Vehemently awful?

The Leafs have struggled at times this year but is it really fair to call the Leafs “vehemently awful” as Howard Berger does today? If vehemently awful describes a team which is 6-5-2 when not playing a team with a 13-1 record, what adjectives would you use to describe the Washington Capitals who are 2-9-1 in their last dozen games? The Leafs are not without problems but to call them vehemently awful is probably something only a vehemently biased member of the media would write or say, particularly when you follow that up with “emerging catastrophe.” As for my opinion,

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Do Leafs give up lots of shots when they have leads?

Ninja posed an interesting question in the comments that I think deserves a post of its own. We both know the Leafs didn’t block shots last year as a general rule and still managed to be very good in the shots allowed category. This year, they seem to be giving up the body slightly more often, but the shots against are way up. The zone coverage is comparable to last year, except the forwards seem to be missing assignments or switches with more regularity. How do you reconcile these quasi-facts with the Leafs shots allowed averages of last year? I’m

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Just when you think you have seen everything…

The Toronto hockey media continues to amaze me. Today it is Howard Berger… Having compiled 17 points in 10 games (including a league-leading 11 assists), Sundin is tied atop the NHL scoring stats with fellow Swede Henrik Zetterberg of Detroit … Mats is almost 37 years old. He’s playing like a 27-year-old right now, but the lack of offensive support will turn him into a 57-year-old by February. Now they are complaining about the lack of scoring depth on a team with the 3rd best offense in the NHL (based on goals per game). The first thing worth mentioning is

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This is what bugs me about Leaf media…

I am going to write more about the Leafs in another post probably later this week but for now let me continue my rants against the media: Today Mike Zeisberger writes: The Leafs are allowing an average of 35.33 shots per game, leaving them as one of the worst teams in the league in that category. Now, I don’t have a problem with that statement per se, but the problem I have with it is Zeisberger is using it as an example of the Leafs bad defense while a year ago he ignored the fact that the Leafs allowed the

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Raycroft vs Toskala

I am sickened by what seems to be an outrage on behalf of Leaf media and fans (and others) at Maurice for starting Andrew Raycroft. It sickens me because it seems to be a media made goalie controversy that if anyone had a clue would realize that Raycroft was the likely starter. Ever since the trade was made Maurice and JFJ said that Toskala was brought in to help Raycroft and that Raycroft was still the starter. Now, that may have been some posturing and in the long run they expect/hope Toskala will take over the #1 role, but they

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Inside the Numbers: Leafs vs Sens

In honour of the start of the new season and another Leaf-Sens rivalry game, here are some interesting, maybe surprising, stats related to the Leafs-Sens rivalry (mostly ammo for Leaf fans) Leafs top 6 forwards: Sundin, Blake, Antropov, Tucker, Wellwood, Ponikarovsky Sens top 6 forwards: Heatley, Spezza, Alfredsson, Fisher, Vermette, Kelly (based on points last year, not projected lineup) Goals scored by Leafs top 6 last year: 142 in 386 games or 0.37 goals per game Goals scored by Sens top 6 last year: 169 in 453 games or 0.37 goals per game Next 3 forwards: Stajan, Steen, Pohl: 103

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Northeast division preview

Boston Bruins Strengths: -Good 1-2 tandem at center with Savard and Bergeron -Should get improved goaltending with Manny Fernandez Weaknesses: -Lack of overall depth. -No quality game breakers on the wings. -Mediocre defense Question Marks: -Can Chara rebound after a questionable season last year? -Can Fernandez be the anchor in goal that the Bruins desperately need? -Can Glen Murray stay healthy and get back to 40 goal territory? Outlook: The Bruins addressed one of their key problem areas with the acquisition of goalie Manny Fernandez but one still has to wonder if Fernandez, who only once has played more than

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Bell Suspension: New Policy, inconsistent discipline, or piling on?

I don’t think it is a stretch to say that yesterday’s 15 game suspension of Mark Bell was a surprise to everyone because it seemed to come out of nowhere. There is no real precedent for the NHL to suspend players for their off-ice conduct and certainly not with a suspensionof the magnitude of 15 games. So my question is, why Mark Bell, why now? To review, prior to last season Mark Bell was caused an accident while driving impaired and to make matters worse, he fled the scene of the accident. This past summer he plead guilty and will

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Eastern Conference Team Ratings

Based on the same forumula as the western conference ratings, here are the eastern conference ratings. As usual, if you disagree feel free to post your thoughts and if you can back up your arguement, who knows, maybe you can get me to change my mind. Forwards Defense Goaltending Total Talent Depth Exp. Talent Depth Exp. #1 goalie Depth Exp. Score Ottawa 10 6 7 8 7 7 8 7 6 53.2 Buffalo 8 8 6 7 8 7 8 7 6 52.8 Pittsburgh 10 8 6 8 7 6 7 6 6 52.5 NY Rangers 9 7 8 6

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Joke of the Day

When I read Eklund’s stuff I don’t know whether to laugh or cry (because what he writes is so horrendously rediculous) but today I’ll laugh and make Eklund the Joke of the Day! From the infamous Eklund on ‘Swing Players’ for the Leafs: Tony Salmelainen. Someone I trust, who knows Fins better than almost anyone else, tells me that this signing will be the best late summer signing of them all. Tony is a huge talent in the making that just needed a little more time to develop to the North American game. Someone should let Eklund know that the

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