Monday, November 26, 2007

Oh Them Winds of Change

Can you feel it? Can you feel it? There is finally the promise of change swirling about Toronto these days; real, deep, meaningful, drastic, sweeping change emanating from the heart of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment offices. John Ferguson Jr may very soon be out of a job. This is a good thing. Fergie, bless him, leaves behind a trail of terrified, timid moves and deals, all swung with an apprehensive look over his shoulder. Rask for Raycroft. Draft picks for Toskala. Money for Kubina and a no mover for McCabe. Whatever. We all make mistakes. But then there was his gruff, tight lipped media face, those washed-up boxing promoter good looks and his terse, uncomfortable, demeanor that from day one never managed to instill any confidence in me.

Listen to me, I sound like he's already gone. I hope I'm not wrong here. I hope we don't have to suffer through the rest of the season watching JFJ sit on his hands, lips pursed while he mumbles something about injuries and tough luck and how we have all the pieces in place despite winning only eight of twenty-four games and displaying all the passion and drive of an old golf cart. I know, changing GMs isn't going to make the Leafs play better. It is so far beyond that now.

It's almost good that the Leafs lost so badly to Phoenix, because when you get blown out by the Coyotes you can be pretty sure there's not much lower you can go. I may be late to the party, but I'd like to join the Blow-Up the Leafs Club. I was pretty sure before the season that the Leafs could be at least eighth-in-the-East competitive, but now this team has shown itself to be the listless no talent bums they were all along.

Toronto needs to bring in a general manager who isn't afraid to say, "This is not a very good team" and then go out and do something about it. Pile those draft picks. Trade Sundin. I don't care anymore. Send him to Ottawa so he can get his Cup and we'll get even more reason to hate the Senators. I mean, they kick the Leafs' ass every time any way, switching Sundin's colours won't change much.



Post Script: I'm just hearing this now but it appears Fergie tried, and clearly failed to get coach Paul Maurice fired last week which shows the power and influence he still holds over what is supposed to be his team. Everyone involved denied everything but then that's pretty status quo so Fergie's protestations don't count for much.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lusty Tlusty

We've all done stuff we'd rather forget right? Certain things done under the influence of other certain things, or because hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time, ok? Geez. It's just that we don't all play for the Maple Leafs and most of us can be reasonably sure I think, that if anybody did find out about our transgressions (I didn't notice her five o'clock shadow, ok?) we wouldn't find lurid photos of ourselves splashed across the front page of the Toronto Sun the next day.

What a non-issue. Jiri Tlusty is nineteen and he just got burned by the internet. Tough cookies. Can we talk about the fact that the Leafs have lost back to back games in OT instead?


Monday, November 12, 2007

No Stanley Cups Allowed

Hey look where'd that come from, who's the dude with the fourth grade photoshop skills, and what's going on here, right?. Well, I've been toying with a name change for a few months actually and this seemed a good a time as any. The old name was stupid. It was based on some silly math and shakier logic, but it was one of those ideas that just made so much sense back when. It's important to know when to ditch a bad idea, and 65 Years and Counting was a bad idea. Let's not get negative though, this is a happy day. I guess my focus can shift more fully to hockey and now I don't have to pretend care about the Raptors, even if they have suddenly become major league model franchise number one.

No Stanley Cups Allowed is, I think, a celebration of futility. Negativity is no fun. It just leads to cynical wrinkles and early heart attacks.

Here's my rejected list of blog names. Think of them of them like an old betamax sitting on the curb, "please love me" post-noted to it.

Toronto the Fair(ly Adequate)
Toronto the (Not) Good (Enough)
Futility in Toronto
The Pain That Unites Us
The No Stanley Cup Zone
Why Try Harder
Maple Leafs Blowing in the Wind
Toronto the Sucks Ass


Who Brought the Donuts

I don't know if you've noticed but lately it seems like goalies have been putting up shut outs like they were Amish barns. I don't have any numbers to back me up, only a cold, hard hunch, but it feels like goose eggs are on the rise. Maybe it's just that Pascal Leclaire is making a glorious spectacle of himself over in Columbus, but then even Andrew Raycroft got in on the hot clean sheet action which tells you that something must be up. Andrew Raycroft man. Scoring is down from last year, the Internet confirms this, and even last year's numbers are down from the year before that. It only took three years for the big/small market divide to really resurface after the lockout. Ditto the fighting. Are we seeing the return of the low scoring too? Cause man there has to be a better way of fixing the sport than locking everybody out for a year. That got old kinda quick.

Goalies stop being so good thx,


Saturday, November 10, 2007

That Dirty, Dirty 'Stache

Of course the Leafs won against Buffalo. They didn't just have Darcy Tucker and Bryan McCabe back in the line-up, they also had McCabe's gnarly new set of biker bars, which probably deserved at least an assist on 'Caber's goal, just for being there. Ryan Miller knows better than to get between a shot from any dude bad enough to be sportin' a hairy horseshoe. It's just not good sense. I wish I had a decent picture.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Ze Big E, 'E Is Great Non?

So what about this Lindros guy. He's retired now, some might say a few years too late. The question, burning so passionately right now is whether the dude, in his injury shortened career and taking into consideration both the fact that he was probably the player of the nineties but also made a dick of himself by refusing the Nordiques, considering all that does the Big E have a place in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Yeah, let the guy in. I think his numbers plus the reputation he built while with the Flyers is enough on its own to get him into the hall. He shouldn't be penalized for taking too many hits to the head, that was just his game, and he shouldn't be penalized for having the parents he did either.

When the time comes, 2010 I think, they should vote him in. Whether that happens or not, well, that depends on how well some journalists can hold grudges I guess.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Breaking News

Jay Onrait is hosting Off The Record while Landsberg gets his face lifted, or whatever it is Landsberg does on his time off. TSN needs to get this guy Onrait his own show. Jay is comedy gold.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

There's This Basketball Team You See

Sometimes I forget I don't like basketball long enough to write a couple hundred words.

Yeah I only pay attention to basketball with one eye open but the lack of respect emanating stateside for the Raptors is shocking. The American sports media has been creaming their pants over and over again all summer at the thought of Boston's newly stacked team, and the predictions from every corner are falling just short of championship. Because we know how historically good teams built to look like a day to day all star team have faired. Team chemistry be damned. You would think in basketball of all sports, those being paid to be in the know would recognize the importance of team play. Boston will improve, yeah sure, it's not hard to improve on 28 wins, but I think Boston fans will be disappointed (Dear Boston fans, you have the Patriots and the Red Sox already. That is enough).

The Raptors aren't getting any respect is my problem. Perhaps the most team orientated team in the East, and easily one of the most cohesive groups in the NBA and for some reason no one can take the next step and predict another Atlantic title for Toronto. The Celtics will come out of the gate like the New York Rangers, slow and uncomfortable. The Raptors are going to be solid all year long. They will win their division and a playoff series or two to boot, and the stupid part is America is going to act all surprised, as if there was no warning for this sudden rise.

Still holding out hope that Brian Colangelo will take over hockey operations too,


Did Someone Say Road Trip?

Those wacky, wacky, mediocre, wacky Maple Leafs. All the consistency of raw egg yolk plus the nauseous taste that makes you want to throw up afterwards too.

What's up with the goaltending? Paul Maurice seems desperate to make Toskala his number one guy but every time he leaves Toskles in net for too many consecutive games he seems to get burned. We're all expecting some kind of return to form for this guy and that two game win streak, yeah remember how sweet that was?, yeah that two game win streak looked like some kind of turning point and then Toskala allows four goals in the first period against the Crapitals of all teams and the Leafs sleep walk through another loss and it's real sweet that Steen was angry afterwards for the camera, but where was that during the game?

Raycroft is no better these days and it seems like the Leafs do have a goaltending duel on their hands. Two goalies dueling it out to see who can earn the right to ride the bench night in and night out. Maybe they should call up Clemmensen. You know the Marlies have yet to lose in regulation through seven games? This is the Marlies we're talking about. Maybe we should do a wholesale roster swap with them. I don't see how it could get much worse than it already is.

Next game is in New Jersey. I don't think we can call it the swamp any more - the arena is in Newark proper right? Not that I know anything about Newark, but it has to be a locale improvement, right? Point is, this is a Winnable game. I've been saying that about a lot of games lately, and look where that's got us. The Leafs can bounce back though, especially on the road. Get away from the ACC. Do a little soul searching guys. Win some games please.