Thursday, May. 16, 2013 7:20PM EDT
They still need to get better.
But whether that comes from within or via off-season additions, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis wasn’t giving specifics when he met with the media on Thursday as the final act of the 2012-13 season.
With his team still reeling from Monday’s heart-breaking 5-4 overtime loss in Game 7, the Leafs top exec said that he believes in the players on his roster despite the letdown of the disastrous final 20 minutes of their season, noting that even if the lineup looks similar come the start of next season, he will be okay with that status quo.More »
Thursday, May. 16, 2013 6:13PM EDT
Randy Carlyle called it being “hit between the eyes with a hammer.”
But the immediate message from the Toronto Maple Leafs head coach to his players is they should not spend their summer moping about the epic collapse in the third period of Game 7 of their NHL playoff series against the Boston Bruins last Monday. Both the coach and Leafs general manager David Nonis plan to reinforce that thought over the summer, to eliminate the disaster from the players’ psyches.More »
Thursday, May. 16, 2013 2:41PM EDT
The questions came, one after another from the gathered media, just as they had from family, friends and fans to members of the Toronto Maple Leafs and their staff ever since Game 7.
What on earth happened?
Based on his reaction in Thursday’s season-ending press conference, Leafs GM Dave Nonis appears to have heard them enough.More »
Tuesday, May. 14, 2013 11:19PM EDT
Hockey appeals to us precisely because it can’t be scripted. In a world a little too full of known quantities, we crave our miracles on ice.
But miracles work both ways. While Boston fans were ecstatic about the Bruins’ stunning victory Monday night, Toronto Maple Leafs supporters witnessed an unparalleled collapse: The team blew a three-goal lead in the third period, giving up two of those goals in the last 90 seconds, before surrendering the season-ending winner in overtime.More »
Tuesday, May. 14, 2013 6:58PM EDT
It is prudent to remember there was not supposed to be tears for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2013, that expectations were so limited going into the lockout-shortened regular season that the mere suggestion of a seventh game in a playoff series was laughable.
Yet even though there is a danger in overreacting to Monday night’s historic 5-4 meltdown against the Boston Bruins, the fact remains that no NHL team had blown a three-goal, third-period lead in a Game 7 until the Leafs. The components of the collapse have been visible for most of the season; the game cannot be seen in a vacuum.More »
Tuesday, May. 14, 2013 6:36PM EDT
There may be no joy in Leafs Nation today but the Toronto Maple Leafs and their fans need to remember something – every great NHL team had to deal with playoff heartbreak on the way to winning.
It is part of the process of learning how to win. In the formative years of just about every notable Stanley Cup champion is a stunning postseason loss or two. They may not all be as shocking as the Leafs blowing a 4-1 lead to lose in overtime to the Boston Bruins in the seventh and deciding game on Monday night but they were comparable. The players on those teams will tell you they were necessary steps in learning what it takes to become a champion.More »
Tuesday, May. 14, 2013 5:54PM EDT
They thought it was over.
The Toronto Maple Leafs had just scored a backbreaking goal – with youngster Nazem Kadri swatting in a rebound for his first of the series – to make it 4-1 after converting on a perfectly executed 2-on-1 play.
So, with just 14 minutes and 31 seconds to play in Game 7 on Monday night, Boston Bruins fans were already streaming for the exits by the hundreds, looking to beat traffic and assuming their team’s season was over.More »
Tuesday, May. 14, 2013 11:45AM EDT
It was a classy way for the Boston Bruins to move on.
They had just eliminated the Toronto Maple Leafs in an insane Game 7, rallying from down 4-1 with 11 minutes to play to score three late goals and ultimately win in overtime.
With the Leafs players still sitting stunned on the team bus in the bowels of the arena, Bruins coach Claude Julien took the podium down the hall and noted just how impressed he was with the Leafs in this series.More »
Monday, May. 13, 2013 10:56PM EDT
As Game 7 ended, Toronto’s Maple Leaf Square was silent. Several people dropped to their knees. Others blinked away tears.
“They tried really hard. That’s the disappointing part,” Nicole Boyd said through tears about the Toronto Maple Leafs’ heartbreaking, 5-4 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins.
“It just sucks that they were ahead. We all thought they were going to win.”More »
Monday, May. 13, 2013 10:40PM EDT
The Toronto Maple Leafs came close, but in the end just could not overcome the hex of Zdeno Chara and the Boston Bruins.
If there is anything the youthful Leafs will see in their nightmares, aside from some mistakes that cost them games and the playoff series, it will be the looming presence of 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara, who smothered them so often over the last four years. And right beside him will be winger Milan Lucic, another force who was seemingly silenced as the Leafs won two games in a row to tie the series but bashed his way free Monday night to help deliver the killing blows in the damnedest, craziest, most thrilling Game 7 you will ever see.More »
Monday, May. 13, 2013 10:19PM EDT
It will go down as the Meltdown in Beantown.
And it couldn’t have been drawn up any more painfully for the Toronto Maple Leafs and their long-suffering fans.
In one of the worst collapses in franchise (and perhaps even league) history, the Leafs blew a 4-1 lead with less than 11 minutes left in Game 7 on Monday night, frittering away a chance to eliminate the Boston Bruins on the road after improbably coming back from down 3-1 in the series.More »
Monday, May. 13, 2013 4:27PM EDT
After a win that even some of Toronto Maple Leafs’ biggest fans were doubting, the team is playing a seventh game in the playoffs Monday night. They’ll be in Boston facing the Bruins to finish a series that Toronto fans have been anticipating for nine years.
There’s support everywhere – people are dressing their dogs, their kids, their houses up to reflect their excitement. And they’re tweeting their fan loyalty in big numbers.More »
Monday, May. 13, 2013 3:29PM EDT
JAMES MIRTLE BOSTON
Here are five keys to victory for the Toronto Maple Leafs as they head into Monday’s Game 7 against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden:
1. Another big game from James Reimer. The Leafs young netminder could well be the first three answers here, but for variety, we’ll simply give him just top billing. After allowing only two goals in the last two games, Reimer’s save percentage has rocketed up to match Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask at an impressive .932, a mark good enough to win a series more often than not. The team with the better goaltending performance has generally won the game through the first six, and Game 7 isn’t likely to be any different.More »
Monday, May. 13, 2013 1:19PM EDT
So the youngest team in hockey is playing in a Game 7 for the right to move on to the NHL’s final eight.
This truly is the sort of territory where the Toronto Maple Leafs have yet to tread.
No, not being in the playoffs, for the snarky among you. And not winning games.
Instead, what these Leafs have become – by pushing the Boston Bruins to Monday’s do-or-die finale with back-to-back 2-1 wins – is one of those plucky hockey underdogs, a young team that could start to capture the imagination of those well beyond the limits of Leafs Nation if their run continues beyond this pivotal game.More »
Monday, May. 13, 2013 1:01PM EDT
Four employees of a Mississauga restaurant that opened its doors to the Boston Bruins following their Sunday night playoff loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs received the tip of their lifetime.
After agreeing to stay open late to accommodate the hungry National Hockey League club the Bruins arranged to give four tickets to staff members for Monday night’s Game 7 showdown against the Leafs in Boston at TD Garden.More »
Monday, May. 13, 2013 12:07PM EDT
The needle in this 180-degree series swung back in the last two games and is now pointed directly at the Boston Bruins.
And you can’t help but think their collars are getting awfully tight after the Toronto Maple Leafs forced the seventh and deciding game on Monday night with back-to-back 2-1 wins to roar back from a 3-1 series deficit. The Boston media is certainly whacking them over the head with reminders of their 2010 NHL playoff collapse when they blew a 3-0 series lead to the Philadelphia Flyers along with a 3-0 lead in Game 7 and lost the Eastern Conference quarter-final.More »
Monday, May. 13, 2013 6:00AM EDT
How must it feel to be Tyler Seguin right now? The Boston Bruins forward has pulled a monumental disappearing act and he’ll go into Monday night’s Game 7 in his own building hearing derisive chants of ‘Thank you, Seguin!’ ringing in his ears, courtesy of fans at the Air Canada Centre.
Seguin, of course, has lived a charmed NHL life compared to Phil Kessel. No longer. He has been out-played badly, his line reduced to an irrelevancy in the last two games while Kessel is playing himself into a likely contract extension. Seguin has no goals or assists in six games, with linemates Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand combining for one goal and two assists despite 67 shots at James Reimer – a continuation of a late-regular season snooze that saw the line, which scored 44 goals during the season, held scoreless in its final three games. Making matters worse, it was that line on the ice at the end of a long shift for the Toronto Maple Leafs second goal in a 2-1 loss in Game 6. It was scored by Kessel, the guy the Leafs traded a couple of draft picks to get – one of which turned into Seguin.More »
Sunday, May. 12, 2013 10:46PM EDT
Dion Phaneuf, Phil Kessel and James Reimer took most of the bows when the Toronto Maple Leafs pulled off a heart-stopping clutch win over the Boston Bruins and rightly so but a group of youngsters who all spent time with the Leafs’ farm team can say they played a pretty big role, too.
When No. 1 centre Tyler Bozak was a surprise scratch just before the game Sunday night with an undisclosed injury, the Leafs’ future had to be now. Head coach Randy Carlyle had to dress centre Joe Colborne, 23, who spent almost all of this season with the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League. It also meant more ice time for right winger Matt Frattin, 25, who also started this season with the Marlies, as Bozak’s minutes had to be spread around.More »
Sunday, May. 12, 2013 10:35PM EDT
From the goat to the hero, all in the span of three games.
Welcome to playoff hockey, Dion Phaneuf.
The Toronto Maple Leafs captain dramatically led his team to a Game 7 on Sunday night, scoring the opening goal early in the third period of a then-scoreless Game 6 to pace them to a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins.More »
Sunday, May. 12, 2013 2:11PM EDT
No one knows the situation the Toronto Maple Leafs are facing quite like James van Riemsdyk.
Playing for an underdog team that’s down in a playoff series, by more than a game, to a higher seeded Boston Bruins club?
Been there. Done that.
That’s a tidbit that will be referenced frequently here the longer this series between the Leafs and Bruins stretches on, especially given van Riemsdyk was a rookie on the Philadelphia Flyers team that famously came back from down 3-0 to the Bruins three years ago.More »