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HBO 24/7: Road to the Winter Classic - Episode 1 Review

Saturday night marked the first entry in the popular HBO series "24/7," this year between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings as they gear up for the NHL Winter Classic.

Some look forward to the series more than the game itself as it provides plenty of uncensored behind the scenes footage. Essentially viewers are treated with a barrage of F-bombs and an inside look at the life of the average hockey player.

The first episode, which aired last night at 10 p.m., delivered on the use profanity and a few interesting, if not quirky, characteristics of some players. But let's start with the not-so-good:

The Red Wing...

Leafs Should Trade Lupul

Joffrey Lupul had a great season: He notched 25 goals and 67 points in 66 games, played in the All-Star Game, and was nominated for the Bill Masterton Trophy. His season ended abruptly with a separated shoulder, but it remains his most successful since joining the National Hockey League.

That being said, Lupul probably isn’t a point-per-game player. Some think the numerous injuries he’d sustained halted his development and he is just now displaying his capabilities. Whatever the case may be, Lupul’s trade value is the highest it’s ever been, and the Leafs have an excess of wingers with the arrival of James van Riemsdyk---Nazem Kadri could be ready, too.

Kessel and Lupul Split, is it Time for Bigger Changes?

The Mix Up

On the “breaking news” that Joffrey Lupul and Phil Kessel had been split up to balance out the line up, it might be time to consider that this team needs more than a little spark to reach the post season dance. The Toronto Maple Leafs have failed to qualify for the playoffs since the 2003-04 season. Fans have been tortured with “quick fixes” which have been just as effective as get rich quick schemes. With Brian Burke at the helm, this team has undergone a large, quick, and incredibly effective thus far rebuild, although you’ll never get Brian Burke to call it that.

When Phil Kessel was acquired, Leaf fans cringed at the loss of two first roun...

Game Day: Toronto Maple Leafs Vs. Montreal Canadiens

Game DayToronto Maple Leafs Vs. Montreal CanadiensBell Centre

Montreal, Quebec

I have decided not to bring up the last Habs’ game, actually I have decided not to bring up any games this season.  Let just say the season starts tonight.

Whatever anyone else has to say or whatever anyone else thinks, the biggest rivalry in hockey anywhere in the world is taking place tonight in Montreal.  The Leafs are coming off their first regulation loss and are looking for their second win against the Habs this season. 

Yes, the Leafs started last season much the same way but we can all agree that this team is different and the optimism flowing on the sidewalks of Yo...

What To Expect: Joffrey Lupul

Barring an untimely injury, Joffrey Lupul will start training camp on a line with Tim Connolly and Phil Kessel.

The keyword being start.

That's not to suggest Lupul is the weakest forward on theToronto Maple Leafs' top-six unit, or that he will ultimately move down the depth chart, but he is certainly in a vulnerable position with the second-line of Nikolai Kulemin, Mikhail Grabovski and Clarke MacArthur all but set in stone---unless the line fails to rekindle its chemistry from the onset. And barring the unlikely scenario of Nazem Kadri or Joe Colborne prying the number-one center position from Connolly, and I wouldn't bet a cen...