12:03 PM EST, Thu January 23, 2020
2 hours ago
Maple Leafs send Jake Muzzin off to slay the Monster of Lake Erie

Maple Leafs send Jake Muzzin off to slay the Monster of Lake Erie

Photo by John Ewing/Portland Press Herald via Jake Muzzin is going to a place he hasn’t been in a while. Today, the Leafs have announced that Jake Muzzin is being sent to the AHL on a conditioning loan. The @MapleLeafs announced today that the team has assigned defenceman Jake Muzzin to the @TorontoMarlies (AHL) on a conditioning loan.— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) January 23, 2020 This will be the same sort of loan as Trevor Moore is on, and the details are described here: The Marlies are in Toronto right now, practising ahead of the rest of their Boat Show road trip. This is the...
3 hours ago
Looking at Mikhail Abramov’s remarkable transformation this season

Looking at Mikhail Abramov’s remarkable transformation this season

Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Mikhail Abramov is a Leafs prospect to watch As of writing this, Milhail Abramov is currently leading the Victoriaville Tigres of the QMJHL in both goals (28) and points (52). In fact, the next closest player on the Tigres in points is defenseman Jerome Gavel, a 20 year old and one of the oldest players on the team who has only 27 points. That’s right, Mikhail Abramov has more GOALS than his next closest teammate has in total POINTS. How ludicrous is that? Well, the QMJHL record for most goals in one season is Mario Lemieux (of course) who had 133 goals...
4 hours ago
Tyson Barrie fails my eye test, but does it matter?

Tyson Barrie fails my eye test, but does it matter?

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports Reconciling two views of the Leafs defenceman My eye test despises Tyson Barrie. Whenever I watch the Leafs, it’s a guarantee that he will, at some point, do something that makes me sigh. He takes too many shots on the power play*, his defensive play is horrific, and he routinely ‘activates’ himself too early or in inopportune situations (for example, with three forwards in below the faceoff dots) which leads to the Leafs scrambling to defend an odd-man rush the other way. * One of my pet peeves from last year was people arguing the Leafs power...
5 hours ago
Thursdays FTB: Auston Matthews won’t play in the All Star Game

Thursdays FTB: Auston Matthews won’t play in the All Star Game

Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via A nagging wrist injury keeps him from skating, but hell show up so he doesn’t get suspended. Hello Toronto Maple Leafs fans! We’re almost done the boring part of the bye week, and the All-Star Game festivities are about to begin, minus one All-Star. Last night it was announced that Auston Matthews will sit out on ice activities, but still attend the off ice part of All-Star weekend. #Leafs forward Auston Matthews will attend the upcoming NHL All-Star Weekend but will not be actively participating in any on-ice events. Matthews is listed as...
Jan 22, 2020
Toronto Marlies ranked in the Top 25 Under 25: Where are they now?

Toronto Marlies ranked in the Top 25 Under 25: Where are they now?

January 5th, 2019 - TORONTO ONTARIO CANADA - The Toronto Marlies, AHL affiliate of the NHL Toronto Maple Leafs, take on the LeHigh Valley Phantoms at the Coca-Cola Centre in Toronto, Ontario. | Photo credit: Christian Bonin/TSGphoto.com Progress reports! It is the annual Bye Week for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and since the Marlies are also off until the weekend, it’s a great time to provide a mid-season report on how the prospects are doing. On Tuesday, we posted our roundtable, going over the summer’s Top 25 Under 25 prospect rankings, evaluating ourselves against how the players...
Jan 22, 2020
Miscellaneous Leaf Thoughts: Trades And OHL Stars

Miscellaneous Leaf Thoughts: Trades And OHL Stars

Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Also Nylander. Will we ever be able to not talk about Nylander? I doubt it. It’s the bye week and it’s time for thoughts! 1. Georgiev Fever! I discussed this at length in the most recent podcast, but here’s the short version. The New York Rangers are carrying three goalies: aging legend Henrik Lundqvist (who has an NMC he seems disinclined to waive), hotshot 24-year-old Igor Shestorkin, and hotshot 23-year-old Alexandar Georgiev. While Georgiev has shown well as an NHL backup thus far, Shestorkin is apparently considered the real diamond prospect,...
Jan 22, 2020
Revisiting the 2019 Development Camp Invites for Future Potential Gems

Revisiting the 2019 Development Camp Invites for Future Potential Gems

Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Who among the last development camp will the Leafs turn into the next Justin Holl or Trevor Moore? The Toronto Maple Leafs have a bit of a recent history inviting players to their rookie development camp who they wind up signing or drafting later on. Both Mac Hollowell and Sean Durzi attended the Leafs’ 2017 rookie camp, and were both picked by the Leafs in the 2018 draft. Sergei Sapego and Matt Bradley have both attended development camps and been signed to minor league deals. They’ve also invited Tyler Wong or Taro Hirose, two prospects who...
Jan 22, 2020
FTB: Midweek misadventures

FTB: Midweek misadventures

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports There may not be any Leafs games, but there’s plenty of drama to go around We may only be halfway through the endless, leafs-less desert of sadness that is the bye week, but that’s ok because every other team in the league has decided to really step it up and entertain us in their absence! With this in mind, I’ve decided to turn today’s FTB into a gossip column. Think of it as the magazines you see at the grocery store checkout, but with even less editorial integrity! First up: the Blackhawks had a practice fight, which are the best kinds of...
Jan 21, 2020
Looking back at the Top 25 Under 25

Looking back at the Top 25 Under 25

Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via We slap on the hindsight goggles and crow about how right we were about everything. With the Leafs off this week, we decided it was the perfect time to look at some prospects, so to get that going, we’ll begin by looking into our own hearts to see how badly we did at the T25 this year. To see how each of us voted, you can go to this post: Who do you think you were most wrong about, either too high or too low and why? Fulemin: Pierre Engvall (I had him 15th). Unlike some of my previous misses, I don’t think this one was too awful. Translating AHL...
Jan 21, 2020
Frederik Andersen is bad and he should feel bad

Frederik Andersen is bad and he should feel bad

Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Face it: He’s just bad and always will be. Someone posted some analysis of Frederik Andersen that used an interesting method to decide he’s just not good. They took his worst games, averaged them out, and said ta-da, here is the proof. I think that’s really not how one goes about things. We wouldn’t accept taking the cream of his crop of games as proof a goalie is good, so why would one give the reverse the time of day? One shouldn’t. And yet, it had that nice mic-drop quality that every good Tweet has. It was also factually accurate, or I assume...
Jan 21, 2020
How does Auston Matthews score so much: It’s all in the timing

How does Auston Matthews score so much: It’s all in the timing

Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Watch how Matthews gets himself in the right place at the right time for good things to happen. Scoring goals is all about being in the right spots. Scorers find and use open spaces better than the average player; they recognize dangerous areas, move inside holes in the defence and load up their shots. But what truly separates good scorers from the elite ones, the players racking up 40 or more goals in a season, is timing — the art of arriving in the right spots, at the right time. Auston Matthews is again on pace for the best goal total of his career....
Jan 21, 2020
Tuesday’s FTB: Break out of those bye week blues

Tuesday’s FTB: Break out of those bye week blues

Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via The Maple Leafs are having fun right now, so you should be too. By now the Maple Leafs are playing the back nine of historic golf courses, or on sandy beaches in the Bahamas, or doing something much more fun than thinking about that last game. Time to let it go. Think instead about the fun we’ll have through the rest of this season with a 50-plus goal scorer like Auston Matthews, or a fashion-challenged but slick scorer like William Nylander, or a top pairing defenceman lik... err... we’ll put that thought on hold until Morgan Rielly is back. We’ve...
Jan 20, 2020
European Report: A strange new face graces the report

European Report: A strange new face graces the report

Who’s this interesting fellow. | Photo by Yegor Aleyev\TASS via With the WJC well in the past, it’s time to catch up on the league play of the prospects. The European seasons are winding down, and most leagues head to the playoffs next month or early in March. There will be one more break for some national team play, and then the important part of the season will be here while the NHL is still considering who should trade for Alexandar Georgiev. Mikko Kokkonen D - 19 years old- shoots left - third year pro, second in Liiga Since the last European Report, Mikko Kokkonen played in...
Jan 20, 2020
Monday FTB: Defense or backup or quadruple down on offense?

Monday FTB: Defense or backup or quadruple down on offense?

Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via What do you want the Leafs to do to improve the team? Bad thing: the Leafs have been injured a lot this year. Good thing: they’ve had some impressive contributions from the likes of Pierre Engvall and now Rasmus Sandin. Bad thing: even when healthy the Leafs are weak on defense. Good thing: they have two young, cheap and potentially very good prospects on defense in Sandin and Liljegren right on the cusp of making the NHL full-time. Bad thing: Freddie hasn’t been great and they don’t really have a viable backup to take more games off his plate while...
Jan 19, 2020
Back to Excited Episode 89 - Goalie Troubles

Back to Excited Episode 89 - Goalie Troubles

Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Where art thou Freddie Welcome back to another episode of Back to Excited. Today we discuss: The Leafs’ crappy week, and whether Freddie bears the brunt of the blame [1:25] The Alexandar Georgiev madness [22:40] Whether Sidney Crosby is still the best player in the world [53:45] Timothy Liljegren and Rasmus Sandin [58:24] Let us know what you’d like us to cover in future episodes, and thanks for listening.