February 24 2013 02:45PM
It's time for a good, old fashioned rant.
Props to the Sens for a good win, but this stupid "Leafs fans aren't welcome at Sens games" story is getting annoying.
February 24 2013 02:08PM
Fans of a lot of different NHL clubs claim their team could use Ryan O’Reilly the most. I think the Toronto Maple Leafs are at the top of that list. ROR in this instance means more than just rate of return. It’s a potential perfect fit. I believe he is the most logical fit between Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul.
Rob Vollman did the statistical breakdown for the restricted free agent so there’s no point in duplicating the work but it’s a good overall look.
This is Ryan O’Reilly’s writeup as it appeared in the McKeen’s Hockey Yearbook:
February 24 2013 10:51AM
After the jump: the Nation Network turns five, predicting the end-of-season standings, talking about dirty hits and franchise-defining trades, and lots more good stuff from the past week.
February 23 2013 09:09PM
"What's wrong with your teeth?"
There's so little to talk about in regard to this hockey game and yet so much. I find the contrast between the Ottawa Senators and the Maple Leafs' last opponent Buffalo fascinating. Both are perennial bubble teams with some stars left over from the era right after the first lockout. The teams, however, could not be more different in the way they deploy their lineup and their philosophy to fixing holes.
Toronto lost an absolute gut-wrencher. Playing from behind for much of the latter half of the game, the Leafs tied it up on a powerplay goal from Clarke MacArthur—2-2. After two missed nets on glorious plays set up by MacArthur with the score tied, Ottawa forced an offensive zone draw against the Senators late in the game. Toronto got the right personnel, but a bad rebound and Carl Gunnarsson failing to tie up Colin Greening allowed him to bat an elevated puck into the net with :24 seconds to go.
Again, there was a lot going on in this game, even though on the scoreboard it didn't look like it.
February 23 2013 01:32PM
Last spring, the Toronto Blue Jays went into the season with increased expectations. They won 12 of their last 22 games, including their last game on the season, to finish at .500, a symbolic marker if anything, and in the offseason got a glut of reinforcements from their prospect system to shore up their rotation and their infield. Young Brett Lawrie looked like he was on the verge of stardom, giving the Jays three right-handed power bats along with home run champ Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.
Then, oh boy, the disappointment. The Blue Jays suffered injuries everywhere in their lineup. Closer Sergio Santos didn't make it out of the first month. Every good pitcher in the rotation suffered some sort of weird injury—three starters ended up on the 60-Day DL. The team got awful luck and finished 16 games below .500.
This isn't a baseball blog, and I'm by no means a baseball expert, but I do recognize how tough it is to come into a season with some high expectations and then see every player leave the lineup to some unfortunate accident. Welcome to the 2013 Ottawa Senators season.