November 27 2013 11:15AM
As an early Christmas present, the Maple Leafs get to hit the hardest part of the schedule. Between now and the time Santa comes around, Toronto gets to play 15 games in 27 days, including four back-to-backs, five against current Western Conference playoff teams, and every other Eastern Conference playoff team except for Washington. If the margin for error was thin before, it's even thinner now. The Leafs have been banking points in November for precisely this purpose, this three-week stretch that could make or break the team's playoff fortunes.
It all starts tonight in Pittsburgh. After conceding six against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday, James Reimer won't get a chance against a team he's done pretty well against. Don't sweat it. Like I've said many, many times before, don't pay too much attention to a goalie's numbers in a small sample of games against a particular team.
But the grind begins tonight, and this is the type of stretch where Randy Carlyle is going to be glad he has two goalies. Both will get an ample chance to prove themselves in the next three weeks.
November 27 2013 07:47AM
With the news yesterday that Rogers and the NHL had agreed on a 12-year, $5.232 billion Canadian television deal, the overwhelming reaction was uncertainty. We don’t know how this will effect TSN or CBC, we don’t know how Rogers will cover the game, and we don’t know if the hockey-watching experience will be better a year from now than it is today.
What we know for sure is that NHL hockey is going to be on Rogers. What we also know, with barely less certainty, is that it’s going to cost more to watch.
November 26 2013 04:00PM
November 26 2013 11:27AM
Joffrey Lupul is injured again. Earth is round, water is wet.
Lupul, who missed the third period of night's 6-0 loss to Columbus, will not travel with the Leafs on their upcoming road trip. The 30-year old winger has been diagnosed with a Grade 2 groin strain, and will likely miss the next three games against Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Montreal.
November 26 2013 10:36AM
Let's sweep that loss to Columbus under the rug. I woke up strangely sick Monday morning and wasn't myself, so I can't blame the Leafs for putting together such a stagnant effort against Columbus. The beauty of an 82-game season is that a 6-0 loss in November counts the same as a 3-1 loss once all is said and done, and the reality is that teams don't really dwell on losses as much as they're perceived to. After a 7-0 defeat at home to Washington earlier this season, all Philadelphia did was win the next game 4-0, then lost consecutive games, then won three straight… almost as if games are independent of the last ones.
I want to talk about Mason Raymond.