October 25 2011 01:55PM
At the outset of the season, there wasn't a pundit or hockey writer around who suggested that the Toronto Maple Leafs or Winnipeg Jets were surefire Eastern Conference playoff favourites. Toronto was lumped in as a bubble team while Winnipeg was sort of on the fence between a bubble team and a lottery team, partly driven on their first-half success of last season.
By the way, the only thing weirder than writing about Winnipeg in an Eastern Conference analysis would be writing about the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Western Conference. Or the Vancouver Canucks in the East. Or the Ottawa Senators in first place.
But who are the other bubble teams in the Eastern Conference who will compete against these teams for the playoffs? We can be sure that Pittsburgh, Boston, Washington and Philadelphia are essentially locks, while the Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning may be right there. Also on the bubble, I think it's safe to say that Carolina, New Jersey, Montreal, NY Rangers and Florida will be right there by season's end, competing for a pair of playoff spots.
October 25 2011 01:42PM
Ladies and Gentlemen, lend me your tears- Grabbo being Grabbo
One of the things I’ve been noticing is that in the games they have won the Leafs have been able to roll four lines consistently most of the night. The 4th line isn’t necessarily putting up big minutes, but they play more, and later into the game than when Colton Orr is in the line-up. This gives the Leafs top players a bit of a rest and allows them to play long shifts later in the game.
October 24 2011 01:15AM
Another week has passed in the season, and with that, it's time for another review of matters around the league. In this installment, the Canucks make the first significant move of the year, two first rounders appear on divergent paths, and the Leafs face life without Optimus Reim.
October 22 2011 08:36PM
Oh. My. Grabovski. What a goal.
The Leafs turned in what may be their most complete game effort this season to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 5-4 in overtime. The Habs are now winless in three consecutive games at home for the first time in a long time, and having Montreal fan favorite Mikhail Grabovski score the winner adds just the right salt and spice to the wound.
October 22 2011 06:08PM
What a magnificent day in Edmonton. The sun is shining, the Oilers play the Rangers this evening and oh what's that? It's Jason Gregor's birthday. We can't imagine how old he is, but short of cutting him in half and counting his rings we will estimate that today marks the start of his 52nd year on Earth. Happy Birthday!
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