Reasons to cheer for each of the 16 playoff teams

Source: Puckrant
Date: 2014-04-16

The Stanley Cup Playoffs officially start this evening, and that means 16 teams are starting their quest for Lord Stanley's Cup. For fans of the teams making the post-season, it is obviously an extremely exciting time to get the chance to potentially watch your favourite team go all the way. But for fans that cheer for one of the 14 teams who did not make it to the playoffs, it is certainly a very frustrating time. And trust me - I know frustration and anger when it comes to following teams that don't make the playoffs (someone tell me why I like the Hurricanes and the Maple Leafs again?) But I am not here to pout or complain about the teams that didn't make the playoffs. Even if your te

Hack columnists, not players, delusional about Leafs' collapse

Source: Pension Plan Puppets
Date: 2014-04-16

The Sports section of the Toronto Star should come with a disclaimer: Abandon all hope, ye who enter here And when you get a turd of an article like this one from Rosie DiManno, you can understand why it might be necessary. DiManno opens with a bang: Prediction: Randy Carlyle is not going anywhere. Caution: The Leafs would be foolish and reckless to fire him. Carlyle is a Cup-winning coach who’s only missed the playoffs twice in his career. There aren’t many of that stature out there. He’s not the cause of the disaffect. First of all, Carlyle has missed the playoffs three times, including the year he spent split between Anaheim and Toronto.  That makes

Penguins Ready for Battle

Source: Puckrant
Date: 2014-04-16

    The NHL Playoffs are upon us as the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets meet in first-round playoff action Wednesday night. These two franchises are vastly different, the Penguins have three Stanley Cups, while the Blue Jackets have made the playoffs for only the second time in their 13-year history.    While many people including myself have pointed out the late season struggles the Penguins have endured, this team is geared up for the playoffs. One man will be the difference maker in this series and that will be Sidney Crosby. As we know, Crosby led the NHL in scoring by a large margin and is the best player in the game, also by a large margin. Whi

Leafs' Jonathan Bernier to have sports hernia surgery

Source: Yard Barker
Date: 2014-04-16

The Toronto Maple Leafs have announced that primary goaltender, Jonathan Bernier will undergo surgery on Wednesday to repair a  sports hernia. Bernier has been suffering from the injury for a few weeks. He was able to play through the injury and even said, "I felt pretty good,"  "It was sore but my range, my stretching was fine. I think a lot of players play through that."Bernier is expected to miss, 2-3 weeks to recover from the surgery. He is also missing three weeks with a sprained MCL (which caused him to miss the last few games of the season) Bernier said he will recover from the injuries and be 100% ready to go at the start of training camp in September.            

Leafs Sign Viktor Loov To Three-Year Deal

Source: Toronot Maple Leafs
Date: 2014-04-16

David Nonis, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Wednesday that the hockey club has signed defenceman Viktor Loov (LEWV) to a three-year entry level contract. Loov, 21, registered five goals, seven assi...

It’s Not Randy Carlyle’s Fault

Source: Yard Barker
Date: 2014-04-16

from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, As tempting and knee-jerk as it is to blame the bench boss for the calamity that befell the Toronto Maple Leafs in the last month of the season — 2-12-0 — the fault lies with a group of players who could not rally from an ever-deepening hockey stupor, failing the test of character and fortitude, time and time again. Oh, there were flashes of backbone, when least expected — beating Boston in the second last week of the schedule, especially. Yet those spurts of mettle were fleeting and ultimately misleading. This was more the team that lost to Winnipeg and Florida and New Jersey down the dismaying stretch; less the team that rose to the ch

Morning Mashup: Drafting in the 8 spot

Source: Maple Leafs Hotstove
Date: 2014-04-16

No miracles in yesterday’s draft lottery. Here’s the history of the eighth overall pick dating back to 1990: The top 20 prospects per the March ISS rankings: Nick Ritchie is going to get a lot of play in Leafland because he’s this draft’s “next Lucic,” while Jared McCann should also be the center (wink) of much discussion as he might the best natural pivot available if the Leafs remain in the eight spot and he’s

2014 NHL Mock Draft: Post-Lottery First-Round Projections

Source: Bleacher Report
Date: 2014-04-16

The NHL draft lottery is complete, and NHL teams know where they will select in this year's first round. Each NHL draft year is unique, and this season has several candidates for top spot. There could be a lot of trade activity on the draft floor depending on early selections. The big winner at this year's lottery is the Florida Panthers. In selecting first overall, they get their choice of several elite prospects. The key is choosing the one prospect who will grow into an impact player—an elite NHL asset they can build around in coming seasons. This mock draft is based on the best player available for each selection. Teams draft for need, and some do it in the first round, but the qua

2014 NHL Draft Order: Updated Selection List, Predictions After Lottery Results

Source: Bleacher Report
Date: 2014-04-16

On the eve of the NHL playoffs, the teams that did not qualify for the postseason learned their immediate fortunes during Tuesday’s NHL draft lottery. The Florida Panthers won the rights to the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft, with the Buffalo Sabres checking in with the second pick and the Edmonton Oilers earning the third pick. The Panthers had an 18.8 percent chance to win the lottery given their position in the standings heading into the event, while the Sabres had a 25 percent chance. Essentially, the Sabres racked up yet another loss on the season, even if this one doesn’t count in the standings. David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period was following along as the picks were an

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