Ten Little Known Reasons for the Leafs’ Collapse

1. Team disappointed when they found out the Carlyle they were playing for was Randy and not Belinda.

2. Leafs are used to their season being over by spring. Thus, when Wiarton Willie called for an early spring, this was bound to happen.

3. Joffrey Lupul separated his shoulder…..carrying the team.

4. With the government cuts to the CBC, they figured most the games wouldn’t be televised so no one would notice.

5. Team confused about the whole DST thing. They fell back when they should have sprung ahead.

6. Let’s face it Tim Connolly only plays about 50 games every year. How was he supposed to know 82 games of effort is required.

7. Global Warming.

8. Hockey players are a superstitious bunch and didn’t want to break tradition by making the playoffs.

9. Warmer weather means more cars on the road, and we all know how Kessel feels about being in traffic.

10. They need more players from Ontario. Or at least that’s what I heard somewhere.

Reading Royals Review


The Royals Review

(March 22)

READING, Pa. – As the Maple Leafs scud along toward another season without a playoff appearance and the Marlies aspire to what would seem a legitimate Calder Cup run, the other pro team which features players under contract to Toronto, the Reading Royals, is still unsure of its post-season position.

With less than two weeks left in the regular season, the Royals are tied with the Cincinnati Cyclones and Chicago Express for the final playoff spot in the ECHL’s Eastern Conference. Both Cincinnati and Chicago have a game in hand. Of Reading’s six remaining games , four are against last-in-the-league Trenton. Thus far in 2011-12, the Royals are 5-3-1 against the Titans.
Continue reading Reading Royals Review

Why the Toronto Maple Leafs will never win

(Randy Carlyle has inherited one huge mess)

By Kris Harrison

Let me preface the coming argument with a short disclaimer. I am a HUGE Toronto Maple Leafs fan. I will be the first in line to buy high priced, low quality merchandise from the street side vendors lining the Stanley Cup parade route on Yonge Street. Before I am chased down the 401 and out of town, let me explain why the Maple Leafs will never win the Stanley Cup.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are not a team, they are a business. The majority of teams in the NHL are owned and operated by hockey fans. Terry Pegula, Mike Ilitch, Ted Leonsis and Mario Lemieux (to name a few) love the game and want to win. Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment values profitability over the quality of the product. As long as team revenue outweighs the cost of doing business, MLSE has won the only game they wish to play. Before we enter the clichéd tirade about heartless owners let me tell you why this is. We, the fans are the real problem.
Continue reading Why the Toronto Maple Leafs will never win

Reading Royals Review


The Royals Review

(March 5)

READING, Pa. – If the Reading Royals are going to qualify for the Kelly Cup Playoffs this season, they’re going to need an impressive last five weeks of the regular season. The schedule concludes with 15 March games and heading into the season’s final month, the ECHL affiliate of the Maple Leafs and Marlies is in a four-team race for the final two Eastern Conference playoff spots.

The Cincinnati Cyclones, Chicago Express, Florida Everblades and Reading are within a point of each other as the stretch run begins. Barring something unusual, only two of those teams will make it.
Continue reading Reading Royals Review

Carlyle needs to teach the Leafs defence

By: Kevin Striukas (TMLfans McLeaf)
With the Leafs spiraling into a tailspin that is destroying their playoff hopes, Ron Wilson has received the blame from Leafs management, being fired on Friday. With Randy Carlyle coming in, the focus is still on what is wrong with the Leafs and how to fix them. Since the start of their collapse 11 games ago the Leafs have been outscored 24 to 45, allowing 4.09 goals per game. The already questionable Leafs defence completely broke down with the help of some lacklustre goaltending. The defence and the goaltenders don’t trust each other and their system is broken.

In retrospect the Leafs defensive system had been broken since Wilson took over the coaching job four years ago. The Leafs have consistently been in the bottom five for goals allowed and penalty killing percent. The pieces are now in place to be a better team however the results are proving the same. This is either a problem with Wilson’s system itself or the players not playing his system properly. In either case the blame falls on Wilson and the coaching staff.

Continue reading Carlyle needs to teach the Leafs defence

Blue And White Beat: Carlyle era in Toronto begins

(Makes debut tonight in Montreal vs. Habs)

The result wasn’t as surprising as perhaps the timing.

On Friday night, Toronto president and general manager Brian Burke fired his long-time friend Ron Wilson as head coach of the Maple Leafs.

“It became obvious to me in the last week that we needed to make a coaching change if we wanted to salvage the season,” said Burke addressing the media on Saturday morning at Bell Centre prior to the team’s game against the Montreal Canadiens. At the same news conference, Randy Carlyle was introduced as the 28th coach in the Leafs’ history.

Burke and Wilson have known each other since 1973 when they were roommates at Providence College in Rhode Island and teammates on the school’s hockey team the Friars. Even as the Leafs current losing streak reached six games with a frustrating defeat in Chicago on Wednesday, there appeared to be little indication that a change behind the bench was imminent. As early as the morning of Wilson’s firing, the Leafs players were put through a high tempo practice under their now former coach’s watchful eye.
Continue reading Blue And White Beat: Carlyle era in Toronto begins

NHL Trade Deadline: Burke adamant in keeping Gardiner

(“He wasn’t going anywhere” – Brian Burke)

When the clock struck 3pm on Monday, the Toronto Maple Leafs roster that will scramble for a playoff berth in the competitive Eastern Conference remained intact.

Leafs President and General Manager Brian Burke made only two trades, both of them at the minor league level. Keith Aulie was dealt to Tampa Bay in exchange for Carter Ashton, while Dale Mitchell was moved to Anaheim for Mark Fraser.

While there is some slight grumbling among Toronto fans that Burke was unable to land a goaltender in wake of the club’s recent slump, at least one opinion is almost unanimously shared.

The best move that Burke made was one of restraint in not trading defenceman Jake Gardiner, who has the making of becoming a star on the team’s blueline.

Continue reading NHL Trade Deadline: Burke adamant in keeping Gardiner

Jesse Blacker: The evolution of a hockey player

Feb. 25, 2012 by S-Mo

Jesse Blacker, taken in the 2nd round of the 2009 NHL entry draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs, is making a case for himself as a pro and appears to be on the verge of taking the next step to the big league.

The 6’1”, 195 lb native of Toronto has been enjoying top minutes with one of the best defensive teams in the AHL, the Toronto Marlies, under the tutelege of coach Dallas Eakins and Gord Dineen among others. Whether applying his craft to sound positional play, learning the ropes in after hour sessions on the ice, reviewing tape or building his conditioning in the gym, Jesse is truly soaking up his experience and has little time for anything not hockey related.

Speaking with Jesse today we discussed some of his earlier triumphs, notably with the OHL champion Owen Sound Attack last year, and the learning curves and inspirations on the road to pro hockey.
Continue reading Jesse Blacker: The evolution of a hockey player

Leafs blog: One player away?

(Should a young player like Frattin be packaged for a star?)

Leafs Blog: One Player Away? – Kevin Striukas, TMLFans McLeaf

Trade rumours have been swirling Leafs nation under the preconceived notion that the team is one superstar away from being a top tier team in the east. In the Leafs current position would trading for a Rick Nash or Ryan Getzlaf turn the 8th place Leafs into a top contender?

Continue reading Leafs blog: One player away?

Blue And White Beat: My favourite Mats moment

When Sundin scored his 500th goal his countryman Alex Steen was displayed on the game ticket.

In my capacity as a writer, I have the opportunity to cover several Leafs games from the press box. But I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve watched a game from the seats at Air Canada Centre as a fan.

The most recent time was over 5 years ago. I remember the outing for a couple of reasons. It was my first opportunity to take my then-10-year-old nephew to a game.

Also, it was the night that Mats Sundin put on a clinic against the Calgary Flames.
Continue reading Blue And White Beat: My favourite Mats moment