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What’s Behind the Maple Leafs’ Success?

Source: Yard Barker
Date: 2017-01-17

It was supposed to be a down year for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The team that officially started its rebuild last season was by all accounts going to be a bottom feeder and continue the rebuilding process by finishing low and drafting high. No one passed that message on to the team’s rookies, however, because all of them are having fantastic seasons and are driving the Maple Leafs to great success. The Leafs are officially ahead of where they thought they would be at this point. They sit in a playoff spot, ranked third in the Atlantic Division to be precise. There are three reasons for the team’s surprising season and it all starts at the top. Leafs’ Management and Coaching Staff Bren

Leafs playoff perch precarious heading into second half

Source: Yard Barker
Date: 2017-01-17

Maple Leafs look to climb to .500 with a win over the Sabres

Protected Maple Leafs at Halfway

Source: Yard Barker
Date: 2017-01-17

The Toronto Maple Leafs have played 41 games this season and the halfway point of their 2016-17 season has arrived. With the expansion draft coming at the end of the season, the Vegas Golden Knights have been and will be scouting players that they could take. With every team guaranteed to lose a player in the draft, one has to wonder who the Golden Knights will take from the Leafs. Here’s the thing. No one needs to worry about it. The Maple Leafs’ best players are exempt from the draft. Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and Zach Hyman are all exempt this time around. Now, if there’s another round of expansion in a few years, then the Leafs will be in trouble. Not this tim

Leafs games making you nervous? Get used to it

Source: The Leafs Nation
Date: 2017-01-17

Embed from Getty Images Going into the third period of a 2-2 game between the Leafs and Sens, I really didn't know how things would turn out on Saturday night. It's been easy, particularly in recent years, to fall into this feeling of believing the team coming back to tie things up will inevitably finish the job. Maybe Ottawa could. But one thing I did feel confident about was that, heading into that final frame, Toronto wasn't done scoring.Since dropping a game in regulation against Anaheim on December 19th, the Leafs have only scored fewer than three goals in a game one time - a 3-2 shootout win against Florida. There have been some exciting games along the way, a few quotes about "fin

Protected Maple Leafs at Halfway

Source: The Hockey Writers
Date: 2017-01-17

The Toronto Maple Leafs have played 41 games this season and the halfway point of their 2016-17 season has arrived. With the expansion draft coming at the end of the season, the Vegas Golden Knights have been and will be scouting players that they could take. With every team guaranteed to lose a player in the draft, one has to wonder who the Golden Knights will take from the Leafs. Here’s the thing. No one needs to worry about it. The Maple Leafs’ best players are exempt from the draft. Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and Zach Hyman are all exempt this time around. Now, if there’s another round of expansion in a few years, then the Leafs will be in trouble. Not this

LGD: Race to Rebuild

Source: The Leafs Nation
Date: 2017-01-17

Coming out of this past summer, there was some talk about how the Sabres and Leafs - both young clubs in full-on rebuild mode - could see their eventual peaks at around the same time. The thinking has been that, down the road, these two teams could form a major divisional rivalry as they make their climb into contention. And that isn't far-fetched. You've got plenty of good storylines going here: Two American franchise cornerstones in Eichel and Matthews, the Nylander brothers eventually facing off against each other, and of course the whole Babcock fiasco from 2015. The potential for this rivalry is certainly there, but as of today the Leafs have gotten out to a nice head start in the race

Auston Matthews’ Centennial Classic jersey sells for $11,400

Source: SportsNet
Date: 2017-01-17

The jersey Auston Matthews wore during the first period of the Centennial Classic between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings on Jan. 1 sold for a whopping $11,400 on Sunday. The jersey was sold at auction, which opened prior to the game on Dec. 26, and received 40 bids with the minimum increase between bids set at $100. Prior to the first bid this past Sunday morning, the jersey sat at $7,800 before an all-out bidding war commenced. Eleven bids were made on the final day, the largest jump, an $800 increase from $10,100 to $10,900, occurred at 9:18 p.m. The final bid was put in five minutes later. While the $11,400 price tag may seem pricey now, it could be worth a whole lot mor

Tony Caremanesi: Toronto’s ECHL all-star playing in the AHL

Source: Pension Plan Puppets
Date: 2017-01-17

Is this the new path to the NHL? When Kyle Dubas became the Assistant General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and was put in charge of the Toronto Marlies, he talked about using, not just the AHL, but also the ECHL for the development of prospects. “I think the perception of the ECHL is that the player is going there for punishment or he’s really struggled,” said Leafs assistant general manager Kyle Dubas. “We want to use it as entry level to pro hockey for younger players to start out there.” In the past, sending a player down to the ECHL didn’t bode well for his future. Often the player was seen as already been given up on or not having a future in the NHL. Dubas hop

Too close to the Falls: Sabres @ Leafs Preview

Source: Pension Plan Puppets
Date: 2017-01-17

Some theories about why the Sabres are the way that they are, in your game preview. Buffalo Sabres @ Toronto Maple Leafs Air Canada Centre; Toronto, ON 7:30 p.m. ET; SN (Ontario) SBN Goo Goo Dolls Enjoyers: Die By The Blade The Leafs The Leafs, they are on fire. Their 8-1-1 record in their last ten games is topped only by a Washington Capitals team currently riding a nine-game winning streak. Dating back to December 13, the Leafs have collected at least a point in 12 of 14 games, amassing a 9-2-3 record. Not even the large number of back-to-backs have been able to stop the Leafs lately; their weekend sweep of consecutive games against the Rangers and Senators is their third in four

From the Branches: Are the Leafs too fun?

Source: Pension Plan Puppets
Date: 2017-01-17

The National Post claims that the Leafs are young, exciting, crowd-pleasing, and not “sharp enough” at closing out games. I’ve been away from Leafs Land doing some Bolts work lately, so when I returned this morning to write the FTB, I wondered what the Weltanschauung of Leafs media has been. Turns out they are continuing to try to find things to stress out about, even when this glorious season is all about unexpected wins and the glorious possibility of a playoff berth. Darn those youngsters for being so young, energetic, exciting, and for prematurely blowing their ... leads! The National Post has this cautionary tale: But when seasoned opponents disrupted that flow, the kids we

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