Popblerd’s hockey mavens Stephen Mapes and Jay Kumar discuss the first round of the NHL playoffs.
Editor’s note: After a brief hiatus, Cold As Ice is back as Popblerd hockey scribe Jay Kumar shares his joy at his favorite team making the playoffs for the first time in a long time. Nine years is a long time. We’ve seen a slew of revolutionary technological advancements since 2004: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, the iPad, super-fast smartphones. My youngest daughter was born that March and is now 9. And next week, the Toronto Maple Leafs will play their first [...]
Popblerd’s hockey column returns as Jay Kumar looks at the resolution of the NHL lockout and preparations for a shortened season.
Even though they’re located just a few hours apart on opposite sides of the U.S.-Canada border, Buffalo and Toronto are very different cities. One’s a blue-collar burg known for heavy snowfall and chicken wings, the other’s the largest city in Canada known for its cosmopolitan image and gleaming skyline. And in the NHL, Buffalo and Toronto have been heading in opposite directions all season long. On Feb. 6, the Toronto Maple Leafs were sitting two points out of fourth place [...]
Hockey is the ultimate team sport, but more often than not, a team’s fortunes rest on the last line of defense: The goalie. You need more than just a good goalie to win, but things get much tougher for your team if your goalie can’t stop the puck. As the NHL season moves into its stretch run and teams battle for playoff spots, every game is crucial and immense pressure is placed on goalies. Several goalies have had outstanding seasons [...]
These are strange days for Toronto Maple Leafs fans. A quarter of the way through the season, the Leafs are near the top of their division and boast the NHL’s leading scorer in Phil Kessel. And most of this was done with top goalie James Reimer out with “concussion-like symptoms.” Still, if you’re a long-suffering Leaf fan like I am, you’re not getting overly excited just yet. After all, this is a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since the [...]
Phil Kessel is off to a crazy good start this season and a big reason the Toronto Maple Leafs are holding on in the top of their division. His league leading 10 goals and 20 points puts him on pace for a 70/140 season if he keeps it up, which would make him the highest point getter in a season since Mario Lemieux’s 1995 season. Kessel stands above a crowd that includes superstars like Ovechkin and the Sedin twins (and [...]
There are many things I love about hockey: The speed, the power, the skill. But another aspect that I really dig is the hockey jersey. It’s the coolest uniform in sports, without a doubt. It’s not that I don’t like gear from the other big team sports, but the hockey jersey (or sweater, if you’re old school) has it all over them. There’s just something inherently impressive about the look of a jersey, whether it’s that game-worn Steve Yzerman one [...]
As if often the case, the first two weeks of the NHL season have been rife with some early surprises. Several stalwarts from last year have shown some early signs of trouble, while a few of last year’s whipping posts have been flashing some signs of hope for their fan bases. For anyone who loves good hockey, these are things to be excited about, even if you know deep down in side they probably aren’t going to last. Fans of [...]