Wednesday, November 21


Stunning. That’s the only word to describe it. Stunning. And not stunning in an ‘Oh My God, Jaclyn Smith was stunning in Charlie’s Angels' way but in a…It’s stunning how a season can be lost in 21 minutes way. That was the worst 21 minutes on TV since the last episode of Seinfeld. Maybe it was longer…cos it really started with another McCabe giveaway that lead to Joe Bowen saying ‘Leafs look like the running around out there’, and you know when he says that, it’s going in.

You know how the first shift after a goal is really important, than the next game after a big win, must have the same kind of impact. Another win like the win against the team from otawa and you can build from something like that. Quite frankly I still scratch my head and wonder how this team isn’t on a 6 game win streak. Starting with that game against Buffalo or maybe before that against the Pens. Regardless…that we have only 8 wins is disgraceful for so many reasons. It makes me feel curmudgeonly.

Let’s start with that game on Saturday. Easily the best game of the season. Quite frankly one of the best games I have ever seen McCabe play in a Leafs uniform. To say he was a horse is an insult to anything equestrian. And he and Kaberle back together. You want stats, I’ll give you stats: six years together, 547 combined points.
We also dominated the face-off circle. And was it just me or did Stajan and Steen kill it on the penalty kill (pun intended.) Toskala was doing puzzles sitting crossed legged in his crease most of the night. It was a great game. The kind you build momentum from. Ye as players and we as fans. But we know that its like competitive diving or figure skating maybe…you take your best score and your worst score and you throw them out. If the 3 nothing win against the otawa team was the best then which game was the worst? Thursdays loss against the lowly Bruins or yesterdays loss against the lowly Bruins. To me it was yesterdays. What makes it worse than Thursday's against Boston's or even that awful loss to Washington or that drubbing we took at the hands of the Hurricanes. Yesterdays game was the worst because we had nothing to learn from it.

I am not so sure why after only 8 wins that nothing has happened. Let me tell you that it pains me deep in my person to think of what that could mean. (Hi...I'm talking to you Moose and Washingtron....wake up its August 9th 1988. We're not at that drastic stage yet I think. After the verbal boots I saw Maurice give them a few weeks ago its not him. I think at this point its JFJ. Not that I think he has done a particularly bad job but you know how sometimes you gotta get into a fight to inspire your team. I think JFJ at this point would be the equivalent of dressing Wade Belak.
All I would ask is that we have somebody decent ready to step in. And no offense to ol'Heals but I don't think he is the answer either. I'm not holding my breath and waiting for Scotty Bowman, but someone.

Look at this point in the season, after only 8 wins. Something aint right. I don’t know how to look at the fact that only after 8 wins nothing has happened? The Ducks lose a great goalie in Bryzgalof, Atlanta fires their coach. Dallas got rid of their GM, why can’t we? One of the problems being a real fan of the glorious Toronto Maple Leafs is that we are loyal. To the core, to this team. But its time to rethink the program. I hate thinking about a future where they talk about the humiliating, demoralizing loss to the Boston Bruins late in November as the start to their eventual flushing. Quite frankly I don’t want to wait till the last game of the year to know whether or not we’re in the playoffs. I wont even mention Tuukka Rask making every screenwriter smile …nope, JFJ is the pinky toe on my left foot….if something’s got to go, it’s him.

Kill! RabbleRabble! Destroy! RabbleRabbleRabble!

There are probably people in Toronto coiling the rope and wrapping the kerosene soaked rags around the end of a tree branch in preparation of the newest in a seemingly endless list of reasons to lynch John Ferguson Jr. The latest is a 6'3, 169 pound, squinty-eyed bean pole from Finland with a name like something you'd ask for at Home Hardware.
As if JFJ doesn't have enough indignities thrown at him, the Bruins come in to the ACC and parade Tuukka Rask around not just for his first game against his former team, but his first game, EVER. That's the kind of poetic irony that the assholes who run the universe just love to F with. Right there you know not just what kind of game Rask was going to play, but what kind of game Rask had to play.

In hot seat numero 2, was the young man on the Leafs bench kind enough to get the door for everyone last night, Monsieur Anderton Raycroft. As far as I can tell, Andrew is a nice guy who seems to have a bit more going on upstairs than a lot of the pre-erect hominoids who populate the sporting scrums in locker rooms around the league. But you have to think that Andrew was squeezing his lucky so and so, kinda, sorta hoping that Rask would skate to the wrong net, fire the puck into his own goal and shit his pants all before the first kiss-cam timeout.

But he didn't. Tuukka Rask played a good, solid game for the Bruins. He had 34 pucks thrown at him and was beaten by two, which weren't exactly pretty, but still. He made a number of real game savers to boot. One against Johnny Pohl, from beautiful work from Wellwood, and a killer toe save in the final few minutes. It was one of those games where the Leafs were the better team in all areas but one: the goaltending. Similar to the game against Montreal with Carey Price last week. Rask, like Price, kept his team in it long enough for an eventual home game third period Leaf collapse to happen. Then a late pressure goal with everyone running around the Leafs end, and there you go. Two more points gifted away to a division foe. Fucking perfect.

So anyway, the point I was making is that I think it's perhaps a little premature to kill JFJ for trading Rask for Raycroft. A lot of people look good for 1 game. Moose isn't one of them, but, you know, poeple do. JFJ had to get a goalie, and he did/does have Pogge in his back pocket. That's why you stockpile assets, right? Right? What? So we traded a young Bernie Parent in the 70's, and in 96/97 we traded our pick that turned into Roberto Luongo, what the fucks it to you?
We'll see what the Bruins do the next 20 times the Leafs have to play them this season. Christ, the Leafs have trouble with Tim Thomas, and he supposedly blows.

Once again the welcome relief of a long road trip opens up, and the Leafs will certainly get a bunch of points back. The Dallas "There's Still a Team in Dallas?!" Stars on Friday and Phoenix on Saturday. So that means, I'll see you next Tuesday!