Leafs News

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by TorontoGM, Dec 16, 2005.

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  1. TorontoGM

    TorontoGM Registered User

    Nov 10, 2005
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    TORONTO: Anticipation is thick in the cold Torontonian winter air this week, as the Leafs have a chance at the fourth place spot in the HFNHL Northeastern division. The leafs who started the season in the gutter, loosing their first 6 games, have managed to turn their play around in this last week, winning 3 of their last 4 contests. Last week, it seemed almost impossible for the leafs to expect anything more then a last place finish in their division, but after their 2-1 win against Carolina yesterday they are now 1 point away from 4th place in the northeastern division. Currently that position is held by the Buffalo Sabres, who will be playing the Leafs this Sunday. The winner on Sunday will walk away on top in the standings. Both teams have a two day rest period until that game, and are expected to take full advantage of that time to prepare for Sunday's battle.

    The majority of praise for the dramatic turn around in the Leafs' fortunes has been heaped on the veteran first line of Robitaille, Miller and Sundstrom. The three have managed between themselves to pick up 18 points this season, 14 of which have been in the last 4 games. When asked coach Quinn commented "I'm really happy with all three of them, they're really setting an example for the rest of the team to follow. They're all veterans who I've been able to count on to pull this team around."

    Criticism was sharp last week however, some writers questioning Quinns decision to move Comrie, Gionta and Kaberle to the second line, both of whom are seen as the top talent on the team. However, despite the critics, Quinn's gamble has paid off with 3 wins in the last 4 games.

    However, not all is rosey in Toronto with rumours surfacing that Kaberle is not happy with the decision to move him to the 2nd line. When asked to comment about these rumours GM Abbas Chagani replied "Kaberle is a professional and is 100% behind his coach." However, when pressed about trade rumours assistant GM Arif Jaffer was non-commital, stating "We're always looking at trade opportunities." With a tight race forming in both Eastern and Western conferences it seems likely that Kaberle's value will continue to increase throughout the season and sooner or later a trade will be made.

    There has also been alot of talk recently over comments made by Hockey Night in Canada host Don Cherry after the Tampa-Bay Lightning game earlier in the week were Tie Domi broke the nose of Leafs defender Matt Walker. Cherry stated on air "I believe that Domi should have beaten the crap out of Walker, after all with a mouth like that I'd kick the crap out of him, but that's not the point. Where was Laraque in all of this? After all he's supposed to be the toughest enforcer in the league. I can't believe he didn't break any noses himself, that is his job after all..." Since making those comments, anti-violence advocates have been demanding that Cherry make a public retraction and be pervented from returning on air. Cherry and the CBC have refused to comment when asked about these demands.

    However, Cherry's comments have seemed to provoke many fans to begin criticising Laraque for not being tough enough on the ice. When asked about these criticisms Laraque stated "Walker shouldn't have tried to fight Domi in the first place, it's not my fault he got his a#! kicked."

    Despite these distractions all of the Leafs concentration seems to be on next Sundays game against the Sabres. After such a horrible start to the season the Leafs have their first opportunity to really impress their fans and by moving up in the HFNHL standings and it looks like they know it.

    Adil Jaffer
    Toronto Star
  2. Wildman

    Wildman Registered User

    Feb 28, 2002
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    Good article Adil

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