Thought it may be a good idea to start a thread on what is going on in Europe. Definitely scary stuff and very concerning about further escalation. I don't believe a conventional war is possible when the nuclear option is at everyone's fingertips. My wife is from the UK and is freaking out over this. I know we can't control this but it may be good to have an outlet for us to discuss our concerns.
Can you tell I have lots of time to kill. No I don't drink before 4PM so here goes:
Auston Matthews Total Beast, has become a defensive force in addition to his Offensive monster abilities. Wrist injury is unfortunate but according to some esteemed members of this site, is something that most likely will not get worse or get better in time, so its play with and through it. He will.
Mitch Marner Great player, a magician. Sometimes seems to try too hard and take it all on his back. Only going to get better and better.
Wild Bill Nylander Slow start to the season. I have always believed Willy has another level which he has entered in the last two weeks. He has the ability to dominate with his puck and skating skills. I still feel he is only scratching the surface of where he will end up.
John Tavares Not a fan of the signing at the time, but understand the Leafs wanted to make a statement to the league and its fanbase. Still not a huge fan, however in the last two weeks he has been much better, perhaps its Nylander who is providing the spark. Hope he can keep up his play. The contract may become more burdensome in a couple of years. Oh and don't you love his effervescent personality?
Zach Hyman Motorman, got him for a Keg of Greg McKegg, what a steal! Perhaps one of the best fore-checkers in Leaf history. And the hands have come along in the last two years. Not too many nights off, if any. Needs a raise, hope we can keep him.
Jumbo Joe Thornton At 41 Joe is still able to do the passing magic. I was a bit wary of the signing, but he has been great...for the most part. I think he needs to be time managed more, although I am sure he wants to play every minute he can. Think a rest every three games would benefit him greatly.
Alex Kerfoot I like Kerfoot, you can tell how intelligent a player he is which makes him a touch more frustrating to rate. Great speed, good motor, needs to finish better around the net, which can be said for most of the remaining forwards. Won't make a bonehead play in the playoffs running someone into the boards, like someone we used to know.
Mikheyev the Souperman Came on the scene last year like a bolt of lightning, speed to burn, had the hands and then he was injured. The speed and motor are incredible and hopefully the scoring touch will return. Not sure if it's still the injury but his PK ability is unbelievable.
Pierre Engvall Another 7th round steal. Great speed and reach, deceptive moves and goes to the net. Needs to upgrade his defense. He is an enigma as he seems to have another level in there that he hopefully will reach. If he does, then he could be a force in his own right. Should be used on the PK a bit more.
Jason Spezza What do they say about Wine? The hatty a few weeks ago was extraordinary. Smart addition to a young team. Face-off expert, leader by word and example. Glad to have him. He will know when it's time to hang up the skates.
Wayne Simmons Great signing, Simmons came into camp in shape and looked lean and mean. Good net front presence, then injured. As he is a team motivator, we need him back asap, which I heard is close.
Travis Boyd/Nik Petan Good energy and decent motors, not sure about them long term. Excellent AHL players. Good depth pieces for when injuries happen.
JT Brodie Biggest surprise of this season for me. I had read a lot about him making 3 or 4 bonehead plays every game in Calgary. I admit, I don't or didn't pay much attention to the Flames in the last 30 years. Brodie has been a revelation, an anchor for our D. Fantastic with the stick, poised and still has gas in his tank. Great pick up and wish we had gotten him last year until Kadri foiled that deal. Last year with Barrie and Ceci was bad, bad, bad.
Morgan Rielly I love Morgan so don't get me wrong, he is a teeter-totter player. Horrible defense balanced with great offensive instincts (most of the time). Eats ice-time and is entertaining to watch when he is rushing the puck and in the O zone. In the D zone it feels like Titanic time, all the time. Going to be too expensive to keep with the free market. We may want to move him (at some point) to Vancouver for prospects or picks and let him go home.
Jake Muzzin I call him Muzzface, big fan at the time of the trade, but is the rust already starting to hit his wheels? Steady player, unfortunate the bobblehead guard is affecting his play. Not sure how much longer he needs to wear it, but he needs his full vision restored and fast. Makes it harder for him to carry Holl without it.
Justin Holl If this was a popularity contest Holl may have been the winner. A feel-good story that may be going off the tracks. Have to say before the season I would have traded Holl or hoped Liljegren or Lehtonen would take his place. Then the season started and Holl started playing like a man possessed. Using his speed and frame, boxing out on the D, closing gaps, making smart plays. Damn he was good, how could I have been so wrong? Then something happened, was he injured or was it Muzzin's injury? Outside of a good series against the Oilers, his last month has been a total regression by my eye. I could be wrong, but I hope this rest will work wonders for Holl. If not, he could be packaged in a trade or exposed to Seattle in the draft. We got to make some space for some of our prospects maybe sooner than later.
Zack Bogosian Another astute pickup by Dubas. Plays a tough, solid game. For the money another steal. However, like Jumbo, I think some play management would do him the world of good.
Travis Dermott Interesting player, the Leafs clearly believe in him and he has the speed to play the game. Some of his choices seem ill advised from time to time, but overall, he is solid. Just keep him playing and trust he will become a force. His gap control is miles ahead of Morgan already.
Freddie Anderson, I think we all feel the same about Freddie, again we want him to succeed, we want him to be the guy who takes us to the promised land. But the faith is weak, and he is not Moses. It's a little frustrating as when Freddie is at his best, he is an excellent goalie. It's just the playoff thing where it falls apart. Just has to let in that one softy.
Jake Campbell Another very good move by Dubas. When Hutch was falling apart last year, Campbell arrived to shore up the backend. The promising thing about Jake is he has a great pedigree, seems to be very steady. Has a fantastic personality and has won over his teammates. I think they would go to war with him. Right now, my major question is about injuries and will he continue to be prone to spending time in the sick bay?
Hutch Not much to say. Thanks, Hutch, for several good backup games. But you are not the answer and you weren't meant to be. Supposed to be a Marlies mentor for sure.
Coaching and GM
Keefe Winner wherever he goes, turns teams around and makes them outstanding. Did it with the Lumber Kings, Soo Greyhounds and a Calder Cup winner with the Marlies. Seems to be a pattern of success, that is a pattern for a reason, he simply is a very good coach. Now Sheldon, take us to the Parade.
Dubas Seems to make all the right moves although many argue against the hefty contracts awarded Marner, Tavares and Matthews. It could be argued he overpaid for Marner, but Tavares was the price you had to pay to get him. Ditto for Matthews who may be one of the best Leafs of all time when his tenure is over. Nylander contract will look very good by the end of it, its starting to really look that way. I don't have a problem with the big 4 as Dubas is gleaning great value from older vets, reclamation projects and timely trades, Muzzin and Campbell. My feeling about him is that he has brought the future into the present with the additions of all supporting personnel and training and development programs. His 3-tier approach to development with the Growlers as place to give the raw prospects lots of time to play. Of course, Covid has derailed that for the time being. Calder Cup GM. Where I see Dubas being most effective is the approach to prospects and drafting. No longer a race to bring in young D and fry them in the NHL, he lets them have time to develop and become full two-way players. The move away from the Hunter mentality that drafted huge lumbering players who had little to no chance of reaching the NHL. The last two drafts have been a move away from the dinosaur mentality to straight hockey smarts, speed and talent. We have moved from practically last in the leagues to the top echelon of prospects in his tenure.
Alex Trebek just passed away after a fairly short battle with Pancreatic cancer. I remember watching Alex on "Reach for the Top" when I was a kid. The show was like Jeopardy, two high schools would compete by being the first to answer questions from Mr. Trebek. He was I believe an Ottawa boy where I took some education. It feels like a 54 year association is gone. He will be missed.
Man I already miss the Goat, I can't say why, but I do. I want him to stay in the league if not with us, then I hope he ends up somewhere else. Why not Montreal, don't they need someone who is 6'5" all the time? He was born in Laval, he grew up cheering his home team. Come on Habs, hire a Goat, do the decent thing.
Where does the Goat end up? Spot the Goat, the contest starts today. I say somewhere in Switzerland, perhaps Davos. Goats are very popular there.
Out of this draft we still have most of the players in contention or at least still in the system. Sandin is the obvious gem, Durzi was part of a trade piece with LA. SDA, Hollowell and Kral are all being developed and Kral could be a piece of the future. I believe only Stotts, Bouthillier and Zizimov are gone.
Draft OA Round Player Pos Drafted From 2019 Entry Draft 2019 53 2 Nick Robertson LW Peterborough (OHL) 2019 84 3 Mikko Kokkonen LD Jukurit (SM-Liiga) 2019 115 4 Mikhail Abramov C Victoriaville (QMJHL) 2019 124 4 Nick Abruzzese C Chicago (USHL) 2019 146 5 Michael Koster RD Chaska (Minn. HS) 2019 204 7 Kalle Loponen RD Karpat (SM-Liiga)
Robertson is the gem, Kokkonen, Abramov and perhaps Abruzze may see some time in the show.. Who knows about Koster or Loponen at this point. But all are still involved in the process. Small draft for sure.
Much better than Hunters record of drafting huge hulking D men who didn't last a minute in the system. At the time everyone was touting Hunter's horn so loud, not saying he would have been a disaster of a GM but probably more of the dinosaur class. Dubas has seemed to choose well so far, certainly coming at it from a different angle.
Hi Hockey Fan, Are you OK, you haven't posted in a long while and was concerned about you. I know you mentioned you had some underlying conditions. Please post and let us all know that you are still with us. thanks Highlander
Not sure the sites policy on this, but as I am unemployed because of Covid, I said I would help out a Buddy up in my old home town.
A good friend of mine up in Collingwood, has adapted his plant to produce Hand Sanitizer to World Health Organization standards and is approved for use across Canada. If you could be so kind as to pass on this URL:
to all your friends and ask them to send onto all their friends and family I would greatly appreciate it. All they have to do is press on the link or copy and paste it onto their browser, then can shop for the sanitizer on line. The product is sold in cases of 24, which could be split up between, family, neighbours and friends.
The great Don Shula dies at 90 as the winningest coach in NFL history, with I believe is a prefect record on the 73 season (what a team). He never compromised on honesty, one of his players found their opponents playbooks before a game in their dressing room. The Dolphins lost that game, Shula never looked at the playbook and it was thrown out. That is honesty my friends. I often eat on my way through Miami airport at the resto that bears his name..a very good burger for sure.
Doug Sanders died, famous golfer of the 50-60's won the Canadian Open in 56 as an amateur. Known for his personality and colourful wardrobe, won his share of tourneys, but never a major. Finished 2nd 4 times. He had a chance to win a British Open, but missed a 3Ft. putt to open the door for Nicklaus. Great golfer, great stories.
Thought I would separate this from other coronavirus thread. My son was on EI that ran out on March 15th. He thought he had a Chef job lined up for April1 at a leading BC golf club, (that just notified him his position is on hold). Went to town and Service Canada is closed, you call the 800 number and it says due to the volume they can't handle you call and tell you to call back. After 100 attempts its getting crazy. Does anyone have any advice on what to do, cause at this point I am stumped on how to help the kid get some money in. Is there any update on a Trudeau stimulus that may be similar to the money that the US people will receive? Thanks for any advice or comments in advance.
I was thinking about being excited for the coming Leafs, Raptors and TFC games and came away with a few different ways of looking at it. I can now go walking for huge periods of time, hiking perhaps, drink only wine and lose a ton of weight and feel great, when I really feel sad. Or we can start to imagine the games that we are missing and post them like they really happened. What a great idea! Ok just lock me up and throw away the key. I am missing sports already.
Just read this, thought I would share.. What I find interesting is we all touch our mouths and noses around 90X a day, mostly unconscious of the fact.
From Dr. Robb:
Date: February 26, 2020 at 2:35:50 PM EST Subject: What I am doing for the upcoming COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
When I was a professor of pathology at the University of California San Diego, I was one of the first molecular virologists in the world to work on coronaviruses (the 1970s). I was the first to demonstrate the number of genes the virus contained. Since then, I have kept up with the coronavirus field and its multiple clinical transfers into the human population (e.g., SARS, MERS), from different animal sources.
The current projections for its expansion in the US are only probable, due to continued insufficient worldwide data, but it is most likely to be widespread in the US by mid to late March and April.
Here is what I have done and the precautions that I take and will take. These are the same precautions I currently use during our influenza seasons, except for the mask and gloves.:
1) NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.
2) Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc.. Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove.
3) Open doors with your closed fist or hip – do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.
4) Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.
5) Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.
6) Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home's entrances. AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can't immediately wash your hands.
7) If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more!
What I have stocked in preparation for the pandemic spread to the US:
1) Latex or nitrile latex disposable gloves for use when going shopping, using the gasoline pump, and all other outside activity when you come in contact with contaminated areas.
Note: This virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you! BUT all the surfaces where these droplets land are infectious for about a week on average – everything that is associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious. The virus is on surfaces and you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon. This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs) The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth.
2) Stock up now with disposable surgical masks and use them to prevent you from touching your nose and/or mouth (We touch our nose/mouth 90X/day without knowing it!). This is the only way this virus can infect you – it is lung-specific. The mask will not prevent the virus in a direct sneeze from getting into your nose or mouth – it is only to keep you from touching your nose or mouth.
3) Stock up now with hand sanitizers and latex/nitrile gloves (get the appropriate sizes for your family). The hand sanitizers must be alcohol-based and greater than 60% alcohol to be effective.
4) Stock up now with zinc lozenges. These lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx. Use as directed several times each day when you begin to feel ANY "cold-like" symptoms beginning. It is best to lie down and let the lozenge dissolve in the back of your throat and nasopharynx. Cold-Eeze lozenges is one brand available, but there are other brands available.
I, as many others do, hope that this pandemic will be reasonably contained, BUT I personally do not think it will be. Humans have never seen this snake-associated virus before and have no internal defense against it. Tremendous worldwide efforts are being made to understand the molecular and clinical virology of this virus. Unbelievable molecular knowledge about the genomics, structure, and virulence of this virus has already been achieved. BUT, there will be NO drugs or vaccines available this year to protect us or limit the infection within us. Only symptomatic support is available.
I hope these personal thoughts will be helpful during this potentially catastrophic pandemic. You are welcome to share this email. Good luck to all of us!