Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
September 27 2013 11:13PM
The Leafs played game nine of their ten game preseason tonight. As such, we saw a close to full roster - one that was missing Phil Kessel to suspension, and Fraser McLaren to injury, but was essentially what we'll see on opening night. The final game will feature a duller roster, to say the least; a final look at players who's fates are unknown, and ability to rest. In the meantime, this was maybe the first real look at the 2013/14 Toronto Maple Leafs.
...but it wasn't a particularly good one. Chalk it up to jitters, lack of chemistry, small sample sizes, whatever you want, but the Detroit Red Wings walked away with a convincing 5-2 victory.
September 27 2013 05:04PM
Two preseason games left. It's looking like the only thing left to settle is which depth winger is going to be on the roster to go in place of Frazer McLaren should he be injured opening night. 11/12ths of the forward core appears to be set, with Colton Orr returning to the lineup for his first preseason game.
It's the first of a home-and-home with the Detroit Red Wings. This is the "dress rehearsal" game for the Red Wings, according to coach Mike Babcock. Daniel Alfredsson will rejoin the Wings lineup after missing some time thanks to a groin injury, skating with Stephen Weiss and Johan Franzen. The only unfamiliar faces in the Wings lineup are Tomas Jurco, a nifty stickhandling forward out of the Saint John Sea Dogs program, defenceman Xavier Ouellet, who played on Team Canada at the most recent World Juniors, and Luke Glendening, an undrafted University of Michigan centreman who played with the Wings' AHL affiliate last season.
September 27 2013 10:56AM
We know you're wrong because you have a Big Bang Theory t-shirt.
Ryan Lambert over at Puck Daddy wrote a column that went up this morning about how the Toronto Maple Leafs mishandled their salary cap situation this summer. It's tough to disagree with the overarching point, that Toronto once had lots of cap space where now they have none, and if Frazer McLaren remains injured, there is a non-zero chance that Toronto will have to skate with 17 players in the opener next week to become salary cap-compliant.
But it's also not as bad as it could have been. Technology is much better now than it was five or six years ago, and we can watch not only all the games we want to, but we can also watch the decision-making process come to life. There's so much more information with which to judge players. I can remember coming out of the last lockout even, we knew the goals and assists and time on ice of the players our teams picked up, but without a handle on context everybody sort of trusted the eyes of scouts and management.
September 26 2013 08:11PM
During a time where there wasn't a lot to cheer for in Leaf Land, this moment shone through.
Tim Brent is a couple years removed from his Leafs days, but he is not forgotten in this city. Tomas Kmec, a young hockey reporter from Slovakia, recently went to some KHL games in the Czech Republic, the home of the lone Czech KHL team Lev Prague. Tomas offered to interview some KHL players for us, and Brent's team, Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod, recently came to town. We've already posted his interview with Leo Komarov here at TLN, as well as an interview with Ryan O'Byrne. Brent's new KHL team, Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod, also came to town recently. All Tom asked for was that we give him credit. Please give Tomas a follow. He's the reason we have these interviews.
Here's Tomas' talk with Tim Brent on his decision to go to the KHL, injury struggles, his time in Toronto, and hope to play in the NHL again one day.
September 26 2013 08:11AM
The bad news is that the Leafs are still a little over a million above the salary cap, according to Capgeek. While Leafs' assistant general manager Dave Poulin complained yesterday that Capgeek doesn't factor in the bonus cushion for Jake Gardiner, all the calculator apps on the site do. The Leafs will have to ditch two players on their current roster if they are more than $925K above the salary cap. For the sake of argument, let's say they are. What happens next?