It’s time for everyone to take a step back, breath, forget about hockey for a second and just clear your mind.
Feel better? Good, now lets look at things a little more rationally right now.
The Leafs are on a skid. This is true, but with their strong start this is more like water finding it’s own level. Toronto will be in this position, give or take a few spots, all year. They are not the unstoppable powerhouse seen at the start, they are not the sluggish, error prone hacks seen in some games since.
They are a mid range team and with this range comes mixed results. Yes, there can be a game where they play amazing (see vs. Islanders) and still lose. Yes, there can be games where they play horrible (see vs. Pittsburgh) and win. It all depends on the bounces, the level/condition of the opponent and luck.
That being said, the best team will win most games, but the great teams are able to win when they are not the best, or stretch out for an extra point. The Leafs have done this already and have been burned by this already.
But look at it this way the secondary scoring has shown up lately, and slow starters are now putting up some numbers. Kulemin has a 3 game scoring streak, Grabovski has a monkey off his back and is seeing his very hard work finally yield results. C-Mac is keeping a decent pace, nearly a point per game through 13 matches. Also, Bozak, being put on a short leash and 3rd line duty, seems to have had some sense knocked into him.
Tough luck for that guy: first swine flu, then a mild case of Blue and White disease. Luckily they got to him before it became chronic. What’s next, a feverish hot streak?
One reason to give the team a little more time before labeling them as bums and jumping off the bandwagon is that Dion Phaneuf, the voice and face of the team, is out for a month. This takes some adjusting, and there is no way to replace him or his minutes. You have to grin and bear it and temper you expectations. This team will not compete for the presidents trophy, but will compete for a playoff spot. They will do this by fighting hard and clawing their way back into games as they did in Washington.
Oh yeah, if you booed Dion for one mistake, you do not deserve to be a leaf fan, please go “cheer” elsewhere, you’ll fit right in with the bell centre crowd, they boo everyone.
To real hockey fan just remember: take the good with the bad, for every winning streak there will be another downturn to balance it out, just believe, cheer loud and always hope for the best.