Posts Tagged ‘Randy Carlyle’

Brendan Shanahan will bring change to the hapless Maple Leafs … slowly

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Coach Randy Carlyle and the Toronto Maple Leafs

Expect a new look on the ice and perhaps behind the bench in Toronto next season. (Abelimages/Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

Forced into an early reveal by rumors that spread on Thursday night — apparently the defense is as leaky in Toronto’s front office as it is on the ice — the Maple Leafs confirmed this morning that Brendan Shanahan has been appointed to the position of President and Alternate Governor of the struggling club.

It’s a sensible career move for the Hall of Famer, who leaves a thankless gig as the NHL’s chief disciplinarian in order to oversee all team operations for a club that could really use a firm hand after missing out on the playoffs for the eighth time in nine years.

And given the reputation for innovative thinking and consensus building that he earned during his tenure with the league — remember the post-lockout Shanahan Summit that led to the creation of the competition committee and implemented ways of enhancing skill and speeding up the game? — he seems like a fairly safe bet for the Leafs, too. Shanny’s shy on front office experience, but he’s a guy who has proved that he can learn on the job, a skill that will come in handy as he takes on this new exercise. And he has some seriously thick skin, a necessary tool for anyone signing on with this organization.

SI.com Fan Misery Rankings: Maple Leafs take top dishonor

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  • Published On Apr 11, 2014
  • Top Line: Jarome Iginla tops 30, Maple Leafs trapped in glass case of emotion

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    Jarome Iginla's recent surge represents is welcome news for the Bruins. (Mark Goldman/Icon SMI)

    Jarome Iginla’s recent scoring surge represents is welcome news for the Bruins. (Mark Goldman/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Jarome Iginla reached the 30-goal benchmark in yesterday’s win over the Caps. His scorching hot March proves he’s not just a valuable part of the present. He can be a big part of the future, too…if the Bruins can figure out how to work him in under that cap.

    • While Iggy’s been on a roll, the hands of another Boston scorer have turned to stone. And that might necessitate a shake-up in the team’s top six.

    • As Toronto’s epic swing swoon reaches eight games, Chris Johnson points to an upside: the organization can no longer ignore the sizable cracks in the team’s foundation. That probably doesn’t bode well for the future of Randy Carlyle, right?

    • Mike Zeisberger offers his take on the big changes coming in Hogtown.

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  • Published On Mar 30, 2014
  • Top Line: Leafs lose, Bowe fumes; GM McPhee on last legs; more links

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    James van Riemsdyk and the Maple Leafs have fallen both on the ice and in the standings. (Derik Hamilton/Icon SMI)

    James van Riemsdyk and the Maple Leafs have fallen both on the ice and in the standings. (Derik Hamilton/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Here’s Chris Johnston’s take on why Toronto’s season-defining free-fall has reached seven games.

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  • Published On Mar 29, 2014
  • SI.com NHL fan misery rankings: No. 1 Toronto Maple Leafs

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    Toronto Maple Leafs fan rants at the ref.

    Hey, what gives? With the Toronto Maple Leafs, it’s always something. (Marianne Helm/Getty Images)

    By Brian Cazeneuve 

    Sometimes it’s just plain awful to be a fan.

    We’re not talking about the occasional emotional bump and bruise, the kind fans get from a devastating last-second loss or a disastrous season-ending injury — or even when they watch their favorite team bow out in the conference finals, one round shy of a shot at the Stanley Cup. We mean years of suffering at the hands of a club that almost seems to delight in tormenting those who freely give to it their hearts, minds, time and money.

    This is the tenth in our series on the 10 NHL franchises that take an ongoing toll on their fans, the teams that suggest that their devoted followers are either bottomless wells of hope or certified masochists — or perhaps just a touch crazy. Today we look at the Toronto Maple Leafs, a storied Original Six NHL flagship that, despite now almost boundless riches and resources, remains on a decades-long roll of bad trades, lousy drafts, wacky ownership, front office ineptitude, on-ice disappointment and utter heartbreak that continues to torment one of hockey’s most devoted and eternally optimistic fan bases.

    10: Winnipeg Jets | 9: Dallas Stars | 8: Columbus Blue Jackets | 7: Vancouver Canucks
    6:
    Florida Panthers | 5. Edmonton Oilers | 4. Washington Capitals  | 3: Buffalo Sabres
    2. New York Islanders

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  • Published On Mar 28, 2014
  • Top Line: Maple Leafs raked again; Teravainen’s terrific debut; more links

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    Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier vs. St. Louis Blues

    Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier was under siege and all night against St. Louis. (Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • It wasn’t so much that the Maple Leafs’ losing streak reached six games on Wednesday night as it was that their effort has Toronto’s fans asking some tough questions about the way the team was built and is being coached.

    • How bad was it? Blues coach Ken Hitchcock says that his team should have scored 10 goals.

    • Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle made a critical mistake late that may have cost his team the game. Steve Simmons says that Carlyle’s decision was inexcusable.

    • The Blackhawks Teuvo Teravainen was not handed the Calder Trophy after his first shift, but the Finnish phenom looked pretty solid in his NHL debut with Chicago on Wednesday night.

    • A disputed goal by Cam Atkinson left Red Wings fans seeing red and led to a critical win for the Blue Jackets.

    • The Rangers say that Chris Kreider will miss tonight’s game against the Flyers, but there’s speculation that a hand injury will force him to miss a month or more. A tough break if true for the Blueshirts, a team that’s fighting for its playoff life, and a good reminder to keep your palms in when blocking shots.

    • Philadelphia made a bold decision by letting Danny Briere skate off as a free agent last summer in favor of signing Vincent Lecavalier. So far, Briere has done nothing to make the Flyers regret that part of the deal, but they’re still waiting for Lecavalier to pay dividends.

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  • Published On Mar 26, 2014
  • Top Line: Dire days for Red Wings; strife in Toronto; Roy’s return; more links

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    Detroit Red Wings fans

    Red Wings fans had better not take the team’s 22-year playoff run for granted. (Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • George Malik delivers a searing rebuke to Detroit’s fans, who allowed themselves to be outnumbered by Maple Leafs supporters at last night’s game at the Joe.

    • The Red Wings won the game, but got another reminder that this might not be their year.

    • Detroit is set to pay a significant price off the ice as well.

    • Their relationship between goalie James Reimer and coach Randy Carlyle may be damaged beyond the point of repair, but until Jonathan Bernier comes back from his groin sprain, Toronto’s playoff hopes are in the hands of its back-up ‘tender. That being the case, it might behoove Carlyle to deal more diplomatically with Reimer until the coach can again afford to bury him at the end of the bench.

    • Patrick Roy left Montreal with a warm glow but not two points after … wait … Travis Moen owns a pizza parlor?

    • Veteran netminder J-S Giguere was miserable after making what may have been his final NHL start last night against the Canadiens.

    • The play of Avalanche rookie Nathan MacKinnon in that contest reminded Habs coach Michel Therrien of a couple of decent teenagers he’s coached in the past.

    • Joe Haggerty reveals the key to the Bruins’ workmanlike 10-game winning streak.

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  • Published On Mar 19, 2014
  • Top Line: Ducks face costly Jonas Hiller decision: KHL All-Star hijinx; more links

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    Jonas Hiller

    What will the Ducks to with impending free agent Jonas Hiller? (Debora Robinson/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • With Jonas Hiller playing the best hockey of his career, the Anaheim Ducks are facing an expensive decision on the future of the pending UFA. The affordable goaltending depth in their system suggests they may look elsewhere after this season, but given his playoff experience, it’s hard to believe they’d move him before the postseason. He may just walk away for nothing this summer.

    • This is a man wearing a fish head for a shootout attempt at today’s KHL All-Star Skills Competition.

    • And this man was between the pipes. Let’s just go ahead and admit it: They win.

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  • Published On Jan 11, 2014
  • Ten things we learned from the Maple Leafs-Sabres line brawl

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    (Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

    Phil Kessel ended up trading jabs with Brian Flynn (among others) during a wild melee.  (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    1. John Scott is as considerate as he is large.
    “I said, ‘Phil I think we’re going to have to go here, just to let you know,’ ” Scott told the media in Buffalo. “I would have went after who ever they put lined up next to me. I don’t know what their coach had in mind. I wasn’t trying to hurt him. I was just trying to send a message. They put out Phil and that’s just who it happened to be.”

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  • Published On Sep 23, 2013
  • NHL playoffs: Toronto Maple Leafs even series with Boston Bruins

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    Jeff Baumann

    Boston Marathon bombing victim Jeff Baumann was the Bruins’ official flag-bearer for Game 2. (Elise Amendola/AP)

    By Brian Cazeneuve

    BOSTON — The Maple Leafs’ 4-2 victory on Saturday night evened their series with the Boston Bruins at one game apiece, thanks in part to the changes they implemented after their ugly loss in Game 1. Here are some observations from Toronto’s first playoff win in nine years:

    • There was a game within a game as Leafs coach Randy Carlyle tried to make last-second line changes even though Toronto was the visiting team. His moves caused Bruins coach Claude Julien to call the officials over to discuss their legality. Carlyle did his best to keep his struggling sniper, Phil Kessel, away from Boston’s shutdown defenseman Zdeno Chara. On a couple of occasions, Carlyle took him off the ice shortly after a face-off. He also removed Kessel from the team’s usual top line with Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak, which gave some important minutes to winger Matt Frattin, who was playing in his first career playoff game. Frattin often spotted Kessel on the right side. “It was something we talked about the last couple of days,” Kessel said after game. “Something new to change it up.”

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  • Published On May 04, 2013
  • Top Line: Bryzgalov “doesn’t care” if he’s bought out, Kovalchuk back soon, more links

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    Ilya Bryzgalov's latest comments won't still well with Flyers fans.

    Ilya Bryzgalov’s comments to the Courier-Post on Tuesday may not sit well in Philadelphia, but they were misconstrued. (Marianne Helm/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Ilya Bryzgalov says he has no control over the future and isn’t giving a lot of thought to remaining with the Flyers after this season. Note: this initially drew heavily on the Courier-Post headline, which suggested that Bryz “didn’t care” about staying in Philly. Read the story and you’ll see why that wasn’t a fair characterization.

    • The Devils are 0-3-4 and have scored just 12 goals since Ilya Kovalchuk went on IR, so the news that he’s skating and will be back soon gives a boost to their sagging playoff hopes.

    • Remember that pic of Rihanna rocking a Senators jersey like it was a Betsey Johnson mini? Yeah, apparently that’s a thing now in Ottawa. It would be a lot less disturbing if it weren’t leading to the revelation of so many pasty man-thighs.

    • The Penguins clinched the Atlantic Division title with a 5-3 win over Carolina. They also got word that All-Star defenseman Kris Letang could return to the lineup later this week.

    • The return of Justin Faulk couldn’t stop the Hurricanes from dropping to 1-8 since signing Alex Semin to a long-term deal.

    • Ben Bishop stuck it to his former teammates, but let’s be honest: the big story out of the Lightning’s win was the first NHL goal for the wildly-coiffed enforcer Pierre-Cedric Labrie, right?

    • The Isles earned a gut-check win over the Flyers. This looks like a playoff team, doesn’t it?

    • They also announced plans for a preseason game in Brooklyn next fall against the Devils.

    • Sergei Bobrovsky posted his fourth shutout in his last 15 starts and the Blue Jackets snapped a two-game skid with a 4-0 win over the Sharks that puts them right back into the Western Conference playoff picture.

    • The Washington Capitals continued their late-season surge with a 3-2 win over the Habs. That’s five straight for the Caps and nine in their last 11, but here’s a reality check for the team’s fans: this was the first regulation win for Washington against a team currently in a playoff position. Wow.

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  • Published On Apr 10, 2013


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