Tim Leiweke

Leiweke doesn’t think ‘October was a fluke’ for Leafs


It hasn’t been the smoothest of sailing for Tim Leiweke since being named the new boss of Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment in April.

In July, for example, one columnist called Leiweke’s bravado — (see: “New Leafs prez has Stanley Cup parade-route planned” and “Leiweke wants to be a ‘hero’ in Toronto”) — “laughable stuff.”

And for the last little while, Leiweke’s had to watch the crown jewel of the MLSE empire, the Maple Leafs, win just four of 33 games in regulation.

Today, the former AEG executive was a guest on Sportsnet 590 The FAN radio (audio) to talk about, among other things, the hockey team that no longer occupies a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

To that, Leiweke said he trusts fully in the direction general manager Dave Nonis is leading the club.

“I don’t think October was a fluke,” said Leiweke, referring to Toronto’s 10-4-0 start to the season, “and getting [injured forward Dave Bolland] back will help this team.”

The counter-argument is that, despite their record, the Leafs weren’t all that dominant in October. In fact, they were outshot by a combined 505 to 371, a trend that led many to predict the slide they’re currently in.

Still, Leiweke, like Nonis did recently, put the onus on the players, not management or the coaching staff, to improve the team’s situation.

“We got work to do,” he said. “This team, I think, can get better. I think if you look at the players we have today, there’s no question that we all think we should be in a better position than we’re in today.”

The Leafs are in Boston tomorrow to play the Bruins.

Related: Holland called back up to Leafs

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?