Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Please Note

This Sunday

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

How's Your Diet?

You Are 68% Healthy

Your diet is quite healthy, but you don't too crazy with what you eat.
You know how to eat what's good for you, but you're also careful not to deprive yourself.

Our next practice will be in Lake Ontario


The lake of Weissensee in southern Austria hosted an unusual sporting event this weekend, with divers taking part in the first-ever ice-hockey world championship - underwater ice-hockey, that is. Eight international teams from Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, competed under 30 centimetres of ice in 2-degree Celsius water and without oxygen tanks.


The players, decked out in wetsuits, masks and flippers, chased a styrofoam puck around a "rink" six metres wide and eight metres long, having to resurface every 30 seconds for air. Each game was made up of three periods, according to ice hockey rules, but playing time was reduced to 10 minutes from the usual 20 and a 10-minute break was afforded between periods.

Playoff Race

Eastern Conference (93 points)

1. Buffalo - 2-17-0
2. New Jersey - 3-14-1
3. Pittsburgh - 9-11-0
4. Ottawa - 7-11-1
5. Tampa Bay - 8-8-1
6. Atlanta - 9-7-1
7. N.Y. Islanders - 10-8-1
8. Montreal - 10-5-1
9. Carolina - 11-6-0
10. Toronto - 12-6-0
11. Boston - 14-5-1
12. N.Y. Rangers - 13-5-1
13. Florida - 15-3-0
14. Washington - 17-1-0
15. Philadelphia - Eliminated (max 80)

What is this?

It's all based on the premise that, if you get 93 points in the Eastern Conference standings, you'll make the playoffs. It lists what each team needs to do in their remaining games to finish in the top 8.

Sorry Leaf fans, but it looks real grim. Weak team defense and inconsistent goaltending, combined with a brutal schedule makes a .667 winning percentage just not in the cards. Yannic Perrault doesn't begin to address these problems and will not get them into the playoffs. So they have now wasted a decent prospect (Bell) and a high draft pick (2nd round, 2007).

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

High Tech Football


This looks interesting. Sensor determines distance ball is thrown (on impact) and LCD readout shows distance. Accurate to within 1 yard. Only $20 but made out of foam.

via the Discovery Channel store:

Sunday's game is early so you may need this...

Caffeine jolt comes quicker this way.

Dominant, Yet Ineffective

Much has been said about the imposing physical play of Sundin, Ponikarovsky, and Antropov. I think their effectiveness has been overstated. The line controls the puck along the boards almost at will and can eat minutes in a game. However, I thought the idea is to score and not just puck possession in the offensive zone.

I think Sundin summed it up well last week, about needing to be "more effective." What should be happening is either Ponikarovsky supports the puck and Antropov plants himself in front of the net, or vice. It drives me nuts watching this line control the puck for extended periods of time with two players facing the boards while a third sits in a position that is either too acute of an angle for a quick shot, or blocks a wall-sitter from coming to the front of the net with any efficacy.

And to further magnify this deficiency the third line of Pohl, Bates, and Kilger cycle the puck with speed and anticipation. How many times have you seen the passing lane open up only for Ponikarovsky to recognize it late and pass after the lane has closed, or Antropov waiting for the centering pass so close to the goal line you can see Sundin's facial expression say "Guess I'll have to drive the net for a wrap-around"?

I just don't see Ponikarovsky and Antropov as first line players.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Didn't know they allowed body checking

Darcy Tucker is Signed


That means that the Leafs have $26.3 million committed to just 6 players (Sundin, Tucker, Kaberle, McCabe, Kubina and Raycroft) for next season. Three of the players have "no trade" contracts to boot even if they were tradeable.

Other Storm Teams Advance

Not only did the Midget B Storm team advance to the next round of the North Metro playoffs but so far, the Bantam AA, Bantam A and Midget BB teams have also move on. Congratulations to all the teams!

Shootout Duds

The Leafs went 3-8 on the shootout last year and missed the playoffs by what, two points? This year, the Leafs are 3-7 in shootout games and remain life and death to make the post-season. That’s too many points left on the table for such a desperate club.

Management continues to insist that no overhaul of the team is needed. This is despite that fact that the core of the team couldn't make the post season last year and the same core is struggling to qualify this year. So if you are just fine-tuning then why not acquire a shootout specialist so you can get those few extra points you need to grab a playoff spot.

What would one of Petteri Nummelin (6 for6 in shootout); Mikko Koivu (8 for 13); Erik Christensen (5 for 8) or the ever-deadly Jussi Jokinen (5 for 9) cost the Leafs? These aren’t the big names that get thrown around in trade talk hype or as prime off-season acquisitions, yet they’re helping to put those much-needed shootout wins on the board for their respective teams.

At a collective 6-13 lifetime in the shoot-out, something certainly has to give. Poor Alex Ponikarovsky is dead last in the NHL shoot-out this season (0 for 7) and yet Maurice keeps calling his name and sending him over the boards. Quinn was criticized for doing the same thing last year.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Storm Washes Away Dolphins

Rebecca R. lead the Storm today with 3 short handed goals as North York easily defeated Etobicoke to sweep the best 2 out of 3 series. Even killing penalties, the Storm were a controlled the play and created numerous scoring chances. The story of the game was Rebecca who dominated the opposition with her aggressive forechecking and speed, and kept the Dolphin defense off balance all game long. In fact she scored twice on one penalty kill which pretty much decided the game. Paige and Jasmine had strong games on defense and forced the Dolphin goalie to make some tough saves from shots from the point. The other goal scores today were Sheri and Jasmine. It was undoubtedly a tough season for the Dolphins who were outscored 17-4 by the Storm in 4 games this season. The next round of the North Metro playoffs see the Storm face Whitby.

Note: I've been informed that the official scorer was incorrect on the Storm's 5th goal and it was scored by Jackie with an assist from Sheri.

I bet he didn't pay either

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Playoff Race

Here's a look at the record each team needs to attain that 95-point mark and (essentially) guarantee a playoff berth including Thursday's games. The Leafs need to win 2 out of every 3 remaining games. If you look back at their last 10 games they are 5-2-3 which means they are essentially at that pace.

Eastern Conference
  1. Buffalo - 4-17-0
  2. New Jersey - 6-14-1
  3. Tampa Bay - 10-9-1
  4. Pittsburgh - 9-12-1
  5. Ottawa - 10-10-1
  6. Atlanta - 11-7-1
  7. Montreal - 12-6-1
  8. Carolina - 13-6-0
  9. N.Y. Islanders - 13-7-1
  10. Toronto - 14-7-0
  11. N.Y. Rangers - 16-4-1
  12. Boston - 16-6-1
  13. Florida - 18-2-0
  14. Washington - 19-1-1
  15. Philadelphia - Eliminated (max 84)

How the NHL Salary Cap Works

The Basics of The Cap

The first thing we need to know is that the NHL Upper Salary Cap Limit this season is $44 million. Because there are 187 days in the 2006-2007 regular season, a team is allowed to spend $235,294 each day in cap dollars.

Each player's cap figure is simply the average salary through the life of his contract. For example, Bryan McCabe's cap hit for this season is $5.75 million because he signed a five-year deal which pays him $28.75 million although his actual salary this season is $7.15 million.

Each team's cap figure can change on a daily basis, depending on a variety of reasons. If a team does not use all of its $235,294 daily cap allowance, they can bank the unused amount and use it later in the season. This unused amount is called the team's "payroll room." At no point in the season can a team ever go over its payroll room. This means a team's payroll room cannot be negative, even if the team plans on evening it out later in the season. Basically, you can't borrow money from the future.

Who Counts Toward The Cap?

In short, every player on a team's roster is counted toward the cap. That includes the team's 23-man active roster along with any other player who is under contract — including injured ones. Also included are those contract bought out (Belfour and Domi).

Furthermore, players who are on a team as of 5 p.m. on any particular day count toward their team's cap allowance for that day. A player will also count toward the daily cap allowance if they were assigned to the minors on that same day they either practiced, played or traveled with the team prior to 5 p.m. So having the Marlies in town allows the team to easily transfer players on two-way contracts to save some dollars.

Long-Term Injuries (LTI) and How They Affect The Cap

This is one intricacy in the NHL's new CBA that does pertain to the Leafs . And reports on how it works vary from source to source. If a player has an injury that causes him to miss at least 10 games or 24 days of the season, he can be put on long-term injured reserve. What this does is give the injured player's team additional cap room — only if needed — to replace him. So if a team has a season-long cap figure of $43 million and they place a player who has a cap hit of $3 million on LTI, that team's upper cap limit becomes $46 million, $1 million of which goes against the cap and the additional $2 million the team is allowed to exceed as per the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

As with all good things, there is a catch. Once the injured player is ready to return to the lineup, the team must come into compliance with the cap again before re-activating the injured player. This means the team's upper cap limit is lowered back to $44 million. Also, if a team chooses not to replace the injured player, that extra cap allowance does NOT get banked.

So this is where long term injuries to Tucker, Wellwood and Peca become interesting. The Leafs do not save money by having long term injuries, it only allows them to spend above the cap during the period that those players are injured. According to various reports the Leafs have only about $1 million in cap space leading up to the trading deadline. Therefore, if they were to acquire expensive players at the trading deadline, they would have to dump salary. Now if Peca were to be injured right into the playoffs then I understand the higher cap would continue which would allow the Leafs more cap space when making a deal.

Happy Birthday Sarah Kate!



And get better soon!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hall of Famer Tim Horton Died this Date
















Horton died back in 1974 in a car accident on the QEW and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977. But his name lives on.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Playoffs Begin With a Double Win

The Storm began the playoff season with a game that was both a Provincial Playdown game as well as a North Metro playoff game. The result was a dual victory as the Storm easily beat the Etobicoke Dolphins by a score of 5-0. The game was determined early on as Heather picked up a pass from Jasmine at centre ice for a breakaway and scored 58 seconds into the game. The offensive hero this night was Jackie who had a hat trick including a end to end rush in which she skated through the entire Etobicoke team to break in on the goalie on a terrific individual effort. The only other goal was scored by Stephanie on a long shot from the point. Alisha was not very busy on this night to record her 4th shutout this year.

The Storm has a 1-0 lead in the best 2 out 3 series in the first round of North Metro playoff. In the Provincial Playdown round robin, the Storm are tied with Leaside Wildcats with one win.

Just a Little Obsessed



Sunday, February 18, 2007

Playoff Race

Eastern Conference

  1. Buffalo - 6-17-0
  2. New Jersey - 8-14-1
  3. Pittsburgh - 12-13-0
  4. Ottawa - 12-11-0
  5. Tampa Bay - 13-9-0
  6. Atlanta - 13-8-0
  7. Toronto - 14-8-1
  8. Carolina - 14-7-0

  9. N.Y. Islanders - 15-7-1
  10. Montreal - 15-6-1
  11. N.Y. Rangers - 17-7-0
  12. Boston - 18-6-1
  13. Florida - 19-3-0
  14. Washington - 20-4-0
  15. Philadelphia - Eliminated (max 88)
What is this?

It's all based on the premise that, if you get 95 points in the standings, you'll make the playoffs. There's a chance you can sneak in with 93, maybe even 92, but beyond that, it's going to be pretty unlikely under the NHL's kooky everybody-gets-a-point system. The number next to each team indicates the record they must achieve in their remaining games to get into the playoffs.

Picture Smuggled out of Etobicoke Practice

Party Like It's 4705: The Year of the Pig

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Dave Keon Returns

...at least for one night.

Credit JFJ for convincing Keon to come out for the reunion.

And of course the fans saved the loudest ovation for Keon. So why is he still so popular...well he played all-out, every game. He wore his heart on his sleeve - he had the passion.

Rejected flavour

My last burger pic...

Friday, February 16, 2007

Name the Players

Here is my stab at naming the players in the picture below of the 1966-67 Stanley Cup team.

Front Row: George Amstrong, Bob Pulford
Second Row: Johnny Bower, Dave Keon, Kent Douglas, Red Kelly, Frank Mahovlich, Tim Horton, Bob Baun, Terry Sawchuck
Third Row: Ron Ellis, Marcel Pronovost, Brian Conacher, Allan Stanley, Eddie Shack, Larry Jeffrey, Mike Walton
Fourth Row: ???, Pete Stemkowski, Jim Pappin, Larry Hillman,

Trade Tucker


Considering the price that was paid to acquire Peter Forsberg (2 prospects, 2 draft picks) and Ladislav Nagy (1 prospect, 1 draft pick) and the contract that Shane Doan just signed (five-year, $23 million), the Leafs should unload Darcy Tucker this weekend. He will never be worth more than right now.

Anaheim and Detroit missed out on Forsberg and are desperate to find a player to narrow the gap between themselves and Nashville. Darcy Tucker had good offensive numbers this year and last but he turns 32 next month and he will not likely to repeat that feat too many more years. The Leafs will otherwise have to lock themselves into a long-term expensive contract similar to Doan's as his offensive numbers return to traditional levels. The fact that the Leafs have been successful the past two months without him indicates that they can live without him in the short-term. If they can pry loose something like two prospect and a draft pick from a real contender that would go a long way to rebuilding this team. There are other players I would consider moving as well but none will reap the benefits like trading Tucker.

I didn't do it!!


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Name the Players

If there is anyone out there who can name all the players in the picture below (without cheating), I would be very impressed.

40 Years of Futility to Be Recognized

This Saturday the Leafs will be honouring the Stanley Cup Championship 1966-67 Toronto Maple Leafs team. To bring things into perspective, I would have been too young to have been playing Midget hockey that year. And look how old I am now. I had no idea back then that this powerhouse organization would not be able to repeat that accomplishment again even after 40 years. So sad!

There will also be a tribute dinner to the team on March 22, 2007 at the Convention Centre.

Happy Birthday Mats!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Final Combined Tier 4 Standings

Mississauga 37
Markham-Stouffville 30
North York 29
Georgina 28
Whitby 25
Durham 25
Orillia 24
Oshawa 22
Vaughan 15
Scarborough 11
Etobicoke 3
Clearview

Can the Leafs Win This Year?

There seems to be this sentiment that all you have to do is make the playoffs and then anyone has a shot at winning the Stanley Cup. Well that sentiment certainly conflicts with reality. The Leafs need at least a winning percentage of .600 to squeak into the playoffs. History shows that this is not a formula for success. Here is how the Stanley Cup winners have finished during the regular season over the last 10 years.

ason

Cup Champion

Final Standings

Losing Team

Final Standings

1979-80

NY Islanders

2nd Campbell

Philadelphia

1st Campbell

1980-81

NY Islanders

1st Campbell

Minnesota

4th Prince of Wales

1981-82

NY Islanders

1st Wales

Vancouver

4th Campbell

1982-83

NY Islanders

3rd Wales

Edmonton

1st Campbell

1983-84

Edmonton

1st Campbell

NY Islanders

1st Wales

1984-85

Edmonton

1st Campbell

Philadelphia

1st Wales

1985-86

Montreal

5th Wales

Calgary

2nd Campbell

1986-87

Edmonton

1st Campbell

Philadelphia

1st Wales

1987-88

Edmonton

2nd Campbell

Boston

2nd Wales

1988-89

Calgary

1st Campbell

Montreal

1st Wales

1989-90

Edmonton

2nd Campbell

Boston

1st Wales

1990-91

Pittsburgh

3rd Wales

Minnesota

7th Campbell

1991-92

Pittsburgh

4th Wales

Chicago

3rd Campbell

1992-93

Montreal

4th Wales

Los Angeles

6th Campbell

1993-94

New York Rangers

1st East

Vancouver

7th West

1994-95*

New Jersey

5th East

Detroit

1st West

1995-96

Colorado

2nd West

Florida

4th East

1996-97

Detroit

3rd West

Philadelphia

2nd East

1997-98

Detroit

2nd West

Washington

4th East

1998-99

Dallas

1st West

Buffalo

5th East

1999-00

New Jersey

2nd East

Dallas

3rd West

2000-01

Colorado

1st West

New Jersey

1st East

2001-02

Detroit

1st West

Carolina

8th East

2002-03

New Jersey

2nd East

Anaheim

6th West

2003-04

Tampa

1st East

Calgary

6th West

2004-05

LOCKOUT

NO

CUP

AWARDED

2005-06

Carolina

2nd East

Edmonton


There aren't a lot of 8th place teams winning Stanley Cups. Yes on occasion a lower ranked team might advance the the Finals but only superior teams win the Cup.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A Big Thank You to our Sponsors



More on the Season

In regular season games, the leading point scorer was Heather with 16 points in just 16 games played. The leading goal scorer was Jasmine with 8. The bad girl award this year goes to Mari who collected 27 penalty minutes (of course 15 were in one game). We actually played 31 games so far this year when you include exhibition and tournament games. We have 5 players who so far have played in every single one of those 31 game - Lesley, Rebecca B., Sherri, Paige and Stephanie. Nicki edged out Alisha in shutouts 4-3 but both goalies were remarkably good this year especially in games when we needed them. We had a very versatile team where anyone could be put in any position. For example, according to my records 10 out of the 14 skaters played at least one shift on defense.

Bears Fan Loses Super Bowl Bet and Has to Change Name

Scott Wiese was so sure the Chicago Bears would win Super Bowl XLI, he staked his name on it. Wiese bet five buddies that if his team didn't beat the Indianapolis Colts, he would change his name to Peyton Manning. The Colts won 29-17, so true to his word, Wiese was at the Macon County Courts Facility in Decatur, Ill., on Tuesday to begin paperwork on the month long process.

His parents insist they will not call Scott by his new name. But his brother Kyle says he will.

Obviously more that just a little alcohol was involved here. What ever happened to just shaving your head when you lose a bet?

Happy Birthday Rebecca!

Record Season Comes to an End

A 4-0 win over the Etobicoke Dolphins brought a close to the record-breaking season for the Storm Midget B team. The offensive load was carried this night by Rebecca B. who registered a goal and two assists. Coach Bruce noted that it was a typical goal scored by Rebecca B. from her "office" at the edge of the crease. Birthday girls Rebecca R. and Heather each received early birthday gifts with a goal each. Rounding out the scorers was Sheri. And another shutout for Nicki.

The team finishes 2nd in the division which is the highest finish for the Midget B team. They are guaranteed to finish no worse than 3rd in the Tier. Team records include most wins in a season (13), most points (29), most goals (52), most shutouts (7) and longest undefeated streak (9 games). And lets hope there are more milestones and achievements still to come. Congratulations to everyone!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Preparations Underway


Current Leaf winning streak has officials scrambling to prepare for the inevitable.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Incredible Save by Raycroft



In case you missed while at the Storm game last night.

Now These are Ugly Sweaters


These sweaters belong to a team from the Netherlands.

NHL Power Ranking - Week 18

Thought I would do an updated on how sports websites have ranked the Leafs during the current winning streak. They had fallen in recent weeks to the bottom quarter of the league but are beginning to bounce back.

CBS - 14th (+6) (updated Feb 6)
Sports Illustrated - 14th (+2) (updated Feb 6)
TSN - 15th (+6) (updated Feb 5)
Mirtle (Globe) - 16th (+4) (updated Feb 6)
ESPN - 16th (+3) (updated Feb 5)
CBC - 16th (+1) (updated Feb 2)
Fox - 17th (+5) (updated Feb 6)

Winning Streak Extended to 8 Games

Two 3rd period goals by Jasmine and Heather against the Vaughan Flames closed the door on another win, the 12th in what is becoming a record-breaking season for the Storm's Midget B team. The Storm line up was down to only 11 skaters which forced the team to play with some caution in the early going after several fast-paced games in Sarnia. However, the team opened it up early in the 3rd and quickly took the lead. This was the 4th league game against Vaughan and the Storm finished with a season record of 2-1-1.

The team received some very unfortunate news prior to the start of the game when it was announced that 1st year defenseman Sarah-Kate would be undergoing knee surgery for a torn ACL and would be out of the line up for the rest of the season. We all wish S.K. a full recovery and hope to see her on the ice next season.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Raycroft Named NHL 1st Star of the Week


Andrew Raycrost was named the NHL 1st Star of the Week today. This is a weekly recognition announced each Monday. The only other Leaf to be named 1st star this season was Mat Sundin. Raycroft was given the top honour after helping the Leafs to three straight road wins while posting a 1.33 goals-against average and .960 save percentage.

Finally Raycroft is living up to expectations. Now lets see if he can keep it up.

Outdoor practice has been cancelled

The Toronto Maple Leaf outdoor practice today at West Mall Outdoor Rink has been cancelled due to the wind chill warming. As result, the North York Storm outdoor practice on Sandy Ross' backyard rink has also been cancelled. It seems Sandy's hose froze last night.

However, Tuesday is game night. See everyone there.

Superbowl Leftover

I didn't know Paris Hilton was such a big football fan let alone a Colts fan. My opinion of her may have changed.

Sunday, February 04, 2007