Price Injury is Hockey’s Loss

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By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 19) – The 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs took a major hit today when it became known that Montreal goalie Carey Price is sidelined for the remainder of the Eastern Conference final against New York Rangers. Given how Price quickly and uncomfortably left the Canadiens practice in Brossard, Que. on Sunday […]

It’s Habs’ Year, Leafs Nation

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(BUT, NOT TODAY) By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 17) – The 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs haven’t gone over particularly well here in the Big Smoke; not nearly as well, for example, as the Calder Cup tournament, where Toronto Marlies are poised to take on Texas or Grand Rapids in the Western Conference final. While kudos […]

Shanahan Tour Deepens Mystery

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By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 16) – If Brendan Shanahan wanted to clarify his position on the Maple Leafs during a tour of city newspaper offices Wednesday, he failed rather miserably. Chances are it was more a political excursion than an effort to provide insight. Given that Shanahan gathered separately with reporters from the Toronto […]

Price + Lundqvist = Classic

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By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 15) – It’s an easy equation. The two best goalies on the planet clashing for a berth in the Stanley Cup final. Carey Price and Henrik Lundqvist for all the Eastern marbles. A re-match of the gold medal game at the Sochi Winter Olympics. Montreal Canadiens vs. New York Rangers […]

Phaneuf Could Just Be Tipping Point

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By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 13) – “If you think the Leafs are only going to make one significant change this summer, you’ll be very surprised.” Such was the opinion of a well-known National Hockey League executive, via email, on the one-year anniversary of the Causeway St. Cataclysm in Boston. “There could be lots of […]

What Could Leafs Get For Dion?

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By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 12) – I guess David Nonis is reading my drivel. Or, maybe not. Bottom line is, I began vouching for a Dion Phaneuf trade in this corner on Mar. 31 – a full 42 days before Sunday night’s monster Tweet from Nick Kypreos suggesting the Leafs general manager is “shopping” […]

When Might the Trilogy End?

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By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 11) – In his popular weekend notes column, my friend Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun wrote, “Randy Carlyle can’t coach anymore – or so many of his critics contend.” I have no idea whether Steve considers me among those critics or pays attention to anything I write. For the […]

Love Your Mother… While You Can

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By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 11) – I WROTE THIS BLOG FIVE YEARS AGO ABOUT LOSING MY MOM TO CANCER IN LATE-1995. I HAVE POSTED IT EVERY MOTHER’S DAY SINCE, AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO. PLEASE LOOK IT OVER AND EMBRACE THE MESSAGE WITH ALL YOUR HEART. TORONTO (May 8, 2009) – In this […]

Culture Change Starts Where?

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By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 9) – To me, there can be only one explanation. It was a fluke. A convergence of powerless ineptitude that snowballed out of control. A plunge thoroughly atypical of an otherwise resolute cadre of professional hockey players. One that couldn’t possibly repeat itself. I am referring, of course, to the […]

Carlyle Gets Two-Year Extension

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By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 8) – It appears, at the moment, the Maple Leafs hired Brendan Shanahan so he could help convince general manager David Nonis to fire Randy Carlyle’s assistant coaches. If so, mission accomplished. In what has to rank among the least-earned rewards in recent Toronto hockey annals, Carlyle was today given […]