Phaneuf Absence Good Test For Leafs

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 26) — To illustrate how goofy it has once again become with hockey in this town, the news of Dion Phaneuf’s “upper–body” injury (or fractured hand) brought to mind that scene late in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy splashes the wicked witch with a pail of water. As the […]

Forget McDavid, Leafs Nation

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 25) — It may be prudent for Brendan Shanahan to try and detonate the Maple Leafs, but not for the reason most contend. The prevailing sentiment among hockey followers in this city — with the locals enduring their worst slump in nearly a quarter–century — is that a massive sell–off […]

“It was 20 Years Ago Today…”

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 20) — Actually, and I beg pardon of The Beatles, it was 20 years ago tonight. Late tonight Eastern Standard Time. Professionally, it became a milestone — my first game covering the Toronto Maple Leafs as a full–time hockey reporter at Canada’s first all–sports radio station, The FAN–590. Historically, it was […]

Month From Hell For the Leafs

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 18) — Yes, it’s true: A goalie in the American Hockey League has been more prolific over the past nine days than all forwards combined on the Toronto Maple Leafs. You read that correctly. Reto Berra of the Lake Erie Monsters scored into an empty net Friday night during a […]

Shanahan’s Missed Opportunity?

In my view, a perfect candidate [to replace Randy Carlyle] came available today. If there’s a coach in the NHL that has gotten more out of less for the past 15 years than Barry Trotz, I’m not aware of him. His record with Nashville speaks loudly of discipline and defensive awareness. Shanahan and Nonis should move […]

Maple Leafs Carousel Continues

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 6) — If at first you don’t succeed, try 19 more times. That may not sound particularly functional but how often, in nearly half–a–century, has such a term been applied to the Toronto Maple Leafs? Earlier today, the coaching carousel spilled its 18th rider since Apr. 6, 1969 when George […]

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