Monday, April 09, 2007

Leafs need to make tough decissions...It's the only way!

Hey Everyone,

It's been a long time since I have posted regularily about the league and my beloved leafs who once again, find themselves packing up early for a long summer.

My upcoming posts will look at scenarios where the leafs have to look at to improve their club in the off-season. I know a lot of writers and radio/tv talk show hosts think the only way is to fire JFJ and bring in a new GM to cleanup his "mess." However, I don't think that will be the case. Think about it. Many have sugested that the "board" controls Ferguson. But the obvious is in front of you...they are the ones who have agreed on all the contracts he has put through - inlcuding McCabe, Kubina, Gill, Tucker, Kaberle, and Raycroft. You can probably include Sundin in that list too, for this summer. Rightly, or wrongly, it doesn't seem as though JFJ will let him go.

Here's step one of the plan (kind of obvious):

Do NOT re-sign any of the following free-agents

BELAK - buy-out if you have to!

They will save approx. $6.625 million in payroll.

Stay tuned to the blog for more scenarios on how to help the leafs this summer.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Leafs Eliminate Habs...Now sit and watch!

*Reference from
So the leafs beat the Habs and grab the 8th and final spot...for now. Easter Sunday is going to be a long day at church for the leafs, as they will defintely be praying for the Devils to win today over the Islanders.

Trailing the Montreal Canadiens by one entering the third period, the Maple Leafs got power-play goals from Bryan McCabe and Kyle Wellwood and then held on for a 6-5 victory on Saturday night in the final game for both teams.
The Maple Leafs now need the New York Islanders to lose at New Jersey on Sunday to claim the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. If New York wins, the Islanders are in.
"I'm very proud of our team. We'll cross our fingers now," Toronto captain Mats Sundin said.
Carlo Colaiacovo started Toronto's comeback after the Canadiens turned a 3-1 deficit in the second period into a 5-3 lead.
Michael Ryder scored three straight to make it 4-3, and Chris Higgins - a Long Island native - scored his second of the night to give Montreal its two-goal edge. Canadiens captain Saku Koivu assisted on all of Ryder's goals.
"We had a lot of guys step up and play great, but the bottom line is we we're not in the playoffs" Koivu said.
Ryder had three goals and an assist.
"It was definitely in our hands. We were up 5-3," Ryder said. "We knew we had to kill penalties in the third. Their power play did the job."
Wellwood gave Toronto the lead for good by tipping a screened shot past goalie Cristobal Huet at 3:43 of the third. Huet made his first start since Feb 14. Toronto started the third with a two-man advantage after Steve Begin took a double minor for high-sticking to close the second. Koivu's tripping penalty at 2 minutes, produced another 5-on-3 for the Leafs.
The Canadiens emptied their net for the extra attacker with 1:15 left, but couldn't get a shot on goal.
Bates Battaglia, Nik Antropov and Alex Steen also scored for the Maple Leafs, whose fate could in the hands of New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur. He said he won't do Toronto any favors by playing against the Islanders in a meaningless game for the Devils on Sunday.
Toronto coach Paul Maurice said if the Maple Leafs don't make it to the postseason, they can still take pleasure in knowing they eliminated Montreal.
"It was all that is good about our game in Canada. Everybody gets so excited on Saturday night in Canada, and we won," Maurice said.
Either New York or Toronto will play top-seeded Buffalo in the first round of the playoffs.
Ryder rallied Montreal within a span 5:49.
He scored his first just 36 seconds second after Alex Steen gave Toronto a 4-2 lead. The weak shot ticked off Andrew Raycroft's glove and in at 1:48 of the second.
Ryder tied it by scoring on his own rebound at 4:32 and gave Montreal the lead at 7:37 on a wraparound.
Maurice replaced Raycroft with Jean-Sebastien Aubin after Ryder's third goal.
Higgins followed with his second goal, giving Montreal a 5-3 lead at 14:31 of the second.
"The year was on the line. I don't think anybody expected this," Aubin said.
Colaiacovo got Toronto back in it with a screened shot at 17:46 of the second.
Montreal's Mike Johnson received a tripping penalty before Begin took his double minor that gave Toronto a two-man advantage for the first 48 seconds of the third.
McCabe tied it at 5 just 58 seconds in the third with a screened shot.
"We showed a ton of character," McCabe said. "Now we'll just wait."
Toronto outshot Montreal 19-4 in the first 10 minutes of the first period and put a season-high 23 shots on goal in the frame.
Battaglia gave Toronto a 1-0 lead at 7:53 of the first by converting Yanic Perreault's pass from behind the net.
Higgins stole the puck from defenseman Pavel Kubina and skated past Tomas Kaberle before tying it with a shot blocker side.
Antropov regained the lead for Toronto with a weak redirection shot that trickled between Huet's pads at 16:09 of the second.
Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau took a risk by playing goalie Huet, who hadn't started a game since having hamstring surgery Feb 14. He played only the third period of Thursday's 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers since.
"People are going to question Carbonneau for putting him in, but I think it was the right move. We all stood by his decision," Higgins said.
Notes: Another press box was created for the high-profile game. ... Sundin, one goal shy of tying Darryl Sittler's franchise record (389), was held without one for the 12th straight game.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Habs v/s Leafs - Just Like a Game 7 Matchup

The Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs haven't met in the NHL playoffs since 1979 but tonight's regular-season finale for both clubs is as close as it gets.
''It's Saturday night, it's the last game of the season and both teams need to get the win,'' Leafs winger Darcy Tucker said Friday. ''It's going to be a lot of fun to play in.''
For the Habs, one point ahead of the Leafs for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, the script is simple. Win and they're in.
The Leafs? Not so simple.
Should the Islanders win both their weekend games at Philadelphia and at New Jersey, Toronto is knocked out even with a win over the Canadiens because New York would have 92 points, one more than the Leafs.