Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
December 15 2013 09:18AM
Many people who aren't from here have a tendency to describe Toronto as "Hell on Earth". This is mostly out of jealously, but with last night considered, they may have a point. I mean, the city freezes over and both the Leafs and the Raptors dominate their high-flying opponents from Chicago? Even I'm a little skeptical...
Last night was arguably the best Leafs game of the season, and while getting those results against a powerhouse is a bit unexpected, there was nothing flukey about how they got this win.
December 14 2013 01:14PM
I didn't think it would take this quick for such an obvious rift to develop between Randy Carlyle and Dave Nonis, but you can sort of tell what's happening based on some of the things Darren Dreger says on the radio. This morning, Dreger re-assured listeners that Morgan Rielly's exodus from the lineup was a coaching decision, and that Carlyle had better get used to Peter Holland.
One of the best Twitter accounts in Toronto has been @Hope_Smoke, who listens to the radio so the rest of us don't have to. The sense I'm getting is that management and coaching disagree on some of the personnel. Nonis may have assumed David Clarkson would get more powerplay time than he has. Nonis wants Jake Gardiner in the lineup every night. Nonis is probably behind the apparent decision to sit Mark Fraser and Paul Ranger tonight.
Have you opened your Badvent calendar today? It's the Leafs and the Blackhawks tonight, on lousy ice tonight at the Air Canada Centre due to a support staff strike.
December 14 2013 12:06PM
You kids enjoying Deathcember yet?
David Clarkson has been suspended for two games for his illegal head-check on Vladimir Sobotka. Below is the video from the NHL explaining the suspension. 1,000 fictional bonus points if you can name whose voice that is on the video.
December 13 2013 01:54PM
Missouri loves company. The hockey gods hate the Leafs.
December 13 2013 11:12AM
I don't want to beat the deadest horse in the world, but Mark Fraser is not an NHL defenceman. Another noon hour came and went without Fraser finding his way onto the waiver wire, which may not be too surprising, but I think Fraser has played well enough to earn himself at least a healthy scratch, and the opportunity for John-Michael Liles to get some games.
It's beating the horse. With Fraser on the ice the Leafs have just 40.3% of the 5-on-5 shot attempts [Extra Skater], and have been out-scored 4-12. The numbers don't really improve when you restrict the sample to 5-on-5 score tied or 5-on-5 score close, and he is really driving down the play of one Paul Ranger, who I think is a fine defenceman on his own, but locked into a brutal third pairing.
I uploaded a brief video of the problem with Mark Fraser.