The Toronto Maple Leafs head into the Olympic break with 11 wins in their last 14 games. This run has been impressive, but the challenge will be to keep the momentum going when their schedule resumes on February 27. Dave McCarthy of TSN has more on the Leafs’ 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday and Randy Carlyle’s concerns for his team during the break.
Carlyle expanded a little more on those concerns in this piece by Stephen Whyno of The Canadian Press. The Leafs may only have three players headed to the Olympics (Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk and Nikolai Kulemin), but they can ill-afford to have anybody from their roster running at less than 100 per cent during the final stretch drive. It will be interesting to see how teams like the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks do when the NHL schedule resumes. Both teams sent 10 players to Sochi.
The Toronto Marlies have their own mini-break until Friday with the AHL All-Star festivities taking place this week. They find themselves atop the North Division, but as Kyle Cicerella writes, there will be many tough roster decisions to be made after the break when injured players start coming back.
The Canadians face the Austrians in their second preliminary round game on Friday. The Austrians have Thomas Vanek, Michael Grabner and…uh…well, just read this team preview by @13_Leafs from Blue and White Brotherhood.
If you have a couple hours to kill, this ESPN.com oral history of the 2010 gold medal men’s hockey game is a great read. I’m getting butterflies just reading it. Hopefully this year’s final will be even better.