Toronto Maple Leafs

As One Doppelgänger Falls, Another Rises

An ongoing inside joke between me and my pals is my constant defense of David Clarkson. I'll even tweet after every goal he scores with an emphatic "DAVID CLARKSON SCORES!", something I haven't had to do in quite some time. The origin of this David Clarkson defense is twofold:

  1. Clarkson grew up in nearby Mimico, rooting for the Leafs, and I would never fault him for getting a monster contract from Dave Nonis
  2. From certain angles, Clarkson looks an awful lot like me, particularly when I was his age and 30lbs heavier

Truth be known, the David Clarkson we see this season is David Clarkson. He's not under performing, he's pretty much playing his best. He was never worthy of the contract he received, and now he's a prime target of disdain.

Peter Horachek made Clarkson a healthy scratch against the Oilers, and we won big. It was only our second win of 2015. Clarkson will likely be a healthy scratch tonight, too.

As one doppelgänger falls, another rises. I received this tweet the other day from @kewl75.

We'll see how this works out...

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Everyone is Available (Except This Guy)

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The Great NHL Stats Fraud

Our Toronto Maple Leafs have lost 10 in a row. That hasn't happened since there were only six teams in the NHL. The Leafs have only one win in all of 2015. That's bad, even for this franchise.

We all know the Leafs have lost 10 in a row, but try telling that to the NHL. Officially, the NHL thinks we've lost 3 in a row, because we lost in a shootout to the Devils back on January 28.

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 1.36.42 PM

What a bunch of malarky that is. Losing in overtime or a shootout is still losing. Make no mistake about it, the Leafs have lost 10 in a row, despite what you'll read at NHL.com.

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The Ebb and Flow of Toronto Sports

What a difference a single month can make in Toronto sports. Here's what I wrote way back on December 16, 2014.

I catch every Leafs and Raptors game I can, and lately, it's been pure joy. The Leafs are 9-1-1 since getting hammered by Nashville. The Raptors have been hot all season, now 19-6, good for first place in the Eastern Conference.

Since then, the Leafs have gone in the toilet. They're junk. We've lost seven of our last eight games, and have scored one single goal over the last four games. That's incredible ineptitude.

Meanwhile, the Raptors are on a slide, having lost six of eight. They'll likely bounce back, as they're actually a good team. The Leafs, a bad team, are toast.

I've lived in this city all my life. I'm used to this.

One King West is just one of the many hotels near the acc.

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Randy Carlyle Fired

Randy Carlyle has been fired as head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Hired by the Maple Leafs on March 2, 2012, Carlyle compiled a record of 91 wins, 78 losses, and 19 overtime/shootout losses in 188 games behind the Maple Leafs’ bench.

I'm actually surprised Brendan Shanahan chose to use one of his bullets now. I figured he'd let Carlyle finish the season before bringing in his coach. Now, should the not-yet-announced interim coach finish the season strong, it will be difficult for Shanahan to make another coaching move.

Does Shanahan have an available coach in mind (Paul MacLean, anyone?) or will that move happen during the summer?

Or is this simply so he can evaluate what he has without Carlyle at the helm before deciding what to keep and what to toss over the side of a sinking ship?

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It's Time I Jinx Our Teams Again

Of course, I'm kidding with that title. There's no such thing as a jinx. There's nothing I can say or write on this blog that will have any effect on our professional sports teams.

I catch every Leafs and Raptors game I can, and lately, it's been pure joy. The Leafs are 9-1-1 since getting hammered by Nashville. The Raptors have been hot all season, now 19-6, good for first place in the Eastern Conference.

I'm so jazzed about how well my teams are playing, I'm documenting this moment for posterity. Here are your red hot Raptors leading the East.

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 1.51.45 PM

And here are your red hot Leafs, winners of 5 in a row.

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Good times...

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23

Pat Qunn and the number 23Prior to the Leafs game last night, they showed a tribute to Pat Quinn. I thought it was pretty good. Here it is, in case you missed it. The song, by the way, is The Parting Glass by The High Kings.

Pat Quinn wore #23 for the Maple Leafs, and yesterday's 6-2 win over the Washington Capitals was full of the number 23.

  • The Maple Leafs scored with 23 seconds left in the first period, then again 23 seconds into the second period.
  • When Washington scored its first goal of the game in the second period, we scored again, 23 seconds later. 
  • This was the Leafs' 23rd game of the season, and we fired 23 shots on goal. 

I don't believe this is anything more than a coincidence, but it's a fun one.

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Pat Quinn, Dead at 71

Pat QuinnPat Quinn was 71. He coached the Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers, reaching the Stanley Cup Finals twice, with the Flyers in 1980 and the Canucks in 1994.

Under Quinn, the Maple Leafs had consistently been contenders, recording three 100-point seasons and making the playoffs every season until his last, reaching two conference finals.

Quinn was fired in Toronto after eight seasons having gone 300-222-52 with 26 shootout and overtime losses.

quinn

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An Ugly, Ugly Game

An Ugly, Ugly GameFollowing that debacle in Buffalo last weekend, I tuned into last night's Leafs game looking for a rebound. I figured they'd come out strong at home against Nashville. I was wrong.

At 3-0 Nashville, Bernier was pulled for Reimer and I shut off the game to watch an episode of The Newsroom.

When I tuned back in, it was 8-0.

It ended up 9-2 and it reminded me of a game I watched on a black and white 13 inch television back in 1986. We won that game 11-9 against the mighty Oilers and Miroslav Fryer scored four goals. That game was a lot more fun than this one.

I honestly believe things will get worse for the Leafs before it gets better. It's not a very good team, and the coach is living on borrowed time. I don't think he makes it to Christmas.

At least we have one good team in this city. I can't wait for tonight's Raptors game.

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Maple Leafs Goal Song: We Can Do Better

The new goal song at Leafs home games is "Best Day Of My Life" by American Authors. Here it is if you weren't paying attention last night.

I'm not a fan and believe we can do better. American Authors are a Boston band, and I think our goal song should be courtesy of a Toronto band. I'm looking at Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker, July Talk, Death from Above 1979, Cancer Bats or Fucked Up.

My nomination for the new Maple Leafs goal song is Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker's "This is the Best". I'm sure Ash would record a crackhouse-free version for MLSE.

What do you suggest for the Leafs goal song?

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