Thursday, January 10

Game Over: 2:11 seconds in? Terrible

Ow. Ow, Owwwwwwwwww. Okay that’s the sound of pain, of realization. Like a toothache. A persistent, aching, stinking, horrible toothache. My team, your team, our team: this team just isn’t good enough. It hurts me to the core to write that statement. But like that toothache, I have to realize that I can’t keep on ignoring it. With the Leafs this year I have brushed, flossed, lathered, rinsed and repeated. I have chewed on the other side of my mouth, wrapped my head in gauze. Drank neither hot nor cold drinks and just pretended that everything was fine. But there it always was, from my first intake of breath to my last sip of lukewarm juice. An infection that reminds, like a slap in the face, that something just isn’t right.

I believe that this was the game (last nights against the Ducks). The game I will remember or, more specifically, try to forget. The one that was the barometer. I don’t believe that this was the game in terms of an X on a calendar, a hey lets see how we’re doin’ kind of thing on a randomly picked date. No no…this game, this team. Not just because they’re the Stanley Cup champs either…but because the Ducks, you can smell already, are a playoff team.
Woefully underachieving at the start of the season very much like our very own team. The difference: Stanley Cup hangovers don’t last 40 years. To paraphrase the song New York, New York: …if we can make it there (Honda Center), we can make it anywhere.
But this game for me….more than any others this year shows me what my team lacks. I would say that earlier losses to Boston, Phoenix and Carolina were more humiliating but none have been as unequivocal in showing what the Leafs are lacking.

The Ducks should start growing their beards now.

And if Brian Burke is worth his weight in salt, which he might just be, I would go after Mats with every fiber of my being. Does the thought literally make me ill? Of course it does…Mats Sundin is my captain….not yours, fuckface…but because of that…I want Mats to hoist that most beautiful of trophies. The Ducks own Edmonton’s first round pick this year…and as the Oil are about as terrible as the Leafs (sorry Moose and Wash), the prospect of two high first round draft picks (not to mention whatever else Mats would garner) is exciting. I know that Selanne is coming back too. Can you imagine? I can. Can you say repeat?

I can hear HS/HS’s own Greener now: With 40 games remaining, it’s a bit premature to sell the farm. Maybe but I really don’t believe it’s too early to start thinking about the future of our team…and right now Mats is golden. Will his stock ever be as high again?