October 19 2013 01:56PM
When the Toronto Maple Leafs traded for David Bolland at the draft, I praised the move as essentially being risk-free with the Leafs giving up absolutely nothing of value and acquiring a player that had been effective in 2010 and in 2011 but whose play had ultimately fallen off in the last couple of seasons. The Leafs brass said some ridiculous things in the summer about how Bolland just needed a chance in "more of a prominent role" (despite playing with Patrick Kane in Chicago last season!) and Steve Kasper even went onto say that Bolland was a "regular contributor" despite being on the lower end of Chicago forwards in several metrics, like points per 60 minutes (9th out of 12) shots per 60 minutes (12th) and point-contribution rate on on-ice goals (10th).
There were reasons to like the trade, just as there are reasons to like a fast food hamburger late at night. But the Leafs seemed to advertise Bolland like a fast food joint would advertise a hamburger in posters and on TV: looking much bigger, healthier and juicier than the real-life counterpart. The hamburger is still good, but it's a disappointment when compared to the advertising. So far this year, Bolland has played like the advertised hamburger.
Bolland is somewhat the focus in his return to Chicago tonight. He played 399 games with the Blackhawks including playoffs, and in two of those games, he was lifting the Stanley Cup at the end. He was a fairly prolific member of the 2010 team and definitely a player that fans of not-Chicago teams hated. He had a good career there.
October 18 2013 01:49PM
The face says it all.
Of course the Leafs, right? Of course.
October 18 2013 05:17AM
I'm in a brutal goal of emotion!
The guys talk about the controversial blooper goal on Bernier, Yakupov rumours, and Gene Simmons.
October 17 2013 10:22PM
The Leafs lost 3-2 on Thursday night to Carolina. The recap post is here, but there's going to be some spillover thanks to some scary comments made by Randy Carlyle in the wake of James Reimer being taken out of the game very early on after taking a shot to the head from teammate Josh Leivo.
Carlyle's postgame comments via mapleleafs.nhl.com after the jump:
October 17 2013 08:36PM
You can argue either way whether you think the Maple Leafs are going to be good or bad this season, eventually the team's record is going to tell the story, but you can't deny that the team is weird. This team has managed to win games in the weirdest ways and they don't lose much. They lost a very weird one on Thursday, probably a weirder loss than all of their weird wins on the season combined. If there is an absolute value of weirdness, the Leafs lead the league.
The above image is courtesy of Fox Sports Carolina. It was a harmless icing call by Ron Hainsey. Morgan Rielly may be used to no-touch icing, but maybe he isn't. He let up, as did Carolina forward Radek Dvorak, and Dvorak barely beat Rielly to the hashmarks and icing was waved off. The puck bounced off the end boards and Jonathan Bernier seemed unsure whether to play it or not, and the puck took a wild bounce off of his skate and in. One of the weirder winning goals the Maple Leafs have conceded in their long history, but it capped a three-goal Carolina comeback.
Leafs lose, 3-2.