A Little (Much-Needed) Holiday Cheer

December 26, 2006

It’s been a tough week for the Leafs; here’s hoping the Christmas respite did them some good (or at least stemmed the injury tide!). Meantime, here’s a little diddy to cheer up the faithful, courtesy of YouTube:



December 22, 2006

The following was submitted via NHL.com’s feedback page earlier today:

December 22, 2006

To Whom It May Concern:

Seasons’ Greetings! I am writing on the subject of the league’s very innovative NHL Player Sites network promotional feature that is included at the top of every official NHL team and league Web site. I have followed closely the expansion of the network from its well-deserving original member, the oft-overlooked Sidney Crosby, to the current venerable lineup of Ed Belfour, Raffi Torres, and Kevin Weekes.

While the choices made thus far deserve nothing but accolades, I would like to submit a site as consideration for the next addition to the NHL Player Sites network:


Following are several reasons why I believe Alexander Steen and his AlexanderSteen.com Web site would be a stellar addition to the NHL Player Sites network:

  • Alexander is a young, fast-rising star-in-the-making with arguably the league’s most recognized and respected organization, the 11-time Stanley Cup champion Toronto Maple Leafs (13 if you count the two won by the Arenas and St. Pats).
  • In his two seasons on the club, Alexander has quickly established himself as one of the two best Swedish forwards on the team.
  • Alexander’s versatility epitomizes the type of values that the NHL embraces. For example, last year, he scored 18 goals and was a regular offensive force. This season, he has embraced a defense-first role with dogged determination, as evidenced by his recent run of 27 straight games without scoring a single goal.
  • Along with father Thomas, he is part of the first Swedish father-son team to score goals in the NHL.
  • The site loads very, very quickly.
  • Alexander and his site have broad appeal to the vibrant NHL fan base in Canada. Not only does Steen play for the country’s most celebrated and beloved franchise (the 11-/13- time Stanley Cup Champion Toronto Maple Leafs), but his site also comes in a Canadian version, available at http://www.alexandersteen.ca.
  • In closing, thank you in advance for giving careful consideration to my request to have Alexander Steen’s AlexanderSteen.com added to the NHL Player Sites network.


    Johnny Bluebud

    P.S. — If you ever expand the network to include retired players, I urge you to consider the very informative and content-rich www.tiedomi.com.

    P.P.S — I also see you have an Affiliate Sites network. I believe www.hockeyfights.com would be a strong addition there.

    Greatest Ever To Wear Sweater #42

    December 21, 2006

    This is the first in a series of Leafs Lists compiled exclusively for BlueBud readers and global hockey fans around the world. This particular edition may generate a bit of controversy, as the holder of the #1 slot has skated just 117 games in a Leafs sweater at this writing. However, ol’ Johnny Bluebud isn’t afraid to go out on a limb–after all, what better way to get close to them there “Leafs”, right? Without further ado, then, here is the BlueBud’s official ranking of:

    The Greatest Leafs Ever To Wear Sweater #42

    3. David Cooper
    2. Kevyn Adams
    1. Kyle Wellwood

    This #42 is #1.
    This #42 is #1.

    Let’s Make A Deal!

    December 20, 2006

    In central Alberta, everybody hates Joffrey and the Oilers need a veteran defenseman.

    In. T.O., two co-future Norris Trophy winners (Tomas Kaberle and Bryan McCabe), and two rising future superstar backliners in the making (Ian White and Carlo Colaiacovo) mean that the Buds probably could afford to part with a certain veteran blueliner. Meantime, up front, the right side is populated with more left wings and centres than natural right wingers.

    Allow Johnny Bluebud to toss out a kill-two-birds-with-one-puck solution. That’s right, we’re talking a good old-fashioned, man-for-man swap: one J. Lupul for one H. Gill.

    What the Oilers give up in age and potential, they more than get back in…size!

    Silver Lining A-Plenty

    December 20, 2006

    Okay, so last night’s tilt vs. Florida wasn’t exactly a perfect 60 minutes of hockey from the Toronto perspective. From the mug-is-half-full side of the bar, however, the positives are as easy to spot as empty seats at a Blackhawks home game. A sampling:

  • The Leafs, who had every reason to pack it in after being down 6-1 after two, checked their guts and took the third period, 2-1, out-shooting the Panthers 18-10 in the process.
  • Jean-Sebastien Aubin boosted his season save percentage .001, to .883, with nine saves on 10 shots in the final frame.
  • Carlo Colaiacovo potted his second goal in four games since making his season debut, putting him on a 25-goal pace for the year. (For perspective’s sake, 2005-06 Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom had a mere 16 goals.)
  • Just a thought: Considering Colaiacovo’s Orr-esque pace and continued excellence of Messrs. Kaberle and McCabe, it’s conceivable that this season, for the first time ever, the NHL will have to award the Norris Trophy in thirds.

    Wellwood, Steen Seek Streaks

    December 19, 2006

    Leafs sophomores Kyle Wellwood and Alexander Steen hit the ice tonight vs. Florida looking to extend a couple of streaks.

    Wellwood is on a four-game points run (3g, 5a). With a point against the Panthers, he would tie his career-best streak of five straight games in the scoring column, set Oct. 8-14.

    Meanwhile, Steen will look to continue his run of consecutive games without a goal, which currently stands at one. Steen, clearly taking his 2006-07 role as a bottom-six, penalty-killing forward to heart a year after potting 18 goals as a rookie, had a career-best 27 game goal-less streak snapped last Friday vs. Carolina.

    Let’s see, Mahovlich-Lindros-Gartner…

    December 18, 2006

    Still time to chime in on ESPN’s “Top Line of All Time” voting, where you assemble trios from a pool of 50 forwards and submit them as “your top line of all-time.” Thankfully, the “experts” (ESPN’s word) that assembled the pool saved Leafs fans some headaches. No need to agonize over Darryl Sittler vs. Teeder Kennedy vs. Syl Apps at centre–they’re not among those offered up by The Worldwide Leader. (Thankfully, though, a formidable 1-2 punch of Doug Gilmour and Eric Lindros are there to satisfiy T.O. fans’ needs down the middle.)

    Penguins fans have no such luck–ESPN is forcing them to choose between Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby on a top line.

    And woe the poor fans of Le Grand Club. Habs backers must weigh a list that includes both Richard boys, Jean Beliveau, Howie Morenz, Dickie Moore, Guy LaFleur, Boom-Boom Geoffrion, Yvon Cournoyer, and even Bob Gainey. At least they don’t have to fret finding a slot for Guillaume Latendresse….