10-22-14: There have been some encouraging signs from the Leafs, but the team has dropped four of its first seven games, including consecutive losses to division rival Detroit over this past weekend. Toronto did pick up a big 5-2 win Tuesday night over a resurgent New York Islanders team. The Leafs have looked more than capable offensively thus far, but they're still allowing too many shots like they did last season.
10-15-14: They got a huge win over the Rangers this past Sunday, helping to calm down the nerves of the ever impatient Leafs fans. Jonathan Bernier's rough start and an overall lack of team defense won't do much to dispel the notion that Randy Carlyle could get canned. They have the talent to compete with any team in the league when they’re on. The problem is they’re off more times than they are on.
10-10-14: The Maple Leafs are looking to bounce back from a promising first-half campaign last season that swiftly (and painfully) turned into a second-half disaster. Leafs fans cringe recalling the team’s well-publicized 2-14 stretch that ousted the team from playoff contention. Hopes are high that the storm has passed in Toronto and that new team president, Brendan Shanahan, has righted the ship by restructuring the Leafs’ coaching staff and strategy team. As is often the case in Toronto, the coach, Randy Carlyle, is on the hot seat.
In Montreal this season, the Habs expect growth from young stars Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher, both of whom were central to Montreal’s 100-point surprise last year. Montreal is also gleeful to have its star goalie, Carey Price, 100% healthy. Price missed most of last season’s playoff games due to a knee injury. He’ll have support from star defenseman PK Subban, who just signed a long-term deal, on the back end.
The April collision between arch rivals Montreal and Toronto is the most expensive regular season NHL game on the secondary market this season. Maple Leafs tickets against Montreal have an average price of $592.93 on the secondary market,. The get-in price is currently $160. The price is 63% above Toronto’s season average at the Air Canada Centre. The game will also be the season finale in Toronto, so many Leafs fans will hope there are some type of playoff implications involved.
4-14-14: Toronto turned victory into defeat with a 2-12-0 run over its final 14 games, falling out of the playoffs and into oblivion with the most memorable collapse of any NHL team since Game 7 of last year's playoffs. What a mess the Leafs are! Brendan Shanahan is the new Vice-President and I actually don’t know if it will help one bit. Don’t be shocked if GM Dave Nonis and head coach Randy Carlyle lose their jobs over this.
4-7-14: The Toronto Maple Leafs are a flat out mess. Their elimination from postseason isn't official, but it now seems like it's only a matter of time. It would take a lot for the Leafs to make the postseason after a 4-2 home loss to the Jets this past Saturday, especially with their final three games taking place on the road. If they don’t make the postseason, head coach Randy Carlyle could be the scapegoat and get fired.
3-31-14: Toronto is crumbling under pressure down the stretch. The Leafs have lost eight games in a row and need to run the table if they want to make the playoffs. Both goalies have struggled for the Leafs. Jonathan Bernier has lost his last three starts, while James Reimer has lost five in a row. Randy Carlyle’s job could be in jeopardy if the Leafs do not make the playoffs. They’re only two points out of the playoffs, but that right now seems like a mountain to climb.
3-25-14: Trouble is brewing in Leafsland as the free fall continues. Toronto has lost five straight games and has allowed 27 goals in their past seven games. Jonathan Bernier needs to get back soon, as no team in the NHL relies on its goaltender more than the Leafs. Backup James Reimer has been brutal. What looked like a sure bet playoff spot is now in danger. If the Leafs do miss the playoffs, the ramifications could be huge.
3-17-14: The Maple Leafs went through the west coast gauntlet of Anaheim, San Jose and Los Angeles and came away with four points. That’s very respectable for a team that will be fighting for conference seeding. The Leafs could become a dangerous team come playoff time. The sour taste of losing to Boston in last year’s playoffs will be fresh in their minds come the postseason. They’re young, fast, and explosive. They have two solid goaltenders but the real is on the blueline.
3-10-14: Gm Dave Nonis was silent at the deadline, which is a surprise for always active Leafs. With wins against New York and Philadelphia, Toronto remains in the top three of the division and out of the dreaded wild card. The Leafs could be dangerous come playoff time. Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk are clicking on all cylinders and have become arguably the NHL’s most productive and potent duo. I don’t see this team getting out of the East, but they could win a round or two.
3-3-14: The Leafs dropped both of their games this past week but picked up two points by losing both after regulation. The playoffs are still no guarantee for Toronto as they will need to play better down the stretch to secure a spot. The Leafs are always active come trade deadline and they are rumored to be shopping defenseman Jake Gardiner. Don’t be surprised if Toronto stays put as their roster is intact for a playoff run.
2-10-14: The Leafs have won five out of six games and would need to have an epic collapse to miss the playoffs. Goaltender Jonathan Bernier has been in net over the past six games, allowing only 13 goals. Toronto will be active at the trade deadline and they could use another veteran defenseman on the back end. Nazem Kadri could be used as trade bait to acquire a big name, but I don’t see the Leafs trading away a young player that has so much talent and promise.
2-3-14: Toronto posted three consecutive victories over this past week. The bad news is that the team was out-shot 80-58 by the Lightning and Panthers in its last two contests and only escaped thanks to Jonathan Bernier. At some point, giving up that many shots will crumble the Leafs. They most likely will make the playoffs again this season, but I can’t imagine them doing an damage in the post season. They are an okay hockey team at best.
1-27-14: The Leafs' six-game winning streak came to an end this past week, as they suffered back-to-back losses to the Stars and Jets. The Leafs are sitting in third in the Atlantic thanks to their red-hot January and they will begin a three-game homestand this upcoming week. It's been a rough month for James Reimer as he is 2-3-0 with a .865 save percentage. GM Dave Nonis is always active come the trade deadline, so look for Toronto to make a move.
1-20-14: Toronto now has four wins in four games and the eight points they have collected have pushed them back into a wild-card spot in the East. The Leafs are still relying heavily on shootouts and outstanding goaltending to keep them in the playoff race. Between Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer, the team has a combined .923 save percentage in a league where the average is almost 10 points lower than that. For right now, all is well in Leafs Nation.
1-13-14: The Leafs snapped a four-game regulation losing streak with a 3-2 shootout win this past Sunday against the Devils. They still have one regulation win in their past 13 games. Toronto is hanging on for dear life in the East, but remains in playoff contention. They have a tough road matchup with the Bruins this Monday. In 28 starts this season, goaltender Jonathan Bernier has faced at least 35 shots on 17 occasions. Panic has set in for Leafs Nation.
1-7-14: Toronto has just two regulation wins in its last 22 games and got throttled 7-1 by the New York Rangers this past Saturday. A hot start to the season has the Maple Leafs still in the postseason but by the skin of their teeth. A big cushion has evaporated and the club is now only two points up on Ottawa for the final wild-card spot in the East. The Leafs did beat the Red Wings on New Year’s Day in the Winter Classic, 4-3.
12-30-13: The Maple Leafs have earned at least a point in their past five games, going 3-0-2 over that span. This little streak over the past week has given the Leafs some breathing room as they try to secure one of the wild-card spots in the East. David Clarkson, who is a Toronto native, has more penalties taken with 14 than points in 8 in 29 games this season. Clarkson is looking like a big free agent bust thus far.
12-23-13: A big 7-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks remains the lone highlight of a disastrous stretch for the Leafs that goes back to mid-November. It was team's only regulation win in its last 17 games. Toronto still has a hold on the final wild card spot in the East, with a four point lead on Philadelphia and Carolina. The Leafs do sit seven points out of third in the Atlantic. David Clarkson scored a goal against the Detroit Red Wings this past Saturday, which was his first in 13 games and only his second point in that stretch.
12-16-13: The Maple Leafs stopped their free-fall down the standings with a convincing 7-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks this past Saturday. Prior to the victory, the Leafs had lost three straight. Despite their recent slide, Toronto is still in control of the final wild-card spot in the East. Their schedule gets a bit easy over the rest of the month as they will play four of their next seven games against teams below them in the standings.
12-9-13: The Leafs picked up an overtime win over Dallas and a shootout victory over Ottawa last week, but dropped contests to Boston and San Jose. Toronto has now gone 10 games without a regulation win and allowed 28, 50, 50 and 40 shots against in its four contests this week. Toronto has the worst shot differential in the NHL today, and is the only team to allow at least 10 more shots against per game than they manage themselves. No team averages more shots against than the 37.1 per game
12-2-13: Let’s just say it was an awful past week for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto had four games on the schedule and lost all of them. Their 6-5 shootout loss to Pittsburgh in which the Leafs were outshot by a 2:1 ratio, was the closest they got to the win column. The Leafs lost 6-0 at the hands of Columbus and an overtime loss to the lowly Buffalo Sabres were other highlights from the week. Big free-agent signing David Clarkson has been disappointing thus far. Clarkson has just five points in 17 games.
11-25-13: The Leafs has a decent week picking up a regulation win over the Islanders and a shootout win over Washington. Their lone loss came against Nashville last Thursday. Mason Raymond is quietly having a good year for Toronto. In 23 games, Raymond has registered eight goals and nine assists for 17 points. James van Riemsdyk seems to be adjusting well to playing center as he has nine goals on the year. The Leafs have a good test this Wednesday when they travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Pens.
11-18-13: Seeing the Buffalo Sabres twice on their schedule must have felt like Christmas morning for the Leafs. However, they managed to win only one game against Buffalo. Jonathan Bernier was stellar in a shootout lost to Minnesota early last week. Nazem Kadri was suspended three games for running into Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom last week. Backstrom left the game and could miss significant time. Toronto’s .500 road record needs to improve if they want to continue to have a successful season.
11-12-13: The Leafs beat the Devils in a shootout last week and lost in regulation to the Bruins. Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer played well in both games. The Leafs have a habit of getting badly outshot every game, but still find a way to win. Bernier is 7-4-0 on the year with a .936 save percentage. Reimer has great numbers as well posting a 4-2-0 record in his six starts with a .42 save percentage.
11-5-13: The Toronto Maple Leafs continues to win games. Jonathan Bernier made 41 stops in a 4-2 win over Calgary and James Reimer made 43 stops in a 4-0 win over Edmonton. Reimer followed up his 43 save performance with another 43 stops in a loss to the Canucks. The Leafs have the third best record in the Eastern Conference and their plus-12 goal differential is tied for second in the East. Toronto’s score-close Corsi number is second worse in the NHL. The injuries to Tyler Bozak and Dave Bolland are crushing.
10-29-13: Despite being outshot in all three games they played last week, the Maple Leafs have won two of their last three contests. Tyler Bozak is expected to miss at least week or so with a lower-body injury. The Leafs have a huge Western Canadian road trip coming up where they travel to Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver. Toronto’s 40 goals are in the top half of the Eastern Conference. Rookie defenseman Morgan Reilly will play the rest of the year with the Leafs instead of returning to juniors.
10-21-13: Toronto has lost two straight games and the Leafs faithful have gone into panic mode. They haven’t looked that good in their past several games. In their last three games the Leafs have been outshot by an average of 18.3 per game. James Reimer’s injury is not as serious as originally thought and David Clarkson will finally suit up for the Leafs for the first time this week. Clarskon, if you recall, was suspended 10 games for leaving the bench during the Phil Kessel incident in the preseason.
10-14-13: All the Leafs do is win. Toronto is getting production all up and down their lineup thus far. Nazem Kadri, Tyler Bozak, and Dave Bolland all have at least four points in six games. Wingers Joffrey Lupul, James van Riemsdyk, Phil Kessel, and ex-Vancouver Canuck Mason Raymond are clicking at just over a point per game. Jonathan Bernier has been wall in net for the Leafs and is quickly turning into a fan favorite in Toronto.
10-7-13: It’s been a tremendous start for the Toronto Maple Leafs. They came from behind in a win against their Ontario rivals from Ottawa, in which goalie James Reimer was pulled. Backup goalie Jonathan Bernier has been stellar and looks like the steal of the offseason for Toronto.
8-22-13: The first thing the Toronto Maple Leafs need to do is get over the heartbreak of how their season ended last year. Who can forget the Leafs blowing a three-goal lead in the third period of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Bruins, and eventually losing in overtime. The additions of Dave Bolland and David Clarkson will help up front. Jonathan Bernier comes over from Los Angeles and is expected to challenge James Reimer for the number one goaltender spot. Toronto kicks off the 2013-14 NHL season on Oct. 1 in Montreal versus the Canadiens. Toronto visits Boston on Nov. 9 for the first time since their epic playoff defeat and the Leafs will participate in the Winter Classic on Jan. 1 in Ann Arbor.
8-3-13: The Maple Leafs have agreed to terms with defenseman Mark Fraser on a one-year contract.
8-1-13: The Maple Leafs have signed general manager Dave Nonis to a five-year extension.
7-25-13: The Maple Leafs have signed 29-year-old defenseman Paul Ranger to a one-year, $1M deal.
They have also agreed to an affiliation with the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL.
The Leafs have also re-signed defenseman Carl Gunnarsson to a three-year deal Monday, avoiding salary arbitration.
Leafs 2013 NHL Draft Summary:
Pick #21: Frederik Gauthier, C
Pick #82: Carter Verhaeghe, C
Pick #142: Fabrice Herzog, RW
Pick #172: Antoine Bibeau, G
Pick #202: Andreas Johnson, LW