Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Moving Day

Sadly, I've shifted my focus to new areas. As of now Leaf & Lion will be the Maple Leafs contribution to Leafs vs Habs: Home of the Hate.

Please join us.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

25 Games Left to Play

Current Points: 47
Maximum Points: 97
On Pace for: 67

Gahhh, 67. It haunts us yet again.

The Leafs have 25 games to play. As of Sunday, this REALLY is Brian Burke's team. This season, obviously, is a wash, so we've got to look at sending a message in the last quarter of the season. So how do we evaluate this?

The Leafs remain where they are, and give up one of the top three picks in the draft, handing the Bruins either Hall, Fowler, or Seguin. For the next thousand years we hear TAYLOR HALL every time Kessel doesn't score two goals in a game.

The Leafs pull together a minor run of games and get out of the bottom three and into the 4-5 slot. Still not good, by any means, but while this draft is decent, the franchise players reside from 1-3. Then we'd have to worry about the kindness of the lottery. This requires about 80 points, which means an approximate record of 16-8-1, and a winning percentage of 64%....about 2/3 games. We actually were at one point this season winning two and losing one, so this is...well...it's something. 

We some miracle to not give the Bruins a lottery pick, and right now it looks like that requires about 84 points. That requires a record of 18-6-1, a winning percentage of 72%, winning 5/7 games. Yikes. 

We make it out of the top ten draft selections. As of right now, that will take 85 points. This is both a testament to how weird this season is and how fucking badly the east sucks. A record of 18-5-2 will do the trick, and this means, essentially, we need to win 3 out of every 4 games we play. 

We make the PLAYOFFS. Tampa Bay is slated to take the 8th and final playoff spot with...believe it or not....85 points. So, returning to this, we need to go 18-5-2, and win 3 out of every 4 games. 

We need to pick up our game in a big, fast way, and start hoping teams start shitting the bed.

1. Buckle up.
2. How ridiculous is the NHL this year?
3. Trade deadline(s) are going to be huge.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Nazem Kadri has made the World Juniors team

Congrats to Nazem for making Team Canada. It's going to be awesome to watch him over Christmas break. He's looking to be the man to centre Taylor Hall, too.

Final cuts were forwards Philippe Cornet, Cody Eakin, Scott Glennie and Louis Leblanc, defencemen Tyler Cuma, Shawn Lalonde and Dylan Olsen and goaltenders Matt Hackett and Olivier Roy.

NHL Jingle Bells

Here at L&L the holidays are important. Then again, with the season stretching through December, and the World Juniors...hockey really doesn't stay on the back burner for long. But, to enjoy the spirit of the Christmas AND the regular season, here is a Christmas Carol for you all to enjoy. Happy Holidays.


Dashing down the ice,
Ovechkin's got the puck,
His team calls for a pass ,
He doesn't give a fuck!
Shots off crossbars ring,
Phaneuf makes bodies fly,
If you want, fight Colton Orr,
But you're probably gonna die, hey!

Hockey all the way!
Patrick Kane wants his change
Or he'll punch you in the face, hey!
Hockey is the best!
Heatley's on pace for fifty goals,
And seven trade requests!

Cherry's lost his mind,
He sleeps in a museum,
So don't expect much praise,
If you're a european!
The Penguins won the Cup,
And went to the White House,
You'd like Jeff Carter on your team,
But nowhere near your spouse, oh!


Hockey all the way!
Patrick Kane wants his change
Or he'll punch you in the face, hey!
Hockey is the best!
Heatley's on pace for fifty goals,
And seven trade requests!

Balsillie wants a team,
Burkie wants a cup,
And all the fans at home,
Want Pierre Mcguire shut up,
Turkey has been served,
it's a Christmas buffet,
But quickly fill your stomach up,
Kyle Wellwood's on the way, hey!


Hockey all the way!
Patrick Kane wants his change
Or he'll punch you in the face, hey!
Hockey is the best!
Heatley's on pace for fifty goals,
And seven trade requests!



Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Big Picture: November

Alright, welcome back to our monthly segment in which we project our numbers forward to the end of the year to see exactly where we're going to end up, at this point. If you're curious about the September numbers, click here.


TML NOVEMBER: 26GP - 7W - 12L - 7OTL - 21PTS

TML FINAL: 82 GP - 22W - 38L - 22OTL - 66PTS

That's up 25PTS from our pace from September - quite an improvement. Unfortuneatly, that still puts us at 2nd last in the league.


1. Carolina (46 PTS Projected)
2. Toronto (66 PTS Projected)
3. Edmonton (72 PTS Projected)
4. Minnesota (75 PTS Projected)
5. Florida/Anaheim (76 PTS Projected)



KESSEL 40G 25A 65P

STAJAN 26G 32A 58P

HAGMAN 42G 13A 55P

GRABO 13G 38A 50P

WHITE 13G 32A 44P

PONI 28G 16A 44P

BLAKE 6G 38A 44P

FINGER 11G 27A 37P











ORR 3G 3A 6P




Way to go, Komisarek! Anyway, just a few interesting notes...

-Kaberle on track for a massive 82 point year.
-Kessel ready for his first of many 40 goal seasons for the Leafs
-Stajan continues his good production - keep in mind, he really shouldn't be a first line centre.
-Hagman set to lead the team with 42 goals.
-Good production from Grabo and Poni with 50 and 44 points, respectively. Despite his awful goalscoring, Blake's been on the board for a pace of 44 points as well.
-On the point, Whiter is getting ready for a 44 point season and believe it or not, if Gunnarsson played at this pace he'd be heading for 32 assists.
-The more dissapointing players, Kulemin is clearly not ready to break out with a projected 21 point year, and Hanson's AHL production hasn't really translated as he is only on pace for a mediocre 15 assists and is still stuck at 1 career NHL goal.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Big Brother: Toronto Maple Leafs

Brian Burke has finally had it. After a dismal beginning to the 2009-2010 season, the team was not working together, not gelling, and not uniting. After countless bonding exercises, road trips, and meetings, he turned to the only reasonable solution. Take twelve key team members and force them to participate against each other in a reality tv knock off:


Each contestant will not be allowed in the outside world aside from games and practices. They will enter the MLSE house with only the company of each other, competing in a vicious survival game. Each episode, a member of the team will be voted out of the house. The final remaining member of the household will be given a 10 million dollar bonus, lifetime season tickets, and the chance to slap Richard Peddie in the face.

The rules are simple:

-Each week, a challenge will take place between all players. The winner of the challenge will be granted the right to nominate two other players for eviction. Leaf Nation will vote on which team member they wish to remove from the game.

And now, the contestants...

Motto: The easiest way to a goalie's net is through his chest protector
Hero: Jason Blake
Food: Chicken with a side of the blood of innocent children
Favorite Movie: Rocky V
Favorite Music: Eminem
Favorite Color: Black
Luxury Item: Autographed 8x10 of Jason Blake

Motto: Destroy
Hero: Rambo
Food: Elbow Pads
Favorite Movie: Rambo
Favorite Color: Bruise
Luxury Item: Teddy Bear

Motto: With a great mullett comes great responsibility
Hero: Joe Dirt
Food: Beet Soup
Favorite Movie: Teen Wolf
Favorite Music: Belarussian Ska
Luxury Item: Pineapple


Motto: Just win, baby.
Hero: Terry Sawchuk
Food: Swedish Meatballs
Favorite Music: Symphony Orchestra
Favorite Color: Blue and Yellow
Luxury Item: Vesa Toskala Voodoo Doll

Motto: Whatever you do...don't shoot.
Hero: Mats Sundin
Favorite Music: Classical
Favorite Color: Blue
Luxury Item: Scrapbook of memories with Sundin, Tucker, Kubina, and McCabe

Motto: Whatever you do...don't pass.
Favorite Movie: Highlight reel from Boston from when he had teammates
Favorite Music: Top 40
Favorite Color: Yellow
Luxury Item: Testicle in Jar

Motto: Big hit. Block shot. Two minutes minor. Repeat.
Hero: Brian Burke
Favorite Movie: Any Given Sunday
Favorite Music: Country
Luxury Item: Restraining Order against Milan Lucic

Motto: It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the fact that I'm going to beat that dog so bad he's going to look like he got back from a sleepover at Michael Vicks.
Hero: Mike Tyson
Food: Knuckle Sandwiches
Favorite Movie: Fighting
Favorite Music: Death Metal
Luxury Item: Punching Bag (aka Matt Carkner)

Motto: Save the Leafs
Hero: Wendel Clarke
Favorite Movie: The Lion King
Favorite Music: Jonas Brothers
Favorite Color: Blue and White
Luxury Item: Schenn Jersey with a "C" on the front.

Motto: Calmness is the cradle of power
Hero: Gandhi
Food: Plain White Rice
Favorite Movie: None
Favorite Music: Ambient Noise
Favorite Color: Grey

Motto: Just hang in there, it'll all be over soon.
Hero: Jonas Gustavsson
Food: Marshmellows
Favorite Movie: Anything with Keanu Reeves
Favorite Color: Pale
Luxury Item: Autographed 8x10 of Jonas Gustavsson's girlfriend

Motto: When life gives you lemons, grow a moustache, play out of position, and become team MVP.
Hero: Tom Sellick
Favorite Movie: Anchorman
Favorite Color: Blue
Luxury Item: Facial Hair Grooming Kit


Stay tuned for episode two, featuring the first challenge and nomination.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Curse of Thirteen

I'm not one for conspiracy theories. I'm pretty sure September 11th was ordered by terrorists, not the US government. I don't think 2Pac is going to show up alive next Tuesday and collaborate with Elvis. I don't believe in the Illuminati, Santa Claus, or Jason Blake's soul. But I have to admit: there's something oddly fascinating about them. I don't take much stock in any of them but I like to read about them and some members of the hockey community have been piecing one together about our Leafs. Allow me to summarize.

Mats Sundin is considered by many to be the greatest Maple Leaf of all time (false - Alyn McCauley is). He's our all time leader in points and the last face of our franchise. Say what you want about the Canucks ordeal, but he was Captain Clutch and gave us a lot of memories. However, what number did he choose to wear? Not the famous goalscorers #9. Not the typical centre number #19. He chose the enigmatic #13.

Here's where it starts. Yes, our all team leading goalscorer (who should have rightfully lifted a Cup as a Leaf) wore #13. He did not return to the Leafs to centre Phil Kessel, instead he retired with 987 points as a Maple Leaf. 13 shy of 1000.

He did not get to lift that Cup, and he and the Leafs have been waiting since '67. 6+7=13

Yes, we won our last cup in 67. Since then, we have been stuck at 13 Stanley Cups.

Ian White, despite shaving 13 times a day, continues to look like a small hampster died on his upper lip.

The draft has also been plagued with bad luck. Jiri Tlusty, touted as a true sniper, has yet to come anywhere near his potential and can't seem to make it happen in the big leagues. Leafs management considered themselves lucky that he had slipped that far in the draft and have a chance to select him: 13th overall.

It doesn't stop there. The Leafs swapped their 1st rounder for plagued goaltender Vesa Toskala. That pick, 13th overall, could have landed the Leafs Max Pacioretty, Angelo Esposito, or Oscar Moller.

So, is this why we've had every bad bounce, the Kerry Fraser incident, phantom penalties, and late season exits? Probably not. But who knows.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Petition to Get Mike Palmateer a Cell Phone

Okay, I'll make this quick, but I am BAFFLED.

This is a Toronto Star article by Damien Cox about the scouting of Jonas Gustavsson. It features quotes from Brian Burke, Ron Wilson, and primarily, Leafs scout Mike Palmateer. It's actually a good article and it shows the journey that it took to get the Monster to sign with the Leafs. As we've seen, he truly looks like a #1 goalie as Vesa Toskala hangs out on the bench talking to Mikael Grabovski about hair products. There's one part that's especially troubling to me.

"I'm actually walking pretty good these days, but I have to be careful," he said Wednesday from his car phone. "I'm pretty sure that if I even looked at a pair of skates, something would tear."

His CAR PHONE!? The man works as a professional hockey scout and can't invest in a cell phone? His primary job is to make calls and speak to others and arrange travel and he's still using an effing car phone?! What century does he live in? Is his car phone attatched to a horse and carriage? Is Brian Burke doing his radio interviews with a tin can on a string?

MLSE was announced again as the richest hockey franchise. Well now you know why! They're ripping off the rest of their employees! Does anyone have any benefits over there? No wonder Mike Van Ryn is always injured, the poor guy doesn't get any health care! Does Ron Wilson make his pregame notes on a typewriter? Did Jason Blake get his people skills at a yard sale? Does Tomas Kaberle groom his eyebrows with Tom Sellick's old moustache groomer?

Forget the salary cap, boys, we've got far bigger issues here.




Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How Far Are We Away from a Cup?

Let's be upfront about it: despite a few strong games in a row, chances are we won't take the cup this year - though I'm still predicting playoffs for the Buds, I just don't see them going all the way. We simply just don't have the pieces to take it all the way. But how far away are we? In some obvious areas (top six) we're pretty hurting. But let's look at this more specifically. What do we have playing right now that could feasibly be a legitimate piece on a Stanley Cup team?

Ponikarovsky - CENTRE - RIGHT WING
Hagman - CENTRE - Stempniak
LEFT WING - Mitchell - Orr

Kaberle - Komisarek
White - Beauchemin
Schenn - Finger/Exelby


So it's pretty clear - we've only got 1.5 that could be a top sixer on a Cup team...Poni really is pushing it. In all honesty, I think you could interchange Hagman, Stempniak, Poni, and even Blake for those three spots but beyond that I don't really buy into it. Mitchell could also be switched out for Wallin without much of an effect. So up front that means we're going to need to add two strong centres, two quality wingers, a grinding centre and a hard hitting/working winger for the fourth line. That might be Nik Kulemin but I'm not buying it. Sorry.

On the back: yeah. I think we're set. That was clearly Burke's intention for the summer and once Schenn/Beauchemin settle into their games we'll be just fine. I truly believe that. And maybe Macdonald really could settle into the backup role full time but while Gustavsson has played well it's a pretty small sample size to see if a goalie can take you to the show: in the meantime though, it sure has looked that way.

Let's not forget the prospects, though. We've got some very promising players in Kadri, Bozak, Stalberg, Hanson, and Tlusty all sitting in the minors right now and performing as they should. So let's have another look (assuming these players move into the players we hope they will become.

Tlusty - Kadri- Kessel
Stalberg - Bozak - Hanson
Poni - Tlusty - Stempniak
Hagman/Kulemin - Mitchell - Orr

Kaberle - Komisarek
White - Beauchemin
Schenn - Finger/Exelby


But realistically: all these players are not going to be ready by next year. Kadri will probably be heading for one more year of junior (giving Burke's history) and I'm really not sold on Jiri Tlusty quite yet. I hope he can be the top notch goal scorer we hoped he would be but if he does then power to him. I do, however, think the Frat Line will make the push up next year. However: I think they'd be best suited, for now, as a third line grind line providing some secondary scoring.

CAUTION: We are now entering the land of pipe dreams. If our cards are played correctly during free agency, he's our 2011 Stanley Cup winning team (and shocker: it fits under the cap).

Kovalchuk (8) – Savard (6)– Kessel (5.4)
Tlusty (3) – Kadri (875k) – Guerin (1.3)
Stalberg (850K) – Bozak(3.75) - Hanson(1)
Orr (1)– Mitchell(1.2) – Hagman(3)

Kaberle(4.25) – Komisarek(4.5)
Schenn(2.975) – Beau(3.8)
White(2) – Gunnarsson/Mikus(875K)

Macdonald (700K)

Is this realistic? Nooooope. Kovalchuk will probably either stay in Atlanta or be KHL bound: plus he'll get closer to 9-10 million. Savard actually doesn't look that unlikely at this point. Getting a vet like Billy Guerin for a year wouldn't hurt in the least especially since he can still score a couple goals. Kadri is magically ready to play, Blake is mysteriously dissapeared, and XLB/Finger have been let go for cheaper options.

Again: this is nothing else but something fun to look at, and I don't see us getting Kovalchuk. I wish. But just take a look at these scenarios and how the team has started to play:

We're not as far off as you might think.


PS: You can now reach the site from leafandlion.com

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Yep, you heard me right. We've made the jump to dot com, and you can access from there. If you want to get to know what we're all about and you're a new reader, here's five articles that you should check out to see what L&L is all about.

Maple Leafian Rhapsody - A Queen Parody about your boys in blue.

Maple Leafs High School Report Card - If MLSE were a high school, it'd be something like this...

Faceoffs and Team Building - A look at the centres in the Leafs organization from an insider scoop.

2009 Plus/Minus - A two parter about the Leafs good, bad, and ugly.

And finally,

Nik Hagman Scores the Greatest Goal in the History of Hockey - See title.



PS: Phil Kessel!