Toronto Maple Leafs

Recognizing the Call
Published by Toronto Mike on January 31, 2004 @ 22:02 in Family, Radio, Toronto Maple Leafs

Recognizing the CallDuring the first period of the Leafs game tonight, I let James play with my Freeplay Ranger. My Freeplay Ranger is a radio I carry around the house and James enjoys sitting with it and tuning in different stations. He gets awfully excited when pulls in a new station and he starts banging his head and dancing to a particularly upbeat rock song.

At one point he switched from FM to AM and brought in the Leaf game. After hearing Joe Bowen call the game for approximately six seconds he got a huge smile on his face and looked at me to exclaim "Hockey Daddy! Hockey!".

I knew he's been able to identify hockey on television by the visual for many months now, but I had no idea he's be able to identify it so quickly on the radio. All I know is at that moment I was a very proud papa.

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Maple Leafs 5, Senators 1
Published by Toronto Mike on January 31, 2004 @ 21:46 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!Awesome, simply awesome. What a great game. This one was entertaining from start to finish as the Maple Leafs extended their division lead over the Ottawa Senators to three points with a convincing victory at the ACC.

Lets talk about special teams for a moment. This is where the Leafs absolutely dominated. They scored four power play goals in seven opportunities while killing penalty after penalty. The Senators are known for their great power play, so when the parade of blue and white to the penalty box began, I was concerned. In the end we managed to kill 10 of 11 penalties with the only goal coming while down two men. On both sides of the coin, the Leafs put on a special teams clinic.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
29-13-8-3
69 points
5-1 Win vs. Ottawa Senators M. Sundin - 50
G. Roberts - 33
J. Nieuwendyk - 30
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Maple Leafs 4, Thrashers 1
Published by Toronto Mike on January 31, 2004 @ 08:53 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!The defining moment of this entertaining game game late in the second period when Patrik Stefan unleashed a wicked slap shot coming down left wing. Trevor Kidd got part of it, then turned around in time to bat the puck out of the air as it was fluttering toward the net. It was awesome and was followed very quickly by Alexei Ponikarovsky's go-ahead goal and the Leafs never looked back.

A glance at the Eastern Conference standings show the blue and white back on top but only by a single point over the Ottawa Senators who have a game in hand. That makes tonight's game all the more important. We're still missing Alexander Mogilny, Owen Nolan, Darcy Tucker, Tom Fitzergerald, Wade Belak and Mikael Renberg, but it should be a good test nonetheless.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
28-13-8-3
67 points
4-1 Win vs. Atlanta Thrashers M. Sundin - 47
G. Roberts - 31
J. Nieuwendyk - 30
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Maple Leafs 0, Hurricanes 2
Published by Toronto Mike on January 28, 2004 @ 08:24 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!Pure shite. You have to beat the Carolina Hurricanes on your home ice. We missed a glorious opportunity to register our fourth win in a row. Sure, Kevin Weekes had a strong game between the pipes but that doesn't excuse allowing a short handed goal and giving away the second goal on a arrant pass by Tomas Kaberle.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
27-13-8-3
65 points
2-0 Loss vs. Carolina Hurricanes M. Sundin - 47
G. Roberts - 30
O. Nolan - 28
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Whodathunkit?
Published by Toronto Mike on January 26, 2004 @ 19:50 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!Let me get this straight. Nathan Perrott emerged as the fastest skater and hardest shooter in the Toronto Maple Leafs skills competition Sunday. If I were to have guessed who'd be clocked as the fastest skater and hardest shooter, Nathan Perrott would have been way down on my list.

Whodathunkit? Not I, that's for sure.

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Eddie Olczyk's Autograph
Published by Toronto Mike on January 25, 2004 @ 14:07 in Memories, Toronto Maple Leafs

The VaultI worked at the CNE for three summers as a teen. At the time, the Hockey Hall of Fame was located on the Ex grounds so for 20 days ever summer I'd be within walking distance of this shrine to Canada's sport.

Periodically, NHL players would sign autographs outside. One morning I read a sign outside the facility claiming Ed Olczyk would be signing autographs that afternoon. I made sure to free myself up to meet Eddie O, the best Leaf at the time.

Eddie O!

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Maple Leafs 4, Canadiens 1
Published by Toronto Mike on January 24, 2004 @ 21:57 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!A convincing victory over our storied rivals has given the Leafs their third win in a row. Nothing is finer than listening to vocal Leaf fans cheering the blue and white to victory in an enemy arena. It started feeling like a home game in the third.

HNIC Observation: When I watch games on television that are taking place in the Bell Centre, I find it rather dark and shadowy. Games at the ACC always appear so clear and bright on television. All game long I kept thinking they hadn't turned on all the lights. It looked a little dingy to me. I wonder why all arenas can't look as sharp on tv as the ACC does.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
27-12-8-3
65 points
4-1 Win vs. Montreal Canadiens M. Sundin - 47
G. Roberts - 30
O. Nolan - 28
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Maple Leafs 3, Capitals 2
Published by Toronto Mike on January 21, 2004 @ 21:34 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!Scoring came from some rather unlikely sources tonight as the Leafs won on the road for their second victory in as many days.

Craig Johnson scored his second goal as a Leaf while Alexei Ponikarovsky scored twice to give him seven in his career. Once again, Eddie Belfour made some tough stops to secure the win.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
26-12-8-3
63 points
3-2 Win vs. Washington Capitals M. Sundin - 45
G. Roberts - 30
O. Nolan - 28
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Maple Leafs 2, Islanders 0
Published by Toronto Mike on January 21, 2004 @ 08:02 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!It's a completely different perspective watching a game live in person as opposed to checking it out on the television. You can watch plays develop and anticipate maneuvers when you can see the entire ice surface at all times. Hockey is truly a wonderful game.

From where I was sitting, one line was providing all the offense. Mats Sundin, Gary Roberts and Mikael Renberg played an exceptional game, scoring the only two goals. Eddie Belfour stood tall when called upon to record his 70th career shutout.

Another thing I noticed from my seat at the ACC is the number of high sticks. A few guys dropped to the ice after taking a stick blade to the face. Six of the nine penalties called on this night were for high sticking and the worst of the bunch, inflicted upon Darcy Tucker, received no penalty at all. Tucker went ballistic. Should players be wearing visors? I believe so. Should penalties for high sticking be more severe? Definitely. What will it take for changes of this nature to be implemented? I'm afraid someone's going to have to lose an eye.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
25-12-8-3
61 points
2-0 Win vs. New York Islanders M. Sundin - 45
G. Roberts - 30
O. Nolan - 28
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Maple Leafs 0, Flyers 4
Published by Toronto Mike on January 17, 2004 @ 21:29 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!6-1, 7-1, 4-1 and 4-0. Those are the scores from the last four Maple Leafs - Flyers games. All four games were Philadelphia victories. The combined score of the four games is an embarrassing 21-3. That's horrible.

Tonights game was dreadful to watch. The offense didn't show up and the defense was pushed around the entire time. The way we're playing lately we can forget about finishing first overall in the conference, we're not going to win the division. Finishing behind Ottawa will ensure us no better than a fourth seed in the East and if both Philadelphia and New Jersey finish with more points, we'll be seeded fifth with a first round match-up against the lesser of the two. If the Leafs have to face Philly or New Jersey in the first round, there will most likely be no second round for the blue and white. Getting healthy is important but I still believe a couple of upgrades are required to reverse our fortunes. Our defense must get tougher. I'm sick of seeing opposing forwards out muscle our blueliners to score goals as Philadelphia did for their first two goals tonight. Enough is enough.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
24-12-8-3
59 points
4-0 Loss vs. Philadelphia Flyers M. Sundin - 44
O. Nolan - 28
G. Roberts - 28
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