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Monday, 25.10.2010 / 4:33 PM / Matt Iaboni's Blog
By Matt Iaboni  - Mapleleafs.com online producer
You can follow me on Twitter!

With the Leafs set to host the Florida Panthers Tuesday, Ron Wilson switched a pair of wingers on the top two lines. Nikolai Kulemin was bumped up to the top line and Kris Versteeg was moved to the second line.

There were no other changes on the lines.

J.S. Giguere will get the start in net on Tuesday.

Mike Ulmer spoke with Jerry D'Amigo to find out how he is getting used to the pro game. Marlies head coach Dallas Eakins has been pleased with D'Amigo's progress. Read the story.

A few notes from head coach Ron Wilson's media scrum:

• He believes that Nikolai Kulemin will be a good tonic for Tyler Bozak and Phil Kessel. Kulemin is good in the corners and he will be a help to the line.

• The second line should have a lot of speed now that Kris Versteeg is with Mikhail Grabovski and Clarke MacArthur.

• Wilson is looking for Versteeg to feed Grabovski the puck to take advantage of his speed.

• With the switch in the top two lines, expect a different look on the power play. One line has two right handed shots and the other has two left handed shots. More traditional looking lines.

Here is Ron Wilson talking after practice



Dion Phaneuf


Watch the interviews with Colby Armstrong, Tyler Bozak and Nikolai Kulemin, right here


Matt Iaboni
October 20


I had a chance to speak with Leafs defenceman Brett Lebda after practice on Wednesday.

With the Leafs set to host the New York Rangers Thursday at ACC, defenceman Brett Lebda will be suiting up for just his second game of the season after missing the first four with a shoulder injury suffered against Philadelphia in the preseason.

The smooth skating blueliner was quite effective in his first game against the Islanders on Tuesday. He wasn’t sure how he would do after missing so much time but he was pleased with his first outing.

“I didn’t get many preseason games in and I think you might worry that you’re not ready, but I felt good and I just kept the game simple,” Lebda said.

Read the full story



by Matt Iaboni
October 20

I attended the Leafs practice today at MasterCard Centre and it was nothing out of the ordinary as the lines and defence pairings all remaind the same.

Armstrong on facing Sean Avery and ignoring the chirping that goes on:

"He plays with a little bit of an edge. He draws a little bit more attention but he’s an effective player for them. At the same time we have to keep our heads about ourselves."

Brent on the success of the Leafs penalty killing:

"We’ve been really aggressive, just like 5-on-5. We try and take away the time and space for the skilled players. Try and outwork their unit of five with our unit of four."

Wilson on the team having quite a few off-days this week:

"On the other hand when you’re playing as well as we are right now, you want to play as many games as possible. We’re practicing really well, I don’t see us taking our foot off the gas, so it’s been a good three weeks here forsure."

Wilson on the difference between chirping during his playing day and today:

"Now-a-days you have to be politically correct. The things you used to say you’re not able to anymore. It’s as simple as that."


by Matt Iaboni
October 19


A day after their first loss of the season, the Leafs returned to MasterCard Centre as they get set to host the Rangers Thursday at the ACC.

After being bumped on his way to the bench in overtime and getting off the ice slowly, Mikhail Grabovski was at practice centreing Clarke MacArthur and Nikolai Kulemin.

Get more from practice by checking out Henny's Headlines from Leafs TV's Paul Hendrick.

Speaking of the Leafs' second unit, Mike Ulmer looks at the trio and despite their language barrier, they have been dynamite through the first five games. Read the full story here.

Jonas Gustavsson had one of the Top 10 Saves Of The Week. Watch here
Mikhail Grabovski and Dion Phaneuf were both in the Top 10 Hits Of The Week. Watch here

Key Stats Through Five Games:

• In four games this season, J.S. Giguere has a 1.96 GAA which is the eighth best in the NHL.

• With five goals, Phil Kessel and Clarke MacArthur are tied for third in the NHL in goal scoring.

Tyler Bozak leads the Leafs with a 55.6 winning percentage on faceoffs.

Dion Phaneuf (19), Luke Schenn (18) and Fredrik Sjostrom (16) are all ranked in the Top 20 in the NHL in hits.

Watch all the post-practice interviews.

Ron Wilson



Brett Lebda



Kris Versteeg



Tyler Bozak



Mike Brown







by Matt Iaboni
October 12


It's game day with the Leafs facing the Penguiins in Pittsburgh. You can watch the game LIVE on TSN at 7:30 p.m., Leafs TV sets up the game with the pre-game show at 7 p.m.

Here is the NHL.com preview of the game.

The Leafs will be going with the same lineup as in their first two wins except in goal where Jonas Gustavsson will make his first start of the 2010-11 season.

According to several reports, defenceman Jeff Finger has cleared waivers.

Follow Leafs TV's Paul Hendrick for all the latest Leafs news. Henny's Headlines

A few prospects notes:

Greg McKegg is tied for the lead in scoring in the OHL with 16 points in eight games.

Brad Ross is the 30th ranked scorer in the WHL with nine points in seven games.



by Matt Iaboni
October 12th


The Leafs will hit the road for the first time this season as they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins Wednesday and New York Rangers Friday.

One area where the Leafs will like to see a big improvement this season is in their road record. In 2009-10 they finished the season 12-21-8.

After starting the season with a 2-0 record, the Leafs will be going for their third straight win to start the season, the last time that happened was 1999-2000.

Head coach Ron Wilson announced after practice that defenceman Jeff Finger has been placed on waivers. If he clears by Noon on Wednesday, he will be assigned to the Toronto Marlies on the American Hockey League.

Injured blueliner Brett Lebda is close to returning and he could get into the lineup Friday in New York.

Mike Ulmer looks at the Leafs fourth line and how they have contributed in the first two wins of the seasons. Read the full article right here.

Here from the Ron Wilson and players following practice:

Ron Wilson



Tyler Bozak



Nikolai Kulemin



Mike Zigomanis



Mikhail Grabovski









by Matt Iaboni
October 5th


After a successful preseason that saw the Leafs finish at 5-3-1, the Leafs trimmed their roster to 23 players.

The following four players were assigned to the Toronto Marlies, Luca Caputi, Christian Hanson, Nazem Kadri and Jussi Rynnas. Read the full press release for more.

The Leafs also placed three players on waivers Monday, Danny Richmond, Jay Rosehill and Mike Zigomanis and all three went unclaimed by Tuesday's Noon deadline. Richmond and Rosehill will now join the Marlies whil Zigomanis will stay up with the Leafs.


Here is how the Leafs could lineup against the Canadiens:

FORWARDS
Kris Versteeg  – Tyler  Bozak  – Phil Kessel
Nikolai Kulemin  – Mikhail Grabovski  – Clarke MacArthur
Fredrik Sjostrom  – Tim Brent  – Colby  Armstrong
Colton Orr – John Mitchell – Mike Brown

Mike Zigomanis

DEFENCE
Dion Phaneuf  –  Francois Beauchemin
Tomas Kaberle  –  Mike Komisarek
Luke Schenn  – Carl  Gunnarsson
Jeff Finger

GOALIES
J.S. Giguere
Jonas Gustavsson

INJURED
Matt Lashoff
Brett Lebda

Ron Wilson has already announced that J.S. Giguere will get the start in net.

Here are a few links from Saturday’s game:

Mapleleafs.com’s Mike Ulmer offers 10 reasons why this season will be different than last year. Read the full article

Also check out my Closer Look from Saturday. More here

Here is the Game In Six from the Leafs win over Detroit. Watch now

Here is Leafs general manager Brian Burke talking to the media about the roster moves.

Burke Announces The Moves



Burke Talks Kadri



Leafs Depth At Centre



Difference Between 2009 & 2010




October 1st
by Matt Iaboni


The Maple Leafs continue their preseason action tonight against the Detroit Red Wings in the Motor City. The two teams will conclude the home-and-home Saturday in Toronto when the Leafs play their ninth and final preseason game.

Broadcast Info: 7 p.m. Leafs TV HD, Leafs TV Interactive, AM640

A few Leafs players have suffered some minor bumps and bruises during training camp and they are being held out of action Friday as a precaution.

Here is the list of players who are traveling to Detroit today.

Finnish netminder Jussi Rynnas will start in net and play the full game for the Leafs.

Here is how the Leafs lined up during the pre-game skate:

Phil Kessel - Tyler Bozak - Kris Versteeg
Nazem Kadri - Mikhail Grabovski - Nikolai Kulemin
Fredrik Sjostrom - John Mitchell - Colby Armstrong
Luca Caputi - Christian Hanson - Mike Brown


Dion Phaneuf - Francois Beauchemin
Tomas Kaberle - Mike Komisarek
Carl Gunnarsson - Jeff Finger

A few quick hits:

• According to TSN's Darren Dreger, former Maple Leaf Darcy Tucker has announced his retirement. Read more here.

• The Marlies play their first preseason game tonight against Rochester at the Bob Fallis Arena in Bradford. Check out Chansler's blog on torontomarlies.ca for all the latest with the Marlies.



September 30th
by Matt Iaboni


Welcome to the mapleleafs.com blog where I will bring you Leafs news, notes, video and plenty more throughout the year right here.

After the Leafs 4-3 win over Ottawa on Wednesday, the Leafs took to the ice Thursday in preparation for their final two preseason games this weekend against Detroit.

Before we get into Thursday’s practice notes, a few tidbits that didn’t make it into the Closer Look:

• Although it is just preseason, Colby Armstrong has been a good addition for the Leafs. He has played a key role on the penalty kill, he brings leadership to the team and he has dished out quite a few hits.

• How about Korbinian Holzer coming to the aid of Mikhail Grabovski after he was hit by Matt Carkner? Holzer must not have realized Carkner is a known scrapper.

• It was another strong performance by Luca Caputi who is using his added strength to his advantage and giving the Leafs good two-way play.

• Don't forget to check out the Francois Beauchemin and Alexi Kovalev fight.

Here are some notes from Thursday’s practice from MasterCard Centre:

Clarke MacArthur has a sore groin and will sit out Friday in Detroit. Nazem Kadri will play on the second line in his place.

Jeff Finger will suit up for the first time this preseason.

Luke Schenn missed his second straight day of practice with a sore back but is hopeful to play Saturday.

Jonas Gustavsson will sit out Friday’s game as he nurses a sore groin.

Jussi Rynnas will start Friday in Detroit after he was called up from the Toronto Marlies. James Reimer was re-assigned to the Marlies.

• Kris Versteeg and Danny Richmond were in Chicago Wednesday for the Chicago Blackhawks ring ceremony and were excused from practice.

• Ron Wilson said that he is hoping that Saturday's lineup against Detroit will be the one that starts next Thursday against Montreal. It will come down to the minor injuries that some players are suffering from right now.

Don’t forget that you can always follow Leafs TV’s Paul Hendrick on Twitter for the latest Leafs news.

Check out all the post-practice video:


Ron Wilson



Tomas Kaberle



Nazem Kadri

Fantom Sticker Album
 


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