April 13 2013 02:32PM
The Montreal Canadiens start today's action in second place. The Toronto Maple Leafs are in fifth place. With the Boston Bruins playing the lifeless Carolina Hurricanes and the Maple Leafs playing their longtime Lower Canadian rivals, it just might mean that by Sunday morning, the 4-5 matchup in the playoffs would be MONTREAL-TORONTO.
Everybody's hoping for this outcome. There may be better matchups for Toronto on paper but what would signal the Leafs return to the postseason more than this? It would be the most-watched seven-games-or-less series in CBC history. An entire generation has passed without the Canadiens and Maple Leafs facing off the in the playoffs. It last happened in 1979.
April 12 2013 10:33AM
There was an interesting moment online Friday morning as the best fourth-line centreman in the league Mikhail Grabovski was reported missing from the Maple Leafs' practice.
It turned out that Grabovski just had a stomach issue and has stayed behind in New York City, but those were fun times. Allow The Leafs Nation, using a series of tweets, to demonstrate the five stages of grief, apparently called the Kübler-Ross model. I didn't take 100-level psychology. My first-year science elective was astronomy, where you learned about instruments powerful enough to record Mikhail Grabovski's quality of competition rating from earth.
April 12 2013 09:36AM
Leaflets is a weekly rundown of thoughts and notes on the Leafs by Jon Steitzer that will usually appear on Thursdays. Follow him on Twitter @YakovMironov
While it may seem odd to save someone from the top line, I can’t help but feel James van Riemsdyk may produce at a higher level on a different line. The main reason for this thought stems from the fact that his center (Tyler Bozak) is yet to get a primary assist on any of his goals which has to be one of the more amazing stats of the season.
April 11 2013 02:24PM
Leafs lose in shootout. Sky blue. Water wet.
April 10 2013 09:26PM
Midway through the first period, TSN play-by-play man Gord Miller said something to the effect of "if you listen to the analytics people, Mikhail Grabovski is a much better two-way centre than Randy Carlyle gives him credit for."
It wasn't a throwaway line in the least. It indicated that Miller has done his research and probably trolled around on this blog or others and found a bit of information that was worth sharing with his many, many viewers. His next line was also telling:
"Randy Carlyle does not believe in analytics."
Clearly not. Mikhail Grabovski spent the first two periods on Line Number Four between Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren. He put on a show in the last few minutes of regulation and overtime when everything else happened on the ice. The game started out tilted in favour of the Leafs. Then the Rangers. Then it was even. Then it went to a shootout, and the Leafs picked up a point in a 3-2 loss to the Broadway Blueshirts.