The Toronto Maple leafs have decided to continue their tradition of starting seasons out strong and then abruptly plummeting down the conference standings. The shortened season works in favour of this pattern but even that will not be enough to save the team if they continue on their slump. Toronto defencemen have been a hot topic for years now and it’s easy to see why. In games 20-29 of this season the Toronto goals against has jumped to 36, an average of 3.6 per game. There is only so much criticism that can go towards the goalies. Both Scrivens and Reimer are nearly identical in their statistics and have been playing extremely well for young goaltenders.
With the defence slipping, the Leafs have decided to swap out 25 year old Korbinian Holzer for 22 year old Jake Gardiner. Holtzer has struggled recently with the Leafs. Overall, he is minus-12 in 22 games (the worst on the team) with 2 goals and 1 assist. After the decision was made, coach Randy Carlyle gave a few words to the media, “Any young player, I am sure there are some peaks and valleys. What we’re trying to do is a be a calming influence. We know there are some things he can improve on and we are going to continue to work with the individual.”
Gardiner, long praised as a puck-moving defencemen, has been solidifying his game with the Marlies. During the 2012-2013 season he has shown a strong offensive flair netting 10 goals and adding 21 assists during 43 games. Leafs GM Dave Norris had words of reminder for the Fan 590 radio station, “He’s not the saviour, he’s not going to come in and solve any and all problems. He’s still a young guy, he’s still a guy with well under 100 games in the NHL.”
Despite this, there will be a lot of fans expecting big things from the up-and-comer. Hopefully Gardiner can stick to his game, stay strong on the puck, and not let the pressures of Toronto hockey get the best of him.
In front of a crowd of over twenty thousand at a rowdy United Center Tuesday, the Chicago Blackhawks tied an NHL record to go along with their 4-3 win over rival Vancouver Canucks. There was no shortage of excitement on the ice, which ended with Patrick Kane and Andrew Shaw scoring in a shootout for a nail-biting Chicago victory. With this win the Blackhawks join the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks as the only teams to record at least one point in the first sixteen games of a season. The Ducks started that year at 12-0-4 and actually went on to win the Stanley Cup. Do the Chicago Blackhawks have what it takes to keep it going? Mark Rivkin doesn’t think so, and despite a loss to the Tampa Bay Lighting on Tuesday, the Toronto Maple Leafs are still our pick! Continue reading
And just like that, the first quarter of an NHL season has been played as we squeeze in the 2013 NHL season. Mark Rivkin Hockey reports on the latest news from the ice so let’s begin with a few players and teams to keep an eye on. Continue reading
Mark Rivkin Hockey reports on the latest news from the ice, and in this edition we wanted to cover our favorite team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Nazem Kadri, a former first-round pick, has been increasing his stock lately with three goals and nine points in eleven games this season. His value to the team is certainly increasing and we expect this trend to continue with substantial power play time. Continue reading
Previously on the Mark Rivkin Hockey Review we mentioned how Europe has recently been staging a greater presence on the global ice hockey scene. This displays the ever growing popularity of our fine sport, as well as the increased availability of highly skilled players from a worldwide market. Not long ago ESPN released a preview of the top Europeans coming back for the 2013 NHL season; or what’s left of it anyway. This Mark Rivkin edition will only review the top five but check out the full report at ESPN’s website for reviews on all the best European hockey players. Continue reading
If you’re a fan of hockey like those of us at the Mark Rivkin Hockey Review, you’re probably pleasantly aware of the recent collective bargaining agreement between players and owners, ending the NHL lockout that has recently plagued our fine sport.
Sixteen hours of negotiations ended the in-fighting between the National Hockey League and its players, which for everyone, most importantly fans, wiped out a large part of the hockey season for the third time in less than twenty years. It should also be noted that this fiasco has resulted in at least 480 games being cancelled, which brings the total of lost regular-season games to more than two thousand during three lockouts under Bettman. Continue reading