The Curse of Mats Sundin?

Matt Stephen
March 22 2012 09:15AM

Being a sports fan in Toronto isn’t fun, or at least it hasn’t been for a long time. The city hasn’t seen a major league championship win since the ’93 Blue Jays. Twenty years of cold winless winters and summers that are over by spring training is enough to make even the most devout Toronto sports fan a crotchety, cynical, rotted husk of a person.

But how do you explain why the city and particularly the Leafs have been so misfortunate for so long? With the Leafs looking like they’re about to take the title of longest playoff drought from the Panthers when Florida presumably makes the playoffs this season, one has to get down into a Tebow and ask why.

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Leafs Nation Podcast: Know Your Enemy

Leafs Nation Podcast
March 21 2012 10:03PM


This week, the Leafs Nation podcast features Ellen Etchingham alongside myself (JP Nikota) and Danny Gray. Ellen is a wonderful writer from The Score's Backhand Shelf who, unfortunately, has become a Habs fan.

I'm not entirely sure, but I think that becoming a Habs fan midway through life is rather like a Spiderman backstory gone horribly wrong. A human is bitten by a radioactive spider, and, rather than gain super powers, a certain cerebral atrophy takes hold.

In all seriousness, if you haven't read any of her work on the history of the game, please educate yourself now. She is undoubtedly one of my favourite new hockey bloggers, and a pleasure to have on our show.

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Is This A Goal Scoring Competition? Phil Kessel's Defensive Game

A. Bates
March 21 2012 06:24PM

Not a Selke trophy

A lot has been made of Phil Kessel's defensive game, or lack thereof, this season. Phil has been labeled as being a soft player that plays poor defensive hockey. Generally the opinion on him is that he doesn't back check, floats around in the defensive zone and only focuses on the offensive side of his game.

Usually to win a hockey game one team must out shoot their opponent while limiting their shots against. However, this style of play doesn't work well when your goaltenders are letting 10% of shots into your net. This, unfortunately, is what the Leafs net-minders seem to be doing.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that Kessel is going to be up for any Selke awards soon but what I am going to tell you is that he is nowhere near as bad defensively as fans think he is, and I have some numbers to prove it.

Follow me over the jump for details.

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I don't know what this is

Ryan Fancey
March 20 2012 09:01PM

Coming off a 8-0 loss in Beantown the previous evening, I figured the Leafs would put Tank Nation in serious jeopardy on Tuesday night when the Islanders came to town. Not to worry, it's still full steam ahead on this bullet train to the bottom of the standings.

I'm not sure how much can be taken from this game. The Leafs somehow managed to follow up a 13-shot "performance" in Boston with a 14-shot output on home ice. Absolutely dreadful.

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NN Hockey Pool Update: March 20th Edition

Jonathan Willis
March 20 2012 10:04AM

Another week, another leader in the Nation Network Hockey Pool.

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