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Posts Tagged ‘Toronto Maple Leafs’

Hahahaha. 🙂

Needless to say, for most educated Canadian hockey fans, this is a no-brainer, of course the Habs are Canada’s team.

Forget the jock rhetoric, MLSE and Toronto media hype machine, only one team truly represents all of Canada, all Canadians and every fabric of our awesome nation. Here is a recent poll that concludes the same. Canada is not just Toronto and it is no solely English, and the Habs and adoration for the club are evidence of that.

Toronto spinsters may think Toronto is the gold standard for hockey, the true “hockeytown” and the centre of the hockey universe but it isn’t. How can it be? THEY HAVEN’T WON A CUP SINCE 1967- the LAST time there were SIX TEAMS in the NHL!!!!

The Leafs are not the New York Yankees of hockey though they claim to be. You need to win, and often, to lay that claim. The Leafs are more like the LA Dodgers hockey, plenty of great history, some good runs and wins but nothing to really show of late (though at least the Dodgers have won in recent memory).

The New York Yankees of hockey are the Montreal Canadiens and we have the 24 cups to prove it and are the sole Canadian team to win it recently, in 1993. The Detroit Red Wings can even lay a better claim to the Yankee moniker than the loser Leafs.

Watching the Leafs plod through this season has been hilarious, more so on how local media covers them. A two-game win  streak is dissected and blown way out of proportion and it is all sunny skies and roses so quickly after the doom and gloom of a week ago. This city is dying so bad for a winning hockey team the media just about falls over itself trying to spin a good yarn out of horse crap.

I feel for the players assemled for this year’s Leafs team. They are trying their best but if you don’t have the horses to run, the race can be a mighty long one, let alone just getting out of the barn.

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Burke will never be this alone again now that he his Maple Laugh GM and prez.

Burke will never be this alone again now that he his Maple Laugh GM and prez.

One of the longest, drawn out dramas in Toronto sporting media history has come to an end. Brian Burke has signed on to be president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Once Mats Sundin decides his fate, what exactly Leaf beat media will actually write about it will be interesting to see. Hold on a second, they may actually have to report about the team more often and actually follow them.

The Burke watch became ridiculous of late. Reports of him attending a funeral north of Toronto. Reports of him getting his furnace fixed. Reports of him hunting in British Columbia. It got to the point that you expected an upskirt shot of him climbing out of a car ala Paris Hilton or Britney Spears.

Thankfully no photos like this were taken of Burke...thank whatever god you wish..seriously, say thank you.

Thankfully no photos like this were taken of Burke...thank whatever god you wish..seriously, say thank you.

Trader Cliff has done a good job cleaning up the junk and Muskoka Five here in Toronto. As a Habs fan, I have watched more Leaf games this year because at least the team is hard working and entertaining, Cliff should be applauded for his work, along with Ron Wilson. Mind you, purely for selfish reasons, I hope the Steen and Carlo Colaiacovo trade for Stepniak trade explodes in their face with Carlo getting healthy and reaching his potential. I am sure for the Etobicoke kid, that I interviewed when he was on the Canadian junior team, will have the hometown team hex off of him now that he is in St. Louis.

Burke says the kid in the Cup is a future Leaf prospect.

Burke says the kid in the Cup is a future Leaf prospect.

As far as Burke goes, though he was handed a strong team in Anaheim, he did bring in the Niedermayer brothers and Pronger which helped make that team a Stanley Cup winner. Remember, Byran Murray put in the grunt work to build that team. Look at Burke’s record in Vancouver. He built a good team, not a championship-calibre team, but a good team that made the playoffs and never realized its potential. In Maple Laughs land, getting that team to the playoffs again will be like reaching Mecca and another 40 years of Cup futility can continue.

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ROY vs. CLARK

The fact both Patrick Roy and Wendel Clark had ceremonies honouring them on the same night was a disgrace and disservice to hockey fans. Sure, people will say a Hab fan will not care about a Leaf ceremony and vice versa but these two players crossed all tribal barriers. CBC was a joke in not televising the Habs game nationwide and MLSE is a bigger joke for organizing the Clark ceremony for the same night as the Roy ceremony. Ask yourself…would MLSE have organized such a night for Clark if it were Steve Yzerman number retirement night in Detroit? Likely not.

The Roy ceremony was classy and the young goalies taking to the ice was a nice touch. Seeing Jean Perron, Pat Burns and Jacques Demers again was a real treat, as was seeing all the Hab players wearing #33. In the end, seeing Patrick on more time with a Bleu, Blanc and Rouge  sweater on again was the most satisfying sight for me.

Globe and Mail

Photo: Globe and Mail

I did not watch the Wendel Clark ceremony and it is not because I do not like Wendel. In fact, he is behind Borje Salming as my favourite Leaf ever. On some horrible teams and during dark days, Wendel was both the heart and soul of the Maple Laughs and the lone ray of hope. The following video is an awesome compilation of what I loved about Wendel and I do not care that he was a Leaf, he was great to watch.

Ultimately, the two ceremonies also indicated how low the bar is set in Toronto that they actually have to manufacture a reason to celebrate. The Habs have had plenty of players like Wendel over the years but none are recognized in the rafters along with the greats. The standard in Montreal to be recognized as one of the greats is actual greatness, not just being a fan favourite on some bad teams.

Both players deserved their nights separate from one another.

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To listen to Toronto media sometimes it is enough to make you want to take a hammer to your radio or tv.

Thanks to one column and “unamed NHL governors” saying there had been informal consideration given to allowing a second team in Toronto – let the pie in the sky dreaming begin! Oh spare me!

Look, I want Mr. RIM, Jim Balsillie to get his team, whether it is a relocation job or expansion one, likely relocation, and I would love him to have it in Hamilton or KW. This would be gold for this market and push the Maple Laughs…but come one, a second IN Toronto…never.

Do you think MLSE would want to share their pie, the ever-loving dim fans who have lined up for decades, willingly, to pay for a losing product? Get real. Toronto is Maple Leafs country but if they want to put a second team in here for the Canadiens to come and skate circles around go ahead but a second team won’t happen.

Gary Bettman has fought fought hard to stop the relocation of the Predators to Hamilton, do you think he will not stop a second team coming right into the territory of his biggest cash cow?

Wake up Leaf fans. No second team to hang your hopes on will come. You are stuck with the Leafs.

Happy losing.

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More Leaf fans will be resigned to this fans fate as the Leafs prepare for more losing.

More Leaf fans will be resigned to this fan's fate-more losing.

To no one’s surprise media in Leaf Nation have jumped all over Ron Wilson’s comments that wins and losses and won’t matter to him this season. This only adds to Cliff Fletcher’s earlier assertions that low expectations are the best expectations.

Ahh do you all remember Grabovski pitter pattering down the halls of the Bell Centre...no??..ya, i figured, nor do I.

Ahh do you all remember Grabovski pitter pattering down the halls of the Bell Centre...no??..ya, i figured, nor do I.

As just a hockey fan in Maple Laugh-land, management’s approach makes sense. You look at the Leaf roster and for the first time decades, they are actually trying to rebuild for the future. They have kids, they may not all be top notch prospects, but there is a sense of rebuilding. Heck, they have our throw-away Grabovski.  This process won’t deliver a cup anytime soon, but at least they are trying and Wilson is a good coach to have at the helm.

The moment the Hab world stood still and King Roy left the throne for good. Thanks Mario and Reggie- two of the biggest management mistakes in Habs history, enough to overshadow their on-ice contributions.

The moment the Hab world stood still and King Roy left the throne for good. Thanks Mario and Reggie- two of the biggest management mistakes in Habs history, enough to overshadow their on-ice contributions.

This rebuilding of the Leafs reminds me of the recent Hab dark days when were saddled with Rejean Houle at GM and Tremblay behind the bench. Things just went from bad to worse. We lost Patrick, had dead wood veterans and not enough kids playing. With some patience, shrewd scouting and Gainey at the helm, we have steered things around.

Leafs have now gone on a youth movement to help counter the increase Depends costs from the past years.

The Leafs have now gone on a youth movement to counter the Depends costs from past years.

The Habs have never dabbled in the big free agent market as the Leafs for “quick fix” additions, so some serious foundation was set for our current turnaround and success. Leaf fans, prepare yourselves to see losses mount but at least the light at the tunnel is not a train anymore…from what we can tell!

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Habs Rock, Leafs Suck, say Cherry & Milbury.

 

Just say it out loud, nice and slow or shout it out, shout it out loud;

 

“HABS ROCK- LEAFS SUCK!”

Need we say more?

Need we say more?

After a pretty high-tempo exhibition game against the Red Wings, which the Canadiens prevailed in via shootout, Don Cherry has given his stamp of approval to the Canadiens for this year.

Dapper Don gives his thumb to the Habs. Blue is blue because the Leafs..well..the Leafs are not going anywhere..again.

Dapper Don gives his thumb to the Habs. Blue is blue because the Leafs..well..the Leafs are not going anywhere..again.

 

For Cherry to do that and he is a die-hard Leaf boy despite his obvious love of the Bruins, that is a big deal here in the Big Smoke. The fact Mike Milbury essentially said the Leafs will suck this year, only made a good day better! Let’s remember, even Macleans has weighed into why the Leafs stink.

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One nice backhand deke in the preseason and the Leafs has the next coming of Bobby Orr according to the hype machine in this city.

Young Luke Schenn did in fact make a sweet move to beat Manny Legace in a shootout yesterday for the winning goal in a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Blues. Way to go kid, unlike Bryan ‘McWhiff’ McCabe, you have the game fundamental of scoring in the other team’s net, down pat. Good job, now go down to the minors.

With trader Cliff Fletcher moving up in the recent draft to secure the fifth pick which scored Schenn, this prospect needs to be cared for and developed. He needs to go down to the minors and play a lot of minutes in a lot of situations, more than he would every get in the NHL during the season. If Schenn were a Hab prospect in camp, he would be headed to Hamilton by the start of the season. 

Bulldog celebrates the Calder Cup.

Bulldog celebrates the Calder Cup.

 

This kid is good, let him grow. The key to the Habs recent resurgence is the fact the let their good prospects grow in the AHL with the Bulldogs and gee, look what that resulted in, a Calder Cup. Also, that patience resulted in a chunk of the Habs current roster including highly skilled and developed players. But what are we to expect, the Leafs are the team that left goalie prospect Justin Pogge riding the pine during the AHL playoffs last year, instead of giving him valuable experience, for the sake of winning something…ANYTHING…in Leaf Nation.

Through Hab-coloured glasses, I can honestly say Schenn is one of the Leafs best prospects in recent memory. Their last solid draft pick was the oft-injured Carlo Colaiacovo and Schenn is likely way better in his own end whereas Carlo has good hands and vision up ice.

 Schenn does not have to be Bobby Orr, hell, if he can even get close to the greatness of Borje Salming (another Swede would have looked great in a Habs uniform) the Leafs have struck gold.

 

Two things the Leafs wont have anytime soon, a Stanley Cup or someone like Bobby Orr.

Two things the Leafs won't have anytime soon, a Stanley Cup or someone like Bobby Orr.

 

If the rush him, they may just waste his talent or blow reading his potential, as they did with Luke Richardson (1st round, 7th overall by Leafs) or Jason Smith (1st round, 18th overall by Devils)- serviceable, strong reliable defencemen they sent away for a pack of peanuts.

If they really screw up, the could end up with Slava Duris or Anders Erikson- guys that make Patrice “Breeze-by” Brisebois look like Orr or Larry Robinson.

 

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