Unless you're up late like me - because you played a game of pick-up at 11pm and now you can't sleep - this ought to be the morning Leaf post welcoming you to Game #1 of the Brian Burke era.
Before you get too excited, Vesa Toskala will start the season. Before you let that get you down, recall that it was Toskala who backstopped the Leafs to a 3-2 win over Detroit to open last season. Half full. Half empty. You decide!
Yesterday we talked rosters. Eyebrows raised, no doubt, to see Victor Stalberg open the season on the top line. Or did they? He did lead the NHL in pre-season goals with a half dozen in 8 games played. But that's because he personally played in more games than most other teams did right? Perhaps. Also he was a 6th round pick, by John Ferguson Junior. He must be a flash in the pan... Unless you believe Bob McKenzie, who today [Thursday], said this:
"This guy is no flash in the pan [see how I did that, using his exact words above and then flipping them into a positive - awesome!], and he will challenge for the rookie of the year"
Rookie of the year? Hey. What does Bob McKenzie know? It's not like you can take his words to the bank on most subjects related to hockey. [See how I did that? I say something opposite to fact as if it is fact, to prove my point that Bob know everything. I'm on a roll.]
Bob McKenzie... Victor Stalberg... hmm... oh right, the roster. Well, one thing that occurred to me is that despite playing a billion preseason games, the Leafs never iced the exact group who will start the season. Imagine when that 3rd D line comes out and it's Exelby and Ian White? Sends shivers down my spine. Do you, like me, look forward to the first time our 4th line jumps over the boards and Orr, Rosehill and Primeau go flying into the opposition zone looking to shake things up? How about Hagman on a line with Grabovski, or Kaberle and Beauchemin both wearing letters on their chest and #22 waiting for grapes from #15 the way #24 used to back when our PP was #2? Speaking of numbers, which one does Wallin wear again and can he make our PK not be #30?
Lots of excitement, lots of hope, lots of fears.
So have at it BoO. Where you watching the game tonight? Who do you think will stand out? How many beers will you drink? What kind of beer? Will you even remember the 3rd? And how, on God's green earth, will any of us get any work done today?
Leafs vs Habs. 7pm. CBC.