Wednesday, December 2

National Hockey League

Watching NHL hockey in an empty rink unusual, and let’s hope normalcy returns quicker
Coronavirus, Hockey, Maple Leafs, National Hockey League, NHL, Toronto Maple Leafs

Watching NHL hockey in an empty rink unusual, and let’s hope normalcy returns quicker

Article content continuedNot quite. Leafs practice went off as scheduled on Wednesday, but all sports fans know what happened that night: Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for the coronavirus, and within hours, the National Basketball Association put its season on hold.We apologize, but this video has failed to load.The NHL followed in kind the next day, and as I left Scotiabank after the morning skate on Thursday was cancelled, had no idea when any of us would return.I wouldn’t have guessed July 28, and wouldn’t have guessed it would be for an exhibition game against the Montreal Canadiens, in preparation for a best-of-five qualifying round against the Columbus Blue Jackets. With NHL players living in bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton, no less.I don’t live in Toronto. On Tuesd...
Kyle Clifford looking forward to unleashing physical side once Maple Leafs square off with Jackets
Hockey, Maple Leafs, National Hockey League, NHL, Toronto Maple Leafs

Kyle Clifford looking forward to unleashing physical side once Maple Leafs square off with Jackets

As much as his instincts might have told him to do otherwise, Kyle Clifford held back during Maple Leafs scrimmages the past couple of weeks.Clifford didn’t put any opponents — otherwise known as Leafs teammates — through the boards during the camp friendlies, nor did the bruising winger line up anyone for an open-ice hit.The Leafs know they’re going to have their hands full with a hard-nosed Columbus Blue Jackets group in the best-of-five qualifying round in Phase 4. As intense as the Leafs’ scrimmages were, Clifford is among the Leafs who will be able to turn his physical dial up to 11 once the qualifier starts.“There’s a line (in camp) and you don’t really want to be flirting with it because you don’t want to injure your guys, but at the same time, you want to make sure your t...