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2013 Stanley Cup Playoff Team - Toronto Maple LeafsFor the first time since 2003-2004 - that's two NHL lockouts for those of you scoring at home - the 2013 Toronto Maple Leafs are finally back in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Behind the stellar play of goalie James Reimer and offensive success of players like Phil Kessel, one of the two most heralded franchises in NHL history is finally back in the tournament for Lord Stanley's Cup. The beginning of the lockout-shortened season was a bit ominous, as long-time GM Brian Burke was fired; the four years he invested in the franchise finally paid dividends this year, though, as big acquisitions like Kessel and defenseman Dion Phaneuf led one of the NHL's flagship organizations into the postseason.
Now that they've qualified for the playoffs - almost guaranteed the No. 5 seed - the potential Toronto Maple Leafs 2013 Stanley Cup Playoff run is being dissected by the analysts and fans long-hungry to see this team tested in the NHL's intense postseason. Toronto is still waiting to see if their first round NHL playoff opponent will be the fierce historic rival Montreal Canadiens or recent nemesis and recent Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins. Fans are hoping to meet the Habs in the first round, a fitting reintroduction into the playoffs with an intense rivalry to instantly increase the energy level. Toronto has also enjoyed far more success as of late against Montreal, not so much against the Bruins.
Toronto Maple Leafs Stanley Cup Playoff Opponent
While the Maple Leafs are unlikely to ever have home ice advantage in the 2013 NHL Playoffs, their fans are guaranteed at least two postseason games in the Air Canada Centre for the first time in nine seasons.
|Team||Odds to be 4 seed||Leafs Record vs|
NHL Playoff Preview - Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs - Because It's the Cup
Maple Leafs Hope to Avenge 1993Toronto was so close to making the Stanley Cup Finals in 1993. Since then, they managed to make two more Conference Finals in the 90's but haven't returned to the playoffs in the last nine years. A controversial Game 7 loss still stings Maple Leafs' fans everywhere, and they'll rally around those memories as they cheer their team toward a cup.
3/25/15: Well, that did not last long. Young and beleaguered forward Nazem Kadri earned a four game suspension from the NHL. He got that in his first game back after a three game suspension by the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs suspended him for sleeping through a team meeting. The NHL suspended him for an elbow to the head of Edmonton's Matt Fraser. Kadri seemed to know he hit Fraser wrong and immediately went to the ice to help and apologize. But the damage was done and the NHL kicked him off the ice, which was probably the right move.
3/18/15: The Maple Leafs' tumultuous season is mercifully nearing an end, but the drama continues. The team suspended young forward Nazem Kadri for three games for sleeping through a team meeting. It seems a bit harsh, but president Brendan Shanahan obviously wanted to send a message about maturity and accountability. Kadri says he is embarrassed by the situation and has learned a lesson. The punishment seemed a bit harsh, but since the Leafs are out of playoff contention and management wants to change the culture, it was probably a good thing to do in the grand scheme of things.
3/11/15: There are no two ways around it. The Toronto Maple Leafs, and that includes the players, coaches and team management, have been under heavy fire from fans and media alike all season. Considering they have one of the most disappointing records in the league, that is somewhat understandable - though fans and media have both crossed the line between fair criticism and damaging attacks many times. But now former Leaf Olli Jokinen is raving about his time with the team. He was only there two weeks before getting traded to St. Louis, but said that everything about the organization is first class, and wonders why every free agent does not try to sign with Toronto.
3/4/15: Another pre-trade deadline deal is in the books, and, not surprisingly, it involves the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs are hitting the reset button on the franchise, a move that is long overdue. So they are selling. They traded the controversial and gritty David Clarkson to Columbus for Nathan Horton. Clarkson has a big salary that he earned by becoming a 30 goal scorer. Horton, however, may well retire after this season. If nothing else, the Leafs essentially got an expiring contract which will save them money in the future that they can put toward the rebuilding effort.
2/25/15: The mess that is the Toronto Maple Leafs continues, but there are only about 20 games left in the season. New Maple Leafs management has a mandate from ownership to tear down the team and rebuild it through the draft. That goes against their philosophy of the last decade of signing high priced and old free agents. The trade deadline is around the corner and most expect the Maple Leafs to be sellers. They have some good players that would be helpful for a contending team, and that could allow the Leafs to slash payroll and build up draft picks.
2/18/15: Perhaps this is what has been needed in Toronto for a long, long time. President Brendan Shanahan received approval from the Maple Leafs board of directors to completely overhaul the team. That does not mean to do patchwork repairs, which has been the status quo for a years, but rather to strip the team down and rebuild it through the draft and player development. This same song was sung under Brian Burke seven years ago, but never executed. Now it seems they are really serious about improving a team that has made the playoffs only once in the last 10 years.
2/11/15: The Toronto Maple Leafs continue their slide that started well before the All Star break with another loss last Friday. That extended their losing streak to 11 games, with a 0-10-1 mark in that time. The Maple Leafs have fallen to seventh out of eight teams in the Atlantic Division, ahead of only lowly Buffalo. The losing streak is obviously frustrating to the players, organization and fans. The Maple Leafs hit the road for a short trip this week: at the New York Islanders on Thursday and at Montreal on Saturday, before returning home to host the Panthers on Tuesday.
2/5/15: The media out of Toronto, heck even throughout the U.S. and Canada, has had their fun taking shots at the Maple Leafs for their struggles over the last six weeks. Therefore, no such need exists to do so here. But it is inevitable that there will be changes within the organization coming soon. According to at least one report, Chief Leaf Brendan Shanahan would like to tab Rob Blake as the next GM. That job is currently filled by Dave Norris, but who knows how long that will last. Blake is considered unlikely to leave Southern California, though, and the Kings would have to grant permission first.
1/28/15: It is easy to pick on the Toronto Maple Leafs right now. The team is 3-14 in their last 17 games, including six straight losses, and has slipped toward the bottom of the Atlantic Division Standings. Considering their recent woes, the All Star break has come at a good time. The Maple Leafs have 34 games left in the regular season, which means 34 chances for management to assess their interim head coach and the roster. Toronto gets back to work tonight at New Jersey before coming home to host the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday - then embarking on another roadtrip.
1/21/15: Some teams tend to excel on the road, treating it like a business trip and focusing on the task at hand. Others, such as the Toronto Maple Leafs, struggle when away from their home, and that puts their chances at getting into the playoffs at risk. They lost their third game in a row and fifth consecutive road game last week to the San Jose Sharks. They are reverting back into the style of play that got Randy Carlyle fired a few weeks ago - leading many to believe that it is more than coaching that is bringing the team down.
1/14/15: For a team that has as much talent as the Toronto Maple Leafs, the 2014-15 season has to be considered a disaster. One not look any further than the fact that the team fired head coach Randy Carlyle a couple weeks ago, even with a winning record. Peter Horachek is the interim coach, and he got a come-from-behind win over the Columbus Blue Jackets last Saturday. But team management is not just stopping with replacing the head coach, chief Brendan Shanahan warned all the players that they are 'watching' everyone, so do not be surprised if there are some big trades coming up.
1/7/15: The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to confound their fans with their erratic play that is sometimes at all-star levels and sometimes at high school levels. In any case, they finished the 2014 calendar year in fourth place in the Atlantic Division. That is not quite good enough for a guarantee playoff spot, but still within wild card parameters. Later in the season, the rosters will open up and it will be interesting to see if they call up prospect William Nylander. He is playing in the Swedish league this season, but is with the Swedes in World Juniors Championships. Nylander is only 18 years old, so this may not be his season, but it looks like the Leafs have a keeper in the young forward.
12/3/14: Toronto continues to be among the more inexplicable teams in the NHL this season. The bad side is that they sit fifth in the Atlantic Division at 27 points through November. The good side is that they would have the eighth spot if the playoff started today. The leafs can score - they have registered 76 markers through 23 games - over 3 goals per game on average. But that is tempered with questionable defense that has surrendered 69 goals - exactly three goals per game. The Leafs probably know this too, so do not be surprised if they make a move to bolster their defense or goaltending some time this season.
11/19/14: The Toronto Maple Leafs have been one of the better teams in the NHL over the past two weeks, though the media would have you think that they share a record with the Buffalo Sabres. The fact is that they struggled in the early going, but are 6-3-1 over their last 10 games, which is good for 13 points. They have moved up into fifth in the Atlantic Division, but would hold a playoff spot if the postseason started now. Toronto has home games on Thursday (Tampa Bay Lightning) and Saturday (Detroit Red Wings) before heading to Pittsburgh.
11/12/14: At 7-5-2 through last Saturday, it would seem that the Toronto Maple Leafs are doing pretty well. Unfortunately for them, they are sixth in the Atlantic Division, as everyone seems to be playing well (except Buffalo). Interestingly enough, Wayne Gretzky announced that he spoke with the Maple Leafs about being president of the team. He said it did not work out on either side and has a lot of faith in the man they hired, Brendan Shanahan. While the cache of having Gretzky run the team would be nice, he has never been a great coach or executive. So maybe it was for the best after all.
11/5/14: Oh, Toronto. What are we to think of you? The Maple Leafs, through last Saturday, had a winning record at 5-4-1. At the same time, that was because they won consecutive games to get above .500. It still seems like this is a team without an identity. They are not a scoring machine, averaging only 2.9 goals per game. They are a good, but not great defensive team - allowing 2.6 goals a game. We may get an indication of who the Leafs are this season in the next week: at Colorado on Thursday, host the Rangers on Saturday and at Ottawa on Sunday.
10/29/14: The Maple Leafs were scheduled to play at Ottawa against the Senators last Wednesday, October 22nd. However, an assault on Canadian personnel was carried out by gunman, putting the city on lockdown. The game, of course was postponed to another day. Professional sports is a minor thing in comparison to such a tragedy. News outlets have more information for those that are interested, but for now, the thoughts are with the victims, their families and the good people of Ottawa. The hockey can be played on another day, now is a time for remembrance and thoughtful reflection.
10/22/14: It is said that anyone who can turn the Maple Leafs around and win the Stanley Cup will have "schools named after him" in Toronto. It has been a long time since the Leafs hoisted the Cup, almost 50 years (1967 was the last championship). It is too early to tell if the Leafs have what it takes to win this season, though they have some interesting talent on the roster. But many are already thinking about next season and the possibility of landing Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock. Perhaps he could do it, but let's play out this season first.
10/15/14: Toronto went to Montreal in the opening night of the NHL as one of the premier matchups. To be fair, it was a good game, though the Leafs lost to the Candiens 4-3. Hoping to get a little more offensive punch, the Leafs claimed Richard Panik off waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning the following day. Panik is still young, only 23, but has failed to make the jump from the AHL to the NHL as a consistent offensive threat. His minor league numbers are good: 11 points in 13 games last season and 41 points in 51 games the season before, but he only managed three goals and 13 points in 50 NHL games last season.
10/8/14: The Toronto Maple Leafs took a bit of a risk by signing 37 year old defenseman Stephane Robidas to a three year, $9 million deal in the offseason. What is more is that Robidas, as good as he is, broke his leg twice last season. He only began skating again recently. But there is optimism that he could be in lineup tonight for the season opener. He claims that the leg feels 'great'. He played in the preseason game last Friday against Detroit and was evaluated afterward. The Leafs will need him this season for them to improve on last season's disappointments.
10/8/14: The Montreal Canadiens made it to the Eastern Conference Finals last season before being eliminated by the New York Rangers. They are a quality team and could well end up representing the East in the Stanley Cup this season. In the short term, they may be without newly acquired forward P.A. Parenteau, who suffered an upper body injury in a preseason game last week against the Ottawa Senators. Parenteau can score, but is better known for setting up his linemates and registering assists. Montreal opens the season with four straight road games against Toronto (October 8), Washington (October 9), Philadelphia (October 11) and Tampa (October 13).
10/1/14: Many casual sports fans may not realize this, but playing in Toronto is the NHL equivalent to playing in New York for baseball, football and basketball. It is a pressure cooker where excellence is expected. The Leafs have won 13 Stanley Cups, but none since even before Woodstock (1967 to be exact). While the team missed out on the playoffs last season, the Leafs look to be an improved squad this season, and have a good chance to get to the tournament. Toronto opens the regular season in a week, with their first game being at home against the Montreal Canadiens.
2013 NHL Regular Season Winding Down
2013 NHL Playoff Series Races Games Affecting NHL Playoffs 2013 2013 NHL Regular Season Highlights Final Steps Toward 2013 NHL Playoff Games A lot of things are already known for the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. The Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks will be the top seeds in their respective conferences. The Toronto Maple Leafs…Read more
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Next 20 Games
|Oct 2, 2015||Toronto Maple Leafs vs Detroit Red Wings|
|Oct 7, 2015||Montreal Canadiens vs Toronto Maple Leafs|
|Oct 9, 2015||Toronto Maple Leafs vs Detroit Red Wings|
|Oct 10, 2015||Ottawa Senators vs Toronto Maple Leafs|
|Oct 16, 2015||Toronto Maple Leafs vs Columbus Blue Jackets|
|Oct 17, 2015||Toronto Maple Leafs vs Pittsburgh Penguins|
Scores and Schedule
|Apr 11, 2015||Montreal Canadiens - Toronto Maple Leafs||4 - 3|
|Apr 8, 2015||Toronto Maple Leafs - Columbus Blue Jackets||0 - 5|
|Apr 5, 2015||Ottawa Senators - Toronto Maple Leafs||2 - 3|
|Apr 4, 2015||Toronto Maple Leafs - Boston Bruins||1 - 2|
|Apr 1, 2015||Toronto Maple Leafs - Buffalo Sabres||3 - 4|
|Mar 31, 2015||Tampa Bay Lightning - Toronto Maple Leafs||1 - 3|
|Mar 28, 2015||Ottawa Senators - Toronto Maple Leafs||3 - 4|
|Mar 26, 2015||Florida Panthers - Toronto Maple Leafs||4 - 1|
|Mar 23, 2015||Minnesota Wild - Toronto Maple Leafs||2 - 1|
|Mar 21, 2015||Toronto Maple Leafs - Ottawa Senators||3 - 5|
|Mar 19, 2015||San Jose Sharks - Toronto Maple Leafs||4 - 1|
|Mar 16, 2015||Toronto Maple Leafs - Edmonton Oilers||1 - 4|
|Mar 14, 2015||Toronto Maple Leafs - Vancouver Canucks||1 - 4|
|Mar 13, 2015||Toronto Maple Leafs - Calgary Flames||3 - 6|
|Mar 11, 2015||Buffalo Sabres - Toronto Maple Leafs||3 - 4|
|Mar 9, 2015||New York Islanders - Toronto Maple Leafs||4 - 3|
|Mar 7, 2015||St. Louis Blues - Toronto Maple Leafs||6 - 1|
|Mar 5, 2015||Toronto Maple Leafs - Tampa Bay Lightning||2 - 4|
|Mar 3, 2015||Toronto Maple Leafs - Florida Panthers||3 - 2|
|Mar 1, 2015||Toronto Maple Leafs - Washington Capitals||0 - 4|