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Leafs Delight Young Crowd


The Maple Leafs were met by 3,000 of their biggest fans Wednesday as the team practiced at Sunnydale Acres Park in Rexdale. Fans lined up well in advance of the Noon practice with plenty of young school children eagerly waiting to see their local heroes.

The Maple Leafs, Rona and Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation unveiled upgrades and refurbishments made to Sunnydale Outdoor Rink as part of their Refurbishment Legacy Program.

“Anytime you get to come out and practice outdoors it’s pretty special,” Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf said. “We enjoyed the day, I think ...

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Some New Year Thoughts


When you work for a hockey team that hasn’t won the Stanley Cup since 1967, you don’t throw a lot of stones.

It seems especially foolhardy to criticize the Montreal Canadiens, historically the most successful of all NHL teams.

But Quebec politicians and cultural sticklers have eviscerated the Canadians over the hiring of unilingual coach Randy Cunneyworth. Since then, the owner and the general manager have backpedalled furiously.

Faced with a mob, the Canadiens’ management put a gun against their own temples.
The problem with blending culture and a ruthless competetiveness is that you ...

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Can Reimer Regain Hero Status?


On New Year’s Day it will be exactly a year since James Reimer slid between the pipes for good and changed the direction of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Since then, the Leafs have gone 42-30-12. They have outscored their opponents 247-224.

Everything started with Reimer.

But concussion or concussion-like-symptoms – take your pick – have limited Reimer to just 16 of the club’s 37 games. This year’s statistics look ghastly, in part because Reimer has only accrued a small window of work, in part because the numbers are bad.

Reimer’s .899 save percentage ranks him 36th ...

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Leafs Back To Work In Raleigh

Winnipeg Jets v Toronto Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs had a mid-afternoon practice in Raleigh, North Carolina Wednesday following the 5-3 loss to the Panthers.

The road trip continues Thursday against the Hurricanes with Ron Wilson announcing after practice that James Reimer will be back in net for the Blue and White. This season, Reimer has struggled away from Air Canada Centre posting a 1-3-0 record in six games. He has a 4.26 GAA with a .852 SV%.

With the Leafs in Winnipeg on Saturday, Wilson was asked if Reimer will play the final two games of the ...

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Burke’s Faith Remains In Wilson


People talk about the weather all the time, Mark Twain said, but no one does anything about it.

People talk about fairness all the time. Brian Burke even did Monday afternoon when giving his reasons for extending Ron Wilson’s contract.

“It’s easy to say ‘fire the coach’ when the team isn’t winning, but when you haven’t given the coaching staff good enough players, I don’t think it’s fair,” he said.

Brian Burke thinks and speaks about fairness more than just about anyone I know but listening to someone go on about fairness is ...

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Not For The Faint Of Heart


“He’ll be heading down to the medical room for repairs.”

How many times have you heard broadcasters casually intone those words when a player’s face has been sliced open by a stick, punch or puck?

Cuts to the mugs are so frequent, the play-by-play guys sound like they are issuing directions: turn left at the player’s bench, right at the dressing room door and head to the medical room for repairs.

This is someone’s face trickling if not gushing blood. Baseball blisters are a matter of much more concern than a wound to ...

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Kadri Recalled By Leafs


The Maple Leafs had a new face at practice Wednesday as Nazem Kadri was recalled from the Toronto Marlies to take the place of injured forward Phiippe Dupuis who was placed on the injured reserve list.

Kadri practiced on a line with Tim Connolly andClarke MacArthur as the trio will lineup as a unit against the Buffalo Sabres at Air Canada Centre on Thursday. Kadri has already played three games with the Leafs this season and had one assist. In his 22 games with the Marlies, he has a team-high 22 points.

Speedy and gritty Darryl Boyce will also ...

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PK Gets Extra Attention


The Leafs practiced Monday in preparation for Tuesday’s game against Carolina. There was lots of work done on the penalty killing as the Leafs have allowed six shorthanded goals in the last two games.

When he was asked about the penalty killing, head coach Ron Wilson discussed what he and his coaches are trying to instill in their players.

“Pressure, where our sticks are, it’s hard to work on shot blocking during practice for obvious reasons but constantly harping about being in shooting lanes,” he said.

One area that has hurt the Leafs ...

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Who Is The Best Bet To Be A Cornerstone Player?

If you are wondering whether the Leafs are indeed on the upswing, if the team’s play over the last 12 months is really just a bubble in a bathtub full of failure, ask yourself this question.
If you were starting a new franchise right now, and you could draft just one Maple Leaf, who would it be?

Go ahead. Indulge me. Who is the best bet to be a cornerstone player?

James Reimer. Good choice. He’s 23 and while the sample size of 45 games is perilously small, you can argue that a ...

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Leafs Getting Healthier

After a full day off on Wednesday, the Leafs were back on the ice for practice Thursday joined by Colby Armstrong and Clarke MacArthur who will both be in the lineup Friday in Washington.

Armstrong has missed the last 23 games with a high ankle sprain that has finally healed. MacArthur missed the game against the New Jersey Devils with an upper body injury but he has also been cleared to play.

Although only in his second season with the Leafs, the team’s record with Armstrong in the lineup is an impressive ...

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