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Episode 28 of “The Maple Leaf Hangout”

With the Flyers on the horizon and the Leafs needing to put some wins together, The "Maple Leaf Hangout" crew got together to chat with Bill Meltzer, the fine hockey writer with Hockey Buzz and

Leaf fans may appreciate his interesting perspective on the Flyer season, their turnaround from early-season disaster, former Leaf Luke Schenn and what a new coach has meant to the organization.

We also visit with Junior A goaltending coach Eli Rassi, who shares his views on Bernier, Reimer and the Leafs from a goaltender’s point of view.

I hope you enjoy Episode 28.


  1. Thanks for another Hangout, Michael. A nice surprise for the evening. I enjoyed hearing Eli thoughts again. I have a soft spot for goal-tenders, having sons (considerably bigger than me) who used to outfit me in goalie equipment, stand me in the middle of the road and take shots on me.

    It was good to see Kessel make the effort today to stand up for his captain.

    Montreal co-operated nicely by beating Detroit in regulation ( it was a close one). I hope other teams can do the same with Washington and Columbus. If the Leafs can even pick up single points in both back-back games it will help. We're not done yet. C.N.

    1. We'll do anything for our offspring, eh, Colleen? Including being a goalie!

      As for the Leafs, they just need to win games. Other teams are due to lose some. They can still control their destiny.

  2. Well, I hate say it...but the Habs came through for us.

    If Detroit had won their chances of making the playoffs would have been up to 70%. Their chances are now down to 46%. Other teams lose big games too, not just the Leafs.

    Because of the Detroit's loss, the Leafs' chances went up 4% to 29%.

    If the Leafs win tonight, their chances go to 43%. If they lose down to 18.2%

    If they win Friday and Saturday, things start looking good again.

    The season is on the line in the next two days, so cross your fingers and hope for the best.

    1. Absolutely, DP- other teams lose, too! The Leafs just need to win some games...

  3. I had a longish post typed out and went "boink" when I hit the publish button.
    Short version. Good hangout. I don't agree with Eli that Reimer's system is "calm". I put him more a full blown battler that reminds me more of Palmateer or a poor mans Hasek. Bernier's system to me is the "calm" one.

    I agree. Lots of talk last 2 weeks from us here, fans, MSM and the Leafs themselves. Talk is cheap. Just win baby!!

    1. Agreed, Pep. I put Reimer in the "battler" category. I mean, he has a style, but he's not a cookie-cutter technique guy like most modern-day goalies are.

      Ah, talk. We're all "talking". It's time to just win. Thanks Pep.

  4. Hi Michael,

    Love the episode, and I'm glad you are finding the time and inclination to do more of them. I'll keep watching, if you guys keep making them.

    I find myself very conflicted about the Leafs these days. I would like them to make the playoffs, but honestly, I really want them to fire Randy. I know that I have said he was the wrong coach for a long time now. Not a bad coach, just the wrong one for the Leafs at this time. To be honest, it is also true that I believe him to be less than intelligent. Maybe it's unfair of me to believe this, it certainly is the image he has provided the fans. So I will leave that aspect alone.

    Should the Leafs make the playoffs, I feel management will return to the excuse wheel they are so comfortable going to. Bolland was hurt, Clarkson will be better acclimated, Bernier, the schedule, on and on and on they go, if we let them. It will certainly be a case of the unfortunate Leafs are sure to be better next year, the hockey gods hated us this year, so we needn't make changes.

    We have talked recently about the need for the young players with promise to be getting valuable minutes with the big club. You know, so that they can become actual difference makers at the NHL level. I have zero confidence that if Randy is back next year, that any of Holland, Ashton, D'Amigo, will get any playing time at all. The team wasted their talents this season playing Orr, McLaren, Smithson, and Bodie. I am fearful that with the same guys in charge of the team, next year turns into a repeat of this one. I have no faith that a new Randy comes in next season, and is able to get this group to play defense, any more than be able to embrace the youth, and get rid of journeyman NHL'ers because they are the safe option.

    Did anyone else read, or hear Kessels' comments after the St. Louis game? If he really thinks that they played ok, or not that bad, I think the quote was, he is just about as dumb a hockey player as I could imagine. The first two periods of that game were as dominant a display as I have seen since the playoff game that ended the Leafs season against the Flyers in 2004. The effort the Leafs put forth before the Blues started coasting, was disgraceful.

    There is much upheaval in the minds of Leafs fans this week, some of us are even cheering for Montreal to win hockey games. Never thought I would see the day that happens. I also never thought I would see the day when I would rather see the Leafs miss the playoffs. If push came to shove right now, I would choose missing the dance. Only so the future goals can be loftier than a scramble in to the last playoff spot, I deserve better than that as a fan of this club.

    1. I think your key phrase, Jim, is "if we let them".

      This is where Leaf fans do an a potential impact. Despite what Leweike is trying to peddle (does the guy really think he invented excellence?), if we continue to embrace mediocre play and just making the playoffs as some kind of breakthrough, it will forever be the same old, same old in Leafworld. The Leafs have some really nice players, but every team does and winning a championship takes so much more than that. Thanks Jim.