Big Test For Leafs Against Bruins

The Maple Leafs hit the ice at the MasterCard Centre Tuesday in preparation for Wednesday’s home game against the Boston Bruins. Head coach Ron Wilson said after practice that both David Steckel and Carl Gunnarsson remain day-to-day with their upper body injuries.

Mikhail Grabovski will continue to centre the fourth line to start the game with Philippe Dupuis and Jay Rosehill.

James Reimer continues to work his way towards a return to the lineup by the end of the week with Wilson hoping that Reimer could dress as the back up on Saturday in Boston.

Check out the video from Wilson, Reimer, Tyler ...

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Reimer Keeps Progressing

Leafs goalie James Reimer took part in his first practice since November 1st on Thursday as he continues to recover from concussion like symptoms. After practice in Dallas, head coach Ron Wilson said that Reimer is still 10 days away from returning to the lineup.

Jonas Gustavsson will get the start Friday in Dallas against the Stars. It will be his third start in the last four games with the Leafs winning both of the previous games by 7-1 scores.

While it was thought that Mikhail Grabovski might be able to play by the end of the ...

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Missing One Of The Good Ones

About a year ago I climbed into a car driven by my friend Steve Dryden.

We drove to Buffalo to see Jim Kelley.

The man who met us was gaunt. He moved slowly. His voice faltered. His medical options were exhausted. At 61, he was dying.

We went to a restaurant he liked in Buffalo, a city he loved. We laughed.  We all kind of knew this was it.

Jim Kelley was a legendary sportswriter who spent most of his working life as the hockey guy for the Buffalo News. He filed a story ...

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Ulmerstandings: A Tale Of Two Trains…

Imagine two trains heading in opposite directions. The one heading north is Phil Kessel. Washington’s Alex Ovechkin is going the other way. You don’t really get the pace of the rise and fall until you see them together.

Saturday’s 7-1 Leafs win over the Caps provided that opportunity. Kessel was probably best player on the ice and notched a goal and an assist. Ovechkin was shut out and finished minus three. Ovechkin will drag a career high four-game goalless slump into tonight’s game with Phoenix. In that stretch he has finished ...

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Reimer Skates, Other Injuries Mount

There was some good news on the injury front Friday as James Reimer took to the ice for 15 minutes of drills with goaltending coach Francois Allaire and strength coach Anthony Belza.

Reimer moved side-to-side following the puck as Allaire and Belza passed the puck back-and-forth. He also faced shots from in close and the slot.

Reimer has made progress off the ice which led to him testing himself on the ice.

“He was on the ice today, he will do a little bit more tomorrow and then we will go from there,” ...

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Burke’s Generous Donation

Toronto Maple Leafs president and general manager Brian Burke has donated a horse to the Toronto Police Service Mounted unit.

Burke inquired earlier this year about donating a horse and when he was told that his generosity would be accepted, the name which he decided to call the horse was Moose.

“I figured there had to be story behind that name and, when he told me, I was blown away,” S/Insp. Bill Wardle, the Mounted and Police Dog Services unit commander told the Toronto Police Services.

Moose was the nickname that ...

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Ulmerstandings: Slow Start For Some Former Leafs

Let me put it to you this way: if you used to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs you’re probably having a lousy season.

While the Leafs are enjoying a 10-6-2 campaign, things aren’t so great for the alumni.

The three teams employing the most former Leafs -Anaheim, Calgary and Carolina at three each – are a combined 19-23-7. They are numbers 25, 26 and 28 in the league.

Put poor Tomas Kaberle at the bottom of the heap. In 15 games with Carolina, Kaberle has just three assists and sits at -5.

Matt ...

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Plenty Of Injury Updates

It was a good news bad news day for the Maple Leafs on Wednesday.

First, the good news. Tim Connolly will make his return to the lineup against the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

Now the bad news. Mikhail Grabovski will be out for two weeks with a lower body injury and Clarke MacArthur will be out of the lineup against the Predators.

With one of his top centres out for an extended period of time, head coach Ron Wilson is hoping someone can flourish with the chance.

“It is an opportunity for someone else ...

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Several Topics On The Table At GM Meetings

What figured to be a fairly sleepy GM meeting on re-alignment and boarding has morphed into a session to address hot-button issues.

The meeting is being convened at a Toronto airport hotel.

Start with the conversation about goalie-crashing.

That Boston’s Milan Lucic avoided a suspension because director of player safety Brendan Shanahan said he accidentally ran over Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller has stirred ample controversy.

Leaf fans saw goalie James Reimer injured by a similar impact from the Canadiens Brian Gionta October 22. The Montreal forward wasn’t penalized and Reimer hasn’t played since. The ...

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Burke Feels Goalies Need To Be Protected

Brian Burke’s oft-blustery vibe hides a fundamental element of his nature.

At heart, he is conservative.

Take the NHL general manager’s meeting, convened Tuesday at a Toronto airport hotel.

There were two hot-button issues. One was the Milan Lucic hit on Buffalo’s Ryan Miller that drew no suspension from director of player safety Brendan Shanahan.

Burke understands the impact of losing your number one goalie. The Leafs were cruising along at 4-1-1 when James Reimer was hit by the Canadiens Brian Gionta. Since then they have gone 6-5-0 and the team’s goal against average has jumped ...

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