Friday, September 29, 2006

We're Not Feeling The Love

We are Maple Leaf fans first and foremost, which makes reading things like this hurtful garbage, or this ugly, vindictive hackery so painful.

The folks over at (Amerkins... what do they know about hockey?) don't seem to have much faith in our beloved Blue and White. John Buccigross predicts an unglamourous (or is that unglamorous? Unglamoros? Durned 'Merkins) 11th place finish in the East. He's kind enough to project big things for Mats Sundin, but it's too late Bucci, you've made your opinion of the Leafs perfectly clear.

Scott Burnside is a little more diplomatic, granting the Leafs a 9th place finish, good enough to match their effort last season. He's critical of the Leafs' goal tending in Andrew Raycroft, of the Leafs strength on the wings (namely because the Leafs have what, three natural wingers on the roster?), of their ability to score 5-on-5, and of their ability to tie their own skates. Well, he didn't write that part, but you know he thought about it.

These guys obviously don't understand. They are not Leafs fans. True Leafs fans would never spew such blasphemy. That's because Leaf fans know. Leafs fans know.

Leafs fans know that Darcy Tucker has forty goals hidden under his hat; that Mats Sundin is like good red wine, he only gets better with age; that Andrew Raycroft's poor last season was just a cunning maneuver to get out of Boston; that Jeff O'Neill was just playing an extended practical joke on everybody last year; that Bryan McCabe's middle name is 'Norris'; that Nik Antropov is just starting to warm up; that Alexei Ponikarovsky is the second coming of Jonathan Cheechoo; that Andy Wozniewski is going to make people forget about that Phaneuf kid; that Paul Maurice has 'Jack Adams' tattooed to his left bicep.

True Leafs fans know all of those to be undeniable scientific facts. Obviously those two hockey "experts" are unaware of those facts, or maybe their judgement has been impaired by a few guys named Calvin Coolidge, or whoever the hell is on their funky green money.

Ok, let's be serious for a moment. The Leafs aren't going to win the Stanley Cup this year. We do understand that. But to suggest that they won't even make the playoffs is an affront to us as both Leafs fans and hockey lovers. Perhaps our heads are too wrapped up in vintage Gilmour jerseys, but the Leafs belong in the playoffs like tomatoes belong in a BLT. That is verifiable truth. This team is damn well good enough to make it to the big dance.

Our prediction? The Leafs will sneak in at seventh place (3rd in the Northeast ahead of Montreal and Boston), facing Ottawa in the first round. We don't need to remind you what happens to little Senators that wander into Toronto come playoff time.

We might, if you're good, roll out a league wide prediction in a few days, just so we can lord it over you when we turn out 100% right.

Hope springs eternal,


No comments: