February 18 2013 09:21PM
It turns out you cannot stop the Toronto Maple Leafs, you can only hope to contain them.
Or, perhaps, the only person on the planet who could effectively shut down the juggernaut that is the Toronto Maple Leafs is Ben Scrivens, the 26-year old undrafted opening day starter who now has two consecutive shutouts.
A Maple Leafs team that came out flat turned it all around on a fortuitous turnover by Mike Weaver that led to a Phil Kessel partial breakaway. Kessel snapped home his third of the season on a beautiful shot at full speed. Two other LeafsNation favourites, Nazem Kadri and Clarke MacArthur, scored goals in the second and the Leafs walked through the third for their second straight 3-0 win.
February 18 2013 06:59PM
A quick little prospect update for you kind folks while you're watching the Toronto Maple Leafs and Florida Panthers play ice hockey.
All good things must come to an end, apparently... Kitchener Rangers forward Josh Leivo had his 14-game point streak snapped today in a 5-3 loss to the Guelph Storm (backstopped by fellow Leafs prospect Garret Sparks). During that stretch, Leivo scored 5 goals and 19 points.
On the season, Leivo's potted 25 goals and added 40 assists. His 65 points in 52 games is good for 16th in OHL scoring - not too shabby.
Morgan Rielly shook off an lengthy goal scoring slump this past week, scoring 4 goals and adding an assist in his last 3 games.
With 11 goals and 44 points on the season, Rielly sits 4th in scoring amongst WHL defenders. This is especially impressive, considering the Moose Jaw Warriors are in a three-way tie as the 2nd-lowest scoring team in the WHL.
Dominic Toninato is on a nice little 5-game pony streak, including 2 goals in a 6-1 Fargo win over Waterloo on Saturday. With 20 goals and 49 points in 47 games, Toninato is 8th in USHL scoring.
Lastly, go read this excellent piece on Nazem Kadri and his development over the past few seasons from Mr. Cotsonika. I normally write off any player/coach disagreements as exaggerations and/or fabrications, but it certainly sounds like there were real issues between Kadri and former Leafs coach Ron Wilson.
February 18 2013 07:51AM
Screencap via the Florida Panthers' main page. You get get to this game for very cheap.
Here's a good mantra: "Manage your losses".
The Toronto Maple Leafs are one of two teams in the NHL without having suffered a defeat in overtime or the shootout this season, the other being Pittsburgh. About 25% of NHL games go to overtime, and that doesn't vary when there are more divisional or conference games.
Yet the Leafs have gone the distance just once: an overtime win against Buffalo much earlier this season, where Matt Frattin scored with about a second to go in the OT period to save the game from the agony of the shootout. The Florida Panthers meanwhile have managed to get past the regulation 60 minutes five times this year… and all five times have been in their last six games.
February 17 2013 08:57PM
In the previous article I looked at why the NHL could afford, financially and strategically, to expand to 32 teams. I also defended the idea of expansion as it relates to their existing business plan and recent history of fiscal growth.
This brings me to my second point regarding expansion: talent dilution in the NHL.
February 17 2013 02:38PM
Ben Scrivens and the Leafs shut out the Sens, and that's great, but I'm just really happy with the headline, you guys. Benjamin Shuttin'. Awesome, right? RIGHT?! Ah, just watch.