PM
Going into the 2016 World Junior Hockey Championship, Maple Leaf fans were filled with optimism as the future was set to be on display with both William Nylander and Mitch Marner representing their countries. Through the preliminary round, things haven't gone quite as planned. Marner and Team Canada were eliminated in the quarterfinals after a disappointing tournament while Nylander has missed all but one period after suffering a concussion from a blindside hit in the opener against Switzerland. After Swedish doctors spook optimistically about Nylander returning, Lou Lamoriello and the Leafs shut that idea down quickly putting an end to his tournament. The only bright side of the Nylander injury was that it opened the door for Leaf fans to focus on another Swede that just might be more than many expected.
January 04 2016 12:00PM
New Year, same ol' Power Rankings, which is to say the same ol' most excellent thing you'll read all Monday. The Leafs have started 2016 the way you'd hope, with a big win over a top team in the league and a trade that acts as an amuse-bouche for what should be an exciting main course at the trade deadline.
For now we'll focus on the week that was, and it was another encouraging week for those who would rather see the Leafs systems working over plummeting to the bottom of the league. After watching some of the World Juniors, I hope that people have realized this is another deep draft and the Leafs don't need to be at the absolute bottom to walkaway from it successfully.