Wednesday, February 29, 2012

July 21st, 2012

July 21st will be a special day around these parts to be sure. Why you ask? Well, it will be the day that this counter will hit 3000!

Rarely do NHL teams hit such milestones and fans should start to understand the consistency that it takes to make it there! Can they reach the top of this table in a few years? We can only hope.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Just over 3/4 of the season is over and tonight the teams of the BoO have begun the last 1/4 of their respective regular seasons.  Each is playing their first game after the trade dealine that saw very little action on the actual day.

In Toronto, the 4th member of Hanson, Ashton Kutcher Carter is Mmm Boppin' on the bench somewhere in Toronto (is he a Marlie or a Leaf?) while "the next Pronger" Keith Aulie is happy he has squinty eyes -  Sooo much sun in Tampa.  Maybe he's made the trip to a Ft. Lauderdale bar to watch the Leafs battle from being down 2-0.  2 goals on 2 shots to open the game.   Good work, Mr. Allaire.

Ottawa is currently up 1-0 on Boston, despite Sportsnet starting out the broadcast with a 1-0 scoring for the Bruins. Ottawa's new acquisition, Matt Gilroy, is playing alongside Chris Phillips. New goaltender Ben Bishop has reported to Bingo where he'll right that ship before getting a shot with Ottawa next week (per Murray & Murray).  So far, tough guy Corvo hasn't gone after 38lb lighter Kyle Turris despite threats to do so.

Enjoy the rest of the games, folks.  Sens fans are wondering if Ottawa can beat Boston after losing 8 in a row.  The trending answer (courtesy of self-promoting THM on @StraightFromTHM)


Monday, February 27, 2012

Deadline day

It's not like we need another Trade Deadline thread on the internet, but here's a good place to mock each team's pickups or inactions.

One week ago, Leaf's GM Brian Burke indicated that he was very displeased with the Nonster and Jesus's choice in net.  A few days later, Ron Wilson hung out Jo'Gus' to dry instead of reflecting on his coaching abilities.  Leaf Nation finally started listening to THM and wondering if Francois Allaire was culpable in the shit goaltending of the team.  In brief, the answer to that question is "yes".

Across the aisle -- or province -- Ottawa was relatively silent on the trade front and absolutely zero noise had been made with respect to goaltending. 

So the Leafs were vocally in the market for a goalie; Ottawa was not.  Then top BoO goaltender Craig Anderson's dinner bit him back, with a chicken causing him to slice his blocker hand and and lacerate a ligament.  Verdict:  Out 2 to 8 weeks.  Lehner was recalled and the Auld-Lehner era began.

But wait.... the Leafs continued to tell everyone they were looking for a goalie.  The Sens clearly needed insurance in net.

So what happened?  The Leafs still talked.  And talked.  And talked.   Then, on Sunday morning, they still talked.  And while this continued, Brian Murray announced the Senators 2013 2nd round pick was headed to St. Louis in exchange for 6'7" giant goaltender Ben Bishop, the top performing goaltender in the AHL and a consensus NHL ready 'tender.   The hockey world reacted in shock that the Leafs did not appear to have more than a 2nd rounder to send to St. Louis.  One figures Leclaire will be in the blue and white soon.

In response to the acquisition of Ben Bishop, the Senators star goaltending prospect (Calder Cup MVP) Robin Lehner let in a stinker at 0:49 of the game v. the Isles.  Then he proceded to earn the 1st star of the game with an extremely solid performance.

14 hours remain
As of the publishing of this post, there are just under 14 hours left before trade papers can be faxed to NHL headquarters.

Will the Leafs land a goalie?  Will Nash end up in a Leaf jersey and Kadri play out the next several years on another AHL team?  Or will the Leafs take on the projected role of the Senators and start thinking 6/49?  Burke's personal trade deadline has been gone for a while (or so he tells people, as he likes to do).   Are the Senators done moving players or will we see more movement from the only BoO GM who puts his job before his mouth? 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What did Bryan Murray have to do with the Cup Winning Ducks?

Every couple of weeks or so at BoO, some Sens fan reminds everyone that Bryan Murray built the Stanley Cup Winning Ducks team and not Brian Burke. Burkey, they will tell you, simply walked in, poured a coffee,  and watched Murray's roster get him his first cup ring.

I beg to differ.

Here is a look at Bryan Murray's contributions to the Stanley Cup Winning Anaheim Ducks.

Bryan Murray watched over three NHL drafts for the Ducks from 2002 through 2004. 

*In 2002 Murray drafted Joffrey Lupul in the first round, who would later be traded by Burke. 

*In 2003, the deepest 1st round of the modern era, Murray picked twice: Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Then in the 8th round, Shane O'Brien was drafted. O'Brien would play 62 regular season games but zero in the playoffs. No other players in that draft are of note. 

*In 2004, no player drafted by Murray had anything to do with the cup winning team, which may be expected it being so close to 2006/2007. 

Result: Twenty-Five players were drafted by Bryan Murray in Anaheim. Only Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry played a role in the Ducks playoff run. 

Bryan Murray made 7 trades during his tenure as GM in Anaheim. Here is complete list of players acquired (for full list of players to go the other way, see Murray's wiki page).  

Petr Sykora, Mike Commodore,Jean-Francois Damphouse, Igor Pohanka, Sandis Ozolinsh, Lance Ward, Rob Niedermayer, Alexei Ivanov, PetrSchastlivy, Martin Skoula.

Result: Only Rob Niedermayer played a playoff game for the cup winning Ducks. 

Three years, 10 players added by trade and 25 draft picks, and in the end, of the 28 players who played in at least a game for the Anaheim Ducks in the 2006/2007 playoffs, only 3 of them came from Bryan Murray. 

Do we still think that 3 players out of 28 constitutes "architect"?

Reimer hoping new mask turns things around

I'm not sure he's on the right path but whatever works I guess. Hat-tip to the Globe.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The almost Pronger trade Vs. The maybe Nash trade

Nobody will ever know how close John Ferguson Jr. was to trading Tomas Kaberle and Alexander Steen for Chris Pronger the summer of 2006.

One thing for certain is that many Leaf fans thought the price was too high. An all-star defenceman and a (so we thought) budding NHL star in Steen, the Leafs in the end did not make the rumored deal and I count myself in the group at the time who was very glad it didn't happen. 

How wrong we were. 

Yesterday Damien Cox wrote a story about Jake Gardiner being the player coveted by Columbus as the centerpiece in a trade package. I got that same feeling as I did nearly 6 years ago. The voice in my head:

"We can't possibly trade Jake Gardiner. He's going to be a superstar".

Gardiner right now is the highest scoring rookie defenceman in the NHL. He is giving every indication that he's a star in the making, his minutes and production rising as the season grinds on. I would rather trade any 2 of our prospects together than Gardiner right now. 

From a pure business standpoint, it would be a no brainer to trade Gardiner. You look at asset management and it goes like this. Toronto sign Francois Beauchemin as a UFA giving up zero assets. Toronto then trade Beachemin for Lupul and Gardiner. If you're doing the math, that means Toronto have acquired an all-star forward heading towards 80 points and a bluechip rookie d-man, without giving up any organizational assets (other than some salary for Beauchemin during his tenure).

To then move a package similar to those two players for Rick Nash, you can see that the whole thing is working out pretty good for the long-term health of the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

So why can't I shake this sick feeling in my stomach?


Saturday, February 11, 2012


Special nights for Leaf fans have come seldom over the past 40+ years. The odd playoff round clincher here, glimmer of hope there, a win to stop us from fully bleeding out.

It's a franchise that has not won anything significant in a long time. And for that reason, tonight's honoring of Mats Sundin is even more important.

On many nights during his 13 years as a Leaf, Mats Sundin was the only thing fans had to cheer about. You could always count on him to do something special. To score a goal when the team needed one. To make a pass with the clock ticking down. To represent the emblem on his shirt and the C over his heart with dignity.

In the past week a lot of media and bloggers have jumped on the greatest  memory wagon to carry them to this Saturday night. I'm going to do the same.

Flames @ Leafs, October 14, 2006. My best friend and I, in the 4th row, right behind Kipper, the game tied. Most know what happened next. But for those who don't recall, Mats Sundin scored his 500th NHL goal. In overtime. The game winner. A hat trick.

Man, did I tell that story to anyone who would listen for the next week.

Whether the highest scoring Swedish player of all-time will one day become a Hall of Fame member, we've had this discussion a million times here at BoO. Personally, I think he will. But for tonight, it's not about the HOF, or whether he's a better captain and player than Daniel Alfredsson, which is where this conversation usually travels on this blog.

It's about the Leafs giving honor to a player who absolutely, without a shred of doubt,  has earned it.

Thanks Mats.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

BoO time!!

Man, no time to do this proper but had to put something up before the puck drops.

Both teams are healthy and both obviously need the win! Should be a great tilt!

See you later in the comments...

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Kadri v. Turris II

We've already compared failed Cup guarantees from BoO captains (no comment from Leaf fans on that whole episode), so now it's time for an update on Kadri v. Turris I.

A few things to note:  both have slipped in PPG, +/- and FO% (it was too much trouble to segregate Turris' PHX v OTT FO%, so we'll leave it as is).  Turris, however, has increased his category lead count to 8 by adding a goal, and a realbeauty off a feed from Alfie against Boston.

It is going to be very interesting to see the progression of former 3rd overall pick Turris, and guaranteed Calder Trophy winning Kadri (theme!)  over the next few games. 

Oh wait.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

We'll do it for Johnny. We'll do it for Johnny!

Read this story.

Made me think of this movie. 

That's all I got. Leafs get 3 points out of a home and home with Pittsburgh. Some will argue we should have gotten four, but fuck it, be happy, we're actually trending* towards making Mr Bower one happy ACC customer. 

*Please understand that this is not a guarantee. Daniel Alfredsson once made a guarantee, and look how stupid Daniel Alfredsson looked? Do I want to look as stupid as Daniel Alfredsson? Hell no! Nobody wants to look as stupid as Daniel Alfredsson did when he said that. Not even Daniel Alfredsson would. If the present Daniel Alfredsson could get into a time machine and go back in time,  he would definitely grab the 2004 Daniel Alfredsson and say, "Daniel Alfredsson, don't say that, you will look really stupid".

THM Correction
 "Nobody wants to look as stupid as Daniel Alfredsson did when he said that [in the middle of the playoffs]"

Except one guy!  Yes, one fellow really looked up to Daniel Alfredsson.  He saw the power of Alfie's leadership and it stuck with him for three long years.   Three long years, that is, in which he did not have the chance to play a playoff game.  So on April 14th, 2007, sitting in a local Toronto diner 9 days after being eliminated from playoff contention and 7 days after his last game played in a Maple Leafs jersey, in a conversation with legendary Sun journalist (yes, they used to have some of those) George Gross, this fellow had to say the following:

"But I will tell you one thing," he said emphatically. "The Toronto Maple Leafs will win the Stanley Cup while I'm still with the team. [emphasis added]
This is like THM guaranteeing he'd win the OFSAA football championship while  still with the high-school team he played for17 years ago.

So who was this guy making the emphatic statement, out of the playoffs and without contract, only to head off to play a secondary role for Team Riot?  If you don't remember his name, drive down to Lakeshore and Lower Simcoe.  You'll find him there