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James Reimer: When Will the Recognition Come?

 

No one really knew who James Reimer was when the Toronto Maple Leafs drafted him in the fourth round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. As far as the majority of Toronto fans and media knew, Reimer was just another goalie who had made it that much closer to making it to the big leagues.

Fast forward seven years from the draft and Reimer is a Toronto celebrity; everyone knows who he is. But it wasn't easy for Reimer to get to this point. He had to pay his dues in the minor leagues before making his way up. Once he made it to the NHL, the real adversity began.

It was the 2010-2011 NHL season. Reimer had gotten the call from the Toronto Marlies up to the Toronto Maple ...

McClement Gives Best Performance in Game 5

With their backs against the wall after a heartbreaking overtime loss on home ice, the Toronto Maple Leafs had to come into Boston and steal one from the Bruins in Game 5, and that’s exactly what they did. James Reimer stood on his head in Game 5 and was the biggest reason for the Leafs being able to schedule another game at the ACC, but lost in the hype and excitement of Game 5 was Jay McClement’s best performance as a member of the blue and white.

After the catastrophe that was the late season 2011-12 collapse, Toronto fans were hopeful that there would be a big shakeup or move heading into free agency. All Brian Burke did that first week of July was pick up Jay McClem...

NHL Playoffs: Maple Leafs Face Bruins in Do or Die Situation

 

Game 5 in Boston, 7pm ESTBruins Lead, 3-1 

BOSTON -- Here we are: the Toronto Maple Leafs' first do or die game in nine years. If they defeat the Boston Bruins tonight, they live to play one more game. If they lose, it will be time to hit the golf course.

Let the jokes begin.

In all seriousness, this game is a big one for the city of Toronto and fans of the Maple Leafs. The last time people were so invested in the Blue and White was when the team sat above the Eastern Conference standings early in the 2011-2012 season only to crash and burn to a 13th place finish. Fans hope the team will come away with a better result but history isn't o...

Toronto Maple Leafs Continue to Prove Critics Wrong

Many people doubted the Toronto Maple Leafs heading into the 2013 playoffs but as the team is showing, those who did were wrong to look down on them.

You may first ask yourself what the heck that's supposed to mean when the Maple Leafs find themselves down three games to one. After all, how could a team facing elimination in game five be doing so well?

The Maple Leafs' pre-playoff "haters" certainly had reason to put the team in a negative light at least when it came to their first round matchup. Facing the Boston Bruins, Toronto's chances at advancing to the second round were noticed as being slim-to-none before the puck even dropped on ga...

Isles Begin Final Road Stretch In Toronto

The New York Islanders kick of their final stretch of games for the 2013 season against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight. The Isles play their last 5 games of the lockout-shortened season away from Nassau Coliseum.

The Islanders head in to Toronto 1-0-1 against the Maple Leafs this season. After a huge 7-4 win over the Leafs back in January, the Isles lost 5-4 in overtime against Toronto in February, where Nazeem Kadri tallied his first NHL hat-trick for the Leafs.

No Room For Bozak in Leafs' future

*This article originally appeared on www.mapleleafscentral.com

“If the player wants to be here and we want him, my experience has been that generally we find a way to make it happen."

That quote is from general manager Dave Nonis on April 3 in regards to a possible Tyler Bozak extension.

It’s worrisome if you believe Bozak is the Toronto Maple Leafs’ weakest link among their top-nine centres. The statistics support that claim, as Bozak seems to excel at faceoffs and not much else. His defensive play is suspect and he’s generally a passenger on the top line considering the amount of ice-time he receives. He leads all Maple Leafs in time on ice...

Leafs Should Target Bouwmeester

*This article originally appeared at thehockeywriters.com/mapleleafscentral

If Dave Nonis plans on being active before the trade deadline on April 3, Jay Bouwmeester should be a primary target.

The 29-year-old comes with a hefty cap-hit at $6.68 million, which runs through next season, but he’s exactly what the Toronto Maple Leafs require: a first-pair defenseman capable of playing tough minutes.

Bouwmeester ranks third among NHL defensemen in Corsi QoC (quality of competition) at even strength, behind only Dion Phaneuf and Mike Weber.  He averages over 25 minutes of ice-time per game with over three of those minutes coming on the penalty kill. Acquiring a pla...

Can the Leafs Sustain Their Success?

*This article was originally published at thehockeywriters.com/mapleleafscentral

If the underlying statistics are any indication, the Toronto Maple Leafs may soon crash back down to Earth.

The Maple Leafs have had difficulties this season limiting their opponents’ shots against, ranking 28th in the National Hockey League in shots for percentage at even strength. Moreover, their Fenwick for percentage (the accumulation of saves, goals and missed shots) at even-strength ranks 29th.

The league standings of the 2011-12 season can attest to the importance of puck possession as the top ten teams generally had a strong FF%:

Teams StandingsFenwick For %Vancouver Ca...

Why the Leafs Shouldn't Re-Sign Bozak

https://twitter.com/kevin_mcgran/status/310093153946451969

That tweet is from the Toronto Star’s Kevin McGran on Mar. 8 after Ryan Getzlaf re-signed with the Anaheim Ducks on an eight-year contract extension. It’s also a representation of the misconception that Tyler Bozak is a capable first-line centre.

It should be noted from the outset that Bozak is not to blame. It’s not his fault he’s been miscast as a top line player, and one certainly can’t fault him for doing his best in a role beyond his capabilities. There are enough underlying statistics to prove that Bozak is probably better-suited on the third-line (which we’ll get to), but it e...

Reeling Flyers Take On Streaking Bruins

The Philadelphia Flyers have one mission: beat a contender. The Boston Bruins host the Flyers this afternoon in perhaps one of the most critical games of the lockout shortened season.