Category: maple leafs

In which I’m not completely turned off of hockey. Leafs, don’t kill it.

I’ve been a Toronto Maple Leafs fan for ages. Don’t ask, because I don’t know. I grew up watching the games–you know, back when the team had names like Clark, or Sundin, or Tucker on the roster. I’ve seen them play actually good postseason hockey. Hell, I’ve seen them actually make the postseason. But in recent years, I quit the team by about the end of January. Why? To make a long story short, we suck. But this year, despite the fact I haven’t been able to watch much hockey by virtue of academia pretty much owning my life, I find myself not just staying interested but actually trying to coordinate my schedule so I can catch 10 minutes of the game just for kicks.

It completely baffles some folks when I tell them. But I do it mostly because we might actually make something of this band of rookies this time around. Do I think we’ll make the playoffs? Hell no. We’re good, but not that good. Not yet. But provided things don’t fall apart between this year and next, we could potentially get that good. And that’s where Leafs management comes in.

Every general manager in recent years–and by recent, I mean 2004–has come in with an idea. They test out that idea for a season or two, get bored with it, rip it apart and start over. Then they either leave or are told to leave because the team’s imploded, someone new takes over, and the old GM’s efforts are blown away and the process starts from square 1. And the end result of all of that tinkering and reshuffling is we’ve only made the playoffs once since 2004, it was in a shortened NHL season, and Boston dropped us out of the playoffs in 7 games. In short, we suck.

This year, though, we actually have a team I don’t mind watching on game 82, even if that game 82 won’t be pretty. Yes, we should be doing better than we are. Yes, we probably could have won an extra game or two if John Q. Player had been where he should be. But when half your lineup is playing its first or second full NHL season, you’re going to have those moments. I’ll complain, and loudly, if these same things happen with the same players in another year or two. But for right now, I’ll take it.

This Leafs management seems to have a clue or two. They’ve put together something with more promise than I’ve seen in Toronto in way too long. Besides, they got us Austin Matthews. But I’ve seen this act before. The challenge will be if these same people are still here in a year or two, and if they’re still not bored with what they’ve got. Translation: they built it, but let’s see how long before they break it.

For the first time in several years, I’m actually interested in hockey beyond the first few months. For the first time since 2004, I’m actually interested in the Maple Leafs beyond the first few months. I like this feeling. I like this team. Leafs, please, don’t kill it. You’ve done that enough already.

Maple Leafs 4, Jets 3.

It was the first game against the Jets in damn near 20 years. Freaking ever. And I completely forgot it existed and thus missed watching it. Yes, I know, I fail at hockey. You may now arange my public execution. Still, shootout wins are nice. As is our barely 2-week points total. Not bad for a team undergoing a massive rebuild.

  • Wins: 4
  • Losses: 1
  • Shootout Wins: 1
  • Shootout Losses: 0
  • Points: 9

Avalanch 3, Maple Leafs 2.

One of these days, I’ll actually stay caught up on these thigs. That day has apparently not yet arived. I think I caught most of this game–and it kind of ended while my back was turned. Losses hurt, in general. Overtime losses? Yeah, painful. Still, it’s a point. And Phill Kessel is still Phill Kessel. That’s all we can ask.

  • Wins: 3
  • Losses: 1
  • Shootout Wins: 0
  • Shootout Losses: 0
  • Points: 7

Maple Leafs 3, Flames 2.

I think I caught most of this game. Calgary actually played decently–and, of course, Phill Kessel was Phill Kessel. Remind me again why Boston gave him up? Which, speaking of, thanks for that, Boston. No really. We love you.

  • Wins: 3
  • Losses: 0
  • Shootout Wins: 0
  • Shootout Losses: 0
  • Points: 6

Maple Leafs 6, Senators 5.

Oh. My. God. Just… oh my god. ‘Nuff said. No, seriously. We were up 2 nothing at the end of the first. By end of second, we were up 3 nothing. Then 4 nothing in the third. Then we kind of started to fall apart. They pulled one back, which we recovered, or so I kind of hoped. They made it 5 2, and by this point, the laptop had decided to flatline. So I slapped that on the charger, came back and it was 5 4 Toronto. Then it was 6 4. And Kessel got his hat trick. We wished for it. We all but predicted it. Then, he delivered. I could have screamed my fool head off and felt not one bit uncomfortable doing it. Yes, even when they made the game 6 5 after that–and we still walked away with the points. I still cannot find words. It’s only the second game in the season, but wow. My mind. Gone. And so am I.

  • Wins: 2
  • Losses: 0
  • Shootout Wins: 0
  • Shootout Losses: 0
  • Points: 4

Maple Leafs 2, Canadians 0.

Welcome back, boys of winter. I’ve missed you. I didn’t catch most of the game last night, what with being enroute here, but what I saw was made of awesome. We spent most of our time in the offensive end, and very nearly added to the lead on several occasions. As they say, epic win is epic. If you’re into that kinda thing and can see them, Mike was at the opener and posted pictures–they’re over here. For everyone else, raise your hands and say it with me. Go Leafs go! We killed the bastards from Montreal. Now, to do same to the bastards from Ottawa. Here’s hoping I can actually watch all of that one.

  • Wins: 1
  • Losses: 0
  • Shootout Wins: 0
  • Shootout Losses: 0
  • Points: 2

Anyone wanna guess what this is?

No? Okay fine. This would be, for the first time in a little bit over a month, my attempted reemergence into the realm of this whole blogging thing. This may or may not include yet more mockery, and that thinggy I’m supposed to do about what you guys were reading last month–conveniently, 4 or 5 days before I should be doing that thing about what you were reading while I was being all unavailable and things. There’s an abso-freaking-lute metric ton of crap I probably could, and should, be writing about. Sadly, most of it kind of stopped applying about 2 weeks ago–sorry, life does that to ya. Things that do get a mention here and may or may not be elaborated on when I have slightly more brain power. In list format, because hey, first post in a month, here. Lazy.

  • Moving: Jessica got herself all moved in, relatively in one piece and with most of what sanity she has left after dating and being engaged to me intact. Her stuff, thankfully, also made it to the other end in one pice. Find her take on that and several million other things over on her blog. Go now. I’ll wait.
  • Technology: I’d started the process before I left, and finished it while down there–in and around the above mentioned move. Shortly before my return to Canada–where I’m currently flaed out now, the new laptop I’d been aiming for met me here. It’s nifty cool, in the wicked sense. Still getting used to using Windows 7 on a more than occasional basis, but hey, so far I’m not complaining much.
  • The stupid: there’s acrap ton of it. It starts with local cab companies, and it’ll all warrant separate entries. Again, see the need for more brain power.
  • Hockey: the playoffs are closing rappidly in on us. There will be playoff mockery involved. There will not be Leafs recaps involved–again. Ah well. You saw it coming.
  • Leafs: I quit. At least for this season. I haven’t done a recap since mid-February. To recap this many games would be both exceedingly spammy and a very good reason to develop a migraine. Naturally it would also double as an excellent exercise in frustration–like all mid to late season attempts at playing the comeback kid do. You’re just not that team, Toronto. Sorry.
  • Mockery: Oh, dear lord, the mockery. Not in this post, but the mockery. I’m buried in it. It’ll get posted over the next couple days. Trust me–it’ll be more than worth the wayt.

So that’s kind of where I’ve been. Now, where’d I put my caffeine?

We still know what to do with that first rounder, right?

Okay. So. While I was out having fun last night, the Leafs related internet virtually blew up all over the place. We traded Chris Versteeg yesterday for a first rounder, a third rounder, and some guy who’s name escapes me at the moment. We know what to do with the third round pick–usually waste it on someone who’ll never see the light of day. But do we still remember what to do with the first round one? Last time we had a halfway decent pick in that round, we auctioned it off for Kessel. Which, okay, nice shot, but I dunno if we’re getting our money’s worth. I can’t even remember anything else we’ve done in recent years with picks in the first round they were that good. But we didn’t have this GM for most of those years, and he at least likes to pretend to use his brain if nothing else. Steve asked yesterday if we’d even still remember what the hell to do with it. I told him then we’d at least have time to figure it out. Thinking about it now? I just hope they don’t remember what they did with the last decent one. That didn’t work quite as well as we’d hoped.

Canadians 3, Maple Leafs 0.

Things I did not want to see when I woke up this morning. The 0 is on the wrong side of the scoreboard. Versus those bastards from Montreal, even. Seriously, something just broke. I dunno what, but something just broke. Bright side: Ottawa’s in last. That deserves a special place in mockeryland. Now where’d I put that article from The Onion?

  • Wins: 23
  • Losses: 33
  • Shootout Wins: 4
  • Shootout Losses: 3
  • Points: 52

Devils 2, Maple Leafs 1.

Our goaltender? Awesome. Our coatch? Okay. Our team? Uh, where were they? Yeah, again, missed this one. But at least this time I didn’t miss much. Apparently we didn’t actually play, or so reports go. Sigh. Oh well, I’ll take the point. So long, last available playoff spot.

  • Wins: 23
  • Losses: 32
  • Shootout Wins: 4
  • Shootout Losses: 3
  • Points: 52

Maple Leafs 5, Islanders 3.

I really need to stop existing outside of the Leafs viewing area, if only because I miss games like this. Apparently, we rocked socks. Yeah, in spite of the fact the Isles were kind of in a goalie predicament of the highest order–hey, is Telqvist still playing? You guys could use him. Still, I’ll take the 2 points. Now where’d I put my playoff predicting machine? Ah screw it, we’re still nowhere close.

  • Wins: 23
  • Losses: 31
  • Shootout Wins: 4
  • Shootout Losses: 3
  • Points: 51

Maple Leafs 5, Thrashers 4.

I never know what I’m getting with this team. Sometimes, we actually play. Sometimes, we don’t and still manage to win. Sometimes, we play enough for 3 games and get smoked. And sometimes–like, for example, that last game–we just get smoked. But hey, these are always nice.

  • Wins: 22
  • Losses: 31
  • Shootout Wins: 4
  • Shootout Losses: 3
  • Points: 49

Sabres 6, Maple Leafs 2.

Oof. I didn’t even bother so much as glancing in the general direction of this game’s recap. Score says it all. Or at least says enough. Once again, just oof.

  • Wins: 21
  • Losses: 31
  • Shootout Wins: 4
  • Shootout Losses: 3
  • Points: 47

Maple Leafs 3, Hurricanes 0.

Okay, we need to stop doing this. I’m seriously starting to see playoffs. No, seriously. It’s February, we’re just about kissing 50 points, and Ottawa’s still doing laughably. We don’t soon knock this off, I might actually have to start regretting not being able to watch these games. Shhh, I said might. Don’t push me.

  • Wins: 21
  • Losses: 30
  • Shootout Wins: 4
  • Shootout Losses: 3
  • Points: 47

Maple Leafs 4, Panthers 3.

If we keep doing this, I might just become a fan of the shootout. On the other hand, we’d have to win a shit ton more of these. Could happen, right? Right? … Right?

  • Wins: 20
  • Losses: 30
  • Shootout Wins: 4
  • Shootout Losses: 3
  • Points: 45

Lightning 2, Maple Leafs 0.

And we hit the all star break with a splutter, and a die. Typical Leafs fashion. Against another team from another state that shouldn’t have a hockey team–and this one’s got two. And they say the NHL isn’t broken.

  • Wins: 19
  • Losses: 30
  • Shootout Wins: 3
  • Shootout Losses: 3
  • Points: 43

Hurricanes 6, Maple Leafs 4.

Hell. Handbag. This team. There are just no other words. None. At all. At least it wasn’t 6 1? Yeah, sure, let’s run with that.

  • Wins: 19
  • Losses: 29
  • Shootout Wins: 3
  • Shootout Losses: 3
  • Points: 43

Maple Leafs 5, Ducks 2.

I’m actually sorry I ended up missing this game. I hear it was several varieties of wicked nifty cool. Well, for us, anyway. Now why can’t every game be like this? Oh. Right. Toronto. Nevermind.

  • Wins: 19
  • Losses: 27
  • Shootout Wins: 3
  • Shootout Losses: 3
  • Points: 43

Rangers 7, Maple Leafs 0.

Just when you thought your team’s found the bottom, they go and invent this. Rumour has it only 2 players actually showed up–the rest kinda sorta stayed off the ice. Okay, might as well have. No wonder it’s taken me until now to post these. even a week later, this hurts bad.

  • Wins: 18
  • Losses: 27
  • Shootout Wins: 3
  • Shootout Losses: 3
  • Points: 41

Flames 2, Maple Leafs 1.

Does anyone remember when we actually used to beat these guys on a fairly regular basis? I mean yeah, so now we only play them once every year or two. This used to be the team we’d warm up on before getting stomped by Vancouver or something. Ah well. I’ll take the point.

  • Wins: 18
  • Losses: 26
  • Shootout Wins: 3
  • Shootout Losses: 3
  • Points: 41

Coyotes 5, Maple Leafs 1.

I just have one question. How does a hockey team based out of Phoenix, bleeding money out the ears and bleeding talent out everywhere else, come up with an ass kicking and lay it on a team from what’s supposedly the land of ice and snow? I’d really like to know how that works. Yeah okay, so they have that one guy coatching. Gretsky or whatever. It’s Phoenix, for crying out loud. They don’t get to win. Except, apparently, when they do. Dammit.

  • Wins: 18
  • Losses: 25
  • Shootout Wins: 3
  • Shootout Losses: 2
  • Points: 40

Maple Leafs 4, Sharks 2.

I will always get a kick out of how fun this game was to watch. Particularly since this is probably the only time this year we’ll see the Leafs actually win 4 in a row. Sucks, but whatcha gonna do? I’m gonna do this.

  • Wins: 18
  • Losses: 24
  • Shootout Wins: 3
  • Shootout Losses: 2
  • Points: 40

Maple Leafs 3, Kings 2.

Okay, that was good. Awesome, even. Probably better than tonight’s game will be vs. San Jose, but you’ll have that. And hey, we actually didn’t implode in the third. How’d that happen? Probably still hanging out in the league’s basement, but we can’t have everything. Hell, some years we can’t have anything–we cheer for Toronto, after all. Oh well. Just be happy we get to sit at:

  • Wins: 17
  • Losses: 24
  • Shootout Wins: 3
  • Shootout Losses: 2
  • Points: 38

Maple Leafs 9, Thrashers 3.

I would just like to state for the record, the Thrashers shall officially be renamed, as of now, to the Thrashees. Also: when one line is responsible for the majority of your scoring, and the majority of your schooring translates to approximately 66%, you know you’re doing something right–at least with that one line. Now if we can just have the other three start in that direction.

  • Wins: 16
  • Losses: 24
  • Shootout Wins: 3
  • Shootout Losses: 2
  • Points: 36