Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
April 29 2013 01:39PM
For the Toronto Marlies, last year's playoffs had a bit of a different atmosphere. With the Maple Leafs out of the playoffs, the team was heavily focused on by fans, media, and the parent club alike. Last year's team was filled with NHL talent; eight players (Matt Frattin, Jake Gardiner, Nazem Kadri, Joe Colborne, Ryan Hamilton, Mark Fraser, Colton Orr, and Ben Scrivens) are currently calling the Air Canada Centre their home. Ricoh Coliseum was full and loud, with fans looking for hockey to be excited about in the early spring months. Mainstream media that typically rolled their eyes at the AHL were around to see what was up. It was a unique situation, and an exciting one as the blue and white headed to the Calder Cup Finals before being swept by the Norfolk Admirals.
April 29 2013 01:37PM
Dave Nonis said that he expected Tyler Bozak to be on the ice and ready for Game One, but he didn't practice with the team today. Mikhail Grabovski spent time between Joffrey Lupul and Nik Kulemin on the second line with Nazem Kadri with Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk on the first.
Steve Simmons, of all people, noted that Grabovski was staying out for extra faceoff practice.
So maybe there's a disconnect between what the Leafs are preparing for in Game One and what the Leafs are saying. Elliotte Friedman was on the Canucks Army podcast last night and did note that you can't trust teams at this time in the season to be entirely truthful and up front when it comes to injuries.
April 29 2013 04:19AM
A few thoughts to tide us over until Wednesday. Leading up to Game One, we'll run a series of previews along with some of our own in-house analytics to break down Eastern Conference Series D as best we can in the coming days.
No. 1 - Forget it Jake, it's Boston
April 28 2013 04:21PM
Did you know it's been a while since the Toronto Maple Leafs last played a playoff game? It's true. Be reminded every day between now and about the first intermission of Game Two, and possible for the first two periods of Game Three when the Leafs play at home.
The Leafs overcoming some very long odds to make the postseason is a pretty cool story, and their opponent has yet to be determiend. (Although it may be determined by the time you read this column, but I won't be able to file anything else until about 3 a.m. Eastern, and who is going to read anything at that time?)
Part of what's gone on in the time that it's taken the Leafs to make the playoffs is that it seems every team has developed some sort of national anthem schtick—Rene Rancourt in Boston fist pumping after singing the Star-Spangled Banner, Mark Donnelly in Vancouver letting the crowd sing the middle section, Montreal fans booing the Star-Spangled Banner and Phoenix fans showing up late, if at all.
What can Toronto do to separate itself? Well…
April 28 2013 01:11PM
The Leafs lose to the Habs, and in doing so, might not get to play the Habs. Wait - what?