Toronto Maple Leafs

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Random Thoughts: Goaltending and Defense

Attention Leafs fans: Frantically waving your arms up and down and yelling at the television screen while writing Ron Wilson hate mail will not help the Toronto Maple Leafs. Considering the Leafs have an all-time record of 25-56-6-2 in Buffalo, it's not exactly earth-shattering that the club struggled to contain its Northeast rivals on the scoresheet. Instead of going through the same old routine and blaming Wilson for each loss and acting as if inconsistency is abnormal for the youngest team in the NHL, let's analyze the Leafs' current condition with some objectivity: Similar to James Reimer, Jonas Gustavsson began his NHL career with overwhelming support from the Toronto fan b...

More Than Meets The Eye

If you didn't already know, the Maple Leafs have sent goaltender Jonas Gustavsson down to the Marlies on a conditioning stint. On the surface, this is the right move and something I've advocated for quite a while. (although I feel that Gustavsson needs a full season in the minors, not just two weeks) Yes from the outside this simply looks like an attempt to get Gustavsson his confidence back. While that is mostly true, in two weeks time when the conditioning stint is over, the Leafs are back to their three goaltender situation. The dilemma is easy to figure out. Out of the three goaltenders the Leafs have, only one of them can be sent down to the Marlies indefinitely. Unfortuna...

Leafs Trade Rumors Heat Up

I've been reading up on some Eklund rumors, and some of the other bigger rumor/hockey blog sites for the past little while, and have noticed a few interesting ideas. First off, i'd like to say... For the love of Christ, move Thomas Kaberle. Although he's one of my favorite Leafs, great 50 point defenceman, a character guy... he's not fitting. Not to mention Leafs' Nation owes it to him to accept that we have scrutinized every part of his career and should respect what he's done enough to let the man free from the media attention and go to a contender. Here's a list of the players I have heard that could potentially be on the move: LW Kris Versteeg (doubt he'll move) D Thomas Kab...

Brian Burke's Flowchart Pt. 2

Click here and enter the code "checkingline" to take advantage of this offer! I got a great response from the first flowchart last week so I decided to head back over to Burke's office and see what else I could find. I managed to take a quick look at Burke's offseason flowchart and I've reconstructed it below. Unfortunately this chart has more branches than the Leafs Guardian. It was an obvious problem, but I had Gary Bettman take a look and he insists that there is no problem. Have a look for yourself: click on the image to make it larger *And just in case you missed it, here is Part 1: Brian Burke's Flow Chart - Part 1 Patrick Storto http://twitter.com/PatSt...

Getting a little stupid?

NBC, aside from being a joke in just about everywhere other then the states, has just royally pissed me off. Alright, so a poll, maybe not a bad idea. But asking some pretty ridiculous questions... maybe this is because i'm a Leafs fan, maybe not, i'm not too sure. But the fact that the question of who the coach is that players would least like to play for was asked, and the answer is Ron Wilson? That takes it a bit far. I didn't really buy into all this "oh the Leafs players have to much pressure on their backs, the organisation is under too much spotlight" garbage when I was a little younger, but I am a firm believer now! It's honestly ridiculous. Nothing else to say about it... I ha...

Brian Burke's Flow Chart

Click here and enter the code "checkingline" to take advantage of this offer! *Update: Part 2 is now available here: http://thecheckingline.com/blog/patrick-storto/toronto-maple-leafs/brian-burkes-flowchart-pt-2 Because I had nothing better to do, last night I snuck into Brian Burke's office and I came across this chart posted on his wall, which really gives an in depth look into how difficult Burkie's job really is. Here have a look for yourself, click on the image to make it larger Patrick Storto http://twitter.com/PatStorto

Could a deal be in the works?

While reading Mike's blog, I started thinking. Seemingly, something is going on within the Leafs organisation, no one is hurt, as Mike's blog said, "All three goaltenders took part in practice today, so it's difficult to suggest an injury is there.". Alright, so yes there's potential Gustavsson or Giguere could have tweaked something, may not be 100%. But when, they've barely played since Reimer went back down. 2 games since then. As hard as it could be to believe, Burke is a man of opportunity. Sedin's? Opportunity. Detroit clearly wanting a proven, veteran goaltender in Nabokov, and with Howard pretty much ready to step up to a starter role... Opportunity. Islanders also in desperate ne...