The last time we spoke about the Toronto Maple Leaf’s, they were standing as one of the most formidable teams in the Eastern Division. However, history repeated itself in the new decade, and they’ve fallen into bad behaviours. Even with the assistance of Sheldon Keefe, the Toronto Maple Leaf’s have experienced two back-to-back losses. The 1st was against the Chicago Blackhawks, where the Leaf’s lost 6-2 and mere days later, suffered an 8-4 loss to the Florida Panthers. After this significant loss, Shelden Keefe named his defencemen immature and underperforming.
The head coach for the Toronto Maple Leaf’s, Sheldon Keefe expressed that when you compete against an organization like the Florida Panthers and lose, you know where the team is physical. He noted that reality checks followed after their loss against the panthers, where Keefe unloaded his aggression against the players. He made this public and mentioned that an extreme level of training discipline would follow for greater consistency. It should be noted that the Toronto Maple Leaf’s have lost five of their last six games. After failing to the Florida Panthers, Toronto’s hockey team cannot make the playoff division. This marks another year since 1969 that the Toronto Maple Leaf’s haven’t acquired playoff position.
Boston Bruins Coach Rages
Another organization in the National Hockey League received significant backlash from their head coach. The Boston Bruins lost their 3rd game in the season against the Pittsburgh Penguins, losing by one point at 4-3. This followed after the Bruins maintained a formidable first period, acquiring their three goals immediately. However, the Pittsburgh Penguins returned for vengeance in the second and third period. Jack Johnson and Bryan Rust for the Bruins earned the game-winning goals with several minutes remaining. When the final goal followed, Bruce Cassidy displayed his aggressive on live television. The head coach could easily be seen screaming absurdities towards his fellow players.
Bruce Cassidy has experienced growing frustration in the last several days, with the Bruins having lost to Philadelphia earlier in the week. Bruce didn’t mention anybody’s name in a public forum, but it’s easy to decipher where his angry resided. It was towards McAvoy, who displayed childish-like defence against the Penguins in the last several minutes. The head coach and defencemen spoke with one another privately, with McAvoy admitting his mistakes to reporters after the match had concluded.
The National Hockey League hasn’t held an outdoor event in Edmonton in nearly two decades. However, this could be changing shortly with rumours indicating that an outdoor event will return to where this idea first began. News outlets have started reporting that the 2021 season will see Edmonton host an outdoor game, with Sportsnet clarifying that inside sources to the NHL confirmed 2020’s outdoor matchup would be in Regina. Hockey Night in Canada reported that this matchup wouldn’t take place until 2022, which is the anniversary of Edmonton’s first outdoor game.
The Edmonton Oilers last home-based outdoor game was held on November 22nd, 2003. It was the Montreal Canadians that combatted the Oilers for the Inaugural Heritage Classic. More than fifty thousand fans attended one of the coldest outdoor NHL games in recorded history, watching two of Canada’s best teams compete at Commonwealth Stadium. This marked the second official outdoor season game for the National Hockey League, which has increased to three per year.
Since that cold night in 2003, twenty-eight outdoor games have been hosted throughout North America. Six of these games were held on Canadian soil, with the Montreal Canadians being the only organization excluded from a home-based competition. The Canadians did participate in four of these events, with the Edmonton Oilers appearing once in 2003. This was at the 2016 Heritage Classic in Winnipeg, where they’d lose in an embarrassing upset. Fox Sports believes that they deserve another chance to win a Heritage Classic title. Unfortunately, no official confirmation has come from the National Hockey League.
Molson Coors Extends Partnership with the NHL
The National Hockey League made headlines twice this week, as it was revealed that they’d agreed with the Molson Coors Beverage Company. This agreement stands towards a newly reformed multiyear extension on the previous contract. Analysts weren’t shocked by this announced, with the National Hockey League using Molson as their official beer for a prolonged period. Going forward, Molson Beverage Company can continue to use NHL promotional material through advertising campaigns. They’ll also have priority advertisement space at the Stanley Cup Playoffs, NHL Heritage Classic, the Stanley Cup Finals and NHL All-Star Weekend.
Molson Canadian in celebration of this new partnership announced a specialized promotional activity for NHL supporters. Those that purchase a 24 pack of Molson Canadian can enter a promotional campaign, with the reward being a trip to the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals. Those that win this promotion can bring five friends and have all the free Molson Canadian beer possible. This promotion is named the “Score for Your Team Campaign”.
The 2020 World Junior Hockey Finals are nearly completed, with the two teams slated for the championship having been selected. This comes after most sports analysts claimed that Canada would fight against Russia for the championship cup, which hasn’t been the case for nine years.
Ivan Morozov, who the Vegas Knights have rights on, allowed Russia to conquer Sweden during an overtime period. Morozov scored two goals and was responsible for leading Russia to a 5 – 4 victory and a spot in the gold medal game against Canada. After guarantying their final placement in the championship, Morozov was seen collecting the winning puck and skating towards his goaltender. Hugo Alnefelt was given the winning puck for his capabilities at defending against Sweden, a team that displayed their most reliable offensive in years.
The Russian National Juniors team now walks into the championship title against Canada, seeking their first cup-victory since 2011. The final takes place on January 5th, 2020 and will be one of the most significant matches of the new decade. Sweden will now compete against Finland for the Bronze Cup placement. This comes after Alexander Khovanov acquired one goal in the first period, with Yegor Sokolov scoring two goals in the third period. When Morozov cemented his two final goals during overtime, Sweden lost its gold cup placement. This was even with the formidable performances displayed by Samuel Fagemo, Nil Lundkvist and Ramus Sandin. Losing this matchup comes as a horrible outcome for Sweden’s Juniors, who received public support.
Canada Facing Against Russia
After not performing as expected throughout the first matches in the World Juniors 2020, Canada was looking for redemption. After re-evaluating themselves, the national team displayed numerous performances where they dominated over competitors. It resulted in the Canadian Juniors acquiring semi-final placement against Finland. Within the first four minutes of their matchup, the Canadians earned four goals on net. The defencemen and Head Goalie for Canada displayed incredible talent, not allowing for one shot to make the net. It prompted a 5 – 0 victory for the Canadian National Team.
This win wasn’t a walk in the park for Canada though, as they experienced challenges throughout the 75 minutes of playtime. Barret Hayton suffered an injury throughout the third period, prompting one of Canada’s star players to be benched unexpectedly. It should be noted that this win comes after the Canadians lost to the Finnish last year on their home soil. This victory is a significant leap forward for Dale Hunter, the Head Coach for the Canadian. Going forward they look to defeat Russia and acquire championship victory.