8:35 AM EST, Wed February 20, 2019
35 mins ago
Forecasting a boring trade deadline for the Maple Leafs

Forecasting a boring trade deadline for the Maple Leafs

We’ll have to entertain ourselves with the misfortunes of others if the Leafs stand pat. The NHL trade deadline is five days from today, and my bold prediction is that the Leafs will do nothing exciting. So Far The Leafs have made one NHL trade so far, and they netted Jake Muzzin for this year’s first-round pick and two prospects of note. The Leafs don’t feel like the sort of team that spends the first-rounder and then worries about how it will look that they don’t have one. I’m not sure Kyle Dubas worries about how anything looks to outsiders, so I don’t think they’ll make...
2 hours ago
Wednesday’s FTB: Who’s your favourite unsung player?

Wednesday’s FTB: Who’s your favourite unsung player?

We all have those players we cheer for even if they aren’t the superstars. If you’ve ever gotten into your favourite team so much you know who their top NCAA draft pick is (Joseph Woll!), or you have a local junior team you follow as closely as the Leafs, you’ve become attached to some players who never make it to the NHL full time, but you always wish them well. Right now my guy is Andrew Agozzino. He’s a former Niagara IceDogs captain, and has been playing in the Colorado Avalanche farm system since leaving junior hockey - back when the Avs used the Lake Erie Monsters as their AHL...
9 hours ago
Leafs kill the Binnington streak but fall in overtime to the unbeatable Blues

Leafs kill the Binnington streak but fall in overtime to the unbeatable Blues

Tarasenko’s point streak got halted too as the Leafs worked their butts off to get that tie game. Playing the Blues, you know. It’s been years since the Leafs have beaten them in their home rink. Nothing you can do but keep showing up to play and hope it goes better. Hope is dangerous though. Safer to assume the worst. First Period Toronto starts off by testing to see if Frederik Andersen is awake. I think they could try just saying how are ya doin’, but that’s me. The Leafs come back with a really nice set of scoring chances and a lot of puck control. They have their skates moving...
13 hours ago
GDT: Maple Leafs @ Blues

GDT: Maple Leafs @ Blues

The Leafs end their long road trip tonight in St. Louis. Toronto Maple Leafs vs. St. Louis BluesGame Time: 8:00 p.m. ESTLocation: Scottrade CentreBroadcast/Streaming: Sportsnet Ontario (blackouts in effect)Opponent SBNation Site: St. Louis Game Time The Maple Leafs finish off a long road trip tonight with a game against the St. Louis Blues. It all started back on February 9th against the Canadiens. They won that game, and also defeated the Coyotes and Golden Knights. They lost to the Rangers and, infamously, to the Coyotes. The Blues are on one hell of a hot streak, winning 10 games in a...
20 hours ago
Toronto Marlies call up two forwards from Newfoundland Growlers

Toronto Marlies call up two forwards from Newfoundland Growlers

Hudson Elynuik and Zach O’Brien will look to add some depth to a thin forward group. On Tuesday morning, the Newfoundland Growlers sent centre Hudson Elynuik and right winger Zach O’Brien up to the Toronto Marlies, joining fellow Growlers forwards Brady Ferguson and Griffen Molino who were called up at various points this month. News: The #Marlies have recalled forwards Zach O'Brien and Hudson Elynuik from the @NLGrowlers (ECHL). #MarliesLive pic.twitter.com/hmIq7rlHSB— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) February 19, 2019 Zach O’Brien is a 26-year-old right-winger/centre in his...
21 hours ago
Leafs vs Blues Preview: Missouri Miracle

Leafs vs Blues Preview: Missouri Miracle

The Leafs head to St. Louis to face the hottest team in the NHL. Toronto Maple Leafs vs. St. Louis Blues Game Time: 8:00 PM Location: Scottrade Centre Broadcast/Streaming: NBC/SN Opponent SBNation Site: St. Louis Game Time Before this year, I thought the Blues were going to be quite a good team in the Central, thanks to a deep forward group and a couple of stud defencemen. Then they came out and were garbage for a couple of months and fired their coach. Apparently Mike Yeo really was holding them back (along with failed starter Jake Allen), because the Blues have exploded in 2019. ...
22 hours ago
Toronto Marlies Recap: The kids step up in big 5-3 win over division leading Syracuse Crunch

Toronto Marlies Recap: The kids step up in big 5-3 win over division leading Syracuse Crunch

It was a big night for Brooks, Bracco, Liljegren, Sandin, and Engvall. The Toronto Marlies walked into Scotiabank Arena on Family Day and rode a third-period comeback to a 5-3 victory over the North Division’s first-place Syracuse Crunch. Adam Brooks and Jeremy Bracco combined for two goals in the third period to bring a two-goal deficit down to zero, before Pierre Engvall finished it off with a stunner with less than three minutes to go in regulation. At the other end of the ice, Michael Hutchinson was forced to fill in for Kasimir Kaskisuo after the third-year pro gave up two goals on...
23 hours ago
More horrors of Toronto Maple Leafs merchandise

More horrors of Toronto Maple Leafs merchandise

I’m sorry to share this with you, one last time. Occasionally I get bored and look up what terrible stuff they’ve slapped the Maple Leafs logo onto. Well, I did it again. Here’s to your nightmares. I’ve showcased this monstrosity before, but yes, it’s still around because no one is buying it for some reason. If you want to you can, for only $24.99. Hurry! There’s only one left! You know, I may buy it, wander deep into the woods along the Bruce Trail and stick it on some random tree. Do you still have a mailbox on the side of the road? Do you still...
Feb 19, 2019
This year’s NHL trade deadline: the times, dates and rules

This year’s NHL trade deadline: the times, dates and rules

The deadline isn’t just about trades, it also affects the NHL and AHL playoff rosters. The NHL trade deadline is about more than just watching teams make really questionable rental deals, it’s also about setting the rosters for the playoffs in two leagues. The Time The deadline this year is Monday, February 25 at 3 p.m. New York time. As always, we might hear about trades after that time, as the NHL counts it as a deadline for filing the trade, and they get bogged down on approvals sometimes. The NHL Rules To play in the NHL playoffs, a player must be on the NHL roster by the...
Feb 19, 2019
Tuesday FTB: Can anyone not named Kucherov win the Hart?

Tuesday FTB: Can anyone not named Kucherov win the Hart?

Kucherov had a 5 point night, is one point shy of 100 at the 60 game mark, who can catch him? Can anyone stop Nikita Kucherov? Can anyone else keep pace with him to put up a good fight in the race for the Hart trophy? After last night’s 5 point performance vs the Blue Jackets — that’s 5 primary points by the way — he now has 99 points in 60 games. He is 9 points ahead of the next closest player, Patrick Kane with 90 points. He is 16 points ahead of the third place player, which is McDavid with 83 points. Is it possible that Kucherov can reach 120+, or even 130+ points, and not get...
Feb 18, 2019
European Report: playoffs are just around the corner

European Report: playoffs are just around the corner

The KHL regular season ends this Friday, and the other leagues are almost done too. It’s time to catch up on the last two weeks of action. For many teams, there was a break for the last Euro Hockey Tour stop in Stockholm. The KHL got back to work after the break, and they play games today, Wednesday and Friday, and then the regular season is over. The playoff schedule has not been announced yet, but the Gagarin Cup will be handed out before the end of April. Yegor Korshkov RW - 22 years old - shoots left - fourth full KHL season Lokomotiv played four games over the last two weeks, winning...
Feb 18, 2019
Family Day FTB:

Family Day FTB:

The Leafs are off until tomorrow, but the Marlies play this afternoon. Hello memebers of our PPP family. Today is Family Day in Ontario, and a holiday in many other places by the same or a different name. I hope you are getting a break, and if not, it is at least a relatively quiet day at work. The Maple Leafs are not playing again until tomorrow, but the Marlies are having their annual Family Day match at the Scotiabank Arena against the Belleville Senators. ICYMI Here’s what we wrote about yesterady. Back to Excited: Mike Babcock’s Toys - Fulemin and ArvindWe talk about math, forward...
Feb 17, 2019
CWHL recap: Chuli grounds Thunder 3-1

CWHL recap: Chuli grounds Thunder 3-1

The Markham Thunder threatened, but they couldn’t get enough pucks past Elaine Chuli. The Toronto Furies are determined to both make the playoffs and keep things very exciting on their way there. Today was the Markham Thunder’s final home game and their annual Do it for Daron game, which raises awareness of youth mental health issues. The Thunder wore purple jerseys that were auctioned off during the game. With a mess of players still out for the Rivalry Series (Canada won today’s game 2-0 and the series, 2-1), the Furies and Thunder looked to secondary scoring and a few call-ups...
Feb 17, 2019
Back to Excited Hockey Podcast: Episode 51 - Babcock’s Toys

Back to Excited Hockey Podcast: Episode 51 - Babcock’s Toys

We talk about math, forward lines, and more Welcome back to another episode of Back to Excited. Today, we discuss: The Leafs poor performance against Arizona [0:56] William Nylander has been the Leafs best forward for about 2 weeks [4:38] The impact of the weak competition they face on Nylander’s and Kadri’s success [7:02] We talk about math, and the strengths and weaknesses of the models used to assess play driving, factoring in the context in which a skater plays [9:02] How we feel about Mike Babcock’s toys (Hainsey/Zaitsev/Brown) [28:45] Frustration among Leafs fans with Babcock...
Feb 17, 2019
Sunday’s FTB: Leafs might be feeling the Blues

Sunday’s FTB: Leafs might be feeling the Blues

The Leafs will travel to St. Louis to play the Blues on Tuesday. I hope your Family Day weekend is going better than the Maple Leafs’. They lost 2-0 to the Coyotes last night in a very messy game. They have the rest of this long weekend off and will then play a final game on their road trip in St. Louis on Tuesday. ICYMI Here’s what we wrote about yesterday. Should the Maple Leafs even consider Cody Ceci? - KatyaNick Kypreos likes the idea, but does it make sense to anyone else? Vancouver trades Gagner to the Oilers, but what does this mean for the Leafs? - KatyaSam Gagner is a key part...