Tag Archives: Jason Blake

Maple Leafs, Raptors Era Of Hope, Blue Jays? Not So Much

Once again the original ideas are clearly sparse these days. As one loyal reader wrote me an email “is it me or is Damien on auto-pilot”. In any event, Dave Perkins took Jeff Blair’s Toronto The Bad story and raised it with a feel good spin:

“The Maple Leafs have hit the all-star break losing 11 of 14 games, the Raptors have dived straight into the tank and, with pitchers and catchers on the horizon, the Blue Jays seem to have already surrendered their season, publicly managing expectations downward the way the Maple Leafs did so successfully last fall.”

9 am, who is ready for a drink?

“So, what to do? Not much except wait it all out and believe that this time, pain will bring gain. In the case of the Leafs, most fans expected this kind of situation and many wished for it; blowing it up is the best way to start over again.Raptor people would feel differently. This team began the season with reasonable expectations, but fell apart terribly. A flurry now and a finish from seven through 11 in the conference would put them into that wheel-spinning ground the Leafs inhabited for so many years; if you can’t be good, be really bad and start building again with a nice draft pick.”

No, I swear I didn’t write the piece. Perkins is right on though….

“The good news for the Raps is that it’s a shorter road back in the NBA and Bryan Colangelo still is a smart guy, even though he’s now on an extended hitless steak. If he can trade Jermaine O’Neal for a large expiring contract, they would have money to spend in the off-season. A 2009-10 team with Chris Bosh, a healthy Jose Calderon, Andrea Bargnani, a lottery pick and a decent free agent, along with the usual spare parts, isn’t so bad. Things can change quickly in the NBA – in either direction.The Leafs, in the big picture, are actually having what sensible people would call a successful season. They’re losing with effort, most nights at least playing decent games while dropping points. As new GM Brian Burke undertakes what a friend calls “a de-Communization” of his team, they are inching toward the bottom and the subsequent potential draft bonanza.”

Ding ding ding ding…give the man a prize. As I have said before, this common sense thing, it’s really not that hard. this isn’t rocket science. “They are losing with effort, most nights at least playing decent games while dropping points” yes, I did just repost that. That is what we want them to do. Raise your hand which team you prefer, the Muskoka five effortless group of last year, or this years group???? This is EXACTLY what the doctor ordered.

“The Islanders are in control of the John Tavares Sweepstakes, but the Leafs are only three points out of 29th place and who knows how the ping-pong balls will bounce? If both Tampa Bay and Ottawa make little runs, the Leafs will benefit. They potentially have chips to play with at the trade deadline. If either or both of Nik Antropov and Alexei Ponikarovsky get rolling, they could depart for a taste of future. Jason Blake, who has been playing with interest lately, has three more years on his contract, but is looking as if he could help somebody else. He doesn’t have a no-trade contract.”

The Obama factor…The most dangerous word in the English language is HOPE…Perkins is using it now. We don’t mind the losing (not loosing) if there is HOPE! “A Taste of the future” EXACTLY!!!

“There are things Burke can do with an eye two or three years down the road, which is, realistically, when they might become competitive. Resurrection begins with good results in the draft, commencing in the lottery, which is why being bad – and .363 is as bad as it gets – doesn’t necessarily need to be the end of the world.”

Stop telling us how bad we are. It isn’t becoming and frankly it pisses us off. It’s interesting that Perkins rightfully leaves the Jays out of the discussion. Maybe he knows what we (with the exception of Eye) believe, that the right guy isn’t at that table. Hope, all we need is a tiny morsel of hope. If the right people are around the draft table there is hope. Guarantees? Nope. No such thing (death, taxes and self serving Berger Blogs excepted). Being so bad should have it’s payoff…Let’s see if the right guys are at the table.

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Video Clip Of The Night- Bias

I told you I loved something about Tim Thomas! What a move he tried to lay on Jason Blake. I haven’t ever seen that move before…Reminded me of Billy Smith or Ron Hextall

Here it is for those of you who didn’t see it.

Quotes Of The Day

“Therrien is on thin ice. While former Toronto coach Pat Quinn is considered the top candidate to replace Therrien, TSN analyst Pierre McGuire shouldn’t be ruled out as a possible replacement.” Bruce Garrioch

“Aside from moving the obvious candidates, general manager Brian Burke is going to have to decide which of his future second-line centres, Matt Stajan or Mikhail Grabovski, have to go. You can keep one, but it’s superfluous to hang on to both” Steve Simmons

“After all the damage, internally and externally, you have to feel good for Jason Blake, who finally is playing the kind of hockey that made him rich”Steve Simmons

First the Garrioch quote. I am confused. Is this a joke. When was the last time McGuire coached? Do people not remember what just happened with Melrose? I don’t see Mcguire giving up the tv gig anytime soon.

I totally agree with Simmon’s on the first quote. I will address this in a later post….

Lastly, I do feel good for Blake. It looks like someone has finally gotten inside his head and forced him to work. It is nice to see a guy coming close to his expected performance. Given that he is, the minute you can unload him for prospects or picks Burke should….

Quotes of the Day

“Al Strachan is like an 80 year-old Eklund” Forechecker on twitter…
“I didn’t like our coach,” Karmanos said. “His public persona and his private persona were two different things.” Peter Karmanos on Ex- Hurricane Coach Peter Laviolette
“If he wanted to lose every game, we would have kept him.” Down Goes Brown on ex-Maple Leaf coach, Paul Maurice
“The most unhappy person in the building is Jason Blake, because he and Jason Blake decided not to get along last season and Jason Blake just scored a hat trick on him.” Pierre McGuire

Pre-Airwaves Post

A happy Sunday morning to all of you. Here are some random thoughts before taking to the airwaves on The Sunday Showcase on 740 AM here in the GTA at 11:30:

Howie and I disagree on one more thing, fashion. I was yapping at LT at how ugly the Flyers jersey was, way too florescent for me. Howie said it was his favorite of all the third jerseys. I realize this is biased, the Leafs jersey that has the old style maple leaf is my favorite. Followed by the Pens blue one.

Nice move by Lou and the Devils to ink Brendan Shanahan. He is happy being the New York area and may still have something left in the tank. Time will tell if it was a good move.

Anyone have a tape of hockeycentral from last night. I hear there was another near dust-up between Nick Kypreos and Bill Watters. An emailer sent me this account:

Kypreos: Hartsburg has worst body language I’ve ever seen in a coach, calls out his star players, Eugene – do something!

Watters: Hold it, Nick, HOLD IT….You can say what u want about Hartsburg, but he is as fine a young man as I’ve known..

Kypreos: So what, Bill….

Watters: And he’s a better coach than you’ve ever had!

Kypreos: Really????? (getting right pissed)

Watters: Yes, that’s true!

Kypreos: He is a Junior A coach….He is a Junior A coach..

Watters: NO HE ISN’T! NO HE ISN’T! He is an NHL COACH!

Kypreos: He isn’t. He’s proven that.

Watters: Do you think he’d call you a Junior A Player (screaming)??? You couldn’t carry his jockstrap!!!!!

Kypreos: Well….(then just sits there steaming…)

Honestly — Kypreos just looked like he’d gotten kicked in the balls.”

Here’s hoping someone out there has it so I can post it.

You know- us leaf fans and the franchise itself just can’t win. When the team was winning, Cliff did a lousy job because the team was performing too well. When they are losing the sky is falling. It’s no wonder someone hasn’t started a site devoted to bashing the media in this town 🙂

“The Maple Leafs continue to rediscover their backbone, but victories, well, that’s a different matter.” That from Paul Hunter in today’s Star. The undertone is blatent. What happened to the leafs need to tank sentiment? I mean as an old boss loved to say, you can’t suck and blow at the same time. The media just can’t have it both ways. I didn’t see the game last night, but for the opening 5-7 minutes. From all accounts it was the game we as fans should hope for every night. The boys played hard, really hard. A strong effort especially in the physical department and they lost. Isn’t that what we want from this team this year? Compete hard yet not enough to advance in the standings. The best part is the players we want to move are all playing reasonably well, therefore hopefully raising their respective values. Let’s hope they don’t peak too early or get hurt.

Love the bit in Ottawa Sun today that Brian Burke won’t be afraid to trade with the Habs or Sens…Man would #55 look great in white, red and black!

Type at you after the show

Quotes of the Day

Something in the water tonight I think. A very strange evening as people saying all kinds of stuff making us raise our eyebrows…

Craig Hartsburg, “Those guys cost us the game, you try to trust your best players and they cost you the game, it’s happened before.” Those guys are Spezza and Alfredsson. Their line was a minus 10 tonight.

Folks, this guy is TOAST and he knows it. Stick a fork in him, he is done. The only question is, is this a solo execution or is Mr. Murray going with him? I would not be the least bit surprised that by the time I am sitting in my kids parent/teacher conference tomorrow am that this changeover is underway. Remember what the Sens owner did the Leafs dressing room after being beaten in the playoffs???? I wouldn’t want to see what his house looks like right now.

Watters: ” I wouldn’t trade Tomas Kaberle straight up for Dany Heatly”

Ummmmmm. Ummmmmm. There has to be more to this story. You know I am not a huge DH fan. I am not going to get into that again. I am alone in thinking that Brian Burke would make that move in a split second??? That would be a no-brainer. Would Wilbur trade Blake for DH? Hollweg?? Mayers??? Mayers, by the way had his best night as a leaf tonight.

Mike Brophy to Pat Quinn: “I know for a fact you didn’t talk with any other teams about coaching after leaving the maple leafs.
Darren Millard/Pat Quinn (Together): “BOSTON
Brophy/Quinn/Millard:” ____________________________________________”
Enough silence to leave force Pat Quinn, the guest to explain the Boston situation.

What the hell was Brophy thinking??? (I smell a minus/down arrow in the new media power rankings). Even my dog new about the Boston story. Good on Pat Quinn for rescuing the moment. Please land in Pittsburgh PQ.

The constant bickering, eye rolling between Nik Kyrpos and Bill Watter is PRICELESS….I would love to hear these guys off the record speaking about the other..By the looks in their respective eyes whenever the other is speaking is awesome!!! Seriously folks, watch a segment…

Oh, and what is the over on the number of mentions, comments, questions about Grabovsky getting fined/suspended for shoving the lineman? Will it be higher then the number of times Hogan mentions grey cup visits tomorrow, or the money references Richie MacLean makes on his show tomorrow? It says here Grabs gets fined, but not suspended (if anything at all).I for one think he played a great game by the way. Yeah he got too riled up, but at least he should a little bit of heart. Interesting clip seeing Brad May trying to pull him back a bit. I thought May looked AOK in Maple Leaf blue and white and not too bad in the fight either.

On Trading Sean Avery

Spoke to Neil Smith this am about this, from a logistics perspective only. So the Stars could waive Avery, he would clear. They would then recall him. Assuming the Leafs were able to get him on a claim, his salary would go down to about 2 million. The Leafs would then trade Blake to Dallas for a 2nd round pick.

Leafs dump Blake, and his $, get avery at a decent discount and a 2nd round pick