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  1. True, Las Vegas is, by a country mile, the NHL story so far. But, medically speaking, it is impossible to stop bleeding blue and white. As for “complaining even though we won”; I only ask for fairness and integrity, a level playing field (even the TV telecast crew commented about the officiating, which is unusual). It’s one thing to have a 5-1 disparity in penalties, it’s another when two instigating Head shots go uncalled to boot.
  2. While I admit to having Leaf myopia-that referee in last nights Arizona game should be forced to face a hearing with the league. Really? Five of six penalties to the Leafs(before the festivities at the end of the third period?). Where was he when Kadri took that elbow to the head, and may be out for awhile? Where was he when Moore took the same kind of hit but got called himself for mild retaliation? And that phantom call on Moore later in the faceoff circle? For what exactly? i shake my head in disbelief!
  3. Good point about Polak, I have nothing but respect for his honest all out efforts. I do read a lot of good insightful articles on our beloved leafs-and there is a lot to be said about going all out now, given looming salary cap issues as our talented youngsters contracts arrive, JVR, Tyler and Leo come due for free agency etc. I also wonder if we need more protection for our precocious youngsters? Matt Martin can’t be everywhere. And so, I look at Evander Kane with looming free agency in Buffalo, I look at Kadri needing a scoring winger (sorry Leo, we need you on the 4th line and as a PKer), we would then have three dynamite scoring lines, no one could compete with Matthews-Hyman-Nylander; Bozak-JVR-Marner; Kadri-Marleau-Kane (and a nice physical touch with Kane). i know, Lou is not apt to pull something like that, but I can still dream
  4. Thought they were in control the entire game, I never felt threatened by the bland offence of the Rangers. We’re it not for King Henry the score could have easily been 6-2. I am torn between outright criticism of Babcock (Komarov again on the power play? Polak playing? Talented youth playing limited minutes behind veterans-seen some scathing articles lately about Babcock) and outright respect that he knows how to develop Nylander, Marner, Rielly, Brown, Matthews by surrounding them with the veterans and taking the pressure off, that his nurturing will be especially appreciated in about a year as the method behind his madness becomes apparent with the optimal mix of youthful talent and poised veterans.
  5. And it got worse last night, even more “dry paint boring” with an inept performance against Detroit. Worse, Nylander and Marner are becoming phantom figures. its down to (1)-trust that “Grandpa Babcock” steers his children down the right path eventually, he certainly has the pedigree, our “holy grail” being that our youth can only get better, thus we can be patient and not overreact (2)- question if we have the right personnel (3)- wonder if the dynamic creative goal scoring team we initially saw this year is not a mirage and the real issue is that the rest of the league has adjusted, that there is now an “accepted book” on how to beat them (I see so many similarities now in how our opponents play us, I think). liked both your comments, lots of truth there.
  6. The commentator on the telecast of last night’s Minnesota game (I think his name is Elliott Friedman?) described the change in our beloved Leaf’s recent performances as if “they had an offensive lobotomy”, he further lamented how they couldn’t sustain any pressure beyond “shoot it in”, and was quite blunt in his assessment. What on earth has happened to our “loaded offensive” team? How many more games where we haven’t scored and are playing in our own zone mostly? Sure, missing Matthews doesn’t help, but his return won’t solve everything, and he could be out a fair bit longer. It’s so sad to see marvellous talents like Marner and Nylander struggle, their lack of confidence is obvious. Are we overrated, is their a lack of talent? Do we need more size? A proven scorer with a heavy shot playing next to Marner to take advantage of his soft feathery passes? Seeing Komarov on the power play? Nylander only getting 8 minutes one recent game? Did Babcock overreact when he wanted to decrease neutral zone turnovers? Have our Leafs become a “clog our zone, let them shoot from the outside, wait for a break” team? Why wouldn’t a supposed talented offensive squad with the caliber of goalie in Anderson behind them, not open it up? This is getting painful to watch. P.s. I sure love Josh Leivo’s game though, I would find it a challenge to see him scratched a lot going ahead.
  7. Not sure I follow you here? did you see the top 3 minutes by leaf forwards? Komarov and Hyman and Kadri. Does that mean forget any semblance of offence, just concentrate on McDavid and his 24 minutes? Once again, it isn’t too exciting but we won
  8. He is known as a top tactician, I hope he is skillfully managing Nylander, Marner and Matthews from kids to men, he certainly has surrounded them with veterans like Marleau and Moore. Same for Rielly with Hainsey. Let’s hope it’s the right combination of freedom and creativity and mature discipline, defensive duty.
  9. It seems strange to be complaining about the coaching when the team is 20-10-1, especially given the years of suffering as a Leaf fan. If you google “Editor in Leaf.com”; Andrew Boehmer writes good stuff, no punches. His recent article “Babcocks performance Questionable” sums it up well. For me, I have to trust Babcock, he does win. I just hope I can watch some games where we aren’t outshot 40-25; where most of the game is in our end, and our saving grace isn’t just goaltending.
  10. How humiliating; with all our talent and creativity, to have to listen to Don Cherry’s sermon about “The Leafs would never win without Anderson’ after last nights game with Pittsburgh. My heart yearns for those Leafs that started the year; offensive, creative, high scoring (a recent clip on TSN talked about how the Leafs have become a “dump and chase” team, dramatically cutting down neutral zone turnovers instead of the team that carried the puck in). After last nights game in Pittsburgh (which I felt the Leafs were actually controlling for the most part despite Cherry’s insult), I see where Nylander had 8 minutes; Marner 11minutes, I even saw Leo Komarov on the power play! Mostly, I again observed a mostly ineffective Matthews again (when will Babcock see the light and put Nylander back?) Lucky? Not at all! Hyper coached perhaps (Babcock defended the embarrassment of neutering Nylander, Matthews, Marner in the name of line matching). Is this the sad new reality? For now, because we win, and because of Babcock’s pedigree, this is what we can expect, But we are not lucky, when I say I felt the Leafs were mostly in control last night (despite the media’s obsession with shot count, and Anderson the saviour), it is because of the very hyper coaching , “dump and chase” system now in place (and no disrespect to Anderson as he has been incredible). The ice will be tilted toward the Leaf goal on many a night to come, but I still expect us to win. But I will miss the charismatic, free-wheeling team of earlier. Why can’t we be treated to a power play with Nylander, Matthews, Marner, Rielly, Etc.? Pittsburgh certainly threw out Malkin, Crosby, Kessel, Letang?
  11. Good points, like your comment “noticed in Toronto”. Tonights game in Pittsburgh was refreshing; along the lines of our theme in this thread, the “on the road”, “not a big deal in Pittsburgh” Leafs where much more relaxed, more effective and defeated a very talented, experienced team. Despite Din Cherry’s eulogy to Frederick Anderson (we’d lose every game unless he was in goal), the Leafs were in control and were on the edge of making it 5-0 or 6-0 with a little luck.
  12. Good analogy using the New York Yankees. We could become that
  13. Wow, wonderful feedback, thank you and I am so happy to be able to have intelligent, insightful commentary back and forth. I don’t think I know one single ardent, informed true Leaf fan personally (my wife and her family all cheer for Calgary). Thank you both for the length and depth of your replies too. Let me elaborate on my “tired of the pressure” tirade. Let’s suppose the St Louis Blues visit the Winnipeg Jets-not a “media hotspot, centre of the universe” venue , maybe one player on St Louis roster from the area, no national TV exposure. Shortly after they then visit the Leafs. All things being equal (no roster changes, no health, injury issues that have changed, no fatigue factor), but a different team “appears”, stoked by all the Adrenalin that playing the Leafs in Toronto provokes. To get the same result, in other words, our Leafs have to expend more energy (assuming in this laboratory experiment that all 3 teams were of equal skill, no luck involved). That’s what I think is the downside-watching visiting teams come to Toronto and all of a sudden there is “fire” in their eyes, they play their best game in a month. They love this “fishbowl” break in a tedious schedule and have been looking forward to it for a long time. I agree that Montreal has a lot of the same hype, and I lived there for several years (and grew up in Quebec surrounded by the mystique of “Les Canadiens”) but I don’t think it was quite as intense, there weren’t the same number of visiting players from the area for one thing. Better stop my rant, imagine if the Leafs did win the cup, the “fishbowl” effect the following year would be incredible.
  14. I hear you, I guess we Leaf fans better get used to these “pressure cooker” games (at least home games and away games in Canada), they can’t sneak up on anyone anymore. I’ll be interested to see how they perform in away venues like Minnesota, Chicago
  15. As a long time leaf lover (I remember the 67 cup as a young boy) and having lived through the highs of the Salming-Macdonald-Sittler era, the lows of the Derlago-Vaive years etc. I am probably going to get vilified for the following observation (at least by non leaf fans): whether it’s the visit by the Calgary Flames to the ACC last night, or our recent Western Canada trip, it seems we are always playing some team who bring their “A” game against us (they are so excited to be playing at the hockey centre of the universe, half their players have family in the stands, the game is on national TV etc). Am I wrong and petty to yearn for some games in US based cities, is it my imagination or are these kinds of games less stressful, do the Leafs not perform better? I read a Vancouver writer who sarcastically commented about their home game having to start at 4pm last Saturday because of the Leafs being the “centre of attention”. Am I the only one who sees the downside? I don’t know if I’ve ever heard this angle from any hockey analyst? What do others think?

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