Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
March 05 2013 10:59AM
Tyler Bozak is a great third line centre on an elite team. He wins draws, he can pass well, he’s got good positional awareness. He’s able to drop into the top six when need be. In fact, a good team can still have him as their second best centre and fare well for themselves if they have talent spread around the roster.
With that, Dave Nonis and the Toronto Maple Leafs should be reminding other GM’s of this for the next few weeks, selling him to the highest bidder. “Wait, weren’t you just hyping him?” you may say. But hear me out.
March 05 2013 10:04AM
The Toronto Maple Leafs put pen to paper on one of their top forward prospects last night, signing Kitchener Rangers winger Josh Leivo to a 3-year entry level contract. Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Leivo has gone from ‘long shot’ to ‘future pro’ pretty damn quick.
A little bit of backstory... Leivo was drafted in the 11th round of the 2009 OHL Priority Draft, wasn’t even ranked in NHL Central Scouting’s final 2011 list, and still got drafted in the top 100 at the 2011 NHL Draft... Not bad.
March 04 2013 09:09PM
Photo via Abelimages/NHLInteractive via Getty
Most nights I have a lot of available information to work with to craft a game story. Perhaps a game was won or lost based around a particular matchup, or there was a repeated example in the game indicative of a season-long trend that played a factor in the result. None of that was really evident in the Maple Leafs' latest win, this one over the New Jersey Devils, sans Martin Brodeur, 4-2 Monday night.
The goals were scored by Nazem Kadri, Jay McClement, Clarke MacArthur and Phil Kessel. That is a collection of players that have received rave endorsements from the Corsiati that populate this Toronto Maple Leaf blog and others. While Brodeur for much of his career has been known to be a tad error-prone, he had looked better than Johan Hedberg was Monday. Hedberg got a good piece of the first three Toronto goals. At the other end, Hedberg's opposite James Reimer was terrific, stopping 28 of 30 shots including an unreal save off of Patrik Elias seconds after MacArthur's go-ahead goal.
This game was a mess. It is like seeing your friend get his tongue stuck on a flagpole. "Dude, why did you do that? You're unharmed, I guess, but you probably shouldn't do that again."
March 04 2013 04:40PM
Bit of a short preview today. Lots of talk around the trade that sent Mike Brown to Edmonton for a conditional pick. My own belief is that this is a good move in a vacuum, in that the Leafs get a lottery ticket—as well as an extra roster spot—in return for a player who didn't necessarily contribute positively through his tenure in Toronto.
My knock on the trade is that of the three face-punchers employed by the Leafs yesterday, I think they traded the one who is best at skating and doing things other than face-punching. The move solidifies Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren's spots in the lineup and they play on a fourth line that takes away offensive zone opportunities from the Leafs top line and gets frequently stuck in their own end.
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
March 04 2013 03:07PM
You’re a fan of a hockey team, one that happens to wear blue and white. Things are looking up. Or, at least not down. Games are being won somewhat often, players that were missing during these wins are starting to return, and the key to this year seems to be consistency rather than streakiness. You find out one of your young wingers is on his way back into the lineup, after starting the season on a point per game pace. But to get him back in, a fourth line fighter has to go.
NOOOOOOOOOOO! NOT MIKE BROWN! Wait, what?