Our friend Steven Stamkos is back in town tonight, and the Leafs need to figure out how to stop him. It's crunch time in Toronto; they currently sit 13th in the East, seven "> // --> points out of a playoff spot, and need to string some wins together fast. Most of the folks covering the Leafs these days aren't overly optimistic.
James Mirtle writes that not only are we going to face Stamkos and Hedman tonight, but
Two days later, it’s the Edmonton Oilers and Taylor Hall in town, with the top pick in 2010 set to make his Toronto debut in his 25th NHL game.
On Saturday, the Boston Bruins bring in Tyler Seguin, last June’s No. 2 selection that the Leafs dealt away for the rights to Phil Kessel.
After that? Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals next Monday and Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.
In all, it’ll be a little like running the gauntlet of lottery drafts past the next nine days, with Toronto facing seven of the 14 players taken first or second overall since 2004.
'Hack the bone!' may be a reasonable tactic to resort to at this point.
Leaf News Links:
Hockey Royalty Gathers in Montreal for Pat Burns Funeral
Life of former NHL coach remembered Monday afternoon at downtown Montreal's Queen of the World Cathedral. From Sean Gordon over at The Globe.
Leafs Prepare for the Ghosts of Drafts Past - The Globe and Mail
Seven first or second overall picks from recent years ready to make life tough for Toronto. Wonderful. Just wonderful.
Bozak: There's Still Time To Get It Back
Jonas Siegel writes about Bozak's struggle to get out of his slump.
Leafs Embark on Crucial Stretch
Elliotte Friedman with some thoughts on the Leafs' situation.
Nochnaya Huligana: "Mikhail Stefanovich only wants to play hockey"
An interview translated from Russian.
Lowering the Bar?
Over at Vintage Leaf Memories, Michael Langlois reflects on how Quinn's work as coach and GM stacks up against Burke's.
Conn Smythe's Distinctive Sense of Fashion
This and more, over at Vintage Leafs.
Does Brian Burke Know Who the “Real” Leafs Fans Are?
Maplestirup doesn't agree with Burke's assessment that Leaf fans aren't angry.
Other Hockey Links:
Stevie Y Went To School, To Prove To Dad He's Not A Fool
Actually, he just hung out with Ken Holland for four years. From Dave Shoalts over at the Globe and Mail.
Team Canada World Juniors Selection Camp Invitees Named
Christopher Ralph over at the Hockey Writers breaks down the list. Brad Ross, one of the Leafs' second-round picks in the last draft, finds himself invited.
2011 NHL All-Star Fan Balloting After Two Weeks
It's not too late to get a couple of our Leafs in! Go vote! Vote ten times!
Finnish SM-Liiga Goal Locations, 2009-10 - Behind The Net
Interesting stuff from Hawerchuk.
Avs Acquire D Matt Hunwick from Bruins for D Colby Cohen
Sure, it's a minor trade, but all trades are worth noting.
Dumb and Damien
It's a Canucks fan's blog, but if you enjoy ripping on Damien Cox, head on over to read what Tom has to say. Mirtle responds with a couple of comments to this one, as well.
Fan Fiction: A Maple Leafs' Chat Room
A Wonderful World of Loser Domi production.
10/11 NHL All-Star Game: Marvel vs. DC
Kyle Larkin imagines a world where the All-Stars were real superheroes.