Page 6ix Wednesday, February 24th: The Hab Nots? The Juggernots? The Canadiaint’s?

What a week in hockey! We learned that the sun is Gary Bettman’s nemesis, Henrik Lundqvist defies odds, and the Habs are not, in fact, a juggernaut. We’re also dealing with a Leafs roster full of injuries, and Mike Babcock continues his attempted redemption tour…among other things.
Let’s dive in, eh?
Leafs Lads
The big story with the Leafs right now is how many of them are not playing. The injury list keeps growing, with Jake Muzzin, Joe Thornton, and Frederik Andersen as recent additions. Zach Hyman missed Monday’s game  – a super fun 3-0 loss against Calgary – but looks to be back tonight, thankfully.

Sheldon Keefe on #Leafs injured parties:
Zach Hyman WILL play tonight. Nic Petan out.
Everyone else is still out.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) February 24, 2021

We’re crossing our fingers and toes that most of these are not long-term, and thankfully it looks as though Freddie, at least, is not:

Sheldon Keefe asked whether Frederik Andersen’s injury is overly concerning, said it “doesn’t look that way” and “from what I’m told, he’s progressing well.”
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) February 24, 2021

Also hoping Jack Campbell can get back in the lineup soon, as we’ …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Page 6ix Wednesday, February 17th: Desert Storm

Obviously, the big story in hockey this week is the disaster in the desert – that is, the absolute cluster inside the Arizona Coyotes organization. But this hasn’t been a quiet week for hockey in general, with more COVID concerns, some baby news, and even some fun! Let’s take a look, eh?
Leafs Lads
The boys in blue lost two in a row this week for the first time this season, which objectively in the grand scheme of things is probably not a big deal, but in the moment definitely sucks.
However, the good news is that cat-loving cheerleader slash goalie Jack Campbell is skating, which is a positive sign for a somewhat imminent return!

Jack Campbell was out on the ice with goalie coach Steve Briere this morning before #Leafs optional skate. He’s been out with a leg injury since Jan. 24.
Here he is cleaning up all his pucks.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) February 15, 2021

Joe Thornton is back in the lineup, too, scoring a goal in his first game back.
But the biggest news to hit Leafland this week was the trade –

We’ve acquired Alex Galchenyuk from Carolina in exchange for Egor Korshkov …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

NHL announces enhanced COVID-19 protocols

The National Hockey League and its player association has announced a new set of COVID-19 measures aimed at enhances what’s already in place.

The league said they will be in place until at least Feb. 28 as they continue to monitor their implementation and effectiveness.
The measures, which were announced and took effect yesterday, will see more testing, stricter quarantines, better masking and the utilization of player tracking, amongst other things.
A pilot project utilizing data from the player tracking system has been launched to work to measure the manager and degree of interaction between players as an enhancement to the contact tracing process.
“The goal of this project is to more precisely determine which people should be considered for enhanced monitoring and/or quarantine based on close contact with potentially infected Players,” they said.
Additional POC testing for U.S.-based clubs 
Furthering current testing protocols, the league will be adding point of care rapid testing to be administered on game days to all players, club personnel and on-ice officials that work in or around the benches during games. If a positive test is returned, the individual will be immediately isolated per league protocols. The league said they are …

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation

Marlies get approval to play hockey in Ontario

We’re finally going to get some Toronto hockey that isn’t the Maple Leafs and Toronto Six:

NEW my statement on the return of the AHL in Ontario. ⁦@TorontoMarlies⁩ ⁦@BellevilleSens⁩
— Lisa MacLeod (@MacLeodLisa) February 12, 2021

Both the Marlies and Belleville Senators will now be able to play games in Ontario following this announcement. It’s not known yet when there will be scheduled games in the province, but the two teams will start the 2021 season outside of Ontario.
The Toronto Marlies start their season on February 15th when they face off against the Manitoba Moose at 7PM EST.

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Page 6ix Wednesday February 3rd: Tony DeWaived – and other stuff, I guess

Did ANYTHING else happen in the hockey world this week besides Tone DeAngelo getting waived and the subsequent rumours and reports about the behind the scenes drama with the Rangers?
I mean I guess so but who can remember it when the Tony of it all is going on?
I’ll do my best to remind you of what else is happening, but don’t we all just want to know who really punched Tony D?
Leafs Lads
As always, we begin by focusing on our boys in blue, who have had a really great start to the season. They went on a 4 game winning streak and 5 game point streak, and Frederik Andersen is looking much more solid in net. Of course, we’re still dealing with some injuries, but Joe Thornton and Nicholas Robertson are back on the ice skating, which is a good sign!

#Leafs Ice Chips from @markhmasters: With the team not playing for a few days, Joe Thornton and Nick Robertson are skating and making progress in their recovery –
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) February 1, 2021

Of course, it is NOT great that Alexander Kerfoot did not …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Waiver Wildness: A Tyler Ennis reunion coming?

During the recent Saturday Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada, Elliotte Friedman mentioned that the Leafs were in the market for an additional forward. Which makes sense given that both Joe Thornton and Nick Robertson are out for a month and some of the healthy forwards are still getting adjusted to Toronto’s system.
Which is why the news of who was placed on waivers this afternoon could not have been better for the Leafs:

Waivers today:
Tyler Ennis (#LetsGoOilers) & Greg Pateryn (#GoAvs).
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) January 25, 2021

You may recall that Tyler Ennis played with the Leafs during the 2018-19 campaign and did well by scoring 12 goals, eight assists, and 18 points in 51 games. By many accounts, the players and organization loved him and his hard work earned him a Bill Masterton Trophy nomination. He split time between the Ottawa Senators and the Edmonton Oilers last year and had his best statistical performance since the 2014-15 season as he recorded 37 points in 70 games.
In terms of why the Oilers would want to put Ennis on waivers in the first place, my guess is so that he can shuffle back and forth between the main roster and …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Page 6ix Wednesday, January 20th: Inaugural Week

We’re a week into the hockey season, folks, and what a week it has been! It’s been exciting, it’s been nerve-wracking, it’s been strange, but it’s been hockey! There’s lots to look at this week, especially with our Leafs boys and their families. Let’s dive in.
Leafs Lads (and Ladies)
New dad Zach Hyman is having himself a season, with 10 SOG in the most recent Leafs game alone. That new dad strength is really pushing him, eh? Check out these adorable Hymen men:

I’m fine. This is fine. Zach Hyman is a dad and I’m fine.
Narrator: she was not fine.
— robo fem mer (@MerOutLoud) January 14, 2021

Zach is enjoying being a dad, and definitely credits his new arrival with some of his on-ice success:

New dad Hyman: “It’s hard to describe. It’s the best feeling in the world. I feel re-energized playing for not just myself, my family, but I have a little one now, so it’s awesome. It’s always the best going home and seeing him after a game.” #Leafs
— Terry Koshan (@koshtorontosun) January 19, 2021

Meanwhile, captain John Tavares is also dominating …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs Prospect Roundup: Niemela out of action, Miettinen taking over, Rindell running hot

It’s been a long time coming but NHL hockey is finally back. There has been plenty of focus on the new additions to the team and how the Leafs will construct their lineup within the limitations of the salary cap with the team only able to carry a 21 man roster. Their decision to keep Aaron Dell on the roster as the third goaltender to start the season has relegated offseason acquisition Mikko Lehtonen to the taxi squad along with top prospect Nicholas Robertson. While Leafs fans await the season debuts of two of the most enticing new faces on the team, there is plenty to talk about for some players lower on the organizational depth chart.
Rodion Amirov – LW/RW – Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL)
Amirov has returned to his KHL team after a strong showing at the World Juniors for Russia. He has played three games since rejoining Ufa and has been deployed as the right winger on their third line alongside veterans Vladislav Kartayev and Dmitri Kugryshev. He has been held off the scoreboard thus far but has fired 10 shots on goal while playing close to 15 minutes per game. His role will be something worth monitoring as there …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs’ taxi squad appears to be set

Hockey is finally back today and with it comes the final adjustments to the rosters for opening night. This year is a little bit different (not just because no one is allowed to attend the games live) as the NHL has implemented a taxi squad rule for the 2021 season to help fringe players stay on the ice and remain with the team instead of being stuck in hockey limbo.
It took them a while but the Leafs appear to have put together their taxi squad for the beginning of the campaign.

Toronto Maple #Leafs have opted to start with a 5 player taxi squad:
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) January 13, 2021

Upon first glance, there aren’t a whole lot of surprises when it comes to who’s on the list at the start of 2021. Nick Robertson, Mikko Lehtonen, and Rasmus Sandin are all good enough to play in the Leafs lineup right away and them not being in the active lineup is a byproduct of simply having too many quality players. Adam Brooks and Travis Boyd both had impressive showings in the scrimmage last Saturday which might have been enough to earn them a spot on …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Page 6ix Wednesday, January 13th: HOCKEY’S BACK, BABY!

Sorry, we’re just a little bit excited that HOCKEY IS BACK! The Leafs play tonight! Hockey will be on our televisions/laptops/phones/whatever tonight, this evening, in like…5.5 hours. This is a glorious day.
Anyways that’s the column for this week, see you next week folks.
….nah. There’s some fun stuff to look at, I suppose. Let’s start with Leafs-land.
Leafs Lads
Everyone’s favourite back-up goalie celebrated a birthday this week! Wish Jack Campbell a happy birthday!

Happy birthday Jack!
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) January 9, 2021

And he got some adorable birthday notes from his new neighbours, who are apparently big Leafs fans:

jack campbell got birthday cards from the kids next door
— mitch marney (@marnylandersen) January 10, 2021

Meanwhile, the new Leafs are settling in:

The veteran teaching the rookie. #NHLonSN
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 11, 2021

And celebrating well, during the Leafs televised scrimmage over the weekend:

Celly scenes #LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) January 10, 2021

Seems like the players are also excited to have hockey back!
Boston Beats
Another week with a whole header …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation