Jean-Sébastien Giguère Comes to Toronto for a Resurrection

After watching with disdain the way fans of the Montreal Canadiens have anointed and massacred Carey Price over the past two years I now find myself at the precipice of hypocrisy as I anticipate the arrival of of Jean-Sébastien Giguère in Toronto.  After being traded today for Vesa Toskala and Jason Blake I expect to see nothing less than the rebirth of Giguère.

It may not be the equivalent of Patrick Roy going to Colorado but make no mistake, J-S Giguère going to Toronto is huge for the Leafs and huge in the goalie world. This is a 12yr old Giguère with his idol Roy.

Others can debate cap hits and cash outlays until they’re (Leaf) blue in the face… none of that matters in this case.  How many Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup winners were on the Leafs yesterday?  None.  Today they not only have one in Giguère but they also have former Norris Trophy finalist Dion Phaneuf in front of him.  The Leaf universe has changed overnight and despite GM Brian Burke talking about Phaneuf being the centerpiece of the Flames deal, it’s Giguère who’s actually poised to become the face of the Leafs. Continue reading

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Only 80 Games Remaining; It’s Time to Panic

Disney's Chicken Little... now playing in an NHL arena near you!

Disney's Chicken Little... now playing in an NHL arena near you!

The sky is falling in Toronto and Vancouver, and things are not much better in the rest of Canada for that matter.  The fans in Toronto are clamouring for coach Ron Wilson to make Swedish rookie Jonas Gustavsson the starter after two lackluster performances by Vesa Toskala.  In Vancouver the Stanley Cup parade plans have been shelved after Roberto Luongo and the Canucks have not only opened the season 0-3 but have looked terrible in doing so. Continue reading

Justin Pogge to Make Leaf Debut Tonight

It’s not like the Toronto hockey press corps needed anything more to write about this season (new coach, new GM, Sundin-gate, another season of missing the playoffs) but now they finally get to cover Justin Pogge’s debut in the Leaft net tonight in Atlanta.

Pogge inherits 29 from Mike Palmateer and Felix Potvin

Pogge inherits 29 from Mike Palmateer and Felix Potvin

Continue reading

Goalie Shot of the Day

“Always Leave with the One Who Brung ‘Ya”

This was my dad’s advice to me when I went to high school dances.  That is to say, if you take a girl to a dance then you stay with that girl to end of the evening and make sure she gets home happy and safe.  You don’t look for a new date at the end of the evening and leave her jilted and embarrassed.

Coaches have never been shy to pull a goalie if he’s playing poorly or the team needs a wake-up call.  Heck, Mike Keenan probably dreams about it in his sleep.  But they NEVER, EVER pull the goalie right before the start of a shootout.  At least they didn’t, until Leafs new coach Ron Wilson did it to Vesa Toskala last night in a game against the Ducks.  With the game tied 2-2 after OT Wilson removed Toskala, who was quite warm after playing 65 minutes of hockey, and replaced him with Curtis Joseph, who was probably quite cold after sitting on the bench for 65 minutes of hockey.  Cujo didn’t make any saves in the shootout and the Ducks won.  (The Leafs didn’t score any shootout goals either but that’s another story for someone else to cover)

Wilson defended the move afterwards by saying “we had nothing to lose”.  Toskala and Joseph said all the right things afterwards (more here as well) but how do you feel if you’re Toskala and the coach basically says “we’ve got no chance to win the shootout with you in net”.  The Leafs were in for a long season anyway but for Toskala it’s starting to look a bit longer with Keenan, I mean Wilson, looking over his shoulder.

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