October 26 2015 12:40PM
What the hell happened to the Coyotes? The usual laughing stock of the NHL has a winning record, a handful of exciting young players to watch, and these fancy new jerseys with black accents on the sleeves. They're almost likeable!
Whatever the case, the Leafs won't be facing off against the usual Phoenix push-overs tonight. Let's break it all down.
October 26 2015 11:47AM
Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian/USA TODAY Sports
The injury news continues apace for the Toronto Maple Leafs with third-line centre Nick Spaling joining the growing list of walking wounded. He'll be out of the lineup on Monday with an undisclosed injury.
Though the the Maple Leafs are hurting, it wasn't all bad news on the injury front on Monday. Injured centre Tyler Bozak and banged up defenseman Jake Gardiner have now been on the ice for two consecutive days, and are nearing a return from their respective ailments.
Though Bozak (upper-body injury) is somewhat closer to returning to action, even going so far as to try to convince Leafs coach Mike Babcock to put him back into the lineup for Monday night's game, it's more likely that he'll return to the lineup on Friday when the Maple Leafs face the New York Rangers. Gardiner's injury (undisclosed) and his timeline for return are a bit more up in the air, but it's possible that he could return for Friday's game also.
October 26 2015 10:03AM
You'd think that a 1-4-2 start would be just what the doctor ordered for a team in desperate need of another lottery pick, but unfortunately even when the Leafs are awful they can't crack the bottom five of the league. Anaheim and Calgary are showing us the impact that Nonis and Burke can have on your team, while Columbus has decided they never want to win another hockey game and hired John Tortorella to call their star player fat.
It should be an interesting week with Phil Kessel returning to Toronto for the first time, and now that Kessel is playing with Malkin, a hat trick in his return doesn't seem out of the question. For now we'll focus on the week that was, before we forget the magic that was 0-1-1 hockey.
October 26 2015 07:24AM
Photo Credit: Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports
The last time we saw John Tortorella behind an NHL bench, he was tuned out by a veteran Vancouver Canucks team as they faded down the stretch and missed the playoffs by a mile. Following the dismissal of a coach who was suspended for five games that season for basically trying to fight a rival head coach on national television, the Canucks promptly returned to being a 100 point team the next year.
The last time we saw Randy Carlyle behind an NHL bench, he was getting the most - at least from a results perspective - from a Toronto Maple Leafs team that promptly fell apart dramatically after his dismissal.
So how exactly did Tortorella get a job before Carlyle? And might it have something to do with a deeper understanding of variance and the underlying numbers?
October 25 2015 07:40PM
Nikita Soshnikov doesn't have the same hype attached to him as most of the young guns on the Toronto Marlies. He wasn't a Toronto first-round draft pick, like a William Nylander, Frederik Gauthier, or Stuart Percy. He didn't come as a big piece in a big trade, like a Brendan Leipsic or a Kasperi Kapanen. He wasn't a local boy with local stories, like Connor Brown, Josh Leivo, or Zach Hyman. His signing flew under the radar when the Leafs melted into a fine ooze in March, and nobody paid him much mind in the preseason.
But that doesn't mean that he's not worth your attention. Far from it, really. Soshnikov is a real deal prospect, and tonight's 3-1 win against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms was a good example of that.