Toronto Maple Leafs

Maple Leafs 6, Sabres 5

Go Leafs Go!What an entertaining hockey game. After two periods, the Maple Leafs trailed Buffalo 5-2, a team we never play well against. The third period, however, proved to be one of the most exciting of the season. We managed to score three unanswered goals including a Gary Roberts tip of an Alexander Mogilny shot with 37.2 seconds remaining in regulation to tie it. Tomas Kaberle scored with 1:15 remaining in overtime to cap the stirring comeback.

When we were down 5-2, I wrote this recap in my head. What I had to say wasn't kind. We desperately needed the two points to keep pace with the rest of the conference. The Leafs will play four division leaders in their next four games: Boston, Philadelphia, Colorado and Tampa Bay. Points are getting harder and harder to come by. With this dramatic come from behind victory, we're right back in the thick of things. We're only a point behind the Bruins for the division lead and we control our own destiny with a game against Boston tonight. What a game.

I know fellow stat-a-holics will want to know about the two milestones reached last night. Mogilny recorded his 1,000th NHL point when he assisted on the tying goal. Roberts picked up his 800th career point with an assist on Mats Sundin's first goal.

Following the game, I received this piece of correspondence "Did you change the channel when Buffalo went up 5-2? Or did you see the comeback and win in overtime? Marc" I absolutely stuck it out and witnessed the entire comeback victory from the comforts of my living room chair. Giving up when it was 5-2 heading into the third would have been easy, but I had a feeling. I felt if we could score early enough in the third, we could potentially salvage a point. So yes, I saw the comeback and win in overtime...smart ass.

Current Record  Last Three Games Season Leaders
39-21-9-3
90 points
2nd in Division
6-5 Win vs. Buffalo
4-3 Loss vs. Montreal
3-2 Loss vs. Pittsburgh
M. Sundin - 69
B. McCabe - 48
O. Nolan - 44

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Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 4

Go Leafs Go!With the playoffs right around the corner, this is the time for the Maple Leafs to get hot. Instead, they're playing rather uninspired hockey.

Sure, tonight's game was entertaining. A storied rivalry, thousands of Leaf fans in Montreal for the game and a see-saw battle with a few good fights thrown in for good measure. When all was said and done, the Leafs didn't deserve to win. I wouldn't be surprised if the Canadiens ended up catching us in the Northeast division standings.

Current Record  Last Three Games Season Leaders
38-21-9-3
88 points
2nd in Division
4-3 Loss vs. Montreal
3-2 Loss vs. Pittsburgh
5-0 Win vs. Florida
M. Sundin - 67
B. McCabe - 46
G. Roberts - 41

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Maple Leafs 2, Penguins 3

Go Leafs Go!Reality check. Tied for the division lead and within a few points of the conference lead at this point in the season, you have to defeat the last place team in the conference when playing on your home ice. Am I right? The Maple Leafs stunk last night. To quote a description I heard on the radio this morning, the blue and white "floated a turd".

The Leafs were healthy and had newly acquired Ron Francis in the lineup, but steady Eddie Belfour rested his back giving Trevor Kidd his first start in eleven games. He looked shaky, allowing the three goals on only 17 shots. Our hopes for Lord Stanley's Mug continue to rest on the 38 year old shoulders of Mr. Belfour.

Current Record  Last Three Games Season Leaders
38-20-9-3
88 points
2nd in Division
3-2 Loss Vs. Pittsburgh
5-0 Win vs. Florida
5-1 Loss vs. Buffalo
M. Sundin - 67
B. McCabe - 46
G. Roberts - 41

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Maple Leafs 5, Panthers 0

Go Leafs Go!It was a rather easy victory for the Maple Leafs last night as we moved back into a tie with Ottawa for first in the division.

A final word on the trades and other signings/acquisitions by the Leafs yesterday. Ron Francis will be a great role player on this team, but Ron Francis is in his 40s. I think his presence during a long playoff run can only help, but I'd be far more optimistic if we had just acquired Ron Francis circa 1992. The best move we made was last week's trade for Brian Leetch. Still, I think we should have added one more top four defender.

Current Record  Last Three Games Season Leaders
38-19-9-3
88 points
Tied for 1st in Division
5-0 Win vs. Florida
5-1 Loss vs. Buffalo
6-2 Win vs. New York
M. Sundin - 66
B. McCabe - 45
G. Roberts - 41

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Leafs Trade For Ron Francis

Leafs TradeThe Toronto Maple Leafs finally made a trade today. Ron Francis is the newest Toronto Maple Leaf. Here are the details...

John Ferguson, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Tuesday that the club has acquired forward Ron Francis from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Toronto's fourth round choice in the 2005 Entry Draft.

I'm not sure this team needed anymore veteran leadership, but you can't argue with the addition of Ron Francis for a conditional fourth-rounder. Clearly, we're serious about winning the cup this year. I'm still hoping another deal is in the works to add a blueliner. Calle Johansson isn't the answer.

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Leafs Add Chad Kilger

Leafs Add PlayerThe Toronto Maple Leafs added another player today without giving anything up. Something is definitely brewing.

John Ferguson, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Tuesday that the club has claimed forward Chad Kilger off waivers from the Montreal Canadiens. Kilger, 27, has played 36 games for Montreal this season collecting four points (two goals, two assists) with 14 penalty minutes.

We simply don't have room on our roster for today's additions. Perhaps John Ferguson is looking to package some roster players for a serious upgrade. Sean Hill anyone? Two hours and 19 minutes to go...

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Leafs Sign Calle Johansson

Leafs Sign PlayerNo, the Toronto Maple Leafs didn't just pull off a huge trade on deadline day, but there is news from the wire...

John Ferguson, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Tuesday that the club has signed unrestricted free agent defenceman Calle Johansson for the remainder of the season. In keeping with club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

A sign of things to come? Insurance down the stretch? I predict the Leafs will make a significant move before the day is done. There is 4 hours to go...

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Maple Leafs 1, Sabres 5

Go Leafs Go!Facing the Sabres seems to bring out the worst in the Maple Leafs. We're 0-3-1 against them so far this season and they probably won't even make the playoffs. That's unacceptable.

There was no "get up and go" from the blue and white tonight and no quick start like we've seen lately. We were outshot 17-6 in the opening 20 minutes. That to is unacceptable.

Current Record  Last Three Games Season Leaders
37-19-9-3
86 points
1st in Division
5-1 Loss vs. Buffalo
6-2 Win vs. New York
3-2 Win vs. Boston
M. Sundin - 65
B. McCabe - 44
G. Roberts - 39

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Taking Themselves Out

NHLHave you glanced at the NHL Eastern Conference Standings lately? Four points separate the top five teams, and we're smack in the middle of them. Here are the top 5 at this moment.

Tampa Bay Lightning - 88 points
Philadelphia Flyers - 88 points
Toronto Maple Leafs - 86 points
Ottawa Senators - 84 points
Boston Bruins - 84 points

Last night, two of our competitors for the conference crown faced off against each other when the Senators came to Philly. From all accounts, this was an absolutely wild game. To quote today's Philadelphia Inquirer, the Flyers made a statement "with a punishing, brawling 5-3 victory, but lost in translation was the fact that their already depleted defense corps suffered two more casualties. The game ended with all-out brawling that included goalies Robert Esche of the Flyers and Patrick Lalime of the Senators. In all, 23 players were ejected. The Flyers' Donald Brashear, who picked up a game-high 34 penalty minutes, destroyed Rob Ray to trigger the fights, and then everyone paired off."

There were five consecutive brawls in the final two minutes and the two teams set an NHL record with 419 penalty minutes in total. The Flyers had seven players remaining and Ottawa had six as the game ended. This game couldn't have gone any better for Leaf fans. There were injuries, there may be some ejections and on April 2nd, just before the end of the regular season, the Sens return to Philly for a rematch. I love it when our enemies take themselves out. It's so much easier this way.

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Maple Leafs 6, Islanders 2

Go Leafs Go!Welcome to Toronto Mr. Leetch. We hope you enjoy your stay in our fair city. With nights like last night, it looks like it will be a pleasant one. Your three assists led us to an easy victory and our power play seemed much more formidable with you at the helm. This looks like it could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Current Record  Last Three Games Season Leaders
37-18-9-3
86 points
Tied for 1st in Conference
6-2 Win vs. New York Islanders
3-2 Win vs. Boston Bruins
3-0 Win vs. New Jersey Devils
M. Sundin - 65
B. McCabe - 44
G. Roberts - 39

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