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Showing posts from March, 2014

WHAT WENT WRONG WITH THE LEAFS (SPECIAL BLOG)

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So the Leafs lose again 4-2 to the Red Wings. At this point, the playoffs chances left for this team is extremely thin. Even if the Leafs win 6 straight games in a row, it may not help them at all. With a Columbus and Detroit win, they now have full control of the wild card spots. This blog probably would not be written if the Leafs did not change from where they were two weeks ago.

It has been a long and adventurous season for the Leafs. There have been some mountainous highs, and some gravitational lows for the team as a whole. They started the year 10-4-0, had some up and down moments, and won the Winter Classic. The highest point of this season was January's 6 game winning streak, plus a 12-2-1 record before the Olympics. Since then, it has been a slow decent down the standings. After the Leafs defeated the Kings 3-2, something changed that made the 8 game losing streak become a reality. The team played individually, the power play did not have a plan, the penalty kill was ho…

SEVEN IS NOT LUCKY (POST GAME OPINIONS)

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No picture tonight. Just sadness, anger, and the feeling of acceptance. The Leafs still have not won a game since my first blog ever. Even though that game was about two weeks ago, it seems like a distant memory. In this game, the score was 4-2 Flyers.

On the bright side, Columbus lost in regulation and the Raptors are going to the playoffs. There is still some hope left for the Leafs, but at this point, they need to win every single game in order to make it. The fans everywhere are losing patience, and it continues to run thin. There is only 7 games left in the season, and if the Leafs don't snap out of the slump soon, it will be a long 7 games. Poor Maple Leafs.

So, why did the Leafs lose? I am going to mention one reason this time:

1) EVERYTHING!

That's it. Everything. The power play was 0 for 4, the Leafs killed only 2 of their 4 penalties taken, low face off percentage, the list goes on. But, there was one thing that I noticed throughout this game, and that is that every …

WIN OR GET KO'ED (PRE GAME OPINIONS)

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Bryzgalov will not be in net to cover his "humaangas big five hole," but games in Philadelphia are always exciting. It is the Leafs and Flyers on a Friday night meeting. This looks to be a dandy as both teams are desperate for wins and could be out of the playoffs quickly if change does not occur.
The Leafs have a "bear in the forest" (OK, no more Bryzgalov jokes) and it is their 6 game losing streak. It has gotten the team, management, and the fans upset and frustrated. It went as far as Riddick Bowe wanting to beat up on Carlyle should the Leafs lose again. Their is a lot at stake here in this one: the playoffs, pleasing the fans, and keeping Carlyle without a black eye!
So, the following three items are the tools that could end the worst losing streak this year:
1) A better start
Phanuef said, Kessel said it, Calyle said it. In fact, EVERYONE said it, yet it continues to occur. Throughout this skid, the Leafs have played everyone single game, except the last on…

SINGING THE BLUES (POST GAME BLOG)

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For this blog, you might want to listen to this song. This will be a depressing article. Sorry in advance for not writing yesterday.


The Maple Leafs lose 5-3 to the St. Louis Blues, and the losing streak has extended to six. This is no laughing matter folks, this puts the Leafs out of a playoff spot (well, not exactly). With the Leafs tied with three other teams at 80 points, the dog fight has offically begun. This is the worst possible time for this slump to occur.

I don't want to go on anymore rants right now. It is up to the team to do make the playoffs at this point. In order to make the playoffs, the Leafs need at least 92 points or more! That means 6-2-0 record would do the trick. But, the Leafs are on the bubble, so anything can happen.

Here are three reasons why the Leafs slumped hard against the Blues:

1) The SOG were 49 to 25 Blues

Wow, I mean WOW is that stat bad. But wait, it gets better. The SOG in the first period were 23 to 7. 23 TO 7! *goes in the corner crying* S…

OH, BOY (PRE GAME BLOG)

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I going to make this pre game blog short today. Man, the last few days of me trying to do things differently to turn the Leafs' fortunes around has been difficult. I might be singing the Blues tomorrow night as the team by the same name is in town. Boy, is this exciting (not at all).
We must huddle together and pray that Bernier returns from injury A.S.A.P. He could not have been injured at a worse possible time, espically considering the standings right now. (see below)

One good look at the standings and you can clearly see how bad the situation has become for the Leafs right now. It's getting to the point that every time the Leafs play and something odd happens, I automatically assume its a goal for the other team. Like I said, pray for Bernier.

Here are three condensed things that the Leafs need to do in order to save their playoff hopes:

1) #PrayforBernier

No other words needed for this one. Either he gets back a superstar, or the Leafs are screwed. No disrespect to Reime…

SPEECHLESS (WELL, ALMOST) (POST GAME OPINIONS)

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I am really getting tired of writing about another loss, so this one is gonna be short. The Leafs lose 3-2 to the Devils, and have put another dagger into their playoff chances. The question right now is not if the Leafs will make the playoffs, but if they will win another game this season.

What is their to say about this game? I have run out of things to talk about, and it seems that the Leafs still can't fix their own problems. But, the problem leads back to Reimer. He, once again, blew the game for the Leafs and let in stoppable goals. And after such a long wait, MacIntyre finally gets his long overdue game. Goals by Bozak and Kessel were not enough to climb out of the hole they are in. Here comes the 18-wheeler jokes.

Here are the three reasons why the Leafs lost:

1) Reimer

There is not much to say about why it was Reimer's fault in this one. But, like I said, Reimer did not give the Leafs a chance to win. In fact, the Leafs seem to play differently when he is in net. It …

A CHANCE OF REDEMPTION (PRE GAMES OPINIONS)

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So, will history repeat itself, or will the slump continue? The  desperate Leafs will meet Devils on a Sunday night meeting in New Jersey. The history I was referring to was earlier this season. The Leafs were in a four game slump and met the Devils on a Sunday game. The Leafs ended the slump and went on a six game winning streak.
The chances look good, the Leafs have been playing well (even when they lose), and Dave Bolland  is back. But, this is immediately after a disappointing 4-3 loss to the Habs. Like I mentioned in my special blog (http://leafsinmyopinion.blogspot.ca/2014/03/what-is-wrong-with-leafs-special-blog.html), if the Leafs are to get out of the slump they are in, they need to fix. No one else is making the Leafs lose, they are. We shall wait and see what happens.
So, here are the three keys to a Leafs win:
1) A fresh face in net
No offense to Reimer, I think MacIntyre finally gets the start in this one. It makes the most sense since the Devils are close to missing the…

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE LEAFS? (SPECIAL BLOG)

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Tonight, I am going to write something different. When I started this blog, I had no idea how fast it would grow. So to all of my followers, I would like to thank you for all of your support. I will also include the followers outside of North America with a thank you. That is the only good news tonight.

The bad news is the Leafs right now. As it stands, there are only ten games remaining until the playoffs begin. Nearly all year long, the Leafs have been a playoff spot, but it seems that it might be gone. With only 80 points and teams creeping from behind, that spot might soon be gone. The only way this drought can end is the Leafs themselves.

Why is that? Well, you can't blame Nonis entirely for the woes right now, and Carlyle is trying to settle the boat down. But the Leafs themselves, are letting the negativity happen. Every passing day, tension increases, and my patience runs thinner and thinner.


Even with the drought hurting thier playoff chances, there are still positive si…

TIME IS RUNNING OUT (POST GAME OPINIONS)

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No words can describe how upset I am at the Maple Leafs right now. Maybe it is Reimer, maybe it's the defense, maybe it is Carlyle. It doesn't matter, the Leafs lose (again) to the Habs 4-3. In a game with such an emotional gain with Bolland making his long awaited return to the line-up, and a desperation to win, a huge two points could not fall on the Leafs lap.

Why is this happening, right now? I do not know. Tonight, the Leafs did everything right: they took a lot of shots, killed all of their penalties, and played more desperately. But, the Leafs also gave up really frustrating goals, gave the Habs too many opportunities, and took bad penalties at the wrong time. As teams behind the Leafs are getting points and with only a few weeks until the playoffs, time is running out. The Leafs need to get out of the slump right now! If they don't, they can kiss the playoffs goodbye.

So, here are the three reason why the Leafs lost:

1) Bad penalties

When the Leafs tied the game a…

WHEN OLD RIVALS MEET (PRE GAME OPINIONS)

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It's Saturday, there's a game on, and Toronto is involved! Their opponent, none other than the Montreal Canadiens. The importance of this match is huge for both clubs, but the reasons are completely different.  One is trying for home ice advantage, the other is trying to stay in the playoffs. Its the Leafs and Habs on Saturday! OHHHHH BABY!

Obviously, the two teams won't get in a brawl like the picture above shows. But none the less, this is another exciting match-up between the historic rivals. However, the next two days will be huge for the Leafs, because there is not much time left until the playoffs begin, and every win counts. The Leafs currently have 80 points and sit in the first wild card spot. However, they are only three points back of Montreal. If the Leafs can win tonight, and tomorrow in New Jersey, it will be a trip back to the top three in the Atlantic.

Here are the three things that need to happen for a Leaf win:

1) Pray that Bernier and Bolland will play

THE ZEBRAS ON ICE (POST GAME OPINIONS)

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The struggles just don't want to leave Toronto, even when things were starting to look up. The Leafs lose 5-3 to the Lighting in a gong show of a match (a ton of goals scored). This was once again a big game for the Leafs as two huge points were on the line. And, once again, they let them slip away and take another hit at their playoff chances.

This is still not the time to panic, although most Leaf fans would think otherwise. Look, would you rather see the Leafs struggle in the playoffs or right now? Besides, they are showing signs of improvement as Kessel finally broke through and Bozak got two assists. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to get the Leafs on top, as a series of questionable calls put the Leafs on the penalty kill many times. Even when Paul Ranger got hurt and the Leafs were given a huge opportunity (a five minute power play), they still could not score. This was a tough one to watch, and the fans at the ACC let the Leafs know it.

So, here are the three reasons …

A STORM IS COMING (PRE GAME OPINIONS)

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The longer the Leafs continue to struggle, the more reminders I will have of the 2011-12 season. The Leafs are playing against the Lighting at home after a disappointing road trip. This comes 24 hours after the Leafs lost to the injury-riddled Red Wings. Fun fact of the day, today marks the two year anniversary of the Bruins spanking of the Leafs 8-0. That was at a time when the Leafs were a sub-par and difficult-to-watch team.

On a brighter note, Bernier might be returning to protect the pipes tonight. And that is perhaps the best news any Leaf fan at this point wants to hear. This will be the first time the Leafs play against Stamkos, as he was out with an injury from mid November up until early March. The Maple Leafs have beaten the Lighting twice already, but Stamkos could make a win a little more tough. One other thing to mention, their are only 12 games left until the playoffs begin! Can you believe how fast this season has gone? Well, Leafs better realize because this game wil…

THE STRUGGLING BUDS (POST GAME OPINIONS)

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It seems like the last two games have been like a train wreck. You know that it is bad, but you still cannot look away. The Leafs lose 3-2 to the injury riddled Red Wings. You would think that after such a poor showing the previous game, the Leafs would improve. But tonight, very little signs of improvement were shown.

The question on most people's minds is "Are the Leafs going to make the playoffs?" And the answer is a good old YES! Just because the Buds are not performing well, does not mean our playoff chances are flying out the window. Even the best teams go though adversity at some time during the season. I guess the Leafs really do miss Bernier. On the bright side, JVR finally scored for the first time since early March and the power play showed some life. Still, it stings to lose this one.

Here are three reasons why the Leafs could not come away with the win:

1) Unlucky Bounces

Reimer played exceptionally well in this game, which is rare considering the type of s…

ANN ARBOR JR (PRE GAME OPINIONS)

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Doesn't the 2014 Winter Classic seem like a century ago? That's what it feels like to me, because the Maple Leafs and Red Wings are meeting each other for the first time since that historic game. The last time these two teams met, Tyler Bozak scored the biggest goal of his career by scoring the shootout winner. Since then, both teams have taken completely different paths and look to renew this "ancient" rivalry.

Are you excited for this game? I would feel excited about the rematch, except this comes after the Leafs played a sloppy game this past Sunday in Washington, so I am not really sure what to expect. Fortunately, the game starts at a regular time that works for the Leafs (7:30 pm EST) so a much better effort is a must! Also, don't expect Bernier to play tonight since the Leafs are playing it safe with their Number One goalie. We all know how important he is to the Leafs, so he will most likely play on Wednesday against Tampa Bay.

So, here are the three thi…

HEAD SCRATCHER (POST GAME OPINIONS)

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Sigh. The Maple Leafs lose a tough one to the Capitals by a score of 4-2. This comes after the Leafs left Death Valley with a 2-1-0 record. It seemed like the Leafs would be playing with confidence after achieving such a feat, but that confidence was no where to be seen in this game.

Does this mean that it is panic time for the Leafs? Absolutely not! But there is no excuses for a lack of effort in the first period especially since two of the goals were questionable thanks to sub-par officiating. If the Leafs are to take anything out of this game, it is that they need to always come prepared to play. Otherwise, the game will go in the other team's favour and two valuable points will be gone. But in the Leaf's defense, they had just returned from California after a long flight east. Still, it is inexcusable not to come prepared to play.

Here are three reasons why the Leafs could not come away with the win:

1) A Slow Start

It was clear from the opening face off that the Leafs lo…

THE WASHINGTON OVECHKINS (PRE GAME OPINIONS)

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It's Saturday and there is no Leaf game on! Something doesn't seem right about a Sunday afternoon game for me, but it should satisfy everyone's craving.  The Maple Leafs will meet up with Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals for an afternoon game in Washington, D.C.

Is this game an easy win for the Buds? No, because nothing will come easy for anybody. So, the Leafs have to work hard for a win as the Capitals are fresh off a 4-3 over the Canucks. One player to keep an eye on is rookie Evgeny Kuznetsov who had accumulated his first 3 career points (all assists) in that game, and is looking for his first NHL goal. Overall, the Capitals are a tough team to play against but a win is possible. 
In order for the Leafs to come out with the win, they must do the following:
1) Shut down Ovechkin and Backstrom
 Although the Capitals have some good offensive options in Mike Green, Marcus Johansson, Grabovski and Kuznetsov, in the end, their top line has to produce if they want to win. In o…

OPTIMUS REIM (POST GAME OPINIONS)

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It wasn't pretty, but what matters is the two points. The Maple Leafs defeated the LA Kings 3-2 with goals from Dion Phaneuf, Carl Gunnarsson, and Mason Raymond. Unfortunately for Johnathan Bernier, his highly anticipated return to the team that drafted him was cut short by a "lower body injury." On the bright side, James Reimer, who did not play well against the Sharks, took over and played like his former self!

So, how should us fans feel about this game? This game in particular was important based on the standings and self pride because this was the conclusion of the dreaded California trip. This win solidifies 2nd secured spot in the Atlantic Division, and it results in something that most teams in the East have failed to do this season: have a winning record on the California roadtrip (2-1-0 for the Maple Leafs). After this game, the Leafs reach 80 points on the year. This equals the points accumulated in 2011-12, otherwise known as the 18 wheeler going off a cliff…

THE MIGHTY KINGS (PRE GAME OPINIONS)

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Well, this should be interesting. In what is my first ever blog, the Maple Leafs will be meeting the red hot Los Angeles Kings, winners of 8 straight!

Do the Leafs have a shot, or can even keep up with the 2012 Stanley Cup Champs in sunny California? Personally, I think so because while we were not able to beat them last time these two teams met (A 3-1 loss at the ACC in mid December), we played a very good game. We (for once) outshot a team to death, had good possession and made great passes that lead to a ton of SOG.  The difference was timely saves by Martin Jones and game altering goals (The Leafs game plan in a nutshell).

Many fans of Leaf Nation can agree that if the Maple Leafs are to outmatch the Kings, they need to:

1) Bernier must be on his A Game

Really, do I need to explain this? We all know how important the goalies are for the Leafs.

2) Every line has to chip in

The Kessel-Bozak-JVR line has done everything right for the Maple Leafs on many nights, but Kadri, Lupul, Ray…