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Showing posts from October, 2013

Buffalo Sabres Are Back to Square One

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Through the first 14 games of 2013/14 the Buffalo Sabres have a record of 2-11-1.
After the first 14 games of their expansion year in 1970/71 they went 2-11-1.
Was the first ever incarnation of the Sabres better off than the current squad ? Let's have a look.

1970/71 after 14 games (GP-G-A-Pts)  21 GOALS FOR, 58 GOALS AGAINST
Gilbert Perreault  (20 yrs old)              14-7-5-12  Gerry Meehan     (24 yrs old)              12-4 3-7  Cliff Schmautz      (31 yrs old)             11-3-4-7 Larry Keenan       (30 yrs old)             12-1-5-6   Reggie Fleming     (34 yrs old)             14-1-4-5  Randy Wyzorub   (20 yrs old)             14-2-1-3  Steve Atkinson     (22 yrs old)               3-1-1-2  Al Hamilton          (24 yrs old)             11-0-2-2 Floyd Smith          (35 yrs old)             14-0-2-2 Skip Krake           (27 yrs old)            11-1-0-1
Dave Dryden  (29 yrs old)   60min   3.00GAA Roger Crozier (28 yrs old) 633min  3.79GAA Joe Daley     (27 yrs old)    147min  5.71GAA


2013/14…

Crosby Having a Nice Start

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With 17 points in his first 9 games of 2013/14, many are already talking about Sidney Crosby having a season for the ages. The real impressive thing is the era in which he is producing such outstanding numbers. Crosby's 17 points are 4 ahead of second place Henrik Sedin and the 24 other players within 3 points of each other trailing him. Even when Wayne Gretzky was putting up 200 points a season in the 1980's a 4 point lead in the points race at this stage of the season was rare.

A look at the scoring leaders during the early 1980's at the same point in the season:

(GP-G-A-PTS)

Through Oct. 26, 1980
Charlie Simmer    7-8-8-16
Kent Nilsson        9-6-8-14 Wayne Gretzky    8-5-9-14 Through Oct. 25, 1981 Real Cloutier     10-7-12-19 Marcel Dionne      9-8-9-17 Wayne Gretzky  10-7-10-17 Through Oct. 27, 1982 Wayne Gretzky    9-6-18-24 Mike Bossy        12-12-8-20 Through Oct 23, 1983 Wayne Gretzky    9-11-13-24 Peter Stastny        10-3-18-21 Oct 28, 1984 Wayne Gretzky   9-10-17-27 Mike Boss…

6-1 start for the Maple Leafs, does it mean anything?

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It's official, Toronto's start to the 2013/14 season is their best one in twenty years. The Leafs haven't been better than 6-1-0 to start a season since their NHL record 10-0-0 beginning to the 93/94 campaign.
In fact the franchise has only had at least a 6-1 start in now six seasons. The other occasions it has happened:

2013/14 6-1-0, 27 Goals For - 16 Goals Against
1993/94 7-0-0, 35 GF - 15 GA
1980/81 6-1-0, 36 GF - 27 GA
1944/45 6-1-0, 35 GF - 17 GA
1941/42 6-1-0, 26 GF - 16 GA
1934/35 7-0-0, 23 GF - 9 GA

Amazingly, this is only the third time the Leafs have started a season this good in almost 70 years. The time previous to 93/94 is interesting in the fact that their hot start really didn't mean a thing once the season went on.

 The Wilf Paiement, Darryl Sittler, Jiri Chra-led Leafs would end up with a mere 71 points in 80 games. They had fallen back to a .500 record just over a month after going 6-1-0. It would take them 23 games to win their next six games. The …

Maple Leafs Dynasty Halted by New NHL Rules?

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At the conclusion of the 1963/64 NHL season, the Toronto Maple Leafs had won the previous three Stanley Cups. Throughout the hockey world, the Leafs were regarded as an older, grinding, defence-first squad that engaged in 'clutch and grab' tactics. They were so successful that the NHL may have actually created new rules simply to curb the success of the irritating-to-play-against Maple Leafs. If one was to believe Maple Leaf coach/general manager Punch Imlach, this is exactly what happened.

During the four-day June 1964 draft/league meetings in Montreal, a few new rules were adopted for use in the upcoming season that some thought was a direct attempt to impede the Leafs. In the Maple Leafs game programme of October 1964, these new rules, their effects and the complaints about them are discussed in depth. As with most topics concerning his hockey club,  Punch Imlach was far from pleased. Imlach speculated, as did others, that the new rules were added to harm his Maple Leafs. …

Leafs with Two Road Wins to Start a Season, First Time in Franchise History

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Two road games to start a season, two road victories. That may not seem like much, but it's literally the very first time the history of the Toronto Maple Leafs franchise that it has occurred.

The Maple Leaf/ St.Patricks/ Arenas have only started the season with two consecutive road games seven times in their history. This year is the first time they have won both of these games.

The last time the Leafs started a campaign with consecutive road games was 1994/95, they tied in Los Angeles and lost in San Jose. The best that Toronto has done in any of these two game road starts was a tie and a win in both 1971/72 and 1981/82.

In 1971/72 the Leafs won their opener in Vancouver then tied the Golden Seals in California. Back the, Toronto split the goaltending each game with Bernie Parent starting the first, and Jacques Plante the second.
A decade later in 1981/82 the Leafs won 6-1 in Winnipeg then tied Minnesota 3-3 behind the not quite so formidable duo Vincent Tremblay and Michel &qu…

The Original KLM Line

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Most hockey fans are aware of the famous KLM line that skated for the Soviet Union throughout the 1980's. Vladimir Krutov, Igor Larionov and Sergei Makarov were perhaps one of the greatest units on hockey history. They were not however the first trio to be christened with the label of KLM line.

More than three decades before the famous Soviet line, the Toronto Maple Leafs had a line with the very same KLM name. In his 1950 biography of Ted Kennedy, "Come on Teeder", Ed Fitkin makes two direct references to the Leafs KLM trio.

In 1946/47 a rookie Howie Meeker and new Leaf Vic Lynn joined fourth-year Leaf Ted Kennedy to form a line. Meeker won the Calder Trophy that season, Kennedy finished fifth in NHL scoring and Lynn notched 20 points in 31 games before getting injured. The line would stayed together for over three seasons and was popular enough to have a poem composed by Toronto Star Hockey writer, Gordon Walker in the style of the baseball poem "Tinker to Evers…