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Bench Talk 17/06/2017

 

“It’s like the bottom of the ninth and I’m never gonna win. This life hasn’t turned out, quite the way I want it to be.” — Chad Kroeger

Losing can be tough. Losing while riding the pine is downright insufferable. Reach into the styrofoam cooler, crack a cold one and let’s talk some sports.

In the News

Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather: Is this the greatest examples of cross-sport performances or are boxing and MMA too similar?

Cameron Burgess (CB): I’m just hoping this ends up being more entertaining than the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight. That fight was supposed to be the fight of the century, yet fans witnessed Mayweather run in circles, land a jab, and then back out and keep running. This tactic isn’t just a one-time thing for Mayweather, and I’m expecting much of the same when he faces off against McGregor. I’d love to see 49-0 become 49-1, but I don’t know how realistic that might be. McGregor has become the biggest star in the UFC, but boxing is a completely different sport. The UFC has a ground game, and obviously many different fighting styles, while boxing is just one style that fighters may specialize in. McGregor is a better all around fighter, I don’t doubt that at all, but Mayweather has been one of the best boxers throughout his whole career and has been training and improving his skills since he was a kid. My heart says McGregor, but my head says Mayweather. Read more

Approaching this Leafs-Capitals Series with 2 mindsets: The Homer vs. The Buzzkill

The REAL playoffs start tonight and I’m feeling pretty conflicted. While I’m ready to get on the hype train, the Leafs have crushed my spirits at every turn. Being a Toronto sports fan in general has made me a bit of a cynic and at the end of the day I have come to hate that about myself. I’d love to yell at my TV like an idiot, fully-decked out in Leafs gear, but anytime you fly that high the fall is all the more tragic. Read more

Welcome to the Bench: Connor Brown

Born: 1/14/1994 (22 years old) Toronto, ON, Canada
Drafted: 6th round (156th overall) in 2012 by Toronto Maple Leafs
Teams: Toronto Maple Leafs (2016)
Position: Right Wing
Height: 5’11″
Weight: 170 lbs
Shoots: Right
HockeyDB Profile

Connor Brown Stats

The Call-Up
March 17, 2016 the Toronto Maple Leafs called up Connor Brown on an emergency basis. Read more

Revisiting the Dion Phaneuf Trade

On Tuesday December 8, in Toronto’s 3-2 shootout win versus the New Jersey Devils, captain Dion Phaneuf played in his 400th game as a Toronto Maple Leaf. Love him or hate him you can’t deny that this is an impressive bench mark. Especially since many people thought he would be following Phil out the door this past summer.

Although he is still draws the ire of Leafs fans’ hate, Dion has had a sneakily effective season so far. Right now he’s  fourth on the Leafs with 16 points and leads the team with 14 assists. The most noticeable change this year is how Babcock deploys him. While his shifts per game have increased from 28.5 last year to 31.5 this year, his ice time has dropped from 23:43 to 22:20. I love the fact that Babcock stresses shorter shifts at max efforts. After years of watching Kessel and Kadri dogging it for long shifts, this is a welcome change.

As a result of his play, Dion’s trade value hasn’t been higher since he had signed that ill-advised contract  7 years $49 million contract that won’t expire until 2021. But instead of looking at any future potential trades, I want to look back at the controversial trade that brought Dion to Toronto. Read more