Monday, March 20, 2006

Live the impossible dream

I can't count the number of times since the Olympics that I've heard or read that "if the Leafs lose this game, they're done." Or, "It'll take 92 points to get into the playoffs, for some reason, ergo the Leafs have to win 21 of their last 22 games to get in."

Well, they've lost six of ten since Turin, and they're three points out of eighth. I'm hearing less and less about how impossible it is for this team to make the playoffs. Hell, Damien Cox called the team a "major disappointment" today, which suggests that he had (unpublished) expectations for the 2005-2006 Leafs that exceeded their losing every single game they showed up for.

(Cross posted to Tart Cider.)


  1. As things become more obvious, it becomes less interesting to say them over and over again.

    You don't hear many people saying 'New Coke' sucks any more, but it still does. So do the Leafs.

    they've lost six of ten since Turin, and they're three points out of eighth.


  2. Right on, man! I haven't been hearing about the Sens being cursed by the Leafs, either.

    While I will conceed that the Leafs will need to do some serious rebuilding to beat anyone other than the Sens in the playoffs, it is interesting to point out that after years of finishing at the bottom, stockpiling draft picks and prospects, the Sens have a fully matured team of top talent still unable to make an impression in the playoffs.

    My question for the Sens fans out there, is while there is an obvious path for the Leafs at the moment, what do the Sens do from here? Meanwhile, the Leafs are backing into the playoffs and that could only mean that the curse is returning after a year spent in Russia derailing Abromovich's hockey dreams...

  3. This Sens team is not the same team that lost to the Leafs all so many times in the playoffs (please don't remind me) and unfortunately the Leafs are the same except much older.
    The Leafs may have an obvious path, but since when have they taken obvious paths. They did nothing to prepare for the new NHL.(I was actually surprised the Leafs didn't pick up Bertuzzi at the deadline..he would make a good Leaf)
    I am actually hoping the Leafs get into the playoffs so the Sens can finally lift the curse...but unfortunately the Leafs are just not good enough...sorry..time for a Leaf fire sale.
    Believe me..the Sens have no fear of Leafs this year. Watching them of late, they look like a tired old team that just wants the season to end.

  4. Mediocre teams cannot hide behind clutching,grabbing and face washes in the new NHL and the Leafs are proof of that.There will be no more battle of Ontario until the Leafs find this "obvious path".
    The Sens on the other hand will continue to do what they are doing and be successful.We will go farther than before
    There is a curse alright.It has been breeding in Toronto since 1967.It just reared its ugly head again this year Leaf Nation!

  5. Making it to game 7 of the semi-final doesn't constitute "making a dent"? hm...

    Ideal: Toronto, sitting one point down of Montreal on April 15, gets hammered 10-0, officially knocking Toronto out of the playoffs.

    Even better: game is played in Ottawa where the score ends up 12-0 and every one gets TWO slices of pizza.

  6. Even better: game is played in Ottawa where the score ends up 12-0 and every one gets TWO slices of pizza.

    Even better yet, Toronto beats Ottawa 4-3 to secure the final playoff spot with the score being a preview of a first round matchup in which Toronto outs Ottawa from the playoffs yet again 4 games to 3.

  7. Only in Leafland can a team that's in 10th place, two teams and 5pts out of being 8th, with a 4-5-1 L10 record (vs the 7-3-0 and 5-4-2 of the other two) be considered a promising sign.

    Does excess gel in your hair cause brain damage or vice-versa? No wonder you guys need to call in the army when you get an inch of snow.

  8. Actually, the Leafs are 4 points behind 8th place Atlanta with a game in hand.

  9. and 5-2-1 in their last 8 games. Not too shabby.

  10. Yeah. Sorry -- I was using's figures for last night when the parent post was, umm posted.

    Didn't think it would be that confusing, but I guess I should've known.

  11. Wasn't confusing, just your old stats were somewhat misleading as the Leafs have played much better recently and have been gaining ground in the playoff race.

  12. Hey, clearly there's going to have to be a rebuilding year... but if we can head into it with a comedy playoff run, all the better.
    And duff, is your idea of success really just 'we will go farther than before'? I miss the old days, when the burning question was 'is this the best team ever?' (ie. November). I love that rejigging of expectations... give it a month before the 'playoffs don't matter, we had the best regular season ever' post.
    And for all that, I'm in general agreement with wavetank.

  13. Sorry,I can't claim the" best team ever" quote .What I did say in November was"the Leafs won't make the playoffs".I stand by my predictions even though I would like to see them meet Ottawa in the first round.Going farther means the finals.
    It all depends on the officiating.

  14. "It all depends on the officiating."

    Ahh yes, nothing like Ottawa fans building up an excuse already. Ottawa fans like to blame everyone but their own team. The funniest was when they blamed Domi for deliberately diving head first into the boards giving himself a huge gash on his head resulting in a 5 minute penalty against the Senators (Leafs scored 2 goals on that PP to come back from a 2-0 deficit and went on to win the game and the series). If the Senators lose you only need to look at the team which is filled with a bunch of highly skilled forwards but none of which have proven themselves able to consistantly raise their games in the playoffs when most every other team does. Whether it is the playoff failures of the last 5 years in the NHL or the playoff failure of last seasons stacked Bingamton team (which Spezza, Vermette, Kelly, Pothier, Volchenkov, Schubert, McGratton and Emery were a part of), the Senators players have never delivered in the playoffs. Don't blame the referees or Domi's head for that.

  15. Please forgive us for making excuses. We're simply trying to catch up on 38 years of precedence but, dammit, you leaf fans just keep adding to the pile.

  16. THM, there is a big difference between blaming your own team which the Leafs fans do. Have you seen any leaf fan blaming the officiating for their shitty season?? No they are blaming themselves and their management. The Sens will use every excuse in the book as to why they lose. Until the end of the season when you all call for the Coache's head, new players blah blah blah. Then when the season comes around all of your bitching about the team is forgotten and your on to new things to bitch about beside your own team.

    The Leafs lose like a team and they take responsibility as a team. They don't single out players, yeah their fans do but the team doesn't.

  17. ...except when it is Allison and Tucker not back-checking on the game winner. But whatever. The point is Senators' fans can't even bitch right.

  18. The fact is, with all the money in the world, a near monopoly on the league and television rightsfor the longest time, and 38 years without a cup, the Leafs have no excuses left.

    I could cross post individual Leaf fans blaming the weather, the government, and about a hundred other things but that be would just too much bad grammar.

    I don't see anyone taking responsibility. I see a bunch of old men pretending nothing's wrong. If that's your idea of leadership, well then great.

    The Leafs just keep falling, and it's not autumn any more.

  19. "... but that be would just too much bad grammar".
    Man, the irony keeps on coming. Sorta like being told how a good sports team looks by someone from Ottawa. I count a couple decent regular seasons and nothing of significance in the playoffs (minus your endearing, help-your-neighbour chokejobs), so the long view and high horse aren't exactly Ottawa territory yet.

  20. Hey, we people in Ottawa are busy working being productive -- not too busy to post 5 times a day, but certainly too busy to check the order of every word. :P

  21. Hey, I expect nothing less from the business capital of the...erm... Greater Ottawa Region.

  22. Yoda, you have to be kidding...the master of blaming referrees for losses is Pat Quinn himself..if he's not trying to intimidate the young ones..he's blaming the older ones. Do you see his face whenever the referree dares call a Leaf for their typical clutch and grab...come on
    Most Sens fans realize that they lost all those series to the Leafs because they didn't have enough grit. Ironically we have the grit now and we don't need it..the referrees are now calling the clutching and grabbing and will hopefully keep calling it in the playoffs.

  23. "Hey, I expect nothing less from the business capital of the...erm... Greater Ottawa Region."
    that sounds like it may have come from someone who resides in the centre of the universe.

  24. Are these the voices of Leaf Nation I hear? Do I sense optimism from under the wagon? A couple of wins to stay alive and all of a sudden you guys become the Bee Gees reunion Tour! UH UH UH Stayin' Alive Stayin' Alive....Disco is dead and so are the Leafs!.....p.s. We have to stop picking on Yoda....he's a confused little Jedi

  25. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  26. I ain't confused at all. My post which was deleted said that I'm a Penguins fan above all. Nothing will ever change that, I've been a penguins fan since the 80's. I'm loyal to my team. I will stand up for other teams that I like to and the Maple Leafs are one of them. You wanted me to not post about Pittsburgh so I won't.

    Should the Leafs have optimism, yeah they're what 4 points out of a spot?? 14 games to go?? I wouldn't count them out. They do have the talent to make the playoffs and it ain't far fetched that they could make it.

  27. Toronto can't get into the playoffs by looking at the past. You've gotta justify your suggestion by looking at the future. And I don't see much hope for the Laffs in that future as other contenders seem to have a schedule that reads like a who's who of the basement dwellers.

    Toronto's remaining games (70pts): @Mtl, @Mtl, @NJ, @Phi, Buf, Buf, NYI, @Bos, @Phi, Flo, @NYI, OTT, @Buf, Pit.

    Atlanta (74, 8th place): NJ, @NYI, @TB, Car, @Ott, @Flo, @TB, Car, @TB, Was, Bos, @Was, @Flo.

    Montreal (73): Tor, Tor, @Pit, NYI, Was, Bos, Bos, @OTT, NJ, OTT, @Buf, @Bos, Buf, NJ.

    New Jersey (76) and Tampa Bay (77) would also appear vulnerable while some might argue that stronger teams such as Carolina, Buffalo, and Ottawa might want to rest some of their stronger players in preparation for the playoffs.

  28. It looks like Ottawa will be forced to rest some of their stronger players due to injury.
    The latest is the Big Z...he'll be taking the weekend off as his hand is swollen...that damn Cairns...did you see it on thurday, Cairns repetitive struck Chara's knuckle with his face.